Where does one look when looking for life? Even when acknowledging that looking misses the point, I often can’t help but feel it’s somewhere other than here, or something other than this.
I’m sitting in a Cambridge coffee shop staring out at Harvard’s red-brick offices, wondering if those professors have some deeper, more incisive view into the Universe’s workings, or at least the superimposed human ones, than us mere non-Harvard mortals.
Or are they so enclosed by their conceptual walls, so deeply burrowed into their minds that they waste their time fiddling around with impermanence? The more infrastructure you build into your narrative, the more believable these follies become.
Are beauty, worth, and value really to be discovered from within a fluorescently-lit office? From behind a desk that’s forgotten it used to be a tree? Or from the exposed brick of what’s new & hip, a new wave of cage?
Where’s raw life in the nude today? Who’s trying to walk around naked anymore, and is anyone trying to build a nudist colony that isn’t crazy? To what moon can the modern Ginsberg howl? Life is just a passing dream. Or maybe it’s the part before you fall asleep. Either way I, this particular bundle of flesh & habits, aspirations & insecurities, am going somewhere and never coming back. Decaying or transcending, what’s the difference? So are you.
Maybe, as American poet Anne Waldman says,
We’re all just conglomerations of tendencies, hopeless bundles of quivering meat bound on a wheel. We have no souls, no tangible selves.”
And as we cycle the wheel, both metaphorically and as our literal blue/green conglomerate of rock & water & gas turns in the milky Universe, we animate the ride, because why not? Maybe that’s our nature. If we’re the animators, if it’s our choice how this inevitable ride goes, then I resoundingly agree with Waldman when she concludes:
We’re here to disappear, therefore let’s be as vivid & generous as we can.”