Who I Am Not

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This is the new fucking normal, isn’t it just?

All the little silent betrayals which you catalogue as inconsequential because you’ve managed to navigate around mentioning them. Little do you realize that the reason they’re so easily discarded is because you’re not actually betraying anything: even the slightest hint of something laudable enough to betray would make them impossible to circumvent.

I needn’t play along, do I?

I remember these exact words: “None of this is who you are nor is it who you are not.”

 

 

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The Immorality of Sloth

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It doesn’t really matter whether you’re first rate, second rate, or third rate, but it’s of vital importance that the water finds its own level and that you do the very best you can with the powers that are given you. It’s idle to strive for things out of your reach, just as it’s utterly immoral to be slothful about the qualities you have. You see, I’m not fundamentally interested in the artist. I use him to try to become a happy man, which is a good deal harder for me. I find art easy. I find life difficult.

Lawrence Durrell — Paris Review interview

 

 

• • •

To Not Think at All

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“The martini felt cool and clean […] I had never tasted anything so cool and clean. They made me feel civilized. I had had too much red wine, bread, cheese, bad coffee, and grappa. I sat on the high stool before the pleasant mahogany, the brass, and the mirrors and did not think at all.”

Ernest Hemingway — A Farewell to Arms

 

 

• • •

Keine Ahnung

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Noch jede Frau, die er umarmt hatte, fühlte sich geliebt; jede aber, die er wirklich zu lieben begann, sagte ihm früher oder später, daß er, wie alle Männer, von Liebe keine Ahnung habe.

Max Frisch — Mein Name sei Gantenbein

 

 

• • •

Infinites

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Listen, listen:

Do you sometimes wonder if it could very well be that inner boundaries don’t change as often as we think, that there’s a possibility of purity in unstudied declarations?

As if not knowing where we’re running to was the only way to establish glorious, infinite epiphanies.

You know, just running on.

 

 

• • •

So What

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I think I get it or at least parts of it: it’s mostly about the territory and not necessarily a genuine yearning.

This is all not to say that it isn’t legitimate, it absolutely is.

I just wish it were simpler however unlikely and (maybe) painful that sounds.

Someday, who knows.

 

 

 

• • •

The Part That’s Not

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It begins like this (I think):

I am not of you. It’s either the other way round or both or none.

You can call it a shitty welcome I suppose, but then again I was just standing here, clearly not longing after amelioration: if at all, that only happens after it’s begun.

 

 

• • •

Yes You Do

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It can sometimes be exasperating to yet again find out that reality can’t be forced, even when you try your best to not be aware of either reality, or of forcing it.

As if this obliviousness could transform it all into a charming little equation, one with a soothing moral balance leaning towards fairness (independently of what “fair” means to you.)

Contemplate, rather. Don’t you know that the shapes you assemble aren’t figments?

Yes you do.

 

 

• • •

The Short Night

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Nothing happened yet everything was just right. The night was short but carried with it an intangible melody that no one seemed to notice.

Maybe because we didn’t pay heed to all the tiny twitches of light: we were lost in their lithe concert, more eloquent than any single one of them.

Maybe because it was the first night or the last one or both.

Somehow, we were not surprised.

 

 

• • •

Doubt

Joël Andrianomearisoa — The Labyrinth of Passion

The Labyrinth of Passion by Joël Andrianomearisoa

 

You are never dedicated to something you have complete confidence in. No one is fanatically shouting that the sun is going to rise tomorrow. They know it’s going to rise tomorrow. When people are fanatically dedicated to political or religious faiths or any other kinds of dogmas or goals, it’s always because these dogmas or goals are in doubt.

Robert M. Pirsig — Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

• • •

Next

Untitled by Patricia Geraldes

untitled by Patricia Geraldes

Look,

Since I imagine that you just assume that I know what to do next, let me be perfectly clear: I have no clue.

What’s more I’m not even certain that a “before” exists to command an hypothetical “next”.

(But I wouldn’t mind at all if it did.)

• • •

Saving Grace

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There isn’t one, is there? You thought that walking away would protect you from the cold, didn’t you?

You were oh so sure that it would be enough to cobble up a fortress built by Nature for herself against infection and the hand of war, but it never was, how could it?

On the other hand it is all so pretty and you’ve been told that pretty suffices.

 

 

* and yes, I do know whom I misquote.

• • •

Paradox

The Window Pardox

Doesn’t this urgency to publicly announce your impregnable privacy and wise majesty strike you as a bit of a paradox? It’s as if you would open a window to proclaim to the world that it is closed.

Did you ever consider that the world might not care whether it’s open or not?

• • •

Nothing To Add

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This is all there is, sorry.

Just a few qualities and many shortcomings (all of which vary over time, true, yet their relative proportions stay constant.)

Granted, none of this is in any way remarkable but I hope it presents an explanation, or maybe simply a sufficiently valid reason as to why I have no opinions to offer about this particular predicament or enchantment of yours.

Even if I wanted to I’d still have nothing to add.

• • •

Signs & Milestones

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He said that he often thought about those signs that we’re absolutely certain to have shaped significant decisions in our lives. About how we’re generally inept at reading signs at all and then arbitralily choose some to be more relevant than others. I wonder, he said, if the signs we’re most inept at reading aren’t exactly the ones that actually matter most instead of the ones we single out.

Then again, we could be simply misinterpreting not the signs but that which we promote to be our life’s milestones.

• • •

Oh Well

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Image © Lotus Carroll

What’s surprising (to me) is not so much that we harbor childish reactions beneath a veneer of maturity, that much is obvious.

It’s rather to discover that the veneer is paper-thin, and especially that none of this makes it any thicker.

• • •

Which is Real?

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But on that particular day I did not even begin to feel interested in this chore, and was suddenly more deeply bored than I have ever been before, and just turned around and went back inside. Which made me wonder why I wanted to do this chore at all, on other days, and also which was real: my slight interest on other days or my profound boredom now. And it made me wonder if I really should be profoundly bored by this chore all the time and never do it again, and if there was something wrong with my mind that I was not bored by it all the time.

Lydia Davis ― Can’t and Won’t: Stories

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