When an erudite commenter recently speculated that I had too much time on my hands, noting the shallowness of my reading of the news from the Sino-Indian border region and the Taiwan Straits, I chuckled a bit, ruefully. Time is such a hot commodity! And I’ve been engaged in a wholesale sell-off.
And thus in the spirit of self-recuperation, of regeneration, of blasting out new roads from the sheer rock faces of the day, and laden unduly with verbs that need offloading, I bring you a short exhortation in aphorism:
When besieged with tasks, burgeoning with works undone and onerous, overflowed by callbacks of the dread word “yes”, fenced in by blades of your own forging, bitten by the serrated edge of the inbox, forgetful of the joys of nothing to do, alienated from sentimental memory, rotted by Luther-or-otherwise-monotheistically-justified guilt of having sinned by doing nothing,
simply recapture the principle of aggression.
Like a besieged city which has had enough of gnawing upon its own mute bones, take up heavy tomes and break down the gates, seeking the frozen plains beyond.
Such a principle is reminiscent of the time when Truls Mørk faced me, floating upon a green marble floor in an Art Deco musical temple in golden Cleveland, his thoughtful brow fresh with stage sweat after a Shostokovich Concerto which had left mucus on his fingerboard of his Montagnana:
“Sometimes there is an emotional solution to a technical problem.”
And so, while we might strategize our way out of the state of “je suis debordé” — snowed under — by hacking into one defined square of that crunchy undergrowth,
while we might treat the paragraph as an enemy and employ Maoist principles of enveloping the page with superior numbers,
and while we might attack Wei to relieve Zhao, or pick up a hint from the backwash of some capitalist mastermind of workflow strategies,
instead it is just as well: recapture your own faith in the notion of dominance.
Dominance of the page, of the clock, of the tasks, of the work; don’t waste a fret on your own image — because Narcissus needs still water, and the reflections which you are so furiously displacing may never congeal —
Re-title your “do-do list” as BAM!
No matter day or night, work like a dead man skipping toward the jagged edge of life. 逝者如厮夫，不舍昼夜。
Your imperfect creations can take care of themselves!