16 October 2012
the one thing.
Sometimes I feel good. For no reason. But not really for no reason, I guess. Maybe it's the coffee I've drunk—or the sleep I've slept—or the forgetting I've done. I forget sometimes how pointless it is. And I'm not trying to be fancy about it, or philosophical. This isn't the pointlessness of another little man poised against—what exactly? Fate? Oblivion? Uncertainty? All of the above. Every kind of metaphor for feeling insignificant or powerless. But that's not the kind of pointless I'm talking about. Not here, not now. Sure, I feel that way too—sometimes—but it's easier to put that aside. It's too big to handle all at once, so we (meaning I) just put it aside. When there's everything on earth that needs to be done, it's easier to do nothing at all, I think, than when there's only one thing. One unpleasant thing. There's no shame in giving up when the universe is against you. You're almost a fool otherwise. But when there's only one thing—that one thing presses down hard against you. Makes it feel hard to breathe—because you can't open your lungs wide enough. There's so much air you want but you can't have it. Your lungs are drying out and giving up. Well, not really. But that's how it feels when it's just you and that one thing that must be done. There's that word again: must. You'd think if anything must be done, it'd be done already. Is that what must means? That there isn't any other way around it? But there always is—and it's the space between the must and what we actually do that marks out our failures. I haven't done what I must. There's always something—yes, there's always something that must-needs-doing that hasn't yet been done. If I forget the one thing that needs to be done, then for as long as I forget, I feel good. Goodness of feeling is forgetfulness of the thing needful of being done. When everything needs to be done, nobody blames us for doing nothing because there's too much there against us. Nobody notices that we didn't do this or that particular thing because all things are uniformly undone. But when there is only one thing that has been set out against us as needing to be done then we are bound to it always. Its not being done presses down hard against us—us being me—it being the Thing. The One Thing. The one thing that I have standing against me may not be your thing but each of us has our own certain thing. There is a space between finding that certain thing and dropping dead during which me must (try to) do the thing. We must work at the thing. There's that word again: must. It seems like a long time. Between finding the thing and dropping dead, I mean, but it's really not. Well, it is a long time and it isn't. It's a long time to spend doing things others than the thing, but it's a short time for doing the actual thing, which we don't ever want to do because of that must. If it must be done, then why isn't it? Things that must be done should be as easy and thoughtless to do as breathing, which is hard to do when the one thing is pressing hard against you.