Saturday, October 1, 2016

"soma," reading and writing

Some wonderful things can be said for reading and writing, I guess, but the one that whispered in my mind this morning was that, in a small and basking way, reading and writing bring Aldous Huxley's soma to life ... as an imagined drug with no side effects that eases and pleases in a "Brave New World" where it is sometimes hard and sometimes painful to get a handle on things. Reading and writing do not of themselves lay out the authoritarian disgruntlement of a Huxley or Orwell, but ....

Reading and writing beckon and croon. They have limits and edges and the ultimate satisfaction of simply stopping when the burden becomes too great. Meanwhile, the thief gets caught, the victorious armies claim their laurels and who once was cast down may yet rise up. Between the covers of a book or at the bottom on some real or digital piece of paper, there is hiatus and respite. A form in a real world that is diaphanous and formless and ... oh hell, reading and writing limit and control and offer up an ease at the end of a long day.

A long day of what? Why, herding cats, of course.

No point in being any stupider than you have to -- might as well learn to read and write -- but it gets exhausting, pretending to know, laying on the bows and tassels of understanding ... only to find that at least one and probably a lot more cats have escaped and are currently pissing on the over-stuffed chair.

Rest ... read ... write ... and for a while, doze with an understanding that will float away shortly, but it's nice to take a break ... and, you know, "know" something instead of just pretending.


  1. I enjoy a good read, and find bad reads really piss me off. How lazy they can be? I enjoy turning a few words to my own end occasionally. But it's an effort. Writing doesn't come easily to me. I suppose i try to write the way my dad spoke, the way those i consider good writers write. How lazy can i be?

  2. Just caught up with the first US presidential debate on YouTube even though I have five freshly borrowed zen readings. I think sometimes I need to be truthful, or more truthful to myself and the world: I want to download a newer pirated game from the Call of Duty series. Downloading from bit torrent constitutes violation of the second precept.

    Reading books is wonderful, watching TV is even better. Yet, when I am a civilian and retired soldier today, it is not possible for me to understand what future soldiers may go through unless I put myself in their shoes.