Pure signal.

Shut Up.

Shut up. I keep forgetting. Life reminds me every day, and I keep forgetting it still, and letting myself be put out by some little imbalance or awkwardness or mood. In terms of flashes of insight, that is really the major one — that is the one that I just don’t want to lose site of — because it is so important not to forget — and I take it for granted so much of the time. Listen to this oatmeal which passes for my speech. This ridiculous assertive grunting. And I know that there is just no way to be adequately grateful for the things I have, and I forgive myself to some degree for being unable to be conscious of all the little things that go right. And a reasonable compromise (it seems) would be to just not complain — to never be put upon by anything.

But I still do — no matter how many times I come back to that insight, I still forget it again and I find myself whining about some fucking thing. It is a joke to even suggest something like “I would like to live my life as a response to possessing this astounding possibility of being alive.” I am tempted to say something like that — and during times when words mean very little to me — when I am making sounds without much meaning — when I am making sounds– that is a sound I find myself making. But even to be conscious of being 10 trillion cells, living in harmony with my 90 trillion immediate neighbors (or enough harmony that my face isn’t dissolving, my digestion is basically working — my skin, mouth and throat are coated with my normal flora). But even to say that is affected — as if I was capturing some degree of the wonder with such words — normal flora — biology– to be aware of the sound in my ears, of the sounds my mouth makes when I speak. To be aware of how the colors move in my eyes when I stand up or sit down.

To be conscious — what a ridiculously vain idea — and to superimpose on that the even more absurdly impossible concept of being grateful. Let’s put aside the asinine conceits of religion for a moment here. Just simple monkey gratitude, OK? I mean — to be grateful as a dumb monkey (like I am) who knows not whither I came nor where I am going. Sure — we smile at one another and say “Thank you.” Or “I am grateful for the opportunity to…” whatever. But that is a convention — one more thing that we inherit as a result of being this kind of monkey, of being in this monkey society. We say it like we are in control of our own existence — and I don’t mean that like a “Seven Habits of Highly Successful People” kind of control — just the idea that I am not, right now, flying into pieces. That I am somehow responsible for the coherence of my own chemistry, the idea that I can take responsibility for the fact that all my electrons wind appropriately around their cloudy pathless paths. The absurdity of this word “I” – as if I had anything to do with it at all.

So please — no — do not offend the empty space which you occupy by saying “I” anything — especially not “I am grateful” — with it’s presumption of knowledge of what you have to be grateful for — not while taking for granted that such space is yours. That somehow you occupy it by right, as the result of some decision. Don’t say that. Just because it wouldn’t be true. Do I want to add lying on top of all the rest of it? So just restraint — just this — such a simple human thing, something completely reasonable and within my capacity — when in addition to having forgotten everything else I am so lacking in self awareness as to think that there is something wrong, to think that there is something that I need someone to give me or to do for me, just to remember to shut my mouth, to shut my mouth, to still my thought, and in the place where my pathetic presumptuous and childish demand would be to instead notice that generous graceful and genuine moment of silence.


April 5, 2008 - Posted by | People who fucking Suck


  1. Lovely prose.

    Touches wonderfully on what it is simply to be. Or rather, the desire to simply be, to attempt accepting the conscious state without question. In silence.

    But it is a fundamental trait of thinking humans… questioning:

    Those thoughts, flit, like a butterfly: Why am I? What do I want? Why do I want? Should I desist wanting and simply be content to be aware? Because contentment is simply happiness with the situation as it is in the here and now. But how many of us are really content? How many of us, even in the attempted silence of contemplation, of meditation, still hear that butterfly of thought flitting around going ‘why?’… going, ‘I want.. what do I want?’ And in wanting, and desiring: we are not grateful; we are not silent.

    Because, I think in the end, none of us are really sure what we want. Or even why we want. And it fills us with questions, and desire, and noise: emoting… constantly emoting…

    Comment by Jill | April 5, 2008 | Reply

  2. yup.

    Comment by Anonymous | April 5, 2008 | Reply

  3. I will not shut up and you won’t wither. Why should we?

    Comment by veronicaromm | August 8, 2008 | Reply

  4. “Why should we?” I tried to make that clear in the post. 🙂

    Comment by bootslack | August 16, 2008 | Reply

  5. This has been my favorite post.
    I feel this all the time and if i’m capable of reminding myself, perhaps getting this paraphrased then place it on the back of my hand in the form of a tatoo, I can continue to stay content. Instead of this ugly, “Happy!” to “walking in traffic seems like a logical thing to do right now” roller coaster.

    Thanks for this post.

    Comment by skio | December 22, 2009 | Reply

  6. Couldn’t have said it better myself. That is absolutely beautiful. I can try to be content and not question but then I become as ignorant as the next person. Why should I shut my mouth when others won’t? I won’t. Thank you for this.

    Comment by juzplayen | February 14, 2010 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: