Somewhere in Idaho, 2006
July 2, 2020

Spasm

A ninety-degree day in New York, bright and trashy. Is there a word for the tendency (or desire) to leave one dish unwashed, one bag unpacked, or one message unanswered? There’s an interesting line between procrastination and fear of completion. Both conditions apply to the book I’m forever writing and rewriting.

More than fifty-thousand new cases of coronavirus today as America prepares to celebrate the Fourth of July. Tonight I sat in front of a fan while premature firecrackers echoed through the streets. I wondered how to live in a nation that’s circling the drain. Thinking I might find comfort in philosophy, I thumbed through some old books. Here’s William James writing in The Varieties of Religious Experience: “The lunatic’s visions of horror are all drawn from the material of daily fact. Our civilization is founded on the shambles, and every individual existence goes out in a lonely spasm of helpless agony.”

Bertrand Russell kicks it up a notch in The Future of Man: “Although the last survivor may proclaim himself universal Emperor, his reign will be brief and his subjects will all be corpses. With his death the uneasy episode of life will end, and the peaceful rocks will revolve unchanged until the sun explodes.”

That’s enough philosophy for tonight.


Union Jack – There Will Be No Armageddon

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Each night in 2020 I'm writing a short post for a series called Notes From the End of a World because I want to etch these days into my memory before I forget them. Before the world changes completely.
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