portrait of e
courtesy of jasper
mixed media — ballpoint pen, graphite, angostura bitters, cigarette ash&ember, cheap whiskey
Necessary error, school mistress, faltering essential companion, we love her, because she is the only way we have on this earth to feel the truth, which is always a little farther, exists, a littler farther away.
And repentance? No repentance. We who draw are innocent. Our mistakes are leaps in the night. Error is not lie: it is approximation. Sign that we are on track.
And: to not become gloomy from not ‘attaining.’ We don’t lose anything by erring, to the contrary.
The unhappy thing would be to believe we had found.
As long as we are seeking we are innocent. We are in naive submission. In prenatality.
I advance error by error, with erring steps, by the force of error. It’s suffering, but it’s joy.
I seek the truth, I encounter error. How do I recognize error? It is obvious, like truth. Who tells me? My body. Truth gives us pleasure. It makes us burst out laughing, trembling. Blushing. It’s hot. It’s like this: I grope. I try the word ‘hesitation.’ I taste it. No pleasure. No taste. I cross out. I try: ‘correction.’ I taste. No. I taste ten words. Finally I fall on the word: ‘essay.’ Before even trying I already sense a pretaste … I taste. And, that’s it! Its taste is strong and fine and rich in memories of pleasure.
Truth strikes us. Opens our heart. Our lips. Error makes us sense the absence of taste. Drops us like a dead person, apathetic tongue, dry eyes. Error really can’t fool us.
I should do something;
I should do nothing at all;
yes, i also get all my politics from tumblr textpost reblogs
Let’s suppose you are a serious person, or you transmit to yourself certain conventional signals of a sort of seriousness: you reread Tacitus, you attempt to reread Proust but it can’t be done, you listen to Bartók and to Archie Shepp.
Also: You can’t stop moving your bowels, or your body can’t. You have a body, you are a body. You don’t know what’s safe to eat these days, or when. You’re so sick that you take off your clothes when you use the bathroom, for safety’s sake. That was a hard lesson to learn. Let’s stop saying you.
I had a body. It was a problem. It hurt most of the time. I dreamt of one world and woke into another. I woke in pain from bad dreams of my divorce, again, and listened to Wayne Shorter’s The All Seeing Eye. It would see a lot of things, that eye. Think of all it might come to know and desire to forget.
My throat hurt, my stomach hurt, I coughed, I lay in bed and stared at the ceiling and thought about death: I heard its soft footfalls approaching. I had some blood tests, I took some medicine. I spent a lot of time in bed.
At the time I’m telling you about, I was earning some money, not much, as a freelance journalist and a teacher in a university, writing about education, about gun control, about fashion or music, reviewing new novels through a haze of rage and envy, telling myself that whatever it takes means whatever it takes, doing whatever I had to do to convince myself that I was not a number-two schmuck.
The wife tells her husband: You must be the number-two schmuck in the whole world.
Why can’t I be the number-one schmuck? he says.
But how could you be number one? she says. You’re such a schmuck.
There was nothing the matter with me that was not also the matter with everyone else. I was not as interesting as I thought I was. My major problem, inadequate or inappropriate love from my parents, was as common as dirt. And one rainy day, all the boring poignancy of these realizations detonated in me like an atom bomb, burning the dead shadow of each former torment or preoccupation onto solid rock. Those silhouettes, that record would remain: the museum where I used to be.
All right, I thought, I’ve had enough. Some other way from now on, but not like that, not any more.
J. D. Daniels — Letter from Majorca
One of the few people I miss, truly, from Cambridge. Coffeeshop conversations about India, about Wittgenstein, about spirals and plateaus of realization and defeat. And now he’s being published in the Best American Essays 2013. I feel ecstatic and charged.
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