Midway on our life’s journey, I found myself
In dark woods, the right road lost.
This will have spoilers. So Prometheus. Interesting movie. I liked it, a lot. It did what it did very well. It wasn’t trying to be Alien. If anything, it was more Blade Runner then Alien. I think the focus and most interesting part of the movie was not on a human but on the android. The relationship and metaphor was clear. The entire movie ostensibly was talking about our search for our creators but it also had this android observing how we go about doing that and effecting the outcome. The android’s relationship with us was from created to creator and worked effectively as metaphor for our own search. Most of the best moments in the movie were unsaid or hidden. We have a need to speak the why of what we are doing. There is an exchange late in the movie that hammers that home and points out that the android had no conception of “why”, didn’t understand the need for asking that question. Over and over again in the movie, we find that the android has kept a secret, sometimes from the crew and sometimes, as when he speaks to the Engineer, from us. The doctor did, I believe, start to understand that when the android slips and gives away the fact that he was the cause of most of the deaths but this only reinforces the effectiveness of his (relative) silence. Explaining your tactics or goals is a human need but not shared by the android and in most cases, would never have been as effective. Secrecy can be a currency that is spent when shared. It is the need for explaining or justifying ourselves that usually lead us to frivolously spend our secret currency, a need to let others know of our why. This inability to understand “why” is what separates the android from us. The unsaid question then is what is it that separates us from our creators, what leap is it that we can’t make? All of this can be seen as precursor to the moment when the doctor rediscovers her faith. Her need to put the cross back on didn’t register because the android thought of faith as a logical transaction and there are humans who think that way, need a justification or reason for faith but that betrays the very meaning of the word. Just initial thoughts. A bit overwhelmed. There was a lot going on. A good movie. There may be a second part to this when this comes out on DVD.
I’ve always craved a lively peace so I need to figure out how I stumbled upon a life filled with nothing but dull chaos, its opposite. Is it because there is no such thing as a lively peace? Does lively need the energy of chaos or can it be released in bits and starts, like a whip on a horse, when a dash of energy is what is needed for insertion into the rigidity and death caused by over-reliance on structure? How do I get back? I’ve been thinking on this over the last couple of days. I’ve become frozen and dulled by an overly vivid understanding of the shortness of life brought about (maybe) by the quick succession of deaths in my family. I do enough to stay a step ahead, now. I’ve become the type of person that stays a step ahead. Life shouldn’t be about staying a step ahead though because when you are merely a step ahead, everything becomes about reaction. Your direction is determined by paths that you are forced to take. Sometimes the only way out is the only path that can be taken. Direction is what is needed and a controlled direction can not happen in chaos, not consistently. What I need to do is think deeply, again and understand the life around me so that I can begin again to determine the direction of my reactions. It’ll happen. Anything becomes possible when you become aware of the questions that need to be answered.
My need and desire to write has ground to a halt mirroring the decline in my inner inspiration and capacity for creative thought. I’ve somehow become the opposite of thoughtful or emotional. Occasionally I think or have insights which isn’t the same thing. None of this is a whole, not even a mismatched, lumpen, unsightly whole. There is no part of me that is. Only a battered robot exists here, made up of discarded parts and at best merely a shadow of the creativity and life of other people. Thoughts come and go and no progress is made, no impact is made. There really isn’t an obstacle to speak of. I’ve simply stopped making progress, anywhere in life. The best I’ve been able to do is slow the descent though when you are at the bottom, on the level below sad where only apathy exists, it is difficult to speak of descent any more. The saddest as well as the happiest thoughts are hardest to express properly. There is something to the idea of recall in a moment of tranquility. Perhaps it is the perspective that closing the distance to an idea affords. The energy for a bang portends future. A whisper, a fading is the true moment of failure and leaves little energy for the journey up the now empty, silent, leaf-strewn path devoid of faith and faded meaning. Not much to work with here, I know. It isn’t a cry for help or even assistance, just the final sputterings of a self that hopefully is no more than a distracted caterpillar awaiting the violent birth of something more worthy and whole.
I’ve been hit harder by this anniversary than I thought I would. It’s come in a rush over the last week and makes me wonder how many others have had the same experience of buried, almost repressed feelings resurfacing and surprising with their rawness and immediacy. It made me wonder too about the consequences for our larger society of having such strong feelings below the surface that while being able to be expressed on some level, lacked an obvious corresponding outlet so that the deepest part of the outrage remained shackled and restrained. This was unprecedented in its immediacy and personal impact. I was there with the people rushing out of the building and felt the loss of those who lost loved ones and it made me understand “America” in a very different way. This was different than us landing on the moon, the Challenger explosion or the Berlin Wall coming down. It was different than the big events that had impact and forced a specific remembrance to be seared into permanent memory. There was always a bit of distance with those. They felt merely historic (in retrospect).
I then turned my thoughts to how this would effect a person and started to consider the level of hatred in our political and societal discourse. We have taken as fact that the venom of comments for articles posted on the internet have their basis in the anonymity afforded by the process but it’s a fact that was largely unexamined because it made a kind of sense. That same venom though seems to have become part of the zeitgeist. We delight in the personal life of celebrities dragged through the mud and even our politics are different. I’m personally a bit to the right of center in my political views but the prevailing discourse appalls me and it feels like the only responses for our population are either resignation and apathy or identification and justification to the ridiculousness coming out of Washington. There have been political battles throughout our history (If I remember correctly Aaron Burr and Thomas Jefferson even shot at each other) but this feels like a different level of disrespect for those with differing views. There doesn’t seem to be the “fight hard for what we think is right and then go out and get a beer together” way of doing things anymore in politics. It’s as though we have all of this hatred bottled up (as a society) and are pouring it into anything and everything that can be used as an outlet. These musings may be misguided but they do make a kind of sense (to me) and I don’t think there has been enough honesty in trying to understand what is going on with our society right now. Even if I am correct on some level, I don’t pretend to have an answer or solution for it. Perhaps it has something to do with time and frank, open, respectful discussion about what all of this means. Just thoughts. Thanks.