Monday, December 7, 2020

Meditation 105


7 December 2020

Don’t admire me for having survived the Unnameable Event. Listen to the tremor in my voice, but know it as symptom of the Other Thing I’m not telling you. Hear out my secrets, those I keep to myself, and watch my affect as performance. A young man tells you nothing, though he shares a house with you. You worry that he might rehearse a two-years-ago spiral, while feeling that you need to let your lenses down. The softness of bad vision is sometimes preferable to the clarity of hindsight. Don’t ask questions, because they inspire more not-answers. She saw the sunrise from grandma’s, though she doesn’t say what it means to her. My letters were sheer projection into the landscape of London, circa 1980, though I felt that I felt them, so why didn't she? To give care to one who had withheld it is like scouting a route you’ve already stepped on, while wanting to bushwhack the rest. The road is the habit, and that’s a bad pun, as my mother said, in her bun. If the Unnameable Event is communal, do you share it, or cock your head and say “da kine”? He’d lost nine members of his family in the blue building located between the place his father was killed and the restaurant where we ate in Battambong. Admiration’s too simple a word for my response to him on that day. Though I wonder what’s wrong with finding the sacred in a man who laughs so easily from the mouth-door of an unimagined morgue? If memory is habit, then be a slob, hoard so many hurts you can’t ever find the one that hurts the most. Don’t like hierarchies? Go for the social history of pain, the wounds that afflict the least among us, not celebrities, though god knows they hurt, too, on either side of fame’s mirror. The Unnameable Event, once spoken of, can be released like mouse in a field. Our affect, upon release, raises us like the balloon in which a neighbor’s inflatable Santa rises at nightfall. Hot air makes him generous. Our speech shall make us admirable, though that is Not the Word.

--in response to "a philosopher and a professor" in the NYT, 11/30/20

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