There’s a tide-and-ebb rhythm to all beliefs humans hold, their fluctuations a fixed part of the show: they go from positive to negative, from anode to cathode, they grow, they collapse — so forceful in action, so fickle at rest! And so I’ve been shocked and sad to see my era erupt into a belief scare, the armed attacks on changing sea-froth, I really have.
We have always been alarmed: of the different clan, the other idol, that Lutheranism might infect your regio — that the Ottomans will turn up and not go; then we have feared ideas too, in fact we’ve feared all of them, and lifestyles, and loucheness, the smoke of cities. But this paranoia now is an evolved form of fauna, we’ve disconnected ourselves in a different way: less geography locked-in when it comes to maps in thinking, instead more cut-off in thinking, glory-boxed into little slots of factual. To compete on so many sides of competitive realness, defending assumed walls no one erected — what was our last team effort so futile, so hope-lorn of anyone we’d possibly allow to come and help?
They’ll tell you we’ve come into a one-opinion age when should you want to legalise this, you also must want to penalise that, but we humans live and move entropically, we shoot out, leave fragments, whip up new tints, unfinish the work — we have never become simpler. You’ll see my friend with her mosaic of sureties, the assortment of pieces blessed by her circle, barely glued tiles as a basis for a life, the colours not even matching or making a picture. And the guarding of all these wobbliest of abstracts, lest someone treads on them and sweeps them all up, with her thumbs pressed down lest they’ll send the tiles to fly, leaving no hand of hers free to converse with.
I’ve always seen my mind as a sea bay, with the waves that come in and I who let them, when they retreat they’ll leave behind shells and the occasional treasure, but they’ll take most of what they’ve brought back with them; my thoughts want to host all the arguments, anything that doesn’t want bloodshed — I know that each can visit, that my inner logic will catch it like a net if there’s anything to it, and so the ideas come one by one and leave behind little unless I expressly will it, and I don’t expect a fine pattern, it’s always a bit chaotic on the beach, with the starfish stuck deep in the sand, so that nothing but a tidal wave could lift it.
It is late here now, my casual sofa studies search me if I believe at all, my hands, as usual, empty, save for that faith in that virtue, and truthfulness and goodness, that survives most of my nights, when no one walks the bay or even the carpet. And I think this is how it should be: that those walks should be willing, an elective collective — to wake up and go check what’s washed up this time.