Last night I watched a documentary on the fighting in the Chosin resevoir during the Korean War.
You think you know a little bit about horror. About suffering. About the disassembly of the human animal.
Then you listen to these old guys talk about what they went through.
The night before, I watched this french movie, Seven Days. A little girl on her way to school goes missing. They find her body later that day. She’d been raped and strangled.
They find the guy who did it a few days later and arrest him.
The father, sick with grief and rage, kidnaps the man from police custody and takes him to an abandoned farm house in the woods and keeps him there for seven days, doing just what you’d want to do to the man.
Or maybe you wouldn’t. Maybe you just think that’s what you’d want. Or maybe you want it more than anything at first, and then, well. Then maybe it’s too late.
Anyway. Quite a meditation on grief and rage and how monsters live among us.
Inside us, even.
Meanwhile, I’m still reading The Adventures and Misadventures of Maqroll. Imagine Cormac McCarthy and Werner Herzog and Joseph Conrad and Garcia-Marquez and Daniel Defoe taking turns writing a story about Don Quixote set in the jungles of South America and the seediest ports of call around the world.
No mules killed yet, but there is criminals tossed from airplanes into the marsh so their bodies bury themselves upon impact, saving time and effort for men who are no longer able to muster the effort it takes to bury the dead. There is pestilence and fever. Corruption corporeal and political, spiritual and philosophical.
There is a wary stance towards both grief and joy, and no expectation of mercy.
And yet a fierceness in the living of each day, the recognition that it is, in the end, an astounding gift of immeasurable worth.
I don’t know why I chew on these issues, except that they calm me and they feel like spiritual practice.
I imagine that if I can stretch my mind enough to grasp the entirety of reality as we presently understand it, I….I….
well, I don’t know what.
I only know that it gives me a deep sense of joy to feel my way around the edges of everything, trying to find a way in.
If I could, I’d be a psychonaut. I really would.
What a boor I’d be then.
I miss my wife.