Eamon Bode Blog
Why not listen while you read?
Unreleased Electronic Noodlings 6
I had a thought about my eagerness to write about nothing and deflect all thoughts away from myself. That my sneering scepticism creates a sort of psychotic cyclone of icicles whizzing around me, each one launched with some slily circuitous agenda slinging it just right so that it can slip in with the other circling clutter and help to protect the unimpressive reality at the centre – or protect the centre from whatever ugly truth lies outside.
Or maybe we all employ such strategies because we should. Maybe whatever is out there is just so unpleasant that we are completely right to huddle in our delusions. Hiding from death like rabbits in their holes. Our orbiting obsessions forming a kind of ozone layer to allow a world to form in the unforgiving winter of the encompassing void. Distracting ourselves from death.
In any case after so many blogs or truly pointless prattle I think it’s about time I stretched myself and tried to reach a little deeper through the usual shell of rotating rubbish into something meatier, or at least different.
I will attempt to turn my cynicism on itself. Pit my right brain against my left – raise my right eyebrow at my constantly raised left eyebrow to break through my facade of disbelieving disdain and aim for a new look of enlightened astonishment.
Having just tried this little piece of facial gymnastics I must admit that what I achieved felt more like a look of frightened confusion – but then there’s the enlightenment! That is my true state. A frightened confused man standing bewildered at the centre of his own whirling whimsy.
There is something to grapple with. The confusion that lies at the heart of all things. The hysterical gravity that flings everything around. The turner of the thought-grinder. That weird wind that swirls distantly in people’s eyes. The nucleus of neurosis. If you try to look into it you’ll see that it’s not quite stupid either. A justified confusion even. Infinite and fascinating. A hurricane of hesitations.
Reaching into that tornado now to try and pull out something more weighty than usual. One of the chunks that the smaller chunks orbit maybe. I’ll try not to withdraw my figurative arm until I feel I have grasped something greater than the usual faecal flotsam that my flippant fingers too often trot out over the keyboard. I will aim to at least touch on what I actually think underneath. Whatever sense that may make.
So here goes. Ow. It’s sore on the arm. Some big ones swimming by but they’re kind of hard to reel in. Slippery stuff out there. Cold and crafty. The thing is that the more I try to zoom out and look at the swirling mass of notions that constitute my take on it all, the more impossible it becomes to put it into words. It’s that great contradiction at the heart of things that causes the problem. It renders words inconsequential. Chaotic. Their meanings flipping with the swaying weight of context, oscillating between opposites or bloating to encompass everything and then suddenly snapping back into nothingness in an instant dimension-boggling trick of reconfiguration. This must be what politicians tap into when they brazenly implement the exact opposite to what they have said and yet are somehow still able to justify it.
Which brings me a bit closer to my take I think. That anything can become anything. That even nothingness itself can come to be a bouyant sort of emptiness that carries you up into abstract space. In a Zen-baloon that doesn’t know its up from its down – and once you are up there everything below flickers in and out of existence – hovering hallucinations riddled with paradox, appearing and disappearing, hopping haphazardly back and forth over the horizon of demonstrable existence like a headless horse. Or maybe a heedless hearse. Or a hatless whore. Who knows? The patterns just rattle around. Some end up resonating, some don’t. Thoughts that may seem irrelevant, lying obscurely on the periphery of awareness, may ultimately prove crucial – putting a new spin on everything that has happened when the time is right.
Or is it the very centre of awareness? That place where thoughts float high overhead – those thoughts that never really go away no matter what goes on below. The ones that, despite having no real practical application, seem to remain relevant somehow.
One particular idea about time that has stuck with me since I was small is the idea that time is not passing. That our minds are just following threads that are woven into some great tapestry of shadow and illumination – our identities just patterns highlighted by some unifying context – creating a temporal illusion as they assert their lines of intent, cross-hatching with those of others, constantly re-interpreting themselves. That time is the appearance of things happening like what occurs as you read a book or look over the different parts of a huge painting that is of course already there in its entirety.
If that is the case, nothing ever really passes. We are just patching pathways between the forgotten and the remembered in looping thought- glimpses that we amuse ourselves with. Orbs of speculation spinning and bouncing off some unchanging truth.
In which case we can all relax, because life doesn’t move on. It only moves in. Towards its crucial moments. Towards a realisation that nothing has happened except you, who are somewhere always the same. And the truth of it all is somehow just recurring over and over – as in a dream that struggles to make its one point – patiently populating itself with animated allegories of an unmoving fact that your superficial consciousness has failed to grasp.
When you try to assess your life in the candid anxiety that a nice prolonged low provides, you can feel some part of what it is I’m on about. Or a long period of isolation might do the trick. For example, ask yourself how far you may be from the best moments of your life… Scan your life, past, present and future and see if you think that they have passed or that they are still waiting for you. That feeling of somehow looking over something that you can’t fully see is something of the feeling I mean. You drift away from the present and see yourself as an arbitrary moment in a larger story – as from a great height.
Look at yourself down there – weaving the shroud of your life that you will be buried in with threads of thought, imprinting your nature on it with the stories of this ever- stretched moment that is your existence – and consider that when you let go, when you no longer possess the will or the faculty to gather that shroud around you, or when you lose track, disoriented by all that weightless spinning – well it may be goodbye but what does it matter? The material will persist, even when the cloak begins to billow in the wind and break apart.
Fragments may later be picked up and examined by others as they shuffle about in their own stories. They may even take ragged pieces and bury them in the folds of their own shrouds, to be released again when they lose grip of their own cloaks too.
This kind of narrative is so often scoffed at. But in the multi-layered vastness of a universe we know so little about it is at least a perspective that offers some comfort. From within it, death seems a lot less daunting.
So that’s my notion. That your life is your shroud, and its threads are indestructible. If it ever gets completely unfurled and spreads itself evenly across the expanse of history, well maybe then, when there is truly no part of you clinging to any particular moment, and if that time ever comes, you will truly be done. And in that eventuality, death will have been a kind of birth, as the consequences of your life were finally allowed to play out without you getting in the way.
And if at any moment you wonder about that future from which you will eventually be absent, search your memory and you can find it there – clear as the sky. Soar above the details. Ignore them as obstacles that obscure your vision. Lumps of clay to slow the hands of a mind that models itself. Abandon the desire to know if you will get what you want and focus on the effigy of everything that went before. Because it is the same figure that looms ahead. The statue of everything.