Saturday, May 10, 2014                                                        Dreadful Joy

Random Thoughts

We’re moved by our wonder at what the world is not. Its kinship with the ultimate oddity, death, intensifies the wordless desire of life. Yes? What part of our nature drives us to this strange place – and holds us here – when the natural world around us already has laid such strong claim to our souls? The human spirit moves toward the beyond…

A writer lives twice in illusion: the fiction that is written – and then what the writer fears or hopes for that fiction.

At the resurrection core of the self, the heartbreaking condition of being human breaks into song. Chant answers life’s inherent tensions of alienation, insecurity, and uncoalesced ambition with sonorous voice energy, more music than language. The acoustic power of chant doesn’t cure yet heals. It does this, I think, by reconciling the dual presence in life of necessity and freedom. In our mercantile time, that means harmonizing the commodification of our work and the liberty of imagination. This timeless chant enters our age by redressing the joy we pay for with the love we give for free.

Maybe DNA is the product of Designers. Maybe the universe itself is a computer simulation. Fortean phenomena abound. When we come to the end of the mind, the mind doesn’t end. And so, we have ample reason to question all our reasons. Science fiction superfunds our doubts on the way to leaving our doubts behind. Farmer’s Riverworld series and similar sf works that focus on our ethical identity touch on the soul’s willingness to wander: what is human evil? In a cosmos exquisitely ordered by precise physical laws, why is there no cosmic justice? Is it time for me to book passage for my puzzled self on Farmer’s fabulous riverboat “Not for Hire” and reassess this literary meditation on morality? Now, I’m ready for that dreamgum!

And I realize how cold written stories become outside the writer’s inner world, where they have been forged with such passionate heat. For that reason, I don’t usually recommend my fiction to people I encounter as I move through the world, because we meet in the mystery of the world’s cold: the seeming impersonality and arbitrary phenomena of reality. The quality of each person’s inner life, their inner heat, decides what of the world’s chill reality they can accept.

The soul radiates a light so soft and pervasive she illuminates with beauty all the atoms of the universe. Until we love, we only know this.



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