May 17, 2007

A Match with Ghosts

"We live only by lack of knowledge. Once we know, we are at odds with everything. As long as we are in ignorance, appearances prosper and preserve a flavor of inviolability which permits us to love and to hate them, to come to grips with them. How to match ourselves against ghosts? That is what appearances become when, disabused, we can no longer promote them to the rank of essences. Knowledge, or rather the waking state, produces between them and ourselves a hiatus which is not . . . a conflict; if it were, all would be well; no, this hiatus is the suppression of all conflicts, it is the deadly abolition of the tragic."

--E.M. Cioran, The Fall into Time

Morning light on water, before the struggle to make sense. So often the way the lake is alive with ripple and shadow, the changing, charging colors, and its play with the sky is lost to the day's obligations, which can seem so concrete and absolute and the absolute definition of being; work and concerns of knowing and deadlines for proving that one knows, something. The quicksilver appearances dim.

The temptation is to work first thing, thinking that it is there that the worst temptations are avoided. But the coming struggle to make that sense should always be there. It cannot be overturned by starting early. Rightfully, it will always and only be in a state unsettled; in the movements of light and shadow; in the tentative alliance of pen on paper; all those different kinds of light on all those different kinds of pages; the constant re-orientation of memory and expectation, desire and excitations never fulfilled but always hovering, pushing forward, as one moves through passages.