Scary harlequin mask, but it's not meant to be. Inexplicably creepy as they are, I find masks are a fun way to practice non-existence. Why is it fun to wear a mask? I don't know. Why do babies laugh? Why do waves rise and fall? Mystery seems as much an integral part of this material world as carbon-14. So it goes.
Just when I think I want peace in my heart, I remember that peace, that fleeting thing, has never been as helpful or faithful a friend as my preternatural disquiet, which is a useful thing that keeps me looking, going, doing. I suppose I need a carrot, and that carrot I'll call inner peace. But let me say for the record that I find the whole concept fairly suspect. In short, peace looks a lot like laziness, at best, and, at worst, soul-death.
I'm not talking about "world peace" or general non-violence. I'm talking about that narcotized, sedated tranquility that comes with religious submission, heavy duty narcotics, or other escapisms. When I was a kid, I was taught that every man has a God-shaped hole in his heart, until he fills it up with Jesus - which is to say that he fills it up with ideas about sin, redemption, and the image of a peculiar avatar known as J.C. There are many religious and non-religious people in this world. But how many truly, existentially peaceful people are there?
Of course I'm not saying I welcome strife. As I said, I need the carrot too. But being me, I think I can say with some authority that I probably won't ever have any kind of enduring inner-peace. I'll always be dissatisfied with something, and working on some ephemeral project right up until the end. If "peace" means that you accept mundane forms of happiness, I can live with that. But if it means high transcendence or the ability to rise above pain, as I said, I think it's not really for me. I like life.
Why this musing today? Because I finally got around to watching The Hours and because Janelle's way into the hip Edna St. Vincent Millay bio Savage Beauty. Because I just read William Styron's short story "Love Day" and the fact that Styron existed and wrestled and wrote some of it down has made me introspective, same time happy. Because Janelle's out working hard and Eleanor is trying her damnedest to stand on her own two feet while Stella eats grass and dutifully vomits in the front yard...these things make me proud. We're all moving along. Because it's business as usual in the animal kingdom. And the sun is out.