28 October, 2002

Thoughts On Thoughts...

Today, I discovered Milton.

I'd never read Paradise Lost before today, but this morning I read a great deal of it, and I must say that I am quite impressed. Milton is definitely my kind of poet, though I'll admit his choice of subject matter in Paradise Lost wasn't entirely appealing to me. Still, it is good to know that there does exist out there a particular style that I love, though the man who actually wrote in that style was too religious for my tastes.

Just the first sentence alone was enough to draw me into his work... Never has any poem ever affected me as this one has in but its first two sentences:
Of Mans First Disobedience, and the Fruit
Of that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal tast
Brought Death into the World, and all our woe,
With loss of EDEN, till one greater Man
Restore us, and regain the blissful Seat,
Sing Heav'nly Muse, that on the secret top
Of OREB, or of SINAI, didst inspire
That Shepherd, who first taught the chosen Seed,
In the Beginning how the Heav'ns and Earth
Rose out of CHAOS: Or if SION Hill
Delight thee more, and SILOA'S Brook that flow'd
Fast by the Oracle of God; I thence
Invoke thy aid to my adventrous Song,
That with no middle flight intends to soar
Above th' AONIAN Mount, while it pursues
Things unattempted yet in Prose or Rhime.
And chiefly Thou O Spirit, that dost prefer
Before all Temples th' upright heart and pure,
Instruct me, for Thou know'st; Thou from the first
Wast present, and with mighty wings outspread
Dove-like satst brooding on the vast Abyss
And mad'st it pregnant: What in me is dark
Illumine, what is low raise and support;
That to the highth of this great Argument
I may assert th' Eternal Providence,
And justifie the wayes of God to men.

He writes so eloquently that it doesn't even matter that the subject of which he writes is so uninteresting...
He is the Toohey to my Catherine.
You know what scares me the most? It's not anything in specific, but just the concept that I am capable of fear in the first place. For example, when I argue, I argue with myself; yet when I talk aloud, I am directing my thoughts to an imaginary person of whom is in fact very much real, though that reality is copiously obscured because I never see the reality, just the idealized fiction inside my own head. If you'll allow me a simple tangent, I'll quikly prove a slight point: just the other day I received communication from the reality, and not the illusion, and my emotion from it was nonexistent. It was not the fear of the person, but rather the fear of the idea that was important; by relegating the idea to mere reality, the scope of the fear was greatly reduced.
I wonder... Were my dreams to become reality, would I cry less? It is an interesting thought, though not terribly productive, since reality can never conform to what I wish it would be.
Jimmy thought it strange when I remarked upon concrete the other day to him. Though I was being completely serious, he mocked my efforts, not from absence of thought, but from absence of significance. He is enjoyable to be around though, as he is more knowledgable than me in Chemistry class, and I respect that. I cannot but help respect those that exceed myself.
That is the only true problem I have with Rand. For some reason, she portrays Keating as not understanding Roark. I feel this to be a fallacy in the extreme, as Keating, of all people, should understand Roark best. Rand does admit a few points where Keating notices it: most obviously in the scene where Katie is flustered and Keating recognizes the significance of Toohey's shadow; the scene where Keating asks Roark for help; the scene where Keating hears Toohey's speech; etc. But Rand does not build on these scenes; she leaves them open for speculation. And so here I am, speculating.
I tried talking to Mary about it the other day, but m words fell on deaf ears. It seems that no matter whom I speak to, my words fall on deaf ears. Sure, some people leave notes on this or that, and some people even e-mail about the stuff I put up online, but no one ever talks to me. Not in reality.
It wouldn't bother me so much, except that the fictional person I always talk to is gone; or, not gone, perhaps instead I should say that the fictional person I used to talk to isn't listening anymore. And that leaves me very lonely indeed. More so, in fact, than I was previously, for then I at least had the option of talking whilst alone.
Michael expressed disbelief when I at first told him that I spoke to the statue in Cooper Riverside Park. Even when it looked as though he had accepted that I was telling him the truth in this matter, he still could not help but feel inwardly that it could not possibly be true.
I mean, I'm Eric. Eric may be a lot of things, but one thing he is not is out of his mind looney, right?
Or so they think. 

