a work in progress
Updated: Nov 10
I told myself Sundays would be my writing days but that shit has not happened. I dunno where my time goes this year. Yeah yeah ok I do. I have meetings, I do reading, I have more meetings, I read some more. And I seem to need so much more fucking sleep. Probably cus I’m running around like a fool all day. Run run run. Pant pant pant. Repeat. So I’m gonna go the old tried and true route of gettin back into the swing of things. I’m gonna review a book. Cities of the Plain by Cormac McCarthy. The final chapter of the Border Trilogy: All the Pretty Horses, The Crossing, Cities of the Plain. It’s a dooooz.
First, some context.
I don’t know what I’m doing, I don’t know who I am. This is the familiar refrain, the old monologue. Sometimes I walk down the same road I’ve been down before.
Time is finite (for now…come of scientists, work on this). Although I have two computers with their corresponding two iCals, plus a google Cal, and probably somewhere a moleskin agenda, somehow I have ended up with the same number of days to work with as I had when I started. What gives?
I’m still here in law school cus I believe in what I’m doin (and, lest I get called out, because I don’t want to be destitute – of heart, or of pocket money). But I am learning something I think is useful for the world. I’m gonna get people free. I’m gonna save people’s lives. I will be the guy they call when the shit hits the fan. I will be Johnny Cochran. I will save the OJ Simpsons of the world.
I will be saving the bad fuckers? 😦
If you don’t want to end up stuck, sometimes you gotta just keep running through the questions until you get to where you think you wanted to be. And you can’t question where you’re going too much, or you’ll lose that momentum and you’ll end up in the doldrums. No gas to your car, no color to your hills. And what do you do to give yourself that push? You believe in something, you believe there’s a purpose to what you’re doing, you believe you’re walkin the right way. And the more doubts you have about that way, the more you gotta believe it’s right to keep going.
I know how the West was won. I know how asking questions slows you down. I’ve been to an occupy meetings. Consensus voting takes forever. So what do we do to get things done? We steamroll the doubts, push past the hesitancies, get ‘er goin quick before our brains have time to catch up with what it is we’re doing.
Back to Cities of the Plain. John Grady wants what he wants when he wants it. What he wants is to get somewhere. He rides his horse over the vast landscape of New Mexico. He crosses the river to Mexico. He wanders, he travels, he lets his mind free. Then he seizes upon something he wants – a Mexican whore – and he doesn’t stop to think about whether his wanting is good for him, for her, for anybody. He knows if he stops to think about it, he’ll stop, he won’t act. He wants to be compelled by something, somethin more powerful than him, somethin that takes him by the heart and leads him down some lonely path, even if that path is to his death, because if something this powerful is leading him – what follows won’t be his fault, won’t be his alone to bear. So he’s reckless. Recklessness is just succumbing to the idea that you’re not in control, that somethin bigger than you controls you. That hand that rocks the cradle. Belief is the idea that we’re not in charge of our lives. And damn you’d be surprised how people hate to feel in charge of their lives. Damn you’d be surprised at how much we cling to the idea that we can be in charge of our lives without destroying ourselves. Gotta find the perfect balance. Pet the puppy Lenny don’t crush it.
I started this post a little while ago, and I’m coming back to it in a different mind frame entirely. Because I don’t want to get stuck on any one post, I want to keep on keepin on, I’ll just let this post sit in its half-baked state and move on to my new thoughts.
Read the book, if only to round out the rest of the trilogy. I can’t tell you much more than that.