An Unquiet Desperation


I had been around awhile. And I had slid.

From an amused bemusement, past simple bewilderment, beyond all sophisticated skepticism, to a lurching, unquiet desperation.

Scrape the surface and nothing makes sense. So I sit on the side and agree to pretend.

Perhaps you are one of  the blessed, one with an easy, resilient faith. You don’t see what the fuss is about. The  Universe is convincingly benign. Divinity is present for you. But then, perhaps not.

The predicament is conspicuously modern. The Gnostic replaced by the Graduate, a learned ignorance by an erudite cleverness.

Cherished, coddled paradigms that are deeply conflicted are preserved precariously with strips and patches of facile assumptions, specious logic and authoritative bluster.

You are finally ready to allow the possibility that most explanations are deflections and denials, a copious rationalization holding up every grand revelation. That a pious insanity is afoot.


This is the modern equivalent of the mythic: ‘Disease, Old Age and Death’, the rousing that must precede every entry into the forest.

The Sanskrit word Dhukkha [‘Suffering’] that enters the formal rendition of the Buddhist ‘First Noble Truth’ seems to have had its origin in the misaligned wheels of a carriage. To be in Dhukkha is to be tossed this way and that on a bumpy road, to be in acute discomfort. A gentler sensibility than mine would have flagged ‘Suffering’.

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