Saturday, March 17, 2007

sich zu besinnen

A series of rooms, some darkened completely, others half lit, all austere and painfully vacant. Grubby linen drapes cover smudged windows, allowing very little light to invade the dilapidated domicile. A thin layer of dust covers the sills, thresholds, and decaying hardwood floors. This is the structure of a mind. A mind just prior to thought. Your mind.

Before thought, there is little more than possibility; unanswered questions, prospects, and potential for an infinite number of courses through an infinite number of rooms. You didn’t build this house, but here you are anyway. You didn’t even choose to inhabit this house, but now you’ve no choice but to wander its well-worn floors. You wake and sleep within its confines, almost comfortable in the cloistered nature of this aging structure. You’re not required to bother yourself with upkeep, as it was designed with decay in mind. All that is required of you is that you exist until you no longer do.

But, you awaken in one room with a question on your lips, knowing that an answer may be just beyond the threshold of one of the doors leading out of the room. Perhaps you choose one door over the other because it boasts a little more light. Maybe a familiar scent carries through from another and you decide to follow it, instead. Or it’s possible you simply go forth on a hunch. Whichever your reason, you will invariably find yourself in another room faced with another choice of exits. This goes on until you are either tired, frustrated, or satisfied that you have pursued the answer to your question as far as you are able at the moment.

There is a process to thought, beginning with a question and leading into a kind of investigative wandering, resulting in a conclusion determined only by the limitations of your cognitivity. All exist within the mouldering framework of a structure you did not build or choose, a structure which itself exists without an entrance or an exit, but which contains an infinite number of each within its crumbling walls.

A synchronized decay exists, which simultaneously solidifies the relationship between you and this structure even while necessitating the continuous desperate, but vain, search for a beginning or an end, an entrance or an exit. Growing increasingly anxious by the visual effects of age on your surroundings, there is this pressing need to escape the dwelling before it falls down. More questions are asked, while the answers are kept just out of reach.

What is also cruelly kept from you, however, is your reflection and the effects of aging you, yourself, have incurred. If you could only see yourself now, within the walls of your subconscious, you would know that there is no need to worry about the impending collapse of your body or mind. No need to worry, because you are all decaying together, and will pass through the gates of oblivion hand in hand.

When the walls at last come down, you will not, even then, be afforded a glimpse of the outside, for as they cease to exist, so will you. A new house will be built by wizened hands and ancient tools upon the primeval foundation of the old, and its next occupant shall have no greater knowledge of his- or herself than you did. In your eternal ignorance, you will not be alone – and this, unfortunately, is as close to a comforting thought as you can ever get.

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