Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Time, Fidelity and Suffering

Isn't there often something about science fiction that always speaks to our world today?

Isn't that the point? open up the mind with the sense that we're talking about someplace far away in time & distance...

Then, gotcha!, the emotions or sentiments or understanding hits us like a 108% proof martini on a rainy, fragile friday night.

Like our dear little leah, princess lea, the star child, born in 2001 --

To pry open her parents' perceptions when their synapses are beginning to slow down,

Reminding us, again and again, of the beauty of nature, the gift of being alive and

The profound, elemental earthiness of being connected in this transient moment


"For after all, he thought now, lying in the warmth of Takver's sleep, it was joy they were both after -- the completeness of being. If you evade suffering you also evade the chance of joy. Pleasure you may get, or pleasures, but you will not be fulfilled. You will not know what it is to come home.

"Takver sighed softly in her sleep, as if agreeing with him, and turned over, pursuing some quiet dream.

"Fulfillment, Shevek thought, is a function of time. The search for pleasure is circular, repetitive, atemporal. the variety seeking of the spectator, the thrill hunter, the sexually promiscuous, always ends in the same place. It has an end. It comes to the end and has to start over. It is not a journey and return, but a closed cycle, a locked room, a cell.

"Outside the locked room is the lanscape of time, in which the spirit may, with luck and courage, construct the fragile, makeshift, improbable roads and cities of fidelity: a landscape inhabitable by human beings.

"It is not until an act occurs with the landscape of the past and the future that it is an human act. Loyalty, which asserts the continuity of past and future, binding time into a whole, is the root of human strength; there is not good to be done without it.

"So, looking back on the last four years, Shevek saw them not as wasted, but as part of the edifice that he and Takver were building with their lives. The thing about working with time, instead of against it, he thought, is that it is not wasted.

"Even pain counts."

The Dispossessed
Ursula K. LeGuin

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