April 08, 2004

In having started this -- what do I name it anyway? -- what obligation do I have to you, o hypothetical reader?

To my eyes, within this isolated format: none.

I write to communicate with others, but I don't write for others. I have no spiel, good or otherwise, that I must evangelise. I have no determined need to seize another by the shoulders and force them to look at me and verify my own existence by that looking. I don't see the point in identifying and railing against all those parts of personal environment which might not have fitted absolutely into my isolated image on this or any other day. I have only a wish in me to say some part of what I see, insofar as it might have some life relevance, insofar as it can be translated into words at all.

What obligation exists is to my self and (if there is any differentiation) to that which drives me. Once I start writing specifically for another person, I begin performing for that other: and then I no longer listen to what you are saying, only to what part of it applies to what you wish to see in me; and then I no longer communicate whatever it was I might have found of sufficient value to speak aloud, only what I think you might wish to hear.

Whatever else, these writings are not that.

Of all the things into which I have been labelled over the years, catering to an audience is not among them. No more is making allowances for cruel actions taken by friends beyond what I would make for complete strangers unfamiliar with the local mores. (Common definitions of friendship seem to carry with them an implied blind loyalty of alliance, and that I cannot give.) No more is stepping fully into a society, with all its associated benefits and obligations and equally blind loyalty of alliance: I am fringe, or outsider, or guest, never more. Perhaps I have never learned how to be more. The one time I allowed a social structure to shape itself around me, the tree stepped away, and the vine collapsed.

At that, in its determined self-opposition, self-dynamic tension, it was more solid than much of what I see today which does not define itself in primary shades of insularity. Groups of people, previously unified in willingness to examine in greater intensity, now consciously avoiding anything which might be perceived to divide -- and of late, that seems to include avoidance of anything beyond the surface casual.

Me: I cannot. To live is to be part of environment -- all environment. Life is not all seeking of mutual entertainment and entertainment at the expense of others. Were I to attempt to avoid half of environment in seeking out only the pleasant parts of life, I would be choosing a deliberate half-life, half-alive in a conscious self-burial.

Coffins come soon enough without my deliberately seeking them out!

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