Friday, April 22, 2011

Hard Drive, Team Lift

Constantly revising definitions, believed-to-be definitive experiences, in the light of new information from further experience. Former limit positions—good, bad, other—expanded forcibly. I thought that was trouble. I didn’t know what trouble was. That passed for love then. What was it, really? And to think I once considered such work intolerably oppressive...who would welcome it as a “light day” now....

(A curious note is how typically such formulations demean the former self whose conceptions have now to be revised. A seemingly gratuitous act of temporal terrorism. After all, how could he/she have known differently?)

So far, perhaps, we behave no more blamefully than farmers who, as we clear a few feet further out into the wilderness, must put up a new fence marking the limit of land we claim as under cultivation, as ours. And the farmer cannot be very much faulted either for telling himself at each day’s end that the work is done, so that his sleep is not plagued by visions of an infinite wilderness, infinite fences.

But what sane farmer would tell himself that what is inside his current fence is all there is?

That there are not a million varieties of swamp and thicket he will never encounter, or a million ways to wrestle from them a livable space.

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