|ENTRIES 1995||by David Eide||.|
I decided to post some of my journals I kept, especially during what I call "my writing life," between the years of 1975 and 1995. I was fighting for the writing life, my own writing life, and kept journals to orientate myself to the struggle. Rather than a class struggle this one is a personal struggle. Now, all that is left of it are writings and memories. In 1975 Gerald Ford was President. In 1995, Clinton. Between them was the advent of the personal computer, the end of the cold war, "Reaganism" whatever that may have been, "yuppyism", if it really existed. There was the loss of the space shuttle and 500 drop in the stock market, the Iran-Contra affair among other items. The first part was recovery from the Vietnam/Watergate period and then a resurgence of energy, economic, technological, cultural with Clinton representing the first baby-boomer to occupy the White House as President.
To make a long story very short, I started with the burning desire to write novels, was disillusioned of that and went into poetry, philosophy, and spirtuality of a sort. I did a quick read of the culture at that time and didn't think a public would support the types of novels I had wanted to write. That desire got squeezed out of me drop by painful drop and perhaps the journals reflect that. I read them back occassionally. Anything useful to me is already up inside myself but I do enjoy the resuscitation of lost memory and lost ideas that may be tucked into those journals.
Many but not all the writing at davideide.com are from this time=frame, "the writing life," as I refer to it. I made a wonderful discovery during 1995: the end of the journey is really the beginning.
Were they heavy-handed? Over written through the velocity of knowing they'd never be read? Perhaps. The mind should edit itself as soon as it can but make sure everything gets in. That's an art.
The next year, 1996 I got online with an obsolete computer and slow modem. Many things changed. I felt a great deal of frustration fall away. The horizon opened with the Net.
Why not? What does a thought of many years ago do for me? In the spirit of modern selfishness I empty out the pouches, the bowels, the sacs of what was tortured out of me. Why not?
For we were never in a war nature did not approve of. And come from the heavy hunger of our eyes, these things, bereft of the drama that gave them life. Words, words, words! He had it right.
JAN 1st: It could very well be that I could not stomach society. It did occur to me that society was divided between the sick on one hand and the wild ones on the other. "And they do not care for the things I care about." We know society, if it a dysfunctional one, sends out legions of the power hungry and mediocre into every nook and cranny. That is, when society is shaken to its root. When society achieves stability, it has a civilizing aspect to it. It has the ability to heal the sick and calm the wild ones. When this happens, the society is a kind of heaven on earth. Wine is served in moderation. Books and games are discussed. Politics is laughed at and all attempts to destroy the root function of civilization is scorned; is put on the highest tree and shot by each member of the tribe.
A plodding sort of development occurs for the pain. I can look back to what absorbed much in youth and see it flashing all by in a moment- does it go somewhere significant? Ah- the best of years ahead! This statement stirs something still living in the beast.
I didn't pursue those things others pursue- why? Why did I never try and partake of those things that other find absolutely necessary for life? It must have been the philosophical bent. But now I find it necessary to pursue my self-interest. I find it necessary to do all those things I repressed in myself from my mid-20's on. I suppose rather than repress I was split in several ways. My loyalties were splits between different activities in the culture. I wanted, primarily, to write and then to add as much substance as was possible to, at least, fend off the menace of dominance of image and style. The region provided several pathways. I was embarrassed by my paralysis. Then again, I can't become some character in the great unwritten novel. Let us say that I responded to things with full alertness and then, out of the wreckage of the act made simple, sometimes desperate steps to ensure that some structure would survive to carry the dimension of value that seemed supreme at the time.
A curse of split loyalties. That is, the intellectual/academic area, the business area, the bureaucratic area, the inventor/entrepreneur area-- even the counter-culture (or, at least, "whole earth" area.) That is the social history of this critter. The split loyalties would have existed even had I not gone into writing. One has to stand back and ask, "Well, what can I get from the area yet?" One can only ask a question like this when he has accepted, fully, the integrity of these distinctive avenues.
Politics is the stink of liars and mad dogs on their way to the control of money and weapons.
I have wondered whether I made the right decisions, whether I worked as effectively as I can. Whether I should have cut some relations and maintained others. One must ask themselves the simple but painful question, "What is in your best interest? Are you doing all you can do to become that which you were destined to become?" I think of some of the paths of ambition I have given up. There seems no option but to do the simple things I wanted to do in the first place.
Discreteness and wholeness; that battle for the conjunction of these qualities. A wonderful set of objects for the poet to muse on! In this culture the discrete and linear dominate; the wholeness is a creative function. They need each other. I think you need enormous experience with both modes without getting confounded by everything that passes through as you experience these modes. Perhaps the threshold point that divides one from the other occurs when we are filled with disgust for the nonsense that is carried by one form or the other.
What gives us meaning and/or pleasure but the sense of knowing both discreteness and wholeness instantaneously to bring them so close together that they look at each other in the eye and do not blink until the other one smiles. We hope it is a smile at any rate.
We admit we move along a series of spots and there is great influence exerted on us at every moment. It's as though we are Buddha at the moment just preceding his great illumination and all the demons and seductresses are rushing at him to knock him off track. They do not succeed because Buddha knows what he is about and, obviously, if they had won we would never heard or known the name or the system attached to Buddha.
