The sacrifice of intricacy for efficiency, the erasure of singularity and skill, may be the historical act I most abhor. It catalyzed (I hesitate to say “caused”; such things are so muddled, and perhaps this thing was inevitable, one way or another) mass-produced thought, replacec the honed focus.
Surface comfort—“I’ll find what drink I want at the corner store; one line at the register will surely be shorter than the others; I’ll smile”—does little more than pad the deeper despair.
I can’t shake that museum’s five-pronged and carved weapons, glass-cased and magnificently crafted.
Maybe it would be different if I were the kind of person who likes THINGS and many of them, but I feel no need for variety. I am loyal. I have my white shirt and my blue shirt and my favorite chair and my preferred pens; I don’t need any more shirts or chairs or pens than those.
Or maybe if I were the kind of person who venerates PLACES, who wants to go to Paris just because ohmygodit’sparis, but I guessed I wasn’t and after two weeks walking along a language barrier I know I’m not. These days I can take some new place to get and get fast, but even there I’m still myself and more in myself than anywhere else.
I’d rather take two months to reach Georgia, needing to know how to manage a wagon, how to eat just what’s available and how to choose which space is safe for sleep, and how the things that will save me in case of emergency actually work in the case of emergency.
But I won’t, because I have a car, and such adventures have been rendered unnecessary, and I don’t enjoy unnecessary things once the whim wears off.
But the ornate detail of those weapons disemboweled me or the part of me which tolerates “my time,” so eager to run too fast only to realize it ran nowhere important. So it takes off again.
I can see myself in a village, a somethingsmith of some skill for which people would flock to me for my expertise, harbored by me alone. And though it may only be kitchenware, every piece would be a sculpture.
I bring two pencils to my exam, just in case. I have two pencils. girl asks if I have an extra pencil. I give her one. she takes out a pencil. she already had one pencil. now she has two pencils. I have one pencil. girl leaves with my pencil when she’s done.
EDIT: SHE GAVE IT BACK TO ME TODAY, OVER A DAY LATER, THERE IS HOPE.