Free Falling

I’m trying to accept my son’s lymphoma diagnosis as just “what is,” without meaning–and in the language of the Werner Erhard/Martin Heidegger discussion I participated in this morning (A New Possibility of Being Human), a “breach” in the fabric of the petty pace of life: the excessive violence of Being breaks in its appearing, so that this breach itself shatters against Being.

Threatening what’s already there.

“Excessive violence of Being” kind of says it all. Threatening what’s there. No wonder I resist.

Heidegger states that any attempt to analyze Being “constantly has the character of doing violence, whether to the claims of the everyday interpretation, or to its complacency and its tranquillized obviousness”

Trying to analyze my son’s Being has a definite character of doing violence—an exploding question that doesn’t have an answer. There’s no answer to Why.

What I’m working on for myself is to be free from the way I wound up being–thinking of my whole life and this year in particular.

I say “this has been a bad year”– my wife falling out of love, unwanted divorce, dislocation of moving, insufficient income, uncertain prospects, and now my son’s cancer–and I know from the new learning that this is just my story, that there’s no inherent “bad” in this, it’s just what is, and to be free to be and free to act, I have to take all of this, put the past in the past, and create a new future, one that wasn’t ever possible before. To be in a clearing I don’t understand.

And this new “Way”–to be on my Way–has no destination.  It’s the mountain with no top.

What struck me about the Erhard/Heidegger discussion was the proposition that one is inherently at risk when one’s familiar way of thinking is deconstructed, erased, when our subjectivity is rendered “homeless.”  And that risk is the risk of being free to be/free to act.  That’s really risky!

[What would I be, how would I act, if I were truly free to be, free to act?]

To have no home: I feel that literally and metaphorically today, right now. I have no home (not homeless, but having no home) and my future is a question with no answer.

From another part of Speaking Being, the exercise of separating our story from what happened. In my life a lot has happened. The narrative is exhausting.  In some ways erasing the story–the attempt to find language to describe what happened, how I wound up being–is freeing in and of itself, even though it’s hard to accept that this didn’t lead to that in any actual way. What then becomes of autobiography? Much to think about (but not to figure out!)

Why does it still feel like free fall?

Maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to feel. Resisting is futile.

We live in an old chaos of the sun,
Or old dependency of day and night,
Or island solitude, unsponsored, free,
Of that wide water, inescapable.
Deer walk upon our mountains, and the quail
Whistle about us their spontaneous cries;
Sweet berries ripen in the wilderness;
And, in the isolation of the sky,
At evening, casual flocks of pigeons make
Ambiguous undulations as they sink,
Downward to darkness, on extended wings.


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1 Comment

  1. M. H.

     /  September 15, 2019

    M.C.H. was here!


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