So we are on the west side of things rooted as we are on the east side of things. And rivers roar and carry our common heart to the ocean. And we imagine the tracks left by those who want to dance for us; who throw their head back in a seductive pose, who smile knowingly at us from a distance. And then we are one city among thousands of lit cities, feeding on the dead. And no one has told us yet, the proper way to read the papers or to digest the gorgeous image when the camera is pointed just right. There are no royal courts or passing crowds that circulate through us; only empty space occupied by those who struggle for singularity. And when they give birth their brains fill with the responsibility of the age until the burden is too great and, collapsing by the riverside, they breathe the sun and want no more, the encounters. So an endless series of books is read and yet nothing moves. So the impression of a past and buried century comes to us effortlessly and we sink down in our ignorance. And then the great plane flies onward with all the passengers yelling for us to get out of bed. Ah yes, at first, the division between the man and the woman. Are they roped yet to their specific contingency? We like the way a good woman laughs.
It is a series of transits in vehicle I neither built nor owned. It is a series of people who know me less than I know them. It is a series of desperations all having to do with money and the lack of it. It is a series of misunderstandings between people who exert a deadly will. It is a series of fits and starts not in the direction of choice but, contradicting the prime choice.
The mind must concentrate on what is in front of it and it must reflect on what is has passed through or what has passed through it. Family often seems frozen in a few postures and says the same things over and over again.
It seems as if tasks have replaced motives. The day, week, month and years of tasks with, thankfully, time for reading, re-writing, thinking, conversation, travel, breathing in the ocean air, contemplating beautiful women who I have known or who have passed by me, a deep connection with what I find indispensable to live; to, in fact, be an American at this stage of the game.
There is an integrity to American life that can be known. If you do not know this integrity, you will hang onto the empty sound of your own will to power.
I suppose I was shocked on more than one occasion by the utmost reversal of value and sensibility; the crappiness of the life that surrounded me. I can't help but think about the little rooms, the strange environments I have lived in. I think of the books read and the intercourse with micro-communities. I think and remember in obedience to the muse, the pains and pleasures won out of the female creature! That, above all else, is the tale of youth. The pains and pleasures of ideas and large thoughts to comprehend the world! That is a story of youth. The pains of the heart attached to what is true and suffering in life; that is the story of youth. The struggle to embody the integrity of life against the struggle to destroy the integrity; this is the story of youth.
One thing is certain: I did not feel any freedom leaving that youth. I felt a terrible imposition that I fought as well as I could.
There is something lovely about little communities when nothing of significance happens.
The rapacious life that I experienced in youth was not at all what I wanted; was not enough, even though you can hardly do anything about it. The rapaciousness destroys the patience and courage that is needed for the things I want to pursue. Wonderful old trees growing over the creeks of childhood!
The single component of modern life that the literary type has to try and resolve is that of technology. Technology, capital, mobility, uprootedness and the rest of it; the conditions that are common but experienced uniquely by each unique sensibility. The poetic type has to experience the way of life as it is at any given time. Life today is lived in family domiciles, in automobiles, in large airports, in different venues in the city. It is lived in swiftly changing communications. It is lived in relation to the media.
I find ignorance to be the largest quality roaming the land these days. It is a great beast fed both on information and the will to power. It fuels the fanatics. It fuels the ideologues. It fuels the addicted and criminal. Ignorance is a natural state and one that increases rather than decreases if there is no intercession. There is an enormous amount of ignorance factored by the enormous amount of information and the gigantic complexity of the modern world. The complexity of the modern world is multiplying information at an ever increasing rate throwing more and more people into a state of ignorance. You can start at the nodes of institutions both in the public and private sector and then make your way across the far horizons. I don't think the requirement of the citizen is to know everything. But, to know the significant core of a civilization, that is bottom-line. That is a necessity. Ignorance will simply dump human beings into the lap of exploiters and politicians.
A certain time rushes through us. Then the spirit of life gives us a moment to reflect and we see it was vanity piled on vanity. The marketplace must be fed. The political animal must be fed. When the time turns obliquely this way it is fed a particular way and when it turns that way it is fed ever differently. What is damaged is, always, the capacity of the being to dream and create. We will not see the haunting that will move, ghost-like, through the puerile institutions. We would stand away on the horizon of one of the lesser moons and dangle our feet in the abyss; sad for the life that passes us by. Perhaps the life is obsessed with the promise that it will escape what it is deeply implicated in. We have no loyalty to those who would burn us while we sleep. Or those who mock us and move us like counters in a game.
There is an unbridgeable boredom that puts one in the lonely, stark and fierce forest, separated from the mundane run of things by a raging river. And it's not as if I have never been in the forest before. And it makes me forget the joy and pleasure of the crowded cities. It turns my attention to a map where I must suck up all the bits of information lodged in an innocuous map. It convinces me that the world has fooled itself into believing that it is a performance but with the price for recognition that is too great. Therefore we are silent and look away when the beautiful creature approaches wondering where we have been. Perhaps it's attached to a peculiar virus- a modern virus made up of a multitude of strains; the virus that makes us uncomfortable with our happiness and demands constant motion. Constant motion is the secret of life.
