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All I am, all I have, all I can do
Every thinker seeks an apocalypsis. A disclosure. A revelation. A rupture to a veil. To subvert what seeks to separates us, from mystery, from each other, from ourselves.
"The immediate task of philosophy,” says Karl Marx, “is to unmask human self-alienation in its unholy shape". To uncover the points of severance and disconnect. To find the gaps forced between things. To show how and where they meet.
I'm not particularly interested in philosophizing. That's above my capacities. I just write things. That's all I have. All I am. All I can do.
I fumble through a clumsy dance of words. Off rhythm. Off beat. An awkward gait looking for grace. Trying to unmask who I am. To reveal a covered truth. A truth about myself to myself, and then I start again.
Joan Didion says that "I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear." To display what I conceal. The parts of me I haven’t seen. That’s all I have. All I am. All I can do.
Sometimes I set too high a standard for myself. I push for too much, too fast, too soon. Exacting expectations without compassion, without courtesy, without excuse. Nick Cave says that “you only need ten songs, ten beautiful and breath-taking accidents to make up a record.” I only need a few good words. A few soul-filled mistakes. Not perfect. Not intricate, or absolute. Just something meaningful. Something honest. Something true. That’s all I have. All I am. All I can do.
E.M. Cioran says that there is "No need to elaborate works—merely say something that can be murmured in the ear of a drunkard or a dying man." That's all I am. An inebriate soothing a hurt, filling a void, and dying slowly. That’s all I have. All I can do. That is the art, the mystery, the unveiling given a name. A moment of clarity. An intervention. Often, only for me.
All I am is a writer. All I have are words. Writing is all I can do. One task. One pledge.
A writer has "only one duty,” Zadie Smith says, “the duty to express accurately their way of being in the world." I’m not a philosopher, not a scholar, not a sage. My job is sweat and toil. My responsibility is to dig. To unearth the source of my own isolation. To unbury a better way of being in the world. A better way of being here. A better means of being all I am, all I have, and all I can do.
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