Older, but no wiser
Andy Borrows' musings on life and all its confusion, contradictions, richness and opportunities
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
You’re very quiet.
I don’t have a lot to say.
I don’t believe you.
That’s not very diplomatic; aren’t you supposed to reflect back what I’ve said, or say something gently probing? Like “Really?” in a questioning, inviting sort of way? Anway, now that we’ve sidestepped the niceties, why don’t you believe me?
I can feel it. All that pent up desire to experience and reflect and respond and communicate. It’s as strong as ever it was; you’ve just filled yourself up so full of urgent but unimportant stuff, stuff that doesn’t really matter - even though you know it doesn’t matter - you’ve left no room for anything else.
Now it’s my turn to be disbelieving. Or, following your lesson in saying what you think, my turn to tell you that you’re talking out of your arse. The nearest I’ll get to agreeing is to say that maybe there’s a desire for a desire, but that’s as far as it goes.
Oh, come on, you don’t believe that; you’re just being defeatist.
You think a label explains anything? It’s more complex than that.
Look; if it was so simple that I could give you a straight answer, it’d be simple enough that I could do something about it and I wouldn’t be sitting here blogging about not blogging.
It’s quite a struggle, isn’t it? To keep driving on down this road…?
Which road would that be then?
The one you’re on; the one that presses on relentlessly through a barren landscape to a place you don’t want to see. Why do you struggle so to keep battling on down it?
This isn’t the way I thought the conversation would go; I thought it was just about the blog, and the writing and the reading and the commenting and stuff. Excuses for not doing any of that, you know…
Remember when you began all this? It seemed as though you’d opened a secret door into a whole new world; you thought you’d at last discovered somewhere you belonged; you thought you’d unearthed hidden talents as a wordsmith; you even thought, occasionally, you had something to say…
Hold it right there; I know what’s coming next, and I never believed it…
No, I know. And look where that lack of belief has got you. You’ve all but abandoned – no, you have abandoned the hope you once had. Now you just cling on here by your fingernails simply because you’re afraid that if you let go altogether you’ll fall and fall and fall and fall, so far you’ll never climb back up here again; smothered by the softness of the landing, you’ll just spend the rest of your days scratching around in the dirt down there, along with the rest of the blind and the ignorant and the stupid and the vision-less; the small-dreamers, half-hopers, feeble-wishers; surviving on whatever crumbs the wind blows your way; alive, but not living. I’m right, aren’t I?
Bloody ‘ell; you don’t pull your punches do you?
Well? You know I’m right; you haven’t denied it…
Yeah, but… it’s not knowledge that helps, and knowledge that doesn’t help isn’t knowledge. Don’t they say that to know and not to act is not to know? Yours is a book I leave on the shelf.
Perhaps it’s time to get it down, blow the dust off, and take another look…
Nice metaphor, but I put those words into your head just so that I could pretend to say “yeah” and then close this conversation down and get back to the business of the day – back to reality.
Is that what you call it?
What else should I call it?
Let me put it another way. Remember that quote which popped unbidden into you mind the other day? From Teilhard de Chardin, we think. It went something like “We are not human beings on a spiritual journey, we’re spiritual beings on a human journey”. I know you still believe that, in spite of the lack of any evidence for that belief in the way you live these days, yet you behave as if you’re determined to shut out anything but the most superficial experience of that journey. Why? Isn’t that where inspiration lies?
Exactly. So now you’ve got the answer to your opening question, perhaps you can leave me in peace. Or at any rate, you’ve replaced your question with another one. It’s quiet because I’m so single-minded in my carrying out of the business of the day that I’m closed to real, original, spontaneous experience. Well, that’s how you’d put it. I might even agree, but that doesn’t help. Telling me my symptoms doesn’t cure my disease. Now gimme a break; I really do have to get on.
Okay… for now. I’ll be back, though…
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