There is a brutal extraction simply because the being wanted to know and to welcome the real and modern world into him.
So we finally get to know our world; the world we belong to because our will demands it. The world of mute symbols. The world of the free radical. The world where the spirit is free to launch itself from any tower. The world that absorbs the great characters haunted in the daylight avenues when there is nothing better to do. Scenes in the world permits us to enter many other worlds and partake of its riches to, at least, avoid its darkness.
I have always assumed the attitude of a free man in a free society. I don't want information clogging the pores so to speak. Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity-- those speak to a younger version of myself when it was easier to carry that attitude. I would like to think that as society progresses it pauses for a moment and meditates on the destructive force of progress. I would like to think that I see the same moon and sun as Homer did. I would like to think that the ocean touches all things.
In and during the extreme tension that I experience I feel pain but, as well, I feel the welling up of good work. The sensibility is thrown against every conceivable type of phenomena and is expected to dance or, at least, tell tall tales of its adventures into the abyss.
Why shouldn't a modern consciousness admire the desert anchorite more than the commonplace businessman? Perhaps the anchorite is dreaming of a state that the businessman will, one day, be in service to. Why should we suppose that the desert anchorite is fighting demons and not that he is dreaming new worlds? The businessman dreams or fights his demons but, rather, drives them out into the marketplace where they entertain the consumers.
Moral codes are simply indices to guide the self to its most productive nature. Why should there be so much confusion and controversy about the joy of human productivity? The anchorite meets us when we are in the desert of youth and every eye penetrates our vanity- at that point there is no hope-- but then the soul begins to devise a structure of hope to protect it from the all-seeing eye. If, after being chased down great mountainsides, we hear the sound of our laughter in the echo of the valley then we have passed through something significant. Two types always try to pull the anchorite from his cave; the businessman and the ideologist. They see in him a perfect example of the unused energy they are always seeking to transform into their own use. The anchorites only loyalty is to the prime attributes of life that are corrupted by the willfulness of the world. Which anchorite dreams of God and which one dreams of the machine? The anchorite was a member of the crowd until he tasted the first thrill of destruction. When the first thrill of destruction was joined by a second, he panicked. With one foot on the museum he sings a song of bitter ending:
"oh world you have taken my spirit away you have left me tasteless on the spent avenues-- you hang on me a form that denies and resists the simplest aspiration. You must be the inheritors of a harsh lesson.
America throws many generalities at you-- it throws huge questions, huge perceptions at the unwitting. Perhaps that is why we are attracted to the Russian writers at any early age. The Russian and the Roman are the ones you need to know considering everything. Yet, isn't it a good and wonderful practice to break down the general to the specific? The individuality of things! That is a worthwhile goal to pursue. America as a world power and society as the collective effect of persons not myself or my family. I always feel the need to try and determine my relation to these things. I would rather define myself in relation to what I directly experience, what I can see with my own eyes. I don't think any single person can claim America as his own but, certainly, a single person can experience through himself what America means to him. Or, more precisely, there is my history, there is the history of my family, there is my experience of the city, suburb and rural areas and so forth.
America destroys yesterday, dreams today, and begins again tomorrow.
Many generations await yet to spring alive in America.
The happiest moment occurs when the frame is grasped and we see, in the middle, a potential dance.
What does it want from us? How can we introduce it to the others?
We will not crash into the other but let them be; they drift away on the plane of hollow sound. Many times the heart is torn into pieces. Many times we disguise a certain self-slaughter. We lay in the field of collected thought and stare up at the refulgent moon. Don't we yet believe that we must stand and pierce the roar that is around us?
Forms beyond forms. the belief in such a thing initiates a creative spell; it takes up a good deal in its wake. if we see a form stretched out across the universe we have one of several choices. We can either leap on top of it and push outward or we can push it down to the earth and strangle those we don't like. Many forms present the choice between power and compassion.
I have no opinion of this decade yet- the 90's- I'm not sure I have put the 80's behind me and I seem to constantly look back at the 60's and 70's. So, there you go. The 80's was dominated by debt, computers, Reagan, end of cold war and that sort of thing. Capital won over everything- people complain about this but would they complain more if capital had collapsed? There is a wide-spread desire to put an end to the liberalism of the 60's and 70's. That will, no doubt, happen. The times of large adrenaline is over, its just cause bled into the sullen earth. As I have noted elsewhere the 80's marked the beginning of a shift from the public sector to the private sector. The public sector is now in full retreat with all the cowboys whooping at it and trying to catch it to apply the tar and feathers. The 90's have seen Gulf War, economic downturn, Clinton election in'92, Republican victory in '94- Serbia and all of that- the cyberspace culture. The public sector is in full retreat. What is being built? That is the first question to ask of a culture. There are, still, magnificent buildings coming on line. There are always excellent inventions rolling from the brain. It appears to me that the culture is lacking a certain direction, a certain willfulness that it can articulate and move on. There are no great social causes, no great adventures into space. Perhaps the building of the information networks could go into this. The advancement of the system. I see this constantly and marvel at it. We should never give in to the temptation of believing that we know reality and see it completely. In the welter and melange of human activity pouring out of the cities and regions are there any conclusions one can come to? Perhaps only that it will be happening 1,000 years from now albeit with several variations to the environment. Ah- but do we love the epoch that consumes us? Certain vistas, without question, we can love. We dare not fall in love with either our good fortune or the curiosities we surround ourselves with. But then, where is the goal? What is the good?
