209. YES, YES, THE WHOLE
WORLD WAS DREAMING (pt.2)
'There is no way to do things
well and gently and consistently.
There can be no satisfaction
anywhere and with anything
until we can accept the flawed
and unique prisoners we are -
prisoners to our memories and
the distinct mechanisms we
have for sharing them. We
want to believe that happiness,
or, at best, satisfaction, accrues
to those who have given us
pleasure or elucidation or
inspiration. Our own work
can do this for us, but that
first requires an understanding
of our art and of ourselves
for having it exist.'
I long ago decided, and tried to
begin living that way, that a
spirit of detachment was the
most important thing. Keep
away, as it were, from worldly
matter. That probably meant
everything - women (there
wasn't a snatch worth
chasing), money (the
more you get, the more
you're in need to get more -
and God ain't there), possessions,
(all that shit that doesn't fit in
a coffin). 'Can I drive my
Ferrari to the Pearly Gates?'
And the rest....all that Green Man
stuff has long ago been turned
into propaganda. Even 'religion'
itself : have you ever looked at
at church lately? Groomed grounds,
bare and mowed to the hilt, spread
with chemicals to keep 'Naturre'
off by killing it. Religion has oddly
turned against all which it is meant
to profess. Husbandry and care of
God's creation, not a freaking
golf putting green. Against Nature.
They preach one thing in their
doctrine and words, yet on the
other hand play right into the
hands of Mammon (or Caesar, or
the State, whatever) - a 'Suburban
Kingship' of paved parking lots
for acres, chopped and channeled
streams and woodlots. Huge, cut
and chemically treated church lawns
and trees, areas cut down for parking
and paving, trees leveled, elevators,
electrical usage and lights everywhere.
What ever has happened to religion?
Where - except for some bogus
municipal pick-up schedule for
recycling days, is any Green Man
Nature consciousness? What
'Holiday Schedule' takes the
notion of God and Creation in
the direction that's due it? No. It
has all been crucified and killed
upon that same worldly cross of
which the rest of Creation has
been done in on: Profit, false
Cooperation, Happiness and the
glib; the churches' eternal
doctrines of stupid small talk.
And right here, sadly, there's
When I was ten, no one ever
told me any of this. No one
showed me a quiet room. Or
instructed me on how to think
for myself. It wasn't a poor
people's ploy. A poor peoples'
ploy was loudness and brash
behavior, constant activity and
bustle, the big move, always
on to nothing. There really were
no fine sensations; no quiet
attitudes. At all times, as far
as I had been showed, one had
to be 'on the make,' performing
for something else. 'Detachment';
some of all this anyway had to
do the doctrine of detachment
- of course, there was none
of that on on Inman Avenue.
Everyone was everywhere,
always doing things, with
opinions and attitudes in
everyone else's business. Not
easy times at all; just stupid.
Detachment is a very difficult
thing - it's hard to learn,
and it involves, yes, both
silence and a removal from
most things. One does - most
certainly - NOT need an opinion
on each and every matter. Every
living thing and issue. Poorer
sorts really think they do - have
to have an opinion on everything.
Admitting, instead, to no involvement
is a strange and powerful thing.
We would 'listen' to teachers and
not fully realize what was being
presented to us - not so much just
'information' as much as worldview
(false) and deportment and attitude,
(incorrect, laden, and wrong). We
just took it. What else does a kid
do? 'Only later, look back.' As I
found it put so well, found it only
much later, by Martin Buber, an
Austrian-Jewish existential philosopher,
(1878-1965), whom I studied in
Elmira - 'I do not accept any
absolute formulas for living. No
preconceived code can see ahead
to everything that can happen in
a man's life. As we live, we
grow and our beliefs change.
They must change. So I think
we should live with this
constant discovery. We should
be open to this adventure in
heightened awareness of living.
We should stake our whole
existence on our willingness
to explore and experience.
The world is not comprehensible,
but it is embraceable : through
the embracing of one of its
beings.' I really longed to
try that out on Avenel, but
truly it proved impossible.
Even today, it's just
My idea of living was 'quality.'
Not like rich man living, but just
integrity and dignity built in.
For God's sake, just the making
of something good. I wrote, and
I re-told everything; I went
over with myself, rehearsed
with myself, among others,
so as to get these things right,
and straight. The sharing of
one's 'self' through writing or
painting always involves the
sharing of one's 'data', the
information and input of a life.
Most intense : fears, hopes, tries
and loses. A cleansing process,
a bumping down. Making gold
from the fires of the materials
within them. The 'biography' has
to be pulled out of the merely
'personal' - the value parts
found, and then that has to be
applied to things bigger than
yourself. The act of sharing
must begin. I'd guess that
summed it up, put it together,
removed me that one or two
steps from otherwise just the
stupid and filthy engagement
of sitting around Tom's Barber
Shop, over that at Fifth, next
to Murray and Martha's heap.