Response to The Almond Trees:
First thoughts: Immediate connection. How could there not be? We live in a time of uncertainty. Everything looks different than it used to. The veil of propaganda that has comforted us throughout the history of our country has been shaken. We have learned about propaganda and now we recognize it around us. The same casting off of disturnbances, understanding and learning that we have prided ourselves in pursuing, the things that have brought us comfort, cloaking us in the certainty that we are different and powerful we are set apart - is the same knowledge that is now shaking us to the core. Do we want to propel back to the other side of the crevice, the swinging rope lit on fire and burning to ashes - we watch it burn and realize we cant traverse to the other side and must instead make a home for ourselves in this new environment. The environment we created for ourselves. We spent years writing on the importance of casting out falsehoods and uncovering the dirtiness of the world around us, and now that we have polished the final bits, the world around us is reflecting this excavation. Where are the days when we could talk of cleanliness while living comfortably in the warmth of our own filth. Where are the days when we could talk about the need to disorient ourselves to realize the truth, when we sat comfortably immobile and sedated. Now things are tilting and we are beginning to see the state of our surroundings reflecting the disorienting state of our minds.
Living in luxury gives you the ability to free up your mind and your hands for other things. When we are not worried about surviving, putting one foot in front of the other, battering the hatches for the next inevitable blow of harsh cold, something curious happens to our minds. A restful state, sans the adrenaline that comes from confronting your demise in your mind and revolting with your limbs, is one in which this awareness of fate lilts back to some consciously hidden space. With the peril of death not here to grab us by our shoulders, we are like children left to our own devices. Our minds are light with play. Coming off the most weighty of agenda’s we do not realize that the momentum which has brought us to this point, is of a different kind- we do not recognize what we are doing as play. The front space of our forehead, which was once filled to the edges with the tightness of reality are like a musty house closed up for years, in which the windows have been burst open letting the brightness of day rush in - the cool crisp air illuminating the dark corners, The sheets being lifted and then lifted and dropped and lifted again casting off a decades worth of sooty uncertainty and fear. What is there to fear in a bright day? The tightness of breath that comes with the force of a crisp breeze is a welcome one, tightening as if to say “Oh! You again! Hello old friend.” The violent tightness that leads to an orgasmic letting-go. A mind that is relaxed is a mind at its most nimble. Fit to dance and glide and swing and roll over stifling obstacles that were to say what is practical and realistic, even useful. A relaxed and nimble mind courts and flirts with ideas like a drunk on a dance floor, the glares and stares from the neglected date, the bar tab, the sticky floor, the clinging clothes, nothing is important but the gyrations of the dance and the freeing of the limbs from their rigid sides to the pull of the ceiling. It is in this space of being relaxed and illuminated which allows a mind to dance with ideas that don't concern themselves with the weighty heaviness of survival.
The things that are invented and talked about in these times of restful bliss do not admit to their comfortable state. The thing to talk about is the seriousness of ones endevors. The importance of your shammy, of your fitted sheet, of your understanding of haiku’s use in literature. All of these things could be talked about with a furrowed brow and stroke of a chiseled chin, and so they are. We are taking our play as serious as a child playing house, building up for themselves a world in which they have crash landed on an island and now must survive without their parents, shelter food and protection from the lions and tigers. The playfulness losing itself in the daunting nature of the seriousness of the task. In these moments it is easy, even important if the game is to work, to forget that we built this seriousness for ourselves. What then, happens to a generation of people at play - a people at play, who have been born and have witnessed other being born into and dying out of this grand act of playing. The ideas and the tools predicating themselves upon the thing that started not out of necessity but out of blissful rest. In this type of play when the seriousness kicks in we find ourselves growing ever more serious. Things that are pleasant and dreamy in the face of death and destruction are themselves death and destruction in the face of vacuum-sealed luxury. Building upon and gorging ourselves with roses and bread we forget the sweetness of a rose - and don’t know a place of bread-less hunger.
The ideas that the mind spans in this restful and full space are brilliantly illuminated. Eyes to the sky in wonder and not desperate pleading, we see different shades, we experience different sensations - and our mind does the things that we, from this place of comfortable relfection, have begun to pride ourselves in doing best. The wheels spin in a different direction, off the rails and into the stratosphere we welcome unfamiliar stimulus without feeling the need to protect ourselves from it.
Camus said “it is true that we live in tragic times, but too many people confuse tragedy with despair.” Tradgedy, being an event causing great suffering destruction or distress. When the fissures in our pearly existence stamp themselves on our eyes, that is to say when the death and birth and death and birth that are the constant thread throughout humanity - the stress of survival pushes itself back into the front of our foreheads, when we get a reminder of our transient state we dip into an emotional realization that we aren't going to make it. The walls we have built for ourselves are a maze with a single finishing point. This realization jumps us into a state of Despair- a complete loss or absence of hope. because, knowing our end what are we to hope for? Hope that the walls are clean and bright, hope that there is enjoyment and purpose in our travels? The futility suffocates us and we throw our arms up - not in joyous reverence of a dancing drunk but in tantrum and exasperation of a child who believes he has been deprived.
We have completely lost hope in our survival because survival is the thing that we were hoping for all along. Survival being the one thing we know we can not have. We always long for the thing that escapes us. Focusing our sadness on our inability to grasp it. Focusing our happiness in our momentary forgetting that we crave it in the first place. This broken-ness and destruction of place does not however, call for a loss of hope. Because what is a loss of hope, if we only hope for the things we know we can have. Why, would we hope for the things we cannot, in our very nature have provided for us. The things our very nature revolts itself against, cant be the thing that we base our hope upon. We can base our hope on the things we can have and then these things will be the things that we find our happiness within. The hopeless nature of what could-not-be becomes the nature of what is, and everything else it joyously tethered to our rambling existence. The barefoot nature of a child at play, the drunken experience of dancing with your hands in the air. These are the things to hope for, the curtains being drawn back, the orgasmic tightening and release of a new idea a new day a crisp breeze of enlightenment. When these become the things we hope for these become the things that bring us the most joy. The fissures producing tragedy, but not despair.