Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Word That

The word that I feel,
Feel it all
Yes, I can feel
Feel it all

- KT Tunstall, "Feel It All"

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There's this truth among the fucked, a truth so compelling, so present, that it is never in doubt. The lives of the fucked are builded, stone by stone, around this truth. It does not glimmer. It sheds no light, but it is magnetic and soothing and powerful.  This truth reconciles the fucked to their fucked lives. It says: there is a limit to what can be done by any one of you. Take the job. Pay your bills. Get in line. You won't be overly happy, but you won't be overly disappointed either. Play to not lose. In return, you'll get a new car every five years.

This is a powerful truth, especially when the rent is due.

It is also a lie.

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Riddle me this, are you going to die? If so, what are you doing with your brief time? What is the point of living longer if the life you lead is reduced to a grey porridge of playing not to lose? Listen, bubbe, you are going to lose. Your dirt nap awaits. Do you think playing it safe will make you any less dead? You are a dead man walking. Why not see what can be done in the interim? What do you fear more, life or death? The question I have for you is this: why fear either?

* * *

If you have read any of these other posts you know I believe that we create meaning in our lives. There is no meaning built into it. We create it. The wheels come off when we let others decide what that meaning is - even well intentioned others will fuck you up. I have looked to words as the source of the meaning in my life. The tapping out of letters on this keyboard the rhythm of my days. And it has served me well to think it is so, to live in this manner. I have no riches except for the effort of showing up and putting my two cents in. But I have learned this: you don't know what you don't know until something changes. And something has changed, something has been added that wasn't there before. It is this: the experience of being alive is all we have. Out of the infinite multiplicities of possible lives, there is but this one life for you to live. How you experience it is solely up to you. Circumstances are not definitive. You fuck your life when you cede your experience to circumstance, to external forces. You unfuck your life when you decide how to live your experience.

This does not mean you must become a cliff-jumper or a physical daredevil of any sort in order to experience being alive. What it means is that you must be conscious of being alive this very instant and feel it all, the pulse of all that is, that has been, that may yet be. You can be rich or poor. You can explore the world, or just your apartment. It doesn't matter what form your experience takes, only that you are alive to it.

The great RL Stevenson wrote:

"You lean from your window, your last pipe reeking whitely into the darkness, your body full of delicious pains, your mind enthroned in the seventh circle of content; when suddenly the mood changes, the weather-cock goes about, and you ask yourself one question more: whether for the interval, you have been the wisest philosopher or the most egregious of donkeys? Human experience is not yet able to reply; but at least you have had a fine moment, and looked down upon the kingdoms of earth. And whether it was wise or foolish, to-morrow's travel will carry you, body and mind, into some different parish of the infinite."

Worry less about being right or wrong, foolish or upright. Live out loud, by whatever means you and your imagination have, and feel it all. Caretake this moment. It is all you will ever have.

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