Today, I was reminded of Paul. The week that Liar, Liar came out, Paul died in a car accident. I found out about it at school, and it devastated me. He wasn't my best friend, but I was pretty close to him. We were in the band together, and he was one of the few people that truly showed any interest in my kinds of things back then. When he died, I went into a daze, not really knowing or listening to what was going on around me.

I stayed in classes all day on that Monday, though I remember nothing of it -- all I can remember is learning about his car accident that morning when I got off the bus, and the next thing I knew it was time to go home.

My mother picked me up that day because I didn't want to ride the bus. One of my other friends stayed with me while I waited for my mother that afternoon. He knew I was upset, though I wasn't crying. I was in a daze, and it just wouldn't go away.

When my mother got there, my friend gave her the idea that maybe we should go see a movie; I guess he thought it might calm my nerves. My mother agreed, and so we went to see Liar, Liar.

When we got to the movie, I didn't laugh. Nothing seemed funny now that my friend was gone. But fifteen minutes into the movie, I couldn't help but start to smile. By the time the movie ended, I was laughing out loud.

Don't get me wrong; I was still sad that my friend was dead, and it took many weeks before I felt okay about his death. But Liar, Liar helped me a lot on the day that I heard the news. It made me realize that life goes on.

Now, years later, when I watch Liar, Liar, I don't think it is really all that funny. It's funny, but not overly so. I'm not sure why I laughed the way I did when I first saw the movie. But I do know that I'm glad it did.

But the real question is why did it make me laugh? What about that movie helped me during this moment of grief?

When I remember Paul, it hurts me. Not so much because of Paul anymore (it has been years and years since I got over his death), but because of the fact that when Paul died, I was hurt.

The question I'm trying to hit upon here is why was I hurt?

I'm sure that when I ask that question aloud I'm probably turning a few heads. Perhaps most of you out there are even thinking that it is dumb for me to even think of this question. But that's the problem with logic. You can't not question; if it is questionable, then you must question it, otherwise you are not employing logic.

So why did it hurt? I honestly don't know. Furthermore, I find it questionable to even act as if I could know.

Why was Roark never bothered? Why was it that nothing phased him, not even when he had to work in sub-par conditions, not even when Cameron had to shut down, not even when Dominique stopped him from achieving his goals? Why was it that he was never bothered? And yet! Look when he had his chance for the very first time; why was it that then and only then did he feel, I mean truly feel what he said and did? Why then?

Roark is no Jesus. But that doesn't make him any less saintly.

Do you recall, I wonder, the first time you had a thought? 'Of course not', you answer cursorily, yet have you answered too quickly? Have you not even given it some thought before answering?

And now, now that you've given it thought and you still say 'No, there's no way I could remember that far back', now do you still accept as truth what has been given you? Have you not simply pretended to think it through and instead of giving it true thought are acting as though you thought about the question I asked of you?

I remember my first thought.

Now don't get me wrong; I do not remember events from when I was truly young, but none of that matters. If I cannot now recall the thought, then it wasn't a fully formed thought in the first place, correct?

I had my first thought while in bed. I was at the least over seven years of age, though it is more likely I was around ten or eleven. I had just finished a book and I had laid down in my bed pondering upon the possibilities of said book. I can remember being sleepy, but not yet willing to sleep until I had finished this one single thought. And so I thought with previously unheard of ferocity as I laid in that bed... There were stickers on the wall, glow-in-the-dark stickers that resembled stars and moons and planets and rocket ships... And I thought... I recall a blue bedsheet, upon which there were designs of some kind, yet it mattered not; I lay thinking still... There was a bank in the shape of a Mr. T head on the dresser, and a small figurine depicting the purple dragon from Epcot sitting next to it. And still I thought...

Until... Until I reached my conclusion.

I could tell you what I thought then, but would it matter? All that matters is that I thought; all else is secondary. It is that aspect of thinking that is important and nothing else.


I wonder how many people actually read through all this... And I wonder how many are actually going to respond to it...


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