Monday, 11 July 2011

I’m sitting in Bryant Park, which is both the best and the worst of New York. And what do I, a young man, think of the world today? Light sits in pearls on the trees and the green has grown lushly since the spring when I was last here, and there is a fountain and I decide that everything is well or adequate, as in I don’t feel that I am inadequate, and I think that really loving the world is so rare isn’t it, so many reasons not to, but I do now, I know it in a warm rush. English office girls eat yoghurt and falafel salad out of tupperware boxes because America and England are the same place now really. “It's great this heat you feel like you’ve had a much harder workout.” And what sort of caste are they, is it Ancient Rome or yes more like nineteenth century Britain like Henry James or an Impressionist painting full of ladies in white and beautiful shapes elegant long legs so much power and control. That’s what I’ve thought about this year, about power and how simple it is really, you grow up and you learn to hate power and if you’re good you learn how to say this in the right way. It’s like Basil said to Tom: “do not let it embitter you”. But these girls, oh calls for sympathy from on high, they are okay really and one is going home to see her boyfriend, “3 out of 5 days with his family”, and I know that can be tough. What do they do every day? I suppose if they’re happy I should be too because if there’s one thing I do it’s try hard even if not in that sort of way. And really I don’t know how all of this America can carry on it feels ready to burst and you look in people’s eyes and it’s like they know it, everyone knows they’ve gone way beyond and gotten way more than they ever should or else it’s one of those broken faces so sad, if it takes my whole life I want to see fire back in those faces, I know it will happen one day. On that note all these buildings look ready to topple, they’re sort of proud but self-mocking, they know they’re temporary not like a cathedral or Le Corbusier's UN building which I love and which sits apart in gleaming turquoise majesty on the edge of Manhattan now the scaffolding has come down, and this has taught me about the European side to my soul which was one reason for coming out here in the first place, this sense of contrast. So lucky to be able to come here, but it’s such a weird one isn’t it, I’m outside the normal run of career etc this is something I’ve tried to do in a productive way, and I'm here with my girlfriend who is a scientist doing worthwhile research with state funding I think, though I suppose I am guilty regardless. Guilt is good it makes you try to be kind, if everyone was a little guiltier we wouldn’t be in such a mess. But then I’m eating a falafel and salad in pitta for lunch and I worry that feeling happier puts you back into a cycle of condoning all the pernicious stuff, like when you say fuck it and buy an expensive shirt and feel really good about it, it has a magic which is the glisten of power ultimately, to come back to that point, you accept the force of this power and it lifts you momentarily into the clouds. This is at the route of it all isn’t it, this religious joy in things and money and self and like DFW says this is one very good reason for actual religion, and I don’t know where I’m at on that count. I went to a Catholic church a few weeks ago and loved the singing and the fact that it was in Latin but then the sermon was boring and of course there’s the question of authority, which I’m not opposed to per se, but this was the wrong kind of authority, like in the film of The Da Vinci Code which I checked out because Zizek liked it and agreed with him that it was good, though maybe this was down to feebleness of mind just accepting his judgement. No, I’m not like that. It is the Sacred Feminine principle I think however, because I found myself saying the Hail Mary one night before I went to sleep and it felt right somehow, the feeling of God as a mother, which is how I felt about the Duomo in Florence because medieval cathedrals and maybe all cathedrals for that matter are supposed to be Mary the mother, and I felt this very powerfully, that it, the Duomo, was looking after me somehow in that very specific time of need. So I think religion has to come back into the equation in some form or we’re all buggered, I don’t understand the atheists they’re like adolescents who haven’t gone beyond the buzz of taking the piss out of holy cows or their teachers or whatever. Lots of people use “paternalism” like it’s assumed everyone knows it’s a dirty word, but to me because I don’t have any parents any more it speaks of nurturing and warmth, so I think paternalism is part of it too though of course not in a conservative or fascistic way. The family could be a model for a better society instead of an alternative to it, which both I suppose a certain kind of Communist and Margaret Thatcher would agree on, but I think it would be the wrong kind of Communism or Socialism that ignored this. And oh God it does feel like all the madness of that women might finally be departing after thirty years, like the death of the White Witch in The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, because if there’s one thing this Murdoch scandal shows it’s that things do change and Empires crumble and it's like I’ve always thought, except for in my darkest moments, that you have to at least hope things can change for the better to even really be a proper person. And as I somehow sit in this beautiful park in New York this in the end is what I think about the world as a young man, that all those terrible powerful people might just if we can believe it fall into the dust, that we might finally be able to say their names out loud and absorb justice and the possibility of change into our bloodstream, even if fucking utopia or call it what you will can of course never quite arrive, and then we can pass this blood on to our children who aren’t even born yet, and we can survive for longer and in greater numbers, and dream richer, more hope-skeined dreams.

1 comment:

franohan said...

Interesting thoughts my man. Hope you're keeping well. Fran