Monday, August 18, 2008

rabbit's end



The other morning I half awoke to the children's screams of Heidegger. It wasn't real, but biting in my sleep none the less.. . All the pieces were there, the piercing shrieks relentless and barely inscrutable. I would know what they could mean if only I would remember the ontic or the ontological, could remember something--nothing? Perhaps, if I would fight through this I'm caught in. . .

and there are other things, as well.

In the introduction to Memoir of a Geisha, there's a metaphor I've been thinking of a lot lately. It suggests, much more poetically than I am about to, that a rabbit running through a field is in no position to tell you about rabbits, but every position to tell you about the field. Somehow, for me, that fictitious introductory essay--or maybe the whole book, I'm not sure--soulfully embodies the experience of letting the world wash over and around you, sliding past in a cool constant stream of words. It reminds me of Tolstoy, this, they way you can see his characters in the way the hang their dressing gowns, the peculiarities of their facial expressions and their pet names for the servants. Tolstoy wrote like a rabbit in a field, and it seems he saw it well.

I love Tolstoy, but it comes clear that rabbit mustn't be my style.

It has been. I am nothing of Tolstoy, but there is a certain detachment in my words. I have an observers voice, except when I'm talking cheerily or melodramatically about myself, or directly communicating towards somebody else. I often lack even his sarcastic engagement with the word he saw; he had emotion towards his characters. It's the same way I read, absorbing obvious themes and imagery, perhaps, but allowing most of the processing, such as it is, to take place in my subconscious--leaving in me only the print of the obvious and the intuitive.

I want to contribute, or perhaps only create, more than I'll ever be able to if all I can see is that.

To some, in particular those who find me already to be an absurdly introspective and annoying overthinker, this must seem very strange--but for the first time in my life, I feel the draw in having my own ideas--really having my own ideas. I have been known for not choosing just because everybody else did, but that's not enough; sorting with my honest judgment, avoiding some groupthink, that's good but not enough. If it appears I have been doing more, it is only because I have been running through what, to most of my acquaintanceship, is a most god-forsakenly unusual field.

I don't need to be a seminal figure, or anything like. . . just to do more than passively sift the ideas of others as they flow coldly past.

1 comment:

kjh said...

... "a most god-forsakenly unusual field" ... and the rest of the blog entry... /nod.