Friday, May 16, 2008

buried in narrative

It wasn't long ago that I felt like I understood. I could read books without becoming claustrophobic from the invisible encroaching sense of longing and separation that I now feel in the whiteness between their lines, a white static I presumed to be silence because I was never abandoned to it before. But suddenly it becomes meaningful and dynamic and encompassing: the flesh on the bone, or maybe more appropriately: the breath in dirt and stone.

As long as we take for granted the static as silence, as long as we assume the bones of literature, the words, the plot, are the only substance, we can remain afloat, remain in control, relegating our experience to our heads, starving our experiences of breast milk so that they remain more abstraction than experience, relegated to our heads, remain relegated to our understanding heads.

But begin to give the dirt and stone breath, and see how quickly everything will go a muck and out of control. How quickly sin will enter in. How quickly all the colors will blur and smear. Everything still floats about in beautiful forms, or sacred or precious, but a temporal fuck of an aching mess nonetheless.

My head can no longer keep up with pain. Much less can I understand or appreciate the precious gift of joy. I see more outrageous things in a week than I can recount. I hear more unbelievable stories than I can straighten out. I can not keep up with these things. I can not predict which impulse will come next, what turn in the great narrative will be right, how the crazy people came to their craziness, how the financially irresponsible ever made it this far, why the joke teller is sad today or why the contemplative is giggiling.

I can not find it in me to condemn a single thing. I judge nothing. Or else I judge everything, and condemn everyone.

I have rejected God. I do not know how to accept Him. It is one thing to say, it is not up to us, God gives us his salvation, it is not up to us. It is another thing to enter into communion. All day long I concern myself with the directions of my life. I am torn between driving a hybrid or driving a six cylinder Lexus. I am torn between lust and purity. I am torn between aloneness and alienation.

It is easier to make money in stocks, easier to buy real estate, easier to find a good job and have success, easier to listen to all the recent good music, read the Atlantic Monthly, go out and see the hustle and wonder of Los Angeles, easier to calculate and execute in a hundred ways... and so, I do. It is impossible though, to pray.

Let's go drink a pint together and joke around.


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