The want for a story. For a ‘reason’ to be. A far place, an illusion, the stomach knows its illegitimacy, its fantasy, irreality…yet the brain (mind?) dying toward, for, craving, starving after it.
A thread in a narrative…a plotline…a characterization – some momentary identity. To be witnessed, accounted-for, counted, taken note of, recognized. The mad dream of anOther aware of me, acknowledging my presence, sidling out of my way. “Made way”…I exist.
The madness of atoms. Nonsensical. Not “to be” – a sort of fact as it goes – but “to be in awareness” – and not only, but much more – “to be in An-Other’s awareness!” Too much! Pure delusion.
We infect alt-awareness only via disturbance and/or unavoidability – interruptions, intrusions, sign or accident/event – a scream, a tragedy, an obstacle. Interference. No one selects for intrusion…it is managed and dealth with, endured or survived. We (humans) don’t “mean to,” don’t “seek out” inconvenience. (Or maybe we do?). But no matter. Not our ‘purpose,’ ‘intent.’ Not our ‘drive’ (to survive).
Others become aware of “me” when (and ONLY when?) I get in their way. “Intrude.” Otherwise – sans dependence, accident, harm, or some assumed respons-ability (‘obligation’) – I find it hard to imagine drawing the care of attention of an/other.
We spread too thin. Period. Once we engage/respond/encounter/experience, it is blatantly evident: WE ARE NOT ENOUGH. Perhaps nothing is. Perhaps learning, relating, experiencing, engaging, life…NOTHING is. Perhaps this differentiates us as a species – UNSATISFIABLE : UNMET.
And…perhaps this is a synonym for “Life/Living” – some ‘thing’ ever striving ‘further’ or ‘beyond’ itself…
Is the ‘definition’ of “Life” simply WANTING FOR MORE?
i.e. – entities remaining alive, period – according to DESIRE?
The want for a story. A ‘reason’ to be. To be meaning. To signal. To call & respond. To exist.
But all those are “more-than.”
The Myth in the Verse
The River of Bees
BY W. S. MERWIN
In a dream I returned to the river of bees
Five orange trees by the bridge and
Beside two mills my house
Into whose courtyard a blindman followed
The goats and stood singing
Of what was older
Soon it will be fifteen years
He was old he will have fallen into his eyes
I took my eyes
A long way to the calendars
Room after room asking how shall I live
One of the ends is made of streets
One man processions carry through it
Empty bottles their
Image of hope
It was offered to me by name
Once once and once
In the same city I was born
Asking what shall I say
He will have fallen into his mouth
Men think they are better than grass
I return to his voice rising like a forkful of hay
He was old he is not real nothing is real
Nor the noise of death drawing water
We are the echo of the future
On the door it says what to do to survive
But we were not born to survive
Only to live
- S. Merwin, “The River of Bees” from The Second Four Books of Poems(Port Townsend, Washington: Copper Canyon Press, 1993). Copyright © 1993 by W. S. Merwin. Reprinted with the permission of The Wylie Agency, Inc.
7 thoughts on “The Want for a Story : Texts for Nothing”
If that isn’t the truth, my dear, I’m not sure what is.
A truth that believes
it is the whole of the truth
Is a poison.
There are ghosts
In the dark,draughty attics
Who are owed.
But it is not so.
A point of view
Over a few seconds
Is not, for sure,
To be relied upon
To define an aeon
Nor a purpose
Nor a good yarn.
Summed up and sundered:
The raven, sharp-eyed
From his cliff nest
At break of day.
(Forgive me, Nathan. You have a-mused me once again.)
Thank you Simon. I always feel what you’ve expressed anytime I sense a conclusion drawing…it can’t be that. Never entire. Thank you.
“Traceable only through its impact”…from utterly current reading…
So moving. Hello from China in transit.
A beautiful quest in the asking: how else to be.
“Others become aware of “me” when (and ONLY when?) I get in their way.” this piece has a number of interesting assertions, which kept me reading. for the sake of discussion, though, let us turn this assertion around. have you never become aware of someone else unless they got in your way? have you never become aware of someone else simply because of their kindness or gentle nature or intelligence or love for you?