Every man has a mountaintop from which he can view where he has come from; sometimes we climb, sometimes we are carried in the talons of our deadliest enemy--- nonetheless.
Earnest conversation takes place between the young, excited by the prospect that they are moving into an enviable phase of life.
The secular world has as many tricks as the religious world. It's great god is History and, yet, History is that which we can cannot command, mainly Time. History cannot be predicted, controlled or anything else. It is experienced as a resource early on, perhaps, and then sets in as a disillusionment as we see something working, inexorable fashion, toward a kind of history. So all the secular power promises their adherents that they will create history even as the whole of history laughs at them.
I've always been bewildered by the word, "society." I have written the word on more than one occasion. I don't think it is an abstract appeal to very large classes of people. I think it is experience and it is some intelligent sense that things are working this particular way at this particular time. The computer, for instance, has swooped down through the society since the early 80's. What has this done and what is its fate in the future? To know this exactly one would have to know quite a bit so then our experience of society leads to various types of knowledge and our knowledge gives us the confidence to fill out more about the society. Society has the ability to determine who the victim is and who the victimizer is and it changes all the time.
Society is a giant resource pool that allows the development of anything, from the individual to the corporation or non-profit organization. I gather that which inspires me and gives me moral support I add to that which I believe will strengthen the society and allow it to be better in the future. Many perceptions blow through. Let them come. The free people are not through evolving. One takes the heavy road out but somehow you never quite leave it. Society changes according to the phase it is in. When I was young everything appeared large and aloof. It had an unquestionable authority. Then it became a sense of representation of various types and classes of people, political and economic, then it became an enormous threat since my own dreams and aspirations meant nothing in relation to it. I did not feel protection from any one aspect of it. Then it was that which was attempting to help or hinder myself as a class of person .
Now I suppose I am experiencing it in a different form. I don't like politics any longer since it presupposes that I understand what the society is or, what is best for the society. I am not for oppressing the poor and yet I am not for wasting resources in a dysfunctional situation. I am for the well being of people as long as that well-being is connected to my well-being. The thing that is so damaging about modern societies is that everyone is expendable, everyone can be replaced. That feeling works against the core of beliefs that is at the center of the culture; the core of belief that says that the individual is inviolate and that the individual has the capacity to improve but how can the individual improve if he feels he can be replaced with hardly any trouble. Therefore, rather than producing persons who want to evolve you are producing persons who want only pleasure and the thrill then becomes the chief way to keep their sense of being alive active, etc. So persons are sacrificed in this fashion, perhaps whole generations are sacrificed.
I see the wisdom in putting away the attention on self that I have cultivated for a long time. Who am I? I am simply a man attempting to do what is right. I want to attempt the improbable by embodying my best nature. Nonetheless, it is clear that there are times when you have to avoid yourself and plunge into the on-going nature of life, making contact with anything that helps you as you help others. I want to learn everything from the aesthetic once again. It was necessary to take on the nature of the modern world. I drink it up! It drowns me and yet I sing. Aesthetics and the intimacies of life without which the world darkens.
The end of March
I have been experiencing a good deal of the past lately. I have a desire to wrap it all up. I have tried to live meaningfully. I met my insatiable desire to learn fully on and have completed whatever it is I am going to do there. I have embraced as much as I possibly can of the modern world. Oh, I know there is much more but I can only embrace it until I off-load what I have embraced. I don't want to embrace it again until I can be effective with it. Perhaps I am leaving a hot bath that others prepare for you; that bath that will scald you as you fall asleep in it.
It is apparent to me that each age is trapped in itself. Each era of each century is trapped by beliefs and habits that are quickly thrown off in another era. I like the swing and bounce of this era. I am sure it prevents us from seeing what the future will look at. The arrangements of power. By the time you learn all about them it is too late. Better to understand and fully appreciate the dynamics of human beings, as they are, and the life they have tried to build.
What I want to concern myself with in the near future are the things that are intimate and difficult; love of the woman, the art of poetry, narrative, friendship, community among others. Qualities that can't be absorbed into a general scheme to save everything -- they must be approached with great respect and some sense that one is entering the most crucial of questions. That, perhaps, the interesting politics and affairs of that type was the merest escape from what is most significant in life. That, in fact, a very predictable surge crosses the frontier of our native state of power-- we will no doubt be surprised down the line. The intimate life, then, rather than the gaga over the nature of systems and power. The exercise of all energy that falls within the framework.
Well I was earnest at any rate, in looking on the general landscape. I was very earnest in wanting the intellect to take on everything and solve everything. I would have to count that a failed proposition and move on. A good deal of it was the working out of philosophical ideas that I had come across in my 20's. Quite frankly there is no reality without relations. The relations with the intimate and mysterious details of life are the most significant. These intellectual questions bore me but, as well, they bore in on me and I must have a relation to them otherwise they penetrate to the deeper spirit. I don't think there are any answers to the political questions. I don't think there are any conclusions you can make about a large nation-state such as this one. I don't think you can capture the people in this culture with a few fine phrases. What you can discover are a few of your prejudices. Quite frankly I don't want to be a heavy critic of life. Rather, I would be a lover of life, an embracer of life. I did feel the need at some point of letting the world, its people, ideas, and interests pass through the mind to gain an identity with everything; an old mystical sort of trick.
