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Showing posts from June, 2010

Negative Freedom

The Man Who Can't Be Moved
The Script

Going back to the corner where I first saw you
Gonna camp in my sleeping bag I'm not gonna move
Got some words on cardboard, got your picture in my hand
Saying, "If you see this girl can you tell her where I am?"

Some try to hand me money, they don't understand
I'm not broke I'm just a broken hearted man
I know it makes no sense but what else can I do
How can I move on when I'm still in love with you

'Cause if one day you wake up and find that you're missing me
And your heart starts to wonder where on this earth I could be
Thinking maybe you'll come back here to the place that we'd meet
And you'll see me waiting for you on our corner of the street
So I'm not moving, I'm not moving

Policeman says, "Son you can't stay here"
I said, "There's someone I'm waiting for if it's a day, a month, a year"
Gotta stand my ground even if it rains or snows
If she changes her mind this…

On Why

Camus, January 1955. Time and Life Pictures /  Getty Images

. . . "When I am ill, my life is turned upside down and I lag for weeks trying to catch up. But most serious of all is that I no longer have the time, nor the recreation, to write my books, and I spend four years to write what, in freedom, would have cost me one or two. Incidentally, for some years now, my work has not freed me, it has enslaved me. And if I pursue it, it is because above all else, even freedom, even wisdom or true creativity, and even, yes, even friendship. It's true that I try to organize myself, to double my strength and my "presence" by utilizing time, organizing my days, increasing efficiency. I hope to be up to it, one day. For the moment, I am not--each letter brings three others, each person ten, each book a hundred letters and twenty correspondents, while life continues, and there is work, those whom I love, and those who need me. Life continues and, some mornings, tired of the nois…

On E. M. Cioran's Tears and Saints

Perhaps saints cannot be known as they indeed are invisible by virtue of their holiness; they also cannot "return" by virtue of their deaths from the unholy world. But through our tears we experience what it is to be like saints who have seen the world and have lived it, consequently tried to but failed to understand it, and then gave it up in order to reclaim the lost Paradise that we who are not saints only weep about without knowing why.

Our tears, perhaps, are the invitations of the saints, the traces they have left since they can no longer show themselves and thus are totally Other already. Tears are the gifts they have left with  us who have not been able to renounce our lives because we have been so happy with this world. But this world will never be enough--this is why the saints' eyes are depicted half-closed in paintings, as if to hide their tears, and they usually look down or up, avoiding the horizon of the world which can only bring sorrow. And as Cioran says…

The Self-proclaimed Saint

All Saints by Fra Angelcio, 15th Century

Yet, by an obvious fact in no need of justification, we know perfectly well that no one can say “I am a saint” without total deception. Through a performative contradiction that is intuitively irrefutable, someone who lays claim to sanctity disproves it in him- or herself. Why can’t holiness lay claim to itself? Not only because one does not want to fall into the massive trap of pride in one’s own satisfaction and self-affirmation, which is involved, but above all because holiness is unaware of itself (for reasons that will have to be specified later). In any case, we know that there is no such thing as a self-proclaimed saint. To the contrary, self-proclamation (albeit through the intermediary of disciples or the community the saint has founded or tolerated) is the surest measure of the alleged saint’s fraud. The false prophet, like the false saint, always stands out conspicuously.



The curiosity of Pandora and the trouble of not knowing
The frenzies of Tantalus and the impossibility of ever reaching The unweaving of Penelope and the clipped wings of hope The homecoming of Odysseus and the winds bidding once more 

The chains of Prometheus, the resignation in his soul The many sorrows of Midas, the worthlessness of gold
The mirror of Narcissus, the blaring silence of Echo Apollo's pursuit and Daphne's lead arrow

The return of bowed Sisyphus to his abode of perpetual sighs The blank pages of untold epics and the broken strings of the lyre Let the great bleed in hell forever as only victors can be chained
The kingdom of regret is ruled by hearts that did not brave


Truth liberates, they say.  Its light, impartial and just,  leads the gaze to the guilty.  Watchdogs asleep, rosebuds fearing that fatal morning they surrender to time,  love in its wrath. You see beneath boulders, tear down walls and call your self 
triumphant. You do not listen
when truth mourns its being known 
after dark or count its tears in being seen 
at first light. There is a reason why 
things and truths love to hide. The heart knows
you are unforgiven.

Misibis Bay