“Unbeing dead isn’t being alive.”
― E. E. Cummings
I can’t be the only one who’s spent countless hours gazing up at the stars?
Last night was no different. (The puppy decided he needed to go out at 3.30 am — thanks Eddie!)
And I wonder…
is there anyone out there?
is there a planet that might support the human race that we could travel to, assuming we could invent some new, and as yet undiscovered mode of space transport? and
has anyone visited us from the heavens?
But I digress.
What of it?
Well, I wonder what it…
“Does anything in nature despair except man? An animal with a foot caught in a trap does not seem to despair. It is too busy trying to survive. It is all closed in, to a kind of still, intense waiting. Is this a key? Keep busy with survival. Imitate the trees. Learn to lose in order to recover, and remember that nothing stays the same for long, not even pain, psychic pain. Sit it out. Let it all pass. Let it go.”
― May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude
Often, but probably not often enough, I dream of a world…
I previously wrote about weasel words — so there’s clearly a theme going on — but this time I want to skate the surface of another lexical horror story, namely meaningless words.
Mostly, but not exclusively, my gaze centres around the workplace but in general, what I’m trying to get at is the ooze that covers over words used to represent something that isn’t real, (often) isn’t true and isn’t anything in fact.
Where to even start…
Vision, values, (high-performance) culture, entrepreneurial, flexible, client-centred, ambitious, meritocratic environment, collaborative, working shoulder to shoulder, talent, careers, mission etc.
What’s wrong with them?
Imagine a lifeless but still life-supporting planet — just.
Well that, I believe, is where we’re headed.
And it saddens me greatly; it’s almost beyond words.
I recognise that not everyone feels so disconnected from nature to treat it so harshly but we’re not talking about the last few years, no, we’re talking hundreds of years. And it shows.
Some people believe that it’s not too late; I’m not one of them. It’s clear to me that the Gods have spoken and we’re answering their Anthropocentric call. Like my parents used to say:
When it’s gone, it’s all gone.
“We have to entertain the possibility that there is no reason for something existing; or that the split between subject and object is only our name for something equally accidental we call knowledge; or, an even more difficult thought, that while there may be some order to the self and the cosmos, to the microcosm and macrocosm, it is an order that is absolutely indifferent to our existence, and of which we can have only a negative awareness.”
― Eugene Thacker
It feels (at last) that I’ve found something that interests me — and for all the wrong reasons:
Imagine being told before you were born — assuming you had the requisite cognition — what you’d end up doing with your life:
working…until, well, the bitter end.
Would you take it?
From an anti-natalist perspective (see in particular the work of David Benatar), they’d say that coming into existence was bad but not being born was not a deprivation of something good (i.e. work in my example) because there’s no one there to notice.
Novel or extreme? Take your pick.
But the thing is, we seem to make a massive hue and cry about work. It’s no surprise…
“…things take on a repeat.” — Charles Bukowski
I’ve played this video many times. It’s part of a longer interview with Bukowski, and if you’d like to understand him and his work, is definitely worth watching.
But it’s the above-quoted part that I want to linger over.
Am I alone in thinking that each day is, give or take a very few things, a repeat of the one before?
And I mean both in our actions and speech.
If not, then perhaps you’ve mastered something that’s escaped me these 50 odd years.
Oh sure, when I was growing up…
“to deprive (a word or phrase) of its meaning,” 1900, from weasel (n.); so used because the weasel sucks out the contents of eggs, leaving the shell intact. Both this and weasel-word are first attested in “The Stained-Glass Political Platform,” a short story by Stewart Chaplin, first printed in Century Magazine, June 1900:
“Why, weasel words are words that suck all the life out of the words next to them, just as a weasel sucks an egg and leaves the shell. …
“Life and death are of supreme importance. Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost. Each of us should strive to awaken. Awaken! Take heed, do not squander your life.”
Another week of legal toings and froings.
Still, I’m here: coffee poured and right now our crazed puppy, Eddie, is chasing a Father Christmas ball around the kitchen; he couldn’t be happier. And of course, I’ve got music playing.
Life — beautifully and effortless unfolding.
As you know, I’m short on solutions. In many ways, I abhor them because they excuse us from asking a more…
“True confessions are written with tears only. But my tears would drown the world, as my inner fire would reduce it to ashes.”
― Emil Cioran, On the Heights of Despair
Do you feel it?
Our waning days.
And yet…we seem oblivious to the unfolding, death-dealing catastrophe.
By we, I don’t mean to suggest everyone but enough of us to matter.
Perhaps it’s me but do we really need another conference which will result in not a scintilla of change, or not sufficient to matter? I don’t think so. What we need is:
no talk, more action; and a lot…
Spiritual and cultural activist