Just as my steps exist beneath these thoughts, so does the core of history exist beneath its globular surface

Walking meditation. To adopt the practices of the Far East but not as an American would, but as an African would. “To adopt the practices of the Far East as an African would adopt them, should be the goal.” Africa a filtration device, a cultural purifier, it is conceived, through which cultures get rid of just enough of themselves to see other cultures. Africa, the purifying lens. Africa, the technology of minds. Inner cities may also be such a device, perhaps even stronger, but looking at something else. What would we find if we looked closer and closer at the inner cities? Who would we find? India, Bangladesh… (Can’t properly perform the walking mediation til you learn what Africa and the inner cities have to teach… “All the sorts of people there are are the stages one must pass through to ‘achieve oneself’,” it is conceived.)

A sort of plan takes hold: first become African, then become Afro-Asian, then become Asian American, then become oneself. A sort of idea, which is unrelated, comes forth: that History is a line upon a sphere. The line is trying to get to the center of the sphere (which may also be the center of the earth, which may also be the center of ourselves, or of Time) but cannot ever penetrate it, even a little. And yet, in the effort to penetrate it, as the felt-tip marker of ourselves, so to speak, is pressed down on the sphere, the sphere slips — slips beneath the ever frustrated force of the felt-tip marker of history — and thus is caused its various squiggles, regressive, progressive and looping.

“Just as my steps,” I think, “exist beneath these thoughts, so does the core of history exist beneath its globular surface. My thoughts will never reach my feet.” (Thinking, though, that maybe my breath at least can reach my feet, as in a way it does without me trying, so I try and focus on my breathing. “Maybe if I know I have lungs I will know I also have feet.”) maybe I will make my feet and my mind reach through knowing them both. Maybe that will be the end of history.


Penultimate Idea — Evolution of intelligence has been uneven, and the smartest cave creature was cleverer than myself, as the clever of today are beyond myself.

Final idea: walking across this quite normal two lane bridge over the eight or ten lane interstate and realizing one is unqualified to make any part of this bridge, to assume any role in its construction; and one could perhaps never, despite all ones efforts, attain to any such qualification.

People do these things and are expert at such things, one realizes, while you — what do you know? (nothing) What useful thing like building a bridge or a part of it do you know how to do? (nothing) You are not even a very good unskilled worker (perhaps we should pay people not to work? pay them to get out of the way of the work?) And so the overpass seems quite the monument, quite the Pyramid of Cheops, this night.

And down below, the white pickup with the flashing and rotating orange lights inspecting an element of the new lane they’re fashioning: whoever is in that truck is a lot more than you, you realize; that person has an actual role in this world and is part of it. That person knows something, and is doing something, he is doing it correctly, this night.

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