Thursday, March 17, 2011

swimming notes

I occasionally emphasize my obsession with news because the vague reminder is the most I make time to do online, to remind myself that writing of tragedy could consume me. I’m often embarrassed to seem oblivious.

But the reality is opposite: I strive to keep on track with what I can do, which happens to now be so many details of a writing project (sensitive to happy happenstances) that may seem to have no direction.

Yet, the reality is opposite. I’m no Beckett willfully, anti-nihilistically going on. I’m in love with life, partly in honor of what life might have been for those who never had, or lost, chances. It’s not a self serving ethic. (I dislike even mentioning it.)

I’ve been near death and survived. I know that my wish for others, should I be dying, is that they live as fully as they can. That’s no play to seem sentimental or precious. It’s none of your business that I cry easily when confronted by stories of so much tragedy.

I’m looking at a news article photo. Can words do it justice? A woman kneels outdoors, holding onto just fingers reaching out of mud. The caption says “Yoshie Murakami cries out as she holds onto the hands of her dead mother still buried beneath the rubble where her home once stood….”

We would stop to hold her (comfort her grief), if we had the chance. We would stay with her awhile, though her grief would have a life of its own longer than we can stay. One learns to move on. We all can only move on.

Here: Have some hopeful news in an unrelated venue: Private “Satellites Offer New Window Into Documenting, Preventing Genocide.”

Here: Help motivate an aging philosopher to develop a languishing, undeveloped blog: “humanistic union,” expressing desire to do things beyond abstractions of the critical spirit, having no single point on the horizon toward where to swim. Just begin, anywhere, by living well, as some so well do. (Quote yourself, if that feels apt.)

I seem to retire into art. But the reality is exactly that: How so much might tenably cohere in textual co-hearing, step by step—albeit, for my part (at my age), in a way that pleases my sensibility, a long and high view.