All things considered, it seems quite appropriate that Elvis shook off this mortal coil while his ever-expanding ass was parked upon the commode.
I hope that’s where I meet my end, too. Such an ignominious farewell is exactly what I deserve after half a century of horrible eating habits. A few years ago, while I was clawing my way through the vast works of Alan Watts, I came across an essay he had written about proper food preparation and enjoyment. He treated this subject with just as much reverence and significance as he ever did Zen Buddhism and the erudite skewering of monotheism. I hate to admit it, but he made a lot of sense. Food is life and my lazy disinterest in its origins, preparation and appreciation might say something about my relative lack of interest in life itself. Palettes just don’t come as unrefined as the one I’ve used and abused for almost 50 years.
It may also be related to my lack of a passionate counterpoint to those who take issue with my stated theories. What you interpret as niceness is much closer to ambivalence. As I indicated several times on my recent blog of perpetual silliness, perpetual silliness is one of the few things I still value. I enjoyed putting intellectualism to bed for a while and just letting loose with laughable nonsense far more than I ever enjoyed attempting to influence people’s views along philosophical, spiritual or political lines. In other words, it was attempting to make a very significant point and that point was that I no longer consider myself to be someone in possession of a worthwhile point. What’s left after that? These little bite-sized moments of philosophizing that you’ve afforded me here are more than enough to satisfy what residual curiosity I have left.
Everyone talks shit — all day, every day. That includes such luminaries as Nietzsche and Einstein and Freud and Gandhi. They all talked shit — all day, every day. Those who talk, talk shit.
Thus, a shrug of the shoulders is my new silent mantra.
That’s how I see it. Others who have known me for a while interpret it quite differently. They’ve told me so. I think these deliciously despondent lyrics about lost talent and lost passion from the late, great Neil Peart perfectly illustrate the unnecessarily melodramatic view of what’s happening to Mudge at (almost) 50:
The dancer slows her frantic pace in pain and desperation,
Her aching limbs and downcast face aglow with perspiration.
Stiff as wire, her lungs on fire with just the briefest pause —
The flooding through her memory, the echoes of old applause
She limps across the floor and closes her bedroom door.
The writer stares with glassy eyes, defies the empty page,
His beard is white, his face is lined and streaked with tears of rage.
Thirty years ago, how the words would flow with passion and precision,
But now his mind is dark and dulled by sickness and indecision.
And he stares out the kitchen door where the sun will rise no more.
Some are born to move the world, to live their fantasies,
but most of us just dream about the things we’d like to be
Sadder still to watch it die than never to have known it —
For you, the blind who once could see, the bell tolls for thee.
Heart-wrenching stuff, but I can’t really relate. In order to fall from grace, one must once have been in a state of grace and I’m not even sure what that would mean.
So here’s my closing query for you: does engaging in philosophy and linguistic erudition still give you a sense of pride or accomplishment? And if your answer is anything shy of a resounding “yes!”, do you find the composition of fiction to be a way to still scratch an itch, as it were, without getting bogged down in argumentative semantics?
Unwashed & Somewhat Slightly Dazed,