An English In Kentucky



















September 28th 2009

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    A week of abstinence foisted upon it by inclement weather followed by an afternoon of concrete, reminds the body that it will not last for ever. 

    More often in the defining of Human Being, we are apparently "why" things before we are "how" things.  Then in the parallel universe of symbols the "why" and the "how" conjoin with "ifs" and "thens" to produce explanation, or meaning.  

   Unease I suppose belongs to that part of the mind that contains the elements necessary for unhappiness.  And the secret has long been to discourage unease sufficiently to manage its conversion into a practical contentment, or at the more frightening extreme, ultimate happiness.  Whichever wavelength is chosen the word fatalistic might be tuned to it.

   In parts of existentialist thought death itself is inconceivable.  And this because the mind does not contend with nothingness, rather it always finds something.  In other words it cannot help but answer "why" with variations on the theme of "how".  Or, "existence precedes essence" as Sartre put it.  And here the truth or otherwise of "how" has little relevance to meaning.



    There is no other place for me, which is to assert that I must sometimes contend with nothingness.  In my universe of symbols, I have tried often to put death in the category of inconceivable.  I see the photograph of Sartre smoking his long pipe and I hear his voice say "choice". 

    Today, after discussion, I was persuaded to finally cull the remaining Tomato vines.  Ruthlessly I tore them down, and I could smell that fresh of living Tomato as sap flowed.  In my mind I thought of last year's Tomato vines and I thought of next year's Tomato vines.  And I put this year's Tomato vines in that area of compost devoted to things that might possibly contain disease.  

    Briefly I saw in today's work an analogy more seductive than a "slope in a random place".  I say this because "slope in a random place" is more a resolution of "nothingness" than it is a solution to that quality of time "when".   Which I suspect is why so many require an intelligence in the great beyond that today those remaining Tomato vines at last found in me.

    However, during the cull, I saw and heard nothing of gratitude.  And after it was done I sensed the beginnings of winter orderliness which was echoed by the comrade of mine with whom I share the imprecision of language.

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tim candler

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(Jean Paul Sartre)