Evening thoughts

The sun is setting over Camden. A new work week is coming up, and we are not sure who we are – or who we will be. Most of us are becoming. I met a man in the street today, walking down to buy some groceries, who walked slowly, elegantly dressed and speaking to a friend beside him. He looked as if he knew exactly who he was. There is beauty in that, but also a special kind of horror. To be done, a finished piece of music, only to be performed over and over again (oh, and the special horror of that performance that seeks to cast the work in a new light by cheap tricks and juxtapositions).

And we, who are drafts, envy the sense of completion – but we do not realize that it means that there will be no change. A finished sketch, a short story carefully worked out and then? Laid aside as a step on a longer journey. I think this is why we should not pursue happiness. It is a desire to be finished, to be laid aside. Our desire for happiness is an echo of Freud’s thanatos – remember that the god of death in Greek mythology appears when the fates have cut the thread. When they have finished.

I am very much a draft, and while it is frustrating at times it also means that the thread is still being spun, and measured – and has not yet been cut.

I have always wondered what happened with all those threads. Spun, measured, cut. I hope they are all woven into a new weave, a work of desperate beauty where our own threads intertwine with others, form new patterns, glimmers of gold in deep darkness. And then I hope this weave is made into beautiful, warm blanket that we can use to swaddle our children, and keep them safe from the terrible, cruel cold of the cosmos.

There is a special kind of sorrow that is not a sense of loss, but a sense of there never really having been anything in our tight embrace in the first place. A soft suspicion, whispered, that there was never anything there, not really. It is not sorrow, nor is it depression – it is more akin to melancholy – or perhaps a sense of responsibility for the re-evaluation of all values, and then the numbing feeling of fatigue, facing the sheer enormity of the task.

Nihilism was never an alternative, though. It lacks depth, it is a young mans game. Euthydemus was, in many ways, a nihilist first and a sophist second. The self-aggrandizement is what gives them away, and, of course, also undermines their professed beliefs.

Now more tea. A few phone calls. Then sleep. It has been a long day.

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