An odd creature out of the spirit of the mainstream; out of the general concerns of the general run of humanity. Out of the strange mixture of evil and mediocrity that pervades the culture. Out of the range of those who would say, "Ah, merely a madman." More comfortable, no doubt, on the surface of Jupiter at the center of the red dot, hailing brothers for the nearest sign of life. And who, in his floatation's, listens to the eros of God instructing him on the right and true way to the treasure hoard. And has not God touched all that matters? Isn't that a dangerous secret?
It's quite true the world is not filled with great love. It is, rather, a hostile place, a cold place or a clinic filled with the diseased and mad. Yet, we must have the capacity for great love. We must surrender to it and allow ourselves to be swept onward by the enriched nature of it. We must allow our love to flow through the connecting tissue that enters the life of the world through the eyes of children. Those who dare to love are rewarded with great fibers of meaning that would be repressed by our fear of life. Many pains are extracted but just as it appears to be too much, ah, we discover where we are; it is illuminated for us by a stranger who is not yet seen by us.
The struggle with one's talent is a bitter struggle that takes place in the middle of the rowdy world. Yet, no one notices. Talent understands that there is no great villa with thousands cheering, with millions of dollars, there are no endorsements, nothing but the pain of labor through the projects. And yet, what joy after peace descends to fire up the energies of imagination.
Praise to the Muse! She lives. She is real. The man embraces her and obeys her. She is just and correct in her assessments. All praise to the Muse! She who enters us with veracity and says, "you best not ignore the happy truth that sets you free." She learns from long intervals to reveal the newness of the old species. She has many reporters. She assuages us. She takes us through the worlds that flit before our nose, "you see, it has all been done over and over again."
There is a certain brokenness in the culture that you have to have sympathy for.
New motto: Less stupidity, more dedication. Thinking of the pains of the last 20 years. Certainly, the misunderstandings that occurred because of the decisions I made. I made them in response to what I perceived to be an absurd world ready to destroy itself. What sort of loyalty can that bring on? These decisions did slow down my development and forced me to adapt an old but forgotten strategy in life; that is, patience. My revulsion at the market did the same thing. I accept the absurd situation.
It astounds me that 20 years have passed since 1975. When it had passed ten years I gave it some notice but it didn't seem a big deal. Now, however, it seems a big deal. 20 years. I think of the agon in that period of time; some of the foolishness, some of the earnestness. I am so sorry that a big novel is not in there someplace. That disappoints me more than anything.
20 years ago I was in the mountains tasting the bitter fruit of ones lost illusions. I was the child chased from the mother by barking dogs. I was dancing between the stars somewhere. I had left the earth to escape its absurdity and tragic conclusion. The politics meant nothing. I, who had nothing, was the most optimistic person I knew and exposed myself (in a manner of speaking) to whomever would come by. I, the most optimistic of persons, walked through the center of the darkest pessimism. I, who thought great thoughts, laughed much of the time.
At this stage, this ambiguous stage when things are light, yet they are mysterious, even dangerous; at that point where we know the die is cast and that the life we live either has consequence or doesn't, at that point we begin to discover what is is we truly believe. Everything we cannot comprehend we ascribe to God. That is, we do not know the origins of life and/or universe; many times we are humbled by the ignorance of ourself. What we cannot comprehend is God and God is alive and seeks to compel us to continue to comprehend, to push back the envelope of our ignorance. There is something of the physical universe we can know and we have confidence that what we know can be built toward what we don't know. I believe life has meaning at the constituent level. Meaning develops past that level with intelligence. Life is beauty and variety. It is the truth of the soul in motion among the great host of things. Life is built on polarities; the dance of life is generated between polarities. Life is moving from states of ignorance to states of knowledge.
Comes a time when one asks, "what kind of life has this been?' Everything has been punctured with doubt. It has reached down various paths but always crawled back to the muse. It seems such an absurd life from time to time, as though it is not deserving of any reward. I had the obstinate and exhausting desire to heal the conflicts that I experienced. I have thrown that out pretty much but retain the visual memory of them. We most definitely struggle through something in our 20's and 30's. Something passes through that is ugly and human. It separates us from innocence but it is not thoroughly evil. We learn a few lessons.
Literary means to me story and characters. It can mean letters, as in the journal; the story of the writers character and the character of the imaginative spirit. Of course, story and character can mean just about anything. What the writer must concentrate on is "what stories and characters are you filled with and fulfills something necessary in the spirit?" Forget commentaries and all of that. Forget the professors who have a sort of automata for brains.
The immersion into the object of love and then the reversal. The need to break away and get perspective.
Every century has its little epochs and every epoch is crowded with faces. What privilege is it to travel through the centuries and meet the faces of those who have lived as earnestly as ones own neighbors? Our own faces, the ones we are all too familiar with, ride on instruments they neither build or understand so they lapse into a sort of parasitical dream state. Every epoch passes through a certain musculature before falling in exhaustion. The humor and love making of every tribe should be detailed and elaborated.
