Wednesday, November 16, 2005

A man for all seasons – or none?

Once I got through my long muddled youth I have aimed to be a man for all seasons, perfectly balanced: choosing the extreme middle way, poised between hope and despair. Life has been somewhat opposed to Art and intellectual curiosity has reigned. The experience of being in the world has seemed so infinitely varied, so infinitely strange that there has always seemed to be room for more questions, more speculation, more knowlegde. And life has been somewhat opposed to art: friendship and love have been celebrated, the iron structures of our limited civilization visited, lived in. All this needs energy and hope: the air is ice cold but the landscape has been breathtakingly beautiful even if full of random danger. Such exhilaration. But the iron structures can drain away the energy and hope and some moments are very dark indeed and all meaning, all shape is dissolved. This is a way to put it into language: as incomplete, as misleading as ever. As true. Other and less high words could also have been used – between these two worlds, two perspectives I have been poised in my adult life, seeing, not choosing. I hope that this balance will not be lost or that it would not turn out to be a blind alley.


helsinkian said...

What a poetic posting! It is both celebratory and melancholy in tune. I wish you good luck in maintaining your curiosity and finding the right balance between life and art. May your quest for answers continue. Hopefully some of the answers will feel meaningful enough to give you a picture of life and an exhilaration in discovering how that picture is sometimes mirrored in a sublime manner in art.

stockholm slender said...

Well, I am actually on a short sick leave at the moment. My work got the better of me: I was not able to concentrate on the things that I am expected to concentrate on. But the problem I think is far worse than any tiredness, I could not care less about the IT industry, about my teadiously trivial work. Only it is where most of my energy goes now. It does genuinely drain my mind. And that was not the plan, that was never the plan. This was vaguely supposed to be only an episode in my life - I did not take these structures very seriously, just a visit to the respectable middle class. A lark. Now I wonder, actually in a surprisingly larkinesque fashion. Maybe I have not been as unconditional, as honest as I have taken for granted to have been.

helsinkian said...

Your posting is celebratory in the sense that you acknowledge having had many great moments in the past. There will be many such moments in the future after you have recovered from your current condition. I understand your melancholy is quite pressing and the advice not to burden yourself with too much work is easier said than done.

I wish the IT industry, among others, would see people as less expendable. Very few people are in the industry they are simply in it for the money, businesses should have a higher priority in maintaining an encouraging atmosphere of creativity that is an issue of attitude also, not just how much money is invested in employees.