Wednesday, May 28, 2014

One Is Always

One is always reminded of the difference between Achilles and Homer: one has the experience, the feeling; the other describes it.

- F. Nietzsche, Human, All Too Human: 211

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Forever looking in from the outside, noses pressed against the metaphoric glass, the fucked see the actions and doings of others as spectacle, theater - brave possibly, thrilling certainly - and become as sports fans with painted faces and team logos and howling screams of a fuck-yeah sort of affirmation of what others are doing seemingly for the pleasure of hearing those on the sidelines call out their names. One is always reminded of the difference between the unfucked and the fucked: one has the experience, the feeling; the other consumes it with a mixture of envy and disgust.

* * *

Nietzsche was having his way putting down the artist. Pale and wan, the artist could only describe what others had done. But as with all things, Nietzsche is here to challenge, confront and demand some thought about things that we give no thought to: the habits and modes of society and their effect on the individual. The man himself was an artist - a scaldingly brilliant one - and some of his disparaging can be read as a challenge to himself to do more.

It is this urge for something more, for some other way of experiencing life that can leave us unsatisfied, with the stale, flat taste of copper in our mouths for we can envision a life that we might live, but yet haven't figured out how to execute it. The difference between what is possible and what is can drive you to your knees, make you despair of ever moving out past the banalities of bills paid, clocks punched - the minute matriculations of day-to-day living that accrue, accumulate and clog the life you meant to have. You look up and ten years have fled since your marriage broke apart; fifteen years since you took the degree in business instead of finishing off your work in the history department; five years since you first realized the clock is forever winding down and all you've done is buy things instead of doing things. The seductions of material pleasures, of material achievement are as lullabies - they infantilize the power that flows in your veins, the power for you to choose the shape and color of your life.

If you are fucked, then you do nothing of what you are capable of. One needn't be Achilles (and Homer's description is another form of doing), but you do have to be who you are - complete, no part left out. If losses define you, if frustration harries you, if the hurt that comes with being alive simply confounds you then your life will never take hold, you will never find the sweet line until you let go of the false assumption that you are owed something for your pain, your confusion, the raw deal you see your life as.

Here's the thing, love: it isn't a raw deal. It is a fucking marvelous deal.

* * *

We are raised to wear the mantle of the values and mores of our time. We assimilate the unspoken expectations of a certain kind of achievement: wealth, power, status, etc. Though the channels are choked off for many to make it through it is still held as the ideal and when our lives butt up against that ideal we find ourselves wanting. The only thing real about reality TV is the desperation of the participants to be judged as winners in the fame lottery. When losses come as they must we have no mooring, no grounding to weather them. The old icons of religion have become retrograde, medieval, a fundamentalist blindness to the complexity and awe of life. So what happens? We take it out on ourselves. Because we don't fit neatly into a category, or even if we do there is a voice that whispers to us, "There is more to do," we chafe and blame ourselves. We grind to a halt. We fuck ourselves instead of challenging, confronting and demanding some thought about the things we have given an easy acquiescence to.

Life is here for you to use it up before you lay it down.

Don't die with gas in the tank.

* * *

But to what end is all this unfucking to lead to, eh? We still die. The faith that could once describe a heaven is in tatters - unreliable for all the sins of the priests and gurus and the politics of it all. To what end is a fair question.

Here's an answer: because to do anything less is to betray not a God, or a Creator, but to betray the consciousness that can dream of love and wit and meaning and sacrifice and joy in the face of all comers - your consciousness, love. Yours.

Now go. Have some fun while it is still light out.

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