The Moment

In the murky aftermath of a breakdown, a man still at odds with himself takes flight to a cottage in rural Norfolk. There he intends to strip his life of everything trivial, everything superfluous, paring it all back to the essential truths, values, and experiences. In doing so, he keeps a fragmentary journal: not a record of progress as such, but sporadic notes on his new surroundings as he attends to minor changes in search of an ideal moment — a moment of unity between body and mind, in which there is no distinction between sensation and thought. For decades he has been hounded by the sense of a split self, as if under observation by a nameless double, and he feels that the opportune moment, if it can be found, will relieve him, just briefly, of this spectral presence.

The Moment

Sometimes God, sometimes nothing.

Kafka

What has long since been threatening man with death, and indeed with the death of his essence, is the unconditional character of sheer willing in the sense of purposeful self-assertion in everything.

Heidegger

Great poetry begins in elegy and ends in praise.

Rilke

How to speak? How to tear apart the skin of words?

Czeslaw Milosz

Homecoming and being at home are not instantly acquired; they are possible only through estrangement or openness to the foreign.

Heidegger

The true function of reason is to show man that some things are beyond reason.

Pascal

We must endure our thoughts all night, until the bright obvious stands motionless in cold.

– Wallace Stevens

The Moment

Photos of the initial hard copy of my book sent to me by Daniel Davis Wood of Splice, who’s doing a superb editing job. With a blurb by the great Lars Iyer.

 

The Moment 1

The Moment 2

The Moment 3

The Moment back cover

Everydayness is the enemy

Three o’clock and suddenly awake amid the smell of dreams and of the years come back and peopled and blown away again like smoke. A young man am I, twenty-nine, but I am as full of dreams as an ancient. At night the years come back and perch around my bed like ghosts.

My mother made up a cot in my corner of the porch. It is a good place, with the swamp all around and the piles stirring with every lap of water.

But, good as it is, my old place is used up (places get used up by rotatory and repetitive use) and when I awake, I awake in the grip of everydayness. Everydayness is the enemy. No search is possible. Perhaps there was a time when everydayness was not too strong and one could break its grip by brute strength. Now nothing breaks it—but disaster. Only once in my life was the grip of everydayness broken: when I lay bleeding in a ditch.

In a sudden rage and, as if I had been seized by a fit, I roll over and fall in a heap on the floor and lie shivering on the boards, worse off than the miserablest muskrat in the swamp. Nevertheless I vow: I’m a son of a bitch if I’ll be defeated by the everydayness.

(The everydayness is everywhere now, having begun in the cities and seeking out the remotest nooks and corners of the countryside, even the swamps.)

— Walker Percy, The Moviegoer