synthetic zero


January 29, 2006

It is tempting to let my weblog end with the last entry, since that would be so apropos... but no, I write again. Just got back from Sundance ... which I enjoyed immensely. I know, it's hype, too Hollywood, not as hip as it was ten minutes ago, blah blah blah --- but it was still exciting and fun to go to a bunch of films, many of which may never be released. I found myself waking up at 7am, wide awake, ready to take a cab from my hotel to my first film of the day ... somehow the whole process of waiting in line to get in, etc., was strangely thrilling.

January 6, 2006

I was walking down 10th street in the East Village thinking about how alive, potent, and strong I felt at that moment, how I felt my life extending forward in time with intensity, an energy that extended out all around me, and yet --- that well-being could be destroyed in an instant --- my life could get cut short at any moment, by a stray bullet, a drunk driver, cancer, whatever. It occurred to me that all aliveness is (must be) surrounded by death, it is defined by it; the sweetness of living breath can only exist with, in fact it is shaped by, the context of death. If there were no possible death, there would be no change, no evolution, no awareness; all that we think of as good, beautiful, tremendous, depends on death, on the canopy of death surrounding us as a faint probability at any instant (a faint probability which can grow full size at any moment). We walk forward in a balloon of probability --- mostly alive, but fragments of our possible futures cut off, falling to the side, freak accidents, disease, etc., stopping us at any moment --- yet it is this very fact that enables us to be strong, healthy, to feel that surge of power and breath that feels so sustaining and exhilirating. In some universe I am dead one second from now... but not this one.

Just as I had been thinking this for a few moments, I looked up and saw a man sitting on a stoop reading a book. The title? I am absolutely serious: Death at Every Stop.