Wednesday, May 14, 2008


I guess that humans are just pretty complex things. Either screaming bloody everything’s into nothing, or whispering hollow nothings into everything. Perhaps we can think for a moment of humans as celestial bodies – stars, planets, asteroids, dust. “dust as dust as dust” as Sylvia Plath so eloquently and frankly writes. Perhaps our own situation in the cosmos is actually pretty rare… a number of spinning globs of matter in near perfect arrangement around our star, concentric circles, galactic ripples. Maybe this is like our version of the nuclear family, the way things settle into place and start to produce that happy illusion of inevitability, when really, we are much more akin to those chance beings – bodies in elliptical orbits – like Hailey’s comet. We perhaps only skim in and out of these temporary pools of gravity, changing and being changed by them.

I think perhaps we find ourselves surprised when entering into relationships we expect to be concentric – nuclear – to find out that actually this gravity is only a temporary affair. What felt irresistible is a force that will propel you just as far away as you were before. The same force that attracts will also eventually sling you away, so gracefully and carelessly as to feel unfathomably cruel – such simple beauty – inflicted.

What appeared to be a singular attraction is shown to be a mere miracle of gravity – the thing that so comforts, so anchors us – that calls us towards home, cosy terra-firma is actually equally a force of repulsion. The thing that draws you inwards, that we perceive to be a singular calling, is actively pushing you outwards, into the cold of the world. Excruciating beauty. A glimpse of the ocean through the trees. A siren forever wailing… Dust as dust as dust.

It is a curse that in sadness there is great joy, that in joy there is profound sadness, that in relationships you are alone, and alone are companioned with humanity. It is a curse that we have the ability and freedom to think abstract thoughts, to link things alien to one another, with nothing more than words – inadequate ciphers! It is a curse that we cannot possibly condemn this to evil, because it is this curse in which we show our greatest possibility, our greatest wealth, our proverbial philosophers stone, creation.

No divine thing, creation, entirely human. Creation from silver tongues, from honeyed lips, from lithe fingers and livid flesh, from the darkest demon filled recesses and the most fragile sun bleached realisations. Forever Sisyphus, forever happy, forever sad, lonely elliptical asteroids.

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John Ward Knox. Curriculum Vitae