2009-02-06 - 12:20 p.m.
So I'm reading this book about the end of the world, or what happens when humans are gone, what the sidewalks will do (crack overnight), how long nuclear waste will be nasty (for a long time). It's interesting like Nova on PBS is interesting. And the author's talking about warnings we've posted around buried dumps out in the desert, for some of this nuclear waste, and he casually mentions how most languages are unreadable to even those same speakers after 500 or 600 years, and so these warnings in English and French and Spanish won't do much good in two thousand years. And of course he's right. Shakespeare's tough, and he was four centuries ago. I'm reading Moby Dick now, which is tough at times, and it's only 150 years old. I think this made me sad mostly because I've always liked to think of writing, of recording something with words, as the closest we or I can get to some kind of permanence. Part of me knows that's silly because of course statues and Mount Rushmore would last longer and even they will get burned up one day when the sun explodes or when the world collapses in on itself. I suppose the guts of the words are what's permanent, as long as there are ears to hear them.
I was reading Joan Didion's essay "The White Album" last night, an essay I've read maybe twice before but not for five years now, and it struck me as totally new this time. Before, I'd read it, and I'd thought, that's a smart lady, an astute observer of California circa 1970. But last night, all I could see was how painfully raw she was, one open nerve, a sad and smart woman looking for something true but also looking for a balm, a salve. I felt sorry for her, wanted to hug her tiny frame.
Beyond Joan Didion, and beyond maybe words, even, I'm beginning to realize that I had my heart broken, sort of, about a year ago. It was at least partly my own doing. If I get the balls to do it, I'll write about it, at some point. I try to forget about it but that only works most of the time. I think maybe I'm just the kind of guy who's susceptible to this brand of heartbreak.
In the meantime, a weekend, and some words that might feel good coming out, and a movie and some beer with friends, and maybe a dream or a nap that say, you're not so bad.0 comments so far