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Sea of Green - De File — LiveJournal
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
Sea of Green
I can't say I feel relieved or satisfied; just the opposite, I am crushed. Only my goal is reached: I know what I wanted to know; I have understood all that has happened to me since January. The Nausea has not left me and I don't believe it will leave me so soon; but I no longer have to bear it, it is no longer an illness or a passing fit: it is I. So I was in the park just now. The roots of the chestnut tree were sunk in the ground just under my bench. I couldn't remember it was a root any more. The words had vanished and with them the significance of things, their methods of use, and the feeble points of reference which men have traced on their surface. I was sitting, stooping forward, head bowed, alone in front of this black, knotty mass, entirely beastly, which frightened me. Then I had this vision. It left me breathless. Never, until these last few days, had I understood the meaning of "existence." I was like the others, like the ones walking along the seashore, all dressed in their spring finery. I said, like them, "The ocean is green; that white speck up there is a seagull," but I didn't feel that it existed or that the seagull was an "existing seagull"; usually existence hides itself. It is there, around us, in us, it is us, you can't say two words without mentioning it, but you can never touch it. When I believed I was thinking about it, I must believe that I was thinking nothing, my head was empty, or there was just one word in my head, the word "to be." Or else I was thinking . . . how can I explain it? I was thinking of belonging, I was telling myself that the sea belonged to the class of green objects, or that the green was a part of the quality of the sea. Even when I looked at things, I was miles from dreaming that they existed: they looked like scenery to me.

I picked them up in my hands, they served me as tools, I foresaw their resistance. But that all happened on the surface. If anyone had asked me what existence was, I would have answered, in good faith, that it was nothing, simply an empty form which was added to external things without changing anything in their nature. And then all of a sudden, there it was, clear as day: existence had suddenly unveiled itself. It had lost the harmless look of an abstract category: it was the very paste of things, this root was kneaded into existence. Or rather the root, the park gates, the bench, the sparse grass, all that had vanished: the diversity of things, their individuality, were only an appearance, a veneer. This veneer had melted, leaving soft, monstrous masses, all in disorder—naked, in a frightful, obscene nakedness.

Tags: , , ,
Current Location: 85704
Muse: Nausea - X - Los Angeles & Wild Gift

12 comments or Leave a comment
siyeh From: siyeh Date: June 24th, 2008 05:33 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Not much to say other than I am reading and thinking about you.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: June 27th, 2008 04:53 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
And that means more than anything else you could write, although I was actually in a pretty good mood when I posted this.
quuf From: quuf Date: June 24th, 2008 06:56 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
The graphic is perfect. I wonder what JPS would have made of it.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: June 27th, 2008 04:53 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I like to think he would have gotten the joke. But you never know about the French!

Nice to hear from you, BTW.
_luaineach From: _luaineach Date: June 24th, 2008 10:24 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
the diversity of things, their individuality, were only an appearance, a veneer.

_luaineach From: _luaineach Date: June 25th, 2008 04:54 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
And I'm back to say the graphic with this keeps making me giggle at stray moments. I am not a Sartre fan, but I *would* be if all his stuff was illustrate thusly. It adds the exact dreamy sort of zen state that he misses entirely for me! ;)
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: June 27th, 2008 04:55 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
There is something strangely compelling about the way the man is tossing that ball in the air, though the prospect of a golfing vacation in Iowa still alarms me mightily.
_luaineach From: _luaineach Date: June 27th, 2008 04:59 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I'm in love with the italics on "game".. it's not here your game is ... or here your game is ... but here your game is ...

leading me to believe that everything not part of my game is something entirely different. There's some sort of secret message here, if I could but puzzle it out!
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: June 27th, 2008 04:53 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Like the people you see at the mall!

_luaineach From: _luaineach Date: June 27th, 2008 05:01 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)



But the conceit in existentialism -- at least how I see it -- is forgetting that this applies not just to the viewee but to the viewer as well.
celebrian_3 From: celebrian_3 Date: June 24th, 2008 10:37 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
ah. ::sigh:: i see but don't see. i understand, but don't know it like that. maybe someday.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: June 27th, 2008 04:54 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
The secret is to play a lot of golf where you can't see people of color acting uppity. . .
12 comments or Leave a comment