Usually you have your youth to reach over and touch in times of existential worry -- well, (you might say to yourself), at least I'm still young. And then suddenly, it's four days after your 29th birthday -- still young, granted, from many perspectives, but I guess what matters is your own sense of when your free-pass license of youth is all used up. And, for me, it suddenly feels like it is; at least, I'm reaching for that familiar box of inexhaustible do-overs, and not finding it.
And so I'm trying to get a taste for these last few days of 2008. Though I've forgotten nearly everything of consequence I ever learned, some residue has remained, and this strange post-Christmas space between two years is slick with the wetness of knowledge lost. Also, the wetness of the downpour of rain that fell earlier today, while I sat in Portland, sipping coffee and feeling romantic. Feeling a heck of a lot.
And I like feeling. My body seems made for it more than it's made for retaining verbal information. What exactly "verbal information" means, I couldn't quite tell you, and though I'm interested in trying to figure out how, right now I'm riding the feeling-wave of the song that's echoing from my ear-buds; and I'd rather feel it, than figure it out. Than make a system of figures for it. Organize that system -- literalize it. Whatever that means.
My stomach is full, and I'm 29, and 2008 is about to sputter out, a candle flame, wet with waxy residue, flapping like a tattered flag. I salute you, banner of those who keep their minds mostly free of entangling alliances. Who like to feel, instead, the free association of a world of moments, disconnected but by a certain simple animal-faith. Let's shake hands and admit that as far as we know, we're alive, and we're dying, and we have a little time together. And that no one has ever figured out more than that, and that it's enough. That all of the faith one needs in life is packed into that little seed.
And there are a hundred men and women like me tonight, earbuds sunk in waxy-wet time-canals between two years, typing out their heart's expression. Thumos, as the Greeks said -- logic of the gut-heart.
And we're all original, those of us typing, those of us sleeping, eating, urinating, making love, watching television, looking at cats, rubbing our feet across lineolium, laughing, reading magazines; we're all located somewhere in this world, doing something that's never been done before, in exactly the way we are, by someone exactly like us. Performing it for the first time, in time. Theme and variation.
Everything is new under the sun, Solomon. Everything, that is, except for the age-old whining about not being able to know anything. But no one has ever whined quite like me, so fine, so free.