now i lead a false life, an apocryphal, clandestine, invisible life, though truer than if it were real, but i was still me when i met rodney falk. — javier cercas, the speed of light, 3
i know that when i start spending interminable nights with john mcclane, dancing and jiggling to all manner of ridiculous music at 4am, gorging on whatever scraps of food i can find in my house in the early hours of the morning, lying sleepless with eyes wide open and body flailing until 7am; i am very much aware that when all this starts to happen, when it becomes a daily routine, it is the foreboding of something bad. it is myself telling myself that something needs to give. it is, as it were, the harbinger of failure. which i cannot afford at the moment.
for the past couple of weeks i have thought of myself as unusually cheerful. the sun has been shining – what little i have seen of it, in any case – and i have been active. but in reality, i have only been nocturnal. my activity has mostly consisted in pointless nighttime meanderings. i have been dancing and singing, indulging in unreality. i have been wistfully thinking about other places, other times, and other people, as if thinking would magically transport me away from my current locale in place and time and whisk me to some brighter spot in the past, or future.
i need to re-embed myself in the present, re-focus on the here and now, re-center myself in my life, instead of tottering aimlessly back and forth, tracing indecipherable patterns, like a decapitated chicken running wild in a field of shit. i need to stop running.
sorry folks, this post was just really for me. to hold myself accountable to myself, by making it public.
i’ve thought in fact that this book in some fundamental way is all about sleeplessness, all about the silence of wakefulness and, in my case, the need for conscious recollection and articulation that have been a substitute for sleep. [….]
to me, nothing more painful and paradoxically sought after characterizes my life than the many displacements from countries, cities, abodes, languages, environments that have kept me in motion all these years. — edward w. said, out of place, 217
the power of memory is prodigious… it is a vast, immeasurable sanctuary. who can plumb its depths? and yet it is a faculty of my soul. although it is part of my nature, i cannot understand all that i am. this means, then, that the mind is too narrow to contain itself entirely. but where is that part of it which it does not itself contain? is it somewhere outside itself and not within it? how then, can it be part of it, if it is not contained in it? — st. augustine, confessions, book 10, chapter 8 (my italics)