Saturday, June 21, 2014

I can understand the Hemingway dictum, always stop when the writing is going well, don't press on too far, then let the well replenish itself by no longer directly thinking about it.  That way you don't feel too wiped out and then wake up without having anything to say.

The temptation is to go on too long, to push to far, and then the next day the last thoughts written seem strange and tenuous.  There's a timidity of conviction, a hesitation of faith differing from where you were the night before completing your thoughts.  Heavier to pick them up the next day.

And so Hemingway stayed within his craft of fiction based on life.  He pondered deeper matters, but cut short of venturing too far beyond the mystic juju of his craft, the rules and the fondness for the creative process, the beautiful moments of watching orange peels in his Montmartre studio fireplace as he worked at fishing stories set in Michigan.  Observations.

He took it not his job to delve deeper, does not explore more than the edges of faith, which he boils down into courage and being beaten but not defeated, references to prayer, perhaps.  And so, as if by coincidence, he is a stylist, an artist, whose work therefore falls into fashion, well appreciated by some for what it is, spoofed occasionally, regarded as macho and things like that....  Just as art, when treated, can amount to style and collectorship, ins and outs, celebrations of the changing personality, but always stopping short of seeking a deeper fulfillment, the positing of the deeper questions on the nature of reality.  Perhaps for if one did, if one really were to ask the deeper questions in a studied way, then people would no longer feel obliged to collect things in style, no longer mistrust simplicity, no longer be willing to get overly excited about something passing through the current lens, no longer buy stuff, no longer support all the magazines and articles that insist on the latest trend or avatar of style.  Better wold the fluke nature of insight be recognized, and less would there be to worry about over the author's haircut and summer home and the particular settings and stylings.  Allow Kerouac to be stripped of the heaviness of the image placed upon him and maybe, yes, you get something deeper, something different than the Beatnik, and maybe you touch upon the things that people are responding to him anyway, as people do respond to the deeper.  But in the meantime, magazines have to sell him, or not sell him, and the professionals will never go out on a limb to discuss the deeper truths that bring us here, though they may claim to.  And artists of course, some of them, are shrewd at self-promotion and creating through the PR machine the picture of artistic success, and thus have the backing of the PR machine who has found a way to make money as gatekeepers.  Well, even modern religions seem to operate this way, the style of, what else, succession.

But what if one had the temerity, to write down, at least in italics, the longer thoughts that outlast all the other ones that come and go on the surface.  And what if someone were able to relate a simple useful fact, say, that ginger is a good ingredient, healthy, reducing inflammation, soothing to the stomach.  Well, people these days would probably say, 'no, do not teach such simple facts that ginger and the making of art is healthy for our children and humanity in general;  do not teach that the Sun in the center, rather than the Earth, of the small corner of the Universe we care to know.'

How could it be otherwise, that consciousness precedes this particular ever-changing form of self.  How could it be otherwise than to think, in one way or another, that the wisdom gained in a life previous and unknown to this one, carries on, enabling people to know the truth of dukkha, of suffering and the unsatisfactory nature, the hard quality of being separate from those you love, and that therefore if follows that there is an honest way to cope with that, to be less selfishly motivated, to join in with the harmony of nature and existence.  And that's not all something that makes you necessarily want to jump up and shout 'hooray,' but, a good thing, satisfying, calming, proper.

Your father was the closest thing to being a Buddha as one can practically be in this world of professional existence, no egotistical perfection to him, middle path all the way.  Now he's gone.  Where did he go?

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