The culture effectively threw me back against myself. I could not control or manipulate anything; this powerful sorrow is, eventually, released in great joy. The sort of joy that intimates an age of knowledge or, at least, curiosity.
It is not a friendly village, this society.
When all is said and done it is, simply, one disappointment succeeding the last one. One failed and empty phase of development wanting to bloom and flourish is a phase not yet squeezed dry of promise but, still, supported by whims and calculations of the dreaming mind. Yet the process must continue and find sources of enrichment. The key has been found and great birds are released somewhere in celebration!
They tweet and twitter, "The capacity to do everything that can be done, yet the knowledge and experience that teaches limitation." "That which teaches and illuminates when we are at any given moment in relation to what is supreme in life."
The celebration of the literary spirit that fought for two developments: the experience and knowledge necessary to live in the culture as it is and the solitude to entertain wonderful thoughts about those things that are significant. I love the fact that I can look at any aspect of the society and know it through my knowledge and experience. That is, nothing is alienated from me; all phenomena are valuable.
I have practically sworn off politics. I see no real problems being solved. I see the highly charged rhetoric as having the effect of driving out good minded citizen types. Perhaps it is the sense that both the nation and the state are in trouble at the same time and that one troubled entity can not save the other. For one thing the political life has been fully professionalized, and the citizens are simply mute appendages who are manipulated by the political gods. So, to really participate in politics you have to step into the arena and that means being initiated into power. I see not one admirable character on the political scene. Clinton is a slick old gasbag who has, in effect, been a good Republican president. The only approach to politics I can have at this point is through the various notes I have stashed away in binders. I do not forswear the ability to capture aspects of the culture and experience them over time.
Culture, aesthetics, the philosophical perhaps is replacing the political. I don't want the sort of drag effect that I have had for the past 12 years or so. It has been rather bucolic the last 12 years. I am quite glad of this. The literary type must, at some point, have solitude otherwise he will simply be another nutcase out on the street. The solitude brings things into balance. I certainly respect the differentiation of life. The last 12 years were dominated by the various fields I explored ie. financial/stock- govt/bureaucracy/ budget, environment, solar power and now business.
The most difficult of things is stated eloquently and simply, to wit: You must do what nature intended you to do in the first place or, you must write as nature intended you and not fight it. When I fight it I produce absolute crap. When I surrender to it I am, quite frankly, amazed at myself sometimes. I had to trudge through many cluttered avenues and try out many things before I could feel as though my direction was correct.
Knowledge is a wonderful series of structures that humble us to the very ground. We must go out and watch the full moon through empty trees and between to a sense of no-knowledge, empty knowledge. Then we are filled with delight. You have to find the mark between panic and complacency.
It has been many moons since I have indulged in art-thought. I am ready to return to art-thought as a form of contemplation rather than theory. I look at "representation of reality' the same way that painting had to. The old subjects and forms are reproduced mechanically so that is that.
Toward the end of July
I am at that stage of things when I take a cruise backward over the landscape I have travelled and figure out where I have come from and where I am going to. I have seen more than a few mistakes. I have seen a variety of dissipations that I won't allow myself to do. I am and I am not pleased with the last 20 years. Things that hardly bothered me 20 years ago now greatly disturb me. We must enjoy our stay on Earth, suffer as we do most of the time. Entanglement in family is sublime and treacherous. Everything that does not lead to truth and eternity is family- even objects. My initial response to things was rebellion until I saw that rebellion was a dime a dozen in the modern world. Rebellion was an affect of the time that is conscious of its own powerlessness. What I have actively pursued has been beauty and structure, knowledge and truth. Even these pursuits has its idiocies. Our powers are limited even though the world makes us bold. Sometimes the boldness breaks plunging us down into the deepest and darkest secret. The mind and spirit must actively deal with the present world; the present situation. But, then again, the world is many things and there are many situations. There are many interpretations beyond that. You must always be able to contradict the proposals and prescriptions of the time that is forcefully stamped on each generation. Respect the process that initiates our desire to know the human being.
I hope I haven't subverted the life instinct in myself. Sometimes I think I took on too much and it has taken everything away. Then I somehow manage to kick myself in the rear and do something positive. The literary effort is primarily with men and women rather than ideas. Much experience with real men and women and then, some vital intercourse with the basic constituents of life. I get very discouraged by the market system from time to time. That is both measures everything, but it does not really measure up. So it presents a terrible dilemma. What you always pursue is the productive nature of the muse. It is at times, water running through enormous cliffs of granite trying to get connected, again, to the sea.
I can't say what the last 20 years has really been about. I certainly experienced America as something different, as a new situation on the planet and so on. That made some of the cultural legacies very difficult to connect with. I am almost embarrassed by the intellectual work I have gathered over the years. There is a sublime reason for this effort but regardless. There are times when I feel a terrible resistance in myself that I can't identify.
Time is a dimension that both entertains me and horrifies me. I see an individual or a society, even, and they pass very quickly through as though, really, there is no consequence to the effort of being an individual or a society. Then I think, no, every individual and every society has consequences and must be treated with the greatest respect difficult as it can be from time to time. Time, then, is either a power that robs us of all connections or it pours through us our own limitations and, so, gives us the opportunity for enrichment.
