Camus, Camus, I owe it to you

More often than not, the two passions of my life, writing and philosophy, seem to end up meshed together in some strange, less than coherent poetic train of thought.  And I’m not sure I want to, should, or even can avoid that.  At the urging of a voice whispering in another’s ear, I was forced to lead an expedition into the very depths of my soul, with questions instead of lights to guide me.  It is a dark place, one’s soul; it is all but forgotten from the passing of days. But I found the remnants of a campfire there; the evidence that a mind with some form of answers had traveled there before me.  I was looking for something akin to inspiration, to continue to write, for some purpose; I was looking for something to write for.  It was in that moment that cannot be measured by clocks, but rather by clever literary devices, that the furnace that had long lied cold erupted to life.  My answer had been found, you might say; Camus, Camus, I owe it to you.  You see, what I found wasn’t the conventional sort of inspiration that keeps men in office buildings or housewives from drowning their children or any sort of hope, really.  It was really more mechanical than that.  Consider it self-preservation, if you will, but it is what it is: I have to write.  I am not compelled to do so, of course, but rather, what I mean is that when I say “I”, I have someone in particular in mind; the kind of person that clicques into place in all the right times whenever I don his/her/its mask.  The person, who I feel at home to imitate. The mask that tricks even me. And the trick isn’t achieved by any lighting tricks or optical illusions, but through writing.  There is a price to pay for every action, whether mechanical or moral (in the sense of pertaining to values and more specifically choices of such), and the cost of this costume is both. It consumes me.  I do not choose flippantly to wear the right clothes to impress a girl as a poet, nor hide behind vague metaphors in order to confuse, and thereby impress men of esteemed reputation; this choice is a curse of sorts, in that the cost? It is my life, but one I gladly pay. And I pay it to no (wo)man other than myself.

But now, I am faced with a paradox of sorts.  Because I am limited by a social restraint that has become personalized: language.  I can only write by borrowing the fleet commanded by millions of others, but under my command, they are transformed subtly enough to be noticed by my eye, and only glimmering at the gaze of others.  I write for myself, or rather, for writing’s sake. I write not to educate you, or even explore my own tundra of a mind, so then why speak? Why write if the words become foreign to the mind they pledge allegiance to?  I cannot pretend to have an answer, and I cannot be sure if I need one.  Because, in essence, asking why I should write becomes simplified to “Why live?”

I only know, that, as I stand on the precipice, with the darkness consuming eternity below me, with the Absurd absorbing and ignoring my demands for satisfaction in the form of an answer, I fulfill a requirement that is so basic and fundamental that one cannot help but feel understood: that by facing the chasm and bearing the echo of silence, I continue in spite of reason, I persevere without a reason,  I know that I am human.  The cliff is a summit of my two dynamic selves: Order and Chaos; Apollo and Dionysius. Their meeting brings me comfort in knowing that now, I will not wander amongst plains of fog, in search of something I cannot describe or even recognize in order to hold; now, I am complete.

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