this passage:

by Feng

He wanted one thing, the possibility of one thing: to be famous. He wanted to be central to the human family, what else is there to long for, to hope? Already he walked modestly along the streets, as if certain of what was coming. He had nothing. He had only the carefully laid out luggage of bourgeois life, his scalp beginning to show beneath the hair, his immaculate hands. And the knowledge; yes, he had knowledge. The Sagrada Familia was as familiar to him as a barn to a farmer, the ‘new towns’ of France and England, cathedrals, voussoirs, cornices, quoins. He knew that Sullivan was the son of a dancing master, Breuer a doctor in Hungary. But knowledge does not protect one. Life is contemptuous of knowledge; it forces it to sit in the anterooms, to wait outside. Passion, energy, lies: these are what life admires. Still, anything can be endured if all humanity is watching. The martyrs prove it. We live in the attention of others. We turn to it as flowers to the sun.

There is no complete life. There are only fragments. We are born to have nothing, to have it pour through our hands. And yet, this pouring, this flood of encounters, struggles, dreams… one must be unthinking, like a tortoise. One must be resolute, blind. For whatever we do, even whatever we do not do prevents us from doing the opposite. Acts demolish their alternatives, that is the paradox. So that life is a matter of choices, each one final and of little consequence, like dropping stones into the sea. We had children, he thought; we can never be childless.  We were moderate, we will never know what it is to spill out our lives…

[ . . . ] “There are things in the desert which cannot be hidden,” Arnaud said. “A camel, smoke, and… you know something? We see too many movies.”

“On the rocks?” Viri asked.

“They kill the imagination. You’ve heard of blind storytellers. It’s in darkness that myths are born. The cinema can’t do that. Did I tell you about the girl I took to lunch? She was really okay. You know, in a sense it’s that way with her. She can never dance. That’s why the real grace, the real music is in her.”

-Light Years / J Salter

I think it sees abysses, but then again I see whatever I think about, so maybe it’s not meant to be about that. I think that these are true, the things he says. I have this theory that people seek 2 different things, happiness and freedom, and these are opposing forces. Freedom consists of “what life admires”, that is, assuming that life is already comfortable (not talking about survival). You can’t really have happiness and freedom in the same place. Whenever I do something out of want for freedom, or achieve some kind of freedom, my life is unhappy. As it is now. Fortunate, appreciated, and not happy.

Another thought. I think that in some ways, the desire to be famous is not so different from the desire to be known thoroughly by a single person. One wants one’s behavior to be accounted for, to be anticipated. A thousand eyes is the same as two. For example, I say I don’t want to be famous. The idea is horrible to me. But sometimes I care about how you see me. Even when you don’t see me. I live like I am being watched. So that is like wanting to be famous/mythological. The difference is intensity and density.

I like that destiny is density.