End of August, beginning of Sept.
Only in stubborn moments of time do I feel great affection for the society. I still think it a necessity to get a comprehensive view of the society. I was thinking of the spirit matters 20 years ago or so. The idea that we are entering the age of the Holy Ghost still moves me- a reassertion of a new relation to God and so forth. That invariably evolves into the thought about the desperate state when contemplating nuclear disaster. And the knowledge that we enter consciousness and whatever surrounds us drives into us its implications. Happily, we pass through youth- a divine illusion that reproduces the history of the species and culture. One must never stop anywhere along the line! Unless a man or woman is able to discover the intricacies of something built, the sacrifice that went into what was built, the limitation and implication of what was built and then full value that rushes out of something well built, they have no credibility with me. Their opinions are simply spleen and resentment transformed into the most puerile elements of politics imaginable.
Who lit the fires beneath the destroyer?
Consciousness intuits a threshold: Certain variations of complexity come together and produce joy in the aspiring spirit. We wish, then, vitality in all things. Vitality in all people and all communities made rich in celebration. The joy in the vital energy of life!
The equation between vitality and decay is a real one and pulled over the threshold of the great belief that we are at the beginning of something rather than the end of something. The remarkable connections as we pass through the horrors of life.
Been thinking of late about fiction. I feel badly that I have not produced fiction; can't put my finger on it. I think I can do a reasonable job of it. I believe I was frustrated by the nature of the market and the real difficulty in developing through the market. Ah- but is not fiction what one makes of it? Isn't it what is produced from an imagination and intellect? A narrative when choice is ever present. A narrative that takes up much in the way of society and the objects of the temporary world.
Several things: for one thing there is a business of life as well as the joy in creative things. The business of life has to be attended to at regular intervals and all aspects of the business completed. Otherwise, the chaos that ensues consumes the joy in creating things; a simple joy but one that runs deep and silent in the spirit of things.
The business of life has always been difficult. Simple principles will suffice. I feel more gratitude and openness toward the whole universe of endeavor. We work for the pleasure of those we cannot see; no one can predict the outcome. Playful intellect, yes. But the formal philosophy that I glance at from time to time is beyond me, beyond my scope. Therefore, I must limit myself to a kind of intelligent entertainer and do the best that I can do. I don't fear the modern world. There is abundant opportunity and choice; marvelous choice when you sit down and think about it. It is confusing since there is no readymade belief system; no easily comprehended cosmology that links the individual to the great organizing principle. When we think we know all of these perhaps we are in trouble. Yet don't we have the responsibility to keep looking and reporting on what we find? So they stick us in the middle of either a crazy street or a strange set of characters off the television. They stick us with technical objects and the imposition of some near imperial command to listen to what the madmen say. What do they say indeed? They stick us with vast problems that penetrate to the watershed of spirit and empty them so that nothing remains but the charred ruins of our common dreams.
I always think about principles of construction. That we, who have inherited much, should know the principle of construction that underlie the culture. Without this knowledge what kind of life can there be? No one should feel shame for uncovering these foundations since they must dig through incredible drek and mire. It is no doubt a challenge put there by the ferocious will to power unleashed during periods of severe doubt. But, still, what are we going to build? That is a great question in an age such as this one.
It is then, something substantial and with hair-- maybe, even, foul breath but, nonetheless there and between us hard as the rock that rolls free over mystical, imaginative mountains. There is no excuse then, when we call out to the complex motion to stop and plan a massive kidnapping of common souls. They fly from us and land in once exotic lands. We see them! They are among the common people they have run from only now they are polite. A burnishing of the uneven material occurs as we lose something of our wonderment. They will say, "here are the worlds they fear to tread in." Something alive in us rolls to the next phase. We, no doubt, stand over the empty pit and try to remember the days when we knew the faces of our intimate crowds.
When there is wilderness there is courage. When there is depth there is curiosity.
Discover what it is that your knowledge gives you, what your experience gives you and what the society as an objective thing gives you. That determines a few things. What are the modes that will accept the full charge of things? It is very true, I would say extremely true, that you must pass through your own time in the way that it sees itself-- it's own voice and so forth-- to pass through as a conscious man.
Is there no such thing as a well-rounded made thing? Don't we want to make things out of the stuff of life? What extraordinary burden can we throw off ourselves?
The continuity of things. Much of my life has been about this very thing since, apparently, in the continuity of things is locked the memory of the heart--- then misery, then what is destroyed by chaos. The continuity is always tenuous; some evil act is wanting to plunge us down into chaos. What do we call a time, an age, in which the body is for pleasure and the mind suffers the pain? We wait to embrace the bridges we love so well.
A writer is not a scholar. The writer's gambit is very simple, "I will use language to express my knowledge and experience of the world, take it or leave it." Who knows the value of this? It is willed from the genetic code and so it must be so. The writer then grapples with the tools and material at his disposal. He then tries to find his way through a maze of frustrations before he can turn back and say, "Ah, I have come through and am clear about what I intend to do." The market is not a good enough reference point. Even tradition often fails in this regard. What is necessary is self-criticism and the desire to reach points of development that are intuited as possible from time to time.
