Thursday, January 25, 2007


On the verge of packing and taking leave, there is always a double time sensation. The speeding away of the last five weeks when there was just time; the rush of the last repairs and jobs after this weird weather winter; yet also the long, slow, exhausting travel day ahead and the realities of the other place striking one with a vengeance in the form of piles of mail, unpaid bills. Yet the travel hasn’t happened yet, so there is slowness to it all. Saying goodbye is always tinged with a touch of melancholy, since when one returns nothing is ever the same as when one left. So off we go into all our different possible futures. Some have said that these ‘migrations’ are my destiny. A friend is convinced and trying to find out if he is right, that ‘Choosin's an illusion”, seen the amount of parameters that influence the outcome. Options, clearly laid out choices and ambivalence are in their lack of direction, maybe the determining factor to know whether destiny in all its forms or free will is the ultimate actor in our actions. Ambivalence can come from many different 'reasons': lack of information, doubt about the quality of the information on which to base a decision, conflicting values, (the classical false premise is the opposition between environmental values versus so called progress or jobs), long term rewards or instant gratification... Dependency, fear... More and more I 'know' some things are right or not, and also more and more I am totally bewildered by the convoluted aspects of other issues. So a grasp of the problem by a mind (or what other part of us that fulfills this function) that isn't big, strong, straight enough to hold it all probably is a very prevalent occurrence, limiting our free will. Obeying hunches gut feelings, intuition (in my case not God telling me what to do, that is reserved for Presidents) is part of the unknowns we have not yet unraveled and seen the indefinable amount of unknowns, we might not unravel it in all of our possible futures. We might be wired to learn from our experiences and gene pool. The special on Oprah's Roots on PBS and after that the Magic Flute, where Papageno doesn’t seem to have freewill to be different from the simpatico puts he is, addresses these issues. The history of the universe(s) might just predestine us to try to survive and help survive humanity. The strange thing is that we are supposed to be and act in the now... Yet in acting we determine one or other path ahead. Thus by being, existing, we - to say the least - limit our choices. According to neuroscience we time travel when we do nothing, being in the past and future. I like the fact that we can influence, rewire our brain and I am wondering what the mind is. I have learned more to accept what is. Thus avoiding useless fuss; don’t sweat the small stuff. Now that is a far step from writing in a poetry book as motto a phrase by Albert Camus: Il sufferiait que l'impossible soit. It would suffice if the impossible were. That has been kind of a drive to dream and not to 'accept'. It has been a basis for resistance to what is unacceptable. Of course, at least for a while I wont know whether all this is by choice or destiny. So, seen I still believe in at least partial free will I choose for the travel, the anticipation and the regrets for what one leaves. Thus Tumbleweed gets unstuck and blown away.

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