<<reverse | forward>> | index | beginning
Metaphysics on a Gloomy Day

Wed, Aug 15, 2001 01:12PM -0600

The cryptic passage for the day. Don't ask me. These things just seem to pop up and demand to be written. Even when they don't make much sense.

Who am I kidding, I've got nothing, not even a scrap of paper to hang on to, not even a dream of a memory of a picture of all that happened. I keep wishing for things that can't possibly be real, there's just no chance of it at this juncture, and everything, if there is really anything, lies beyond that horizon. Years and years of waiting--I don't believe in wishes any more. There is only time and the mysterious weavings and flitterings of butterflies and storm clouds, how this one whispered word, spoken in the silence of my heart, might mean the difference, and what is the difference anyway? The sun still shines, the sky is still blue, I don't need to do anything. Whatever it is is just supposed to be, I'll just lie here and stare at the clouds, I can't dare, I don't want to say it, what I want, because it's not supposed to come true like that, you can't just wipe away the tears and the sadness with the wave of a magic wand, not even if you still believe in magic, not even if you felt the taste of magic melting on your tongue, like liquid electricity, like kissing fire.

Eyes open, that's all I can ask for in this trial, and maybe a little sign every once in a while that I'm going in the right direction. It's now or never, in each and every final moment, time speeds up the more time passes, and I need to know whether I'm ever gonna make it Home or not.

The color of the sky as far as I can see is cold grey, and it occurs to me that I need to just chill out for a few seconds, sit down, and spill all these hard earned trivial truths onto the ether sea of the Internet.

At first I thought it was a surrender, just another sick, sad sorry defeat, from whence I should sink back into the Pit of Despair, and carry on with my life status quo ante miracula. But then I realized, I can't, I don't want to. I like it up here. And there seems to be some invisible membrane that keeps me from sinking too far down. There are still good moments and bad moments, same as always, but the bad moments don't escalate like they did before, and if I just concentrate, I can usually get my head back above water.

I call it "The Hands of God" just for simplicity's sake. (You can't possibly expect me to articulate the Eternal, or even a reflection of the Eternal.) It all makes sense now, starting that one hopeless October day, as I walked across the Underhill parking lot in Berkeley. I had this weird image pop into my head, about how the world is held together by trillions upon quadrillions of tiny silken silver/grey threads, all of them shimmering, and how even though these threads are light and yield to the slightest touch, they would never fail to catch you. I'm sure you could try to pierce through them, but why would anyone ever want to try. I can't say that this vision comforted me for more than six hours, but somehow I managed to hold on until this moment, and like I said, it all makes sense now.

The net of heaven
is vast, vast,
yet misses nothing.
--from Ursula K. Le Guin's translation of the Tao Te Ching

I thought of such a net sometime last week, before I read this passage, and thought how the best way to catch anything, including knowledge, is not to throw up a brick wall or build a dam, but to lay out threads like a spider, so that you only pick up what you need. In IS-speak, I suppose, you need to lay down intelligent filters. Because if you just put up a dam, the river of information will eventually cause it to burst. With far less effort and starting building materials, you can crisscross a vast area of territory and probably manage to catch the most important bits of it. This also ties in with my realization about roads, which I may just get to some day. But in any case, I need to be porous, and yielding, and I can't latch on, too tight. The tensile forces will rip me to shreds if I do.

About holding on too tight: I think I may very well have what they call "essential tremor," with "essential" meaning that they have no idea why it happens. My dad has it, and my brother has it, and I've heard it's pretty much a benign condition--it doesn't get worse, it's just something you have. It only happens when I'm trying to hold on to something that is hard to grip (like when pouring a pitcher full of OJ, or trying to hold onto a tiny thread). But it's not until now that I realized that if I just relax my grip, just go slack a little, the tremor decreases, and sometimes even goes away. Of course, I should probably cut back on the caffeine, too.

<<reverse | forward>> | index | beginning