End of October
'Tis a stupendous sort of world. One must dig deeply to get at the few shining nuggets of the Earth's treasure hoard. Above ground there is massive activity all superintended by the systems and the limitations imposed on frail human nature. There is drama to this without question and we have suffered our limitations and petty ignorance as well. Wonderful faces speed by us at 600MPH. Then there is the hole in the sky that we expect the angels to descend through. And, even so, mourning bells, the dirge that makes us intimate with a corpse we can not recognize.
I have not made good moves of late. Sometimes I feel like a sinister person. The truth of the matter is that I love the work in all its dimensions and, while I don't love everyone I, at least, have learned to love democracy. Perhaps we try to escape the implication of the limits we saw life surrender to.
I want to begin with a new premise. That is, nothing has been done. We know nothing has been done yet we are content. We do not know the other as we thought they had a powerful integrity that we address in some secret pact with our true intentions. We are part of something that does not yield its abundant treasure. There are moments that we cannot penetrate with, even, our most consistent lie.
The only satisfaction is that which permits the mind to explore the dimensions of Past, Present, and Future fully, without obstruction as a kind of serious game. Ah, it see's the playfulness of life and is redeemed! The Present is always a haunted monastery that kills itself with the verve of a ballplayer who knows how good he is and yet, knows that he must always be alert and at the top of his game. After all, humanity is loading itself up with a tumult of instrumentation that takes its brain into some of the deep, protected recesses. Therefore the self will be everything it possibly can be or it will descend to nothingness. It wants to set foot on the most habitable planet in the universe.
The passage through something dark and strange, that is, what deflects us from our most probable destination. And we wake one day to try and capture a moment of exquisite knowledge or consciousness that signaled, long ago, that we were meant to witness things on planet Earth. So then we retreat, breaking away from our deep intention as though we have met a wild animal along the woodsy trail. Perhaps it is merely a shadow we left at some indescribable time, accompanied by a laughing woman.
Maybe there is something encouraging about the fact that when we are poised to say something great we fall silent, dumbfounded by our lack of energy, suddenly recounting the connection we have put together over the years to help us over times of trouble.
Our foolish involvement with ourselves at the moment, right before we discover the disruption of machines. That is, what possibility and, as well, frustration they drive into our dreaming minds! Our fables are caught in the net of machine noise and texture that lift our spirits to the nearest abyss. Have we yet settled the question of light and dark? My society only lives in my experience and knowledge. Then, for its own good, society had better energize the fullest development of experience and knowledge.
There is a generous mixture of hatred and guilt in any specific region. The hateful person tries to project the awful feeling to the object of hate. If there is sufficient guilt in the object of hate the hate will dive deep into said object of hate. The way out of the dilemma is full and complete development of the self; self awareness of ones own life and the nature of guilt and the dynamics of the two allow one, then, to put the burden of responsibility back on the person who hates. What must always be protected from the hateful are the resources. But what is necessary is the bold man who knows he is free and does what he does to enhance freedom.
The best question to put to any age is this, "do you permit me to flourish?" Do I walk through wonderful openings and into worlds that both terrify me but permit the grandest articulation possible? An age can appear to be a network of beasts silently communicating with each other about the destruction of the best qualities of a time. I would rather know the real men and women even as I have walked through them many times. Faces that have evolved out of a child like tenderness now wear a fierce expression struggling with the ineffable air.
When I look back I see only possible projects and memories absorbed into them. Then this is where the life must flow. Here and nowhere else. Here when the silence is a gift from God.
A potential life no doubt. Nothing that stands before us can sustain the desire for perfection. This we have tested in the most dismal of circumstances. The objects fall, the institutions fall, finally, the people themselves fall but our spirit does not fall and is aware of a general disintegration it dances from, carrying a tune, bounding to the mountaintop of the inexpressible desire. Our optimism can escape the lonely and sad figures, "ah, I have escaped youth alive!"
So there stands before us that which made us fearful in the beginning. "That which promised to extinguish our depth, and say to us, your are a mere man." With what energy and principle does the fearful object run? No doubt, the sweat of countless others who we only know from innuendo but, nonetheless, have a strange power over us. Countless objects that move with a will of their own as though they are embarrassed of those who, allegedly, control them. Perennial landscapes that are captured in photographs and that remind the eye that, too, it has seen things.
Always a special day even when the circumstances the arguments are too lousy to mention and not worth the memory after awhile. Something in this life does not work. Yet, we take in the countless faces and the acts that impinge on the marvelous spirit of things and the year that revolves around us and we empty the year out, it is not of us any more. Only one biography is significant. The rest of us learn various shades of vanity before it is too late to learn anything true and real.
As years go this one certainly had its excitements. I do feel more that a few resolutions coming to a head. There is no doubt in my mind that a new vector is called for at this time. The need to know everything is a vanity we learn just in the nick of time; after all, we simply wanted to be effective, didn't we? I feel old influences flowing away from me. There is sadness in the feeing as well as a great sense of freedom. I think next year I will dedicate to my own freedom and live forward, live with purpose, live with the intention of furthering things and helping as I can. I, who sacrificed my personal life, will attempt to reclaim it in '96.
© 2016 David Eide. All rights reserved.