26 July 2011

Too Early, Early in the Morning

I act from an interminable number of decisions I make each day, though often, I think, I am not consciously aware that I have actually made a decision. In circumstances I have not wholly constructed, I act, and though I have learned to assume responsibility, indeed, sometimes even take pride in that assumption, I also recognize that such pride results from a very limited perspective.  I acknowledge readily and regretfully—or is this admission just an excuse for the many errors I have made—that to ascribe complete knowledge is a fiction. Marx said that the traditions of all past dead generations weigh like a nightmare on the brain. Stephen Dedalus says that history is a nightmare from which he is attempting to awaken, and my dearest friend describes the present as a nightmare. What might be so frightening about nightmares is that in them I lack any semblance of control over my behavior; in my nightmares I am always threatened with dissolution. Perhaps nightmares derive from the fear of lack of control that the nightmares enact. Last night I dreamed that every time I stood up to assume my role there was already someone standing in my place. In my nightmare I was reduced to silence and helplessness. My nightmares arise out of my greatest fear: that I am out of control. But perhaps the whole belief that I am ever in control is the fiction. When Montaigne says that “I find myself more by chance encounter than by searching my judgment” I think I know what he means. I live a great deal in illusion. 
My current situation is the result of a history of which I am not fully aware, and over which certainly I have had only marginal control.  I go to therapy to narrate that history and ascribe to it causality. In my sessions I offer up my history by writing a past, inscribing my self in that history. It is a nice fiction. Though actively imagining a past, it is really the future with which I am concerned. I require a particular past so I can change direction from it. I need a past so that I can keep on keeping on. Perhaps it is all a fiction: even my changes are partly a result of conditions not of my choosing. If they change the rules, then I either follow the variation or suffer the consequences. There are almost always pieces of the puzzle missing, and I don’t even know what the picture is supposed to look like. When I was just a little girl, I asked my mother what would I be, and she answered, what will be will be. Qué sera, sera. Perhaps the sublime is a respite from history though what brings me to the sublime moment is always history.


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