Journal of Forgetting. September 23, 2008
1. I never forget anything. At the least, I certainly don't remember forgetting anything. What I learned was so small, so skeletal, so spacial. A patch of steam already cooled. The wisp of smoke rising imperceptibly, caught in the lungs with a small cough.
2. I have no regrets. At the least, I have no regrets that I regret. I owe this redemption to the fact that there is so little I remember to regret.
3. The inhabitant within this body is not claiming it; it has not tilled the soil, or soiled its till; it has not homesteaded itself; it has lightly lived, as if free; not formidable, not a threat, and not very familiar. It was new every day, and in every day dream. Within the bounds of its dreams at night, it was a surprise.
4. Most people are a danger to themselves. They raise up a Golden Horde of ghosts against themselves. They fret over each passerby, not realizing, they ARE the passerby.
5. I have forgotten more than I ever knew. There was music – I heard it played, and then it was gone.
6. Why is everything “strangely familiar” and infinitely wonderful? A “foreign exchange student” is always a member of the family living in the house.
7. Why is there curiosity?
8. I vaguely remember everything. Deja vu is a bell which rings across the symphony of my life. As I hear it, I remember what it was and anticipate what it will be, now.
9. I remember, and I succumb. I forget and folly is victorious. I find myself constantly in a victory parade looking neither left nor right, leading to isolation.
10. Between fight and flight, between amygdala and cortex, between perpetual question and instantaneous answer, I remember not knowing.
11. There is a place to sit in every situation, especially when you are mentally on your feet. There is a dance, you can feel it, especially when at rest inside it. You can gather the zone of “interest” around you, breathing into the spell of presence, the attention of attention, appointing the inctus in the morphological space created by the rhythm of conversations and glances. The facial geography opening and closing curtains and continents of discovery and reassurance.
12. What other people think they are thinking is a gong. It waits to be struck. They wheel it out and you can either ignore it and hurt their feelings, make them feel unimportant or irrelevant. Or you can strike it hard and shatter or offend them. Or you can give it an appreciative bong of attention, and they will resonate gently, and lives will go on in this vibration, this “ing-ing” of the gong.
13. There is no such thing as “conversation”. Communication is an abstract and theoretical concept. The worm – the world’s great conqueror – is always stretching, ready to contract or extend, sometimes immediately in response to a stimulus, and sometimes simply as a result of being able to.
14. The key to understanding communication is to not get locked into the ideological trap of dyadism. Understand that the act of speaking and listening is almost never stimulus/response, A interacting with B. It is almost always a tribe encountering another tribe, everything interacting with everything, and nothing being nothing, and the passage of time drawn across the many strings of the bowed universe.
15. Suddenly someone is talking about something. Extraordinary.
16. All understanding has a hard shell and a soft underbelly.
17. Once you define your terms you have defeated any hope for communication. You have begun to spin a web. You are casting a concrete net and you will only catch the lies and flies whose interest is carrion. Misunderstandings will be laid and maggots born. The nibblers will have their way.
18. I remember I have work to do. I am here for some purpose. This is clear to me, and I have surrounded myself with obligations freely undertaken with an informed understanding of the foreseeable consequences. But this gets ugly. Now I am surrounded by the obligations of my purposed commitments, and they imprison me. I am no longer free. And the rut of commitments cut me off from the surrounding possibilities, of which I am no longer aware. I am walled off. My purpose has blinded me to what I can do.
19. I do not know what I am doing, how I can do it, or why I am doing it.
20. A Singularity is always the result of time working on a plurality.
21. I tell anyone who will listen that communication is impossible.
- Did Socrates say "Know Thyself", or was he misunderstood, as all are. Show Thyself is all we can do. The knowing is unknowable. I am filled with joy. It can't be helped.
Became a Farmer, Builder, Musician, Tank Commander, Librarian, Lawyer and Minister. I have failed at many things. And now retired. Filled, just filled, with Joy.