Diapsalmata done read
by Andrea Elizabeth
Oh, the blissful recollection of this section, and the next, pregnant with possibility!
But what’s the point if you don’t fondly remember and eagerly anticipate? Give it away! Give it away, you say? Yes, give it away.
But I can’t help but glance at it. I need to know it’s there.
“Wine no longer cheers my heart; a little of it makes me sad – much, depressed. My soul is dull and slack; in vain do I jab the spur of desire into its side; it is exhausted, it can no longer raise itself up in its royal jump. I have lost all my illusions. In vain do I seek to abandon myself in joy’s infinitude; it cannot lift me, or, rather, I cannot lift myself. Previously, when it merely beckoned, I mounted, light, hearty, and cheerful. When I rode slowly through the forest, it seemed as if I were flying. Now, when the horse is covered with lather and is almost ready to drop, it seems to me that I do not move from the spot. I am alone, as I have always been – forsaken not by men, that would not pain me, but by the happy jinn of joy, who trooped around me in great numbers, who met acquaintances everywhere, showed me an opportunity everywhere. Just as an intoxicated man collects a wanton throng of young people around him, so they flocked about me, the elves of joy, and my smile was meant for them. My soul has lost possibility. If I were to wish for something, I would wish not for wealth or power but for the passion of possibility, for the eye, eternally young, eternally ardent, that sees possibility everywhere. Pleasure disappoints; possibility does not. And what wine is so sparkling, so fragrant, so intoxicating!
[…] Salmon is in itself very delicious eating, but too much of it is bad for the health, inasmuch as it is a heavy food. For this reason, once when there was a great catch of salmon, the police in Hamburg ordered each master of a household to give his servants salmon not more than once a week. Would that there might be a similar police notice with regard to sentimentality.
My sorrow is my baronial castle, which likes like an eagle’s nest high up on the mountain peak among the clouds. No one can take it by storm. From it I swoop down into actuality and snatch my prey, but I do not stay down there. I bring my booty home, and this booty is a picture I weave into the tapestries at my castle. Then I live as one already dead. Everything I have experienced I immerse in a baptism of oblivion unto an eternity of recollection. Everything temporal and fortuitous is forgotten and blotted out. Then I sit like an old gray-haired man, pensive, and explain the pictures in a soft voice, almost whispering, and beside me sits a child, listening, although he remembers everything before I tell it.” (p. 42 of Either/Or by Soren Kierkegaard, [oh it is] edited and translated by Howard V. Hong and Edna H. Hong, Princeton University Press)
My thoughts alongside: Aestheticism is the psychological life, and the ethical is the life of action? Actuality is the elusive, slippery liquid that disappoints because if you could contain it, it would become stagnant. Faith has a different object. But faith doesn’t annihilate any of them – that would be dualistic.
Once you dam a river you have to get a jet-ski because otherwise movement has stopped. Put more succinctly. Dam ergo jet-skis.
That could be an argument against the Orthodox by the Catholics, who think we are stuck in a point in time, most documented in the 4th Century. I would say that point in time provides a portal, and that anything added to it blocks it up.