mosquitoes = o quiet moss

It’s possible I saw more mosquitoes than birds during my birding expedition. I probably now have West Nile Virus. They are going to spray stuff from airplanes to kill the mosquitoes where I was looking at birds. Really. I wouldn’t lie about that. Think about not ever going to work again. Just think about it. For one. heart. beat. Fuck. I saw a dead slug on the sidewalk. I can’t take it. Why is it so easy to dislike people without even knowing their faces or their names. And yet. a squashed slug. crushes me. Farley walked right past a cat. Didn’t even see it. I think the cat was mocking him. There were a lot of vultures at Soldiers Delight. Hanging out on the cancer towers. Airing their wings and such before kettling up. It’s a vulture’s world out there. So many dead things to feast on. Because life is too much of everything. And so things are always dying and being replaced. And if you’re a vulture…well, I don’t feel the need to explain any further. There are too many people. And there are too many things. Too many people things and too many thing-people. The other night I dreamed I was living in an outdoor camp in a forest. I was part of a team. Our job was to watch over the forest, to help people traveling through it and to keep poachers out. We slept outside in little beds and watched informational films that helped us do our jobs better. How is this relevant? Let me put on my Jungian hat and pontificate. I guess maybe I want to help people instead of rot at a desk all day? Maybe not a job, per se, but something. Why not. Jung said many of his patients were successful middle-aged people who suddenly realized their lives were empty and meaningless. Hooray. Nothing changes throughout modern history, does it. It. just. gets. worse. But what does ‘successful’ mean in this context. I suspect it means the opposite of what I consider success. I am not interested in ‘social standing’. I am not interested in ‘moving up the ladder’. Of course that kind of success is going to make your life feel empty and meaningless. Of course it is. I hate your filthy money and everything. it. stands. for. I just want my time. That is all. Why is it so difficult. It seems like it belongs to me. But actually right now it largely belongs to a mammoth financial institution by way of a prominent American university by way of the United States Government by way of taxes paid by my friends and neighbors and complete strangers. So, in a way their time belongs to me, but not really because I give it to a big faceless bank, which means the people ‘moving up the ladder’ own it all. And their lives are empty and meaningless because of it. If they just stopped the process by which they are taking our time, I think we’d all be better off.

Where’s my cave. I have some paintings to make. They tell a very different story.

And yet…at work the ghost of Edouard Levé was haunting my mailbox. So there is that.

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  1. When I think about waste and futility I think of my two favourite titans, Atlas and Prometheus, and I feel less trapped.
    Sonia Johnson observed that when we say we have no time, we are really saying we have no life. So it is hugely important to claim our time.
    I learned that though my job had claims on where my body had to be and what my brain had to do, I could keep small reminders around me of the things that thrilled and excited me – a list of Italian verbs, a poem by Petrarch or Graves or Catullus, a song cued up on my Ipod, and glancing at these things would give me a spark of brightness.
    If you don’t find skillful means to evade the odium of life, the bastards have got you, and they win.
    I hope you are wrong about the West Nile Virus. Find some other way to resemble the pharaohs.

    • I fixed it for you. :)

      I guess I am just unrealistic in my expectations. I have all of those things you mention around me. Some days I listen to music all day long at work and never have to talk to anyone unless I choose to. And I have pictures of birds plastered everywhere, a big leafy plant in plain view. My office is very calming. In general I’ve got it pretty good compared to others. But I want it all back. All my time. I want to dismantle the whole system. I want nothing short of that. I want it all to be radically different. And absurd. Definitely absurd. I want to be able to trade a non sequitur for a loaf of bread. I don’t like the way our society operates at all. It’s absurd in a different way, a sick decaying way that hurts people. I want fun, ridiculous, harmless absurdity. And no amount of distraction from this fantasy seems to work! Immersion in literature and music only helps in the short-term. It’s a band-aid and nothing more. A numbing salve for my festering thought wounds. All I can do is write my absurdist fantasies out on a daily basis and try to live vicariously through them.

  2. I wonder if it better to be tormented by wants than to have none: if it is the having of these desires and not their objects that is important. The thing is you have to find a way, and often the finding consists of letting the way be found. I know how fatuous this sounds, but I don’t know any other way. I muddle through my life, and have been driven into some desperate mental corners, places I would never have willingly sought, but where I was pleased to find unexpected rewards. Better I think to persist in your ‘unrealistic’ wants, to want a more ample life, than to have it and let it go unnoticed. When we have all we need for our satisfaction, we generally fall asleep, and too much of the absurd dilutes meaning. If you have caught WNV (which I fervently hope you have not) you might be able to apply for a medical leave of absence (FMLA?) or otherwise just a leave of absence, paid or unpaid….

  3. That’s just a cover for deep frustration, and I think you have a point.

  4. I am jealous of your office, steady employment and pay cheque.

  5. Also that you got in to graduate school.



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