Saturday XXXIII: Tohu Vabohu • 1 December 2007

Him: How was practice this morning?
Me (matter of fact): The best of my entire life.
Him (blasé): That’s what you said yesterday.
Me: (shrug)
Him: And the day before that.

But actually, SS Saturday is quickly becoming the best of all. Yeah. Luxury, joy and beauty. I know there are those of you who do not approve. But excuse me: I live an extremely orderly life. Did you notice? O-R-D-E-R-L-Y L-I-F-E. Grant me my study in spontaneity.

Just so you don’t think me all sunshine, let me say that I am horrified that it is nigh on December. I am talking dark, existential, dread-laden horror. Time is satan. Dark and fleeting. Nothing happens, and then you’re old. You feel like the past is more real than today, the present is happening without even pausing to let you realize it and the future is going to crush you. Kill you slow and grind you to dust. It’s going to rush in and steal what you think you have as soon as it possibly can.

You feel like time is some human invention gone horribly wrong and all it has to offer you is darkness and dread. At least this is how you feel if you are me. I wonder if this is a basic existential condition… or a dissertation condition?

The only way to leaven it is to love what is. Love it like crazy because the dread makes you love. Sometimes looking into the existential maw, embracing the void, is the shortest route to living in the now. Lightly. XO


● Naked Indian bodies, manual labor, molten metal, and one terrible colonial product supply chain. I hesitate to link to Shakti Industries, because this stuff is just asking you to get off and there should be a question of why this is so aesthetically absorbing. But it’s a good story, and the slideshow will definitely make you respond.

● So, Sally Kempton. Dive-bombing the Esquire readership with feminist manifestoes in her 20s, dressing down a young Hefner on TV, and generally being smart smart smart and sexy in New York in the days of the new left. Then she accidentally has a peak experience in her living room or something. Shit. Meets Muktananda, goes east, disappears for a long time. Comes back integral and starts talking. Not about turning away from leftism, but about expanding it so it’ll actually work. Here she is in conversation with Ken Wilber about the oldschool hostility to any kind of interiority (even psychoanalysis) as somehow inimical to social change, about problems in the Dawkins-Hitchens agenda, about philosophical maturations that need to happen in order for the left to get itself out of its little old box. And with hints (in my interpretation) toward a spirituality that’s concrete—that’s not just about occasional altered states, but is practical and daily and not split off as woo-woo. (More.) 

● The wonderful thing Morgan Spurlock is doing has pretty well made the rounds by now. This is even nicer: Christians themselves calling out the greedy affluence, the grasping, and the nauseating amount of crap that will weigh down my own holiday this year in the heart of WWJB land. If you haven’t seen rich suburban American Christians, there’s a level of obsessive consumption disorder you’ll never understand. Lucky.

● You know the science writer Natalie Angier? Nice. Here she is elaborating two answers to the question: Why do we make art? There’s the sex answer—individuals create things to display what they have to offer genetically and to garner attention (this kind of evolutionary reduction is in these days… yawn)—and the communal answer. She loves the latter enough to put it beautifully. I like the hue this gives to the auteur-focused conversations we had here this week.