Sunday, May 16, 2010

The illusion of finality in self-destruction

The problem with this, of course, is the saving grace of the life instinct and the fact that it keeps one head above the waves every single time one tries to drown...at least until that one time of course, the true ending. But for those who ache for an ending and a finality, a sort of standard and measure of life in a final summation, something concrete and real at very center of things, reachable (it seems) only through self-destruction, in opening one's body and mind to the harsh realities of existence, the melding of flesh and the world that surrounds it, blood and concrete, bone and glass, breath and water, there is that golden crown beneath every gaze, behind every eye, within every moment of life, hidden in the shadows (even on the sunniest of days), there is that hole in the world that beckons ceaselessly, the abyss that calls all life...and in my personal experience that whorl of "damnation" exists everywhere, anywhere, at all times, in the corner of one's glance, in the pores of one's skin, in the glint of neon off windshields as one swirls and eddies while standing still in a car parked outside a convenience store. As swift as the flick of a switch it seems, that decision always hovering on the edge of one's consciousness to damn one's self in the search for something real.

I of course understand this bitter, bloody search, this instinctive thirst and longing for the concrete, this eternal falling of the body and soul through space, time, friends, acquaintances, conversations, memories, regrets, things that could have been, events that never feel quite real, dramas enacted by shadow actors, passion plays receding into the dimness of half-forgotten dusks...and I of course "understand" the feeling of wanting to be understood even though the concept of being "understood" is meaningless, and if one were understood it would only mean more strictures, more legislation, more prying, less love, less freedom...the need and eager desire for connections, for shared experiences and communication without words, even though one closes one's eyes and realizes, mourning, that nothing is being communicated and loneliness is the most profound of all feelings. So the damnation, then, beckons and doesn't have to appeal to one's feelings or memories (or convictions) too strongly, with undue or ungraceful desire itself...no, it only has to sit enthroned and wait at the center of all things, forming its own unequal gravity which is searched for, once again, with that same dark passion for finality, that impact of bone upon unyielding earth, which is - at most times - our only measure of solidity, of endings, of truth. And I raise, then, the specter of suicide and fallings...of hanging and jumping to one's death, as demonstrations of embracing life, reality, the solidity of both flesh (that corpse we are born inside, and which sickens and fascinates) and gravity, the attraction towards the abyss of all things...

And those in the grip of such passions come closest to understanding me at this point, but that moment, there, where these words strike at their hearts, is not for me...

We raise a glass, then, to those who reach towards death (willingly or in an oblivion of their own making, soothing their consciences to sleep) in the search for finality or something real at the center of all experience - or, rather, all possible experiences available to their understanding. We raise a glass, then, as we would to anything on its way down, past our windows, towards a fate of its own devising.

U. Amtey
8/21/04
01:35 AM CST