Elise

Elise

Order and stability are the most transient of states

Conflating comfort with happiness... therein, perhaps, lies a dangerous trap.

(And yet... to name one simple comfort, I truly miss running water... the kind that one need not transport oneself, which flows at one's whim through networks of pipes... I see so clearly now, why civilization often invites plumbing of some kind.)

What is it about liminal spaces?

I stand on the edge, quite literally. This place is at the border between small town and conservation area. Few human activities permitted in the latter. The road is unpaved beyond this point, in a seriously hazardous way.

And yet (though only from the paved direction), Amazon trucks still appear. Even though the electricity line does not. Cellular only works reliably at specific times of day with special equipment. 4G is a lifeline to the “modern world”... a world that has come to feel something of a hazy memory, altogether foreign, unfamiliar.

I am adrift.

I no longer know the stories to tell... not even the one about who I am.

I don’t really mean I in the singular... it’s more of a we, some loose assemblage of entities that coheres into identity over time. All the other microorganism with whom I share a body.

I don’t mean to start every sentence with I. I don’t even know what story to tell about individualism anymore. I don’t know if it is good or bad, healthy or unhealthy. Have I ever been part of a community... I’m not sure of any of it anymore.

The only thing I am sure about is loving other creatures. I’m thinking of people, but it’s just as true of plant friends, bee friends, all the rest.

This idea of interconnectedness. That we are part of everything acting around us, as well as inside us. Thousands of wills to be, perhaps? One begins to wonder where one ends or begins.

This place. If place is important, so much so... what am I doing here?

In some ways it is a great relief, being away from much of humanity once more.

In other ways, far too many ways, it only highlights all that I bring of this of which I was a part, still am a part, and desperately wish to have nothing at all with which to do.

It clings to me, within me... I like things, writing like this, for instance, at a digital device with a keyboard and screen. The internet is on, and that’s the only thing other than my friend, the little oil lamp. 3-4 watts are going out... call it four. I’m content with that number, though I will turn all connections off at night. Why would anything ever be running while one sleeps?

I feel as though I’m losing my grip on what it is to live well. As though all my past thoughts about how one might live, were simply illusory. Like so many drifting motes of dust.

The flames lick upwards, and I briefly become lost in their shapes, ever-changing. Patterns. Is that all there is to life, this endless search for patterns, for meaning?

The chill calls me back from these thoughts. Why did I imagine I was more resilient to cold? Sometimes it creeps in, all-consuming, unshakably present.

I saw that the momentum of the human machine - all its cogs and wheels, its production and consumption, the way it turned nature into money and called the process growth - was not going to be turned around now. Most people didn't want it to be; they were enjoying it. —Paul Kingsnorth

I have always wanted to be part of a culture which walks through the wild world as if it were of it, which doesn't talk of carbon or biodiversity or profit or growth but talks and lives as if this way of speaking were the poisonous bullshit that it so obviously is. —Paul Kingsnorth

I used to think it anthropomorphizing... the way I had come to feel about plants. Now I think more likely the opposite, we far too often anthropocentrize. To say that higher competences such as intelligence, learning, and memory mean nothing in the absence of brains is (in Daniel Dennett’s words) cerebrocentric.

The story – there are many variants – is that Haldane was asked by a theologian what he could deduce about the nature of the Creator from a lifelong study of His Creation. Haldane’s response: 'An inordinate fondness for beetles.' —quoted by Simon Barnes in Ten Million Aliens

I’ve gone off the idea of progress. It’s overrated! —Arthur Dent, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

The tragedy of your times, my young friends, is that you may get exactly what you want. —quoted in Digital Angel (song by Awol One & Factor)

Step up one and all, this is what it means to be anything in the end of man, a fucking brand. —Sole (Tim Holland)

In these days of illusion nothing is honest. —Sole (Tim Holland)

A picture held us captive. —Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations

Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth. —Marcus Aurelius

What I'm listening to lately...

Digital Angel by Awol One & Factor (look it up! Only Death Can Kill You)

Order and stability are the most transient of states. —attributed to Paiute people of Owens Valley, California