I’m beginning to see some alternative resolution — something that almost feels like hope. There’s something coming out of my ongoing conversations on this and other blogs. It’s ktismatic for sure, something maybe that calls from more optimistic times about humanity and my place in it, but at the same time pervaded by deep melancholy.
It’s hard to resist orthodoxy, even your own idiosyncratic version. This old-school hope: that if we think hard enough and write persuasively enough, if we’re earnest and gracious enough, if we persist, we will all arrive together at the mature mind and heart — God help me, I still wish it could be so.
But difference, pursued with equal rigor? If Hitler asked me to help him work out his Aryan utopia before he started implementing it, would I do it? We’ve started watching pirated downloads of The Sopranos — you say you’ve heard of it? Anyhow, Tony the mob boss sees an analyst. She has doubts: why am I helping this murderous thug? I understand her dilemma. Will the process fully pursued lead to the end of civilization or its fullness?
I live in a town first settled by the Greeks, conquered by Romans, besieged by Visigoths and Saracens, controlled by Provencals and Savoyards and Franks. Restaurants prepare for the evening, tourists weave through the medieval streets, crippled beggars hold out their cups, little children ride the carousel, old women look down from open windows. I’ve been inside the cro-Magnon caves, where the gap between this drawing of a mammoth and the bison next to it is wider than the one separating me from Moses. What gods visited those ancient artists, and where have they gone? Will we recognize them when they return? Walking the streets of Antibes under the full moon, do they carefuly study the restaurants and the tourists and the beggars and the children, or are they lost entirely in their own brooding resentments? As they watch in silence from the open windows the arrivals and passings of generations, do the old gods remember, or do they dream?