59. the simplest, most self-evident things

The earliest memories of the self, and how the mind retains them: a fleeting moment, a vivid, invisible color in the mind, nothing more than the stark perception of oneself in the world, the immensity of time, the distant certainty of death. The child who looks around in wonder and thinks to itself that the grandmother and grandfather were also, at one time, children: but does the child really believe this? It is a kind of theoretical knowledge that it accepts; after all, the child is reasonable enough to understand that, for instance, things fall from up to down, and hence the concept of gravity is plausible, useful for explaining numerous phenomena. But when the child compares its own perceived superiority to the limited worlds of the adults it sees around it, the constraint of their understanding concerning the simplest, most self-evident things, does it really believe it will ever be anything but a child? It is like looking at an old photograph and focusing one’s attention on some fleeting detail—the crisp shadow of a branch on a wall, a reflection in a water glass—and thinking this really happened this way, this was exactly so in this moment, but there is no way to understand this or to comprehend a past consisting of infinite such moments that happened in such a way and no other. Better to remain in the present, in the certain understanding of what one is: a child, forever or almost, while everything else remains pure speculation.

4 comments
  1. js said:

    beautifully said, and all these posts ring true. I think of the first dream I can remember; nothing, just dark, and I’m counting to three… 1, 2, 3.

    • That’s a beautiful dream. I remember pulling the pillow over my head and pretending I was an astronaut in outer space; that’s all it took, really, to be floating in nothingness. We come into the world with a kind of knowledge, I think, and then we quickly get confused: so much new stuff to learn, so many crazy grown-ups to watch out for.

  2. krvs said:

    Hi Andrea — I receive your texts by email — must have signed up at some point.

    anyway, I received this, and I “like” it.

    btw, my computer is doing strange things today. It won’t let me open Facebook and other specific sites. Just wondering if this is happening to anybody else.

    all the best,

    v

    • Thank you! It’s nice to hear this. I’m not having any problems that I know of, but I’ve just gotten back online…

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