If there’s a map, someone’s already been there

In her wonderful aid to moving from the familiar into the unfamiliar, Rebecca Solnit reveals the significance of blue for us as longing.  In longing there is something even more powerful than possessing:

‘For something of this longing will, like the blue of distance, only be relocated, not assuaged, by acquisition and arrival, just as the mountains cease to be blue when you arrive among them and the blue instead tints the next beyond.  Somewhere in this is the mystery of why tragedies are more beautiful than comedies and why we take a huge pleasure in the sadness of certain songs and stories.  Something is always far away.’*

I laugh in the moment of comedy, I continue to searching the significance of what is happening in a story containing sadness and its overcoming and an ending that is inconclusive – I am left with the blue.

I find it helpful to think of knowledge in three forms: general, specific and deeper.  I can know generally from outside of something, I can know specifically from inside and the deeper is top know this is never it – there is always more.

Of the infinite game, James Carse writes:

‘Infinite players cannot say when their game began, nor do they care.  They do not care for the reason that their game is not bounded by time.  Indeed, the only purpose of the game is to prevent it from coming to an end, to keep everyone in play. […] Since each play of an infinite game eliminates boundaries, it opens to players a new horizon of time.”**

Seth Godin asks:

‘How do you bump into the thing you didn’t know you were looking for?’**

This requires an infinite game.  There is the sense of a finite game when Solnit describes how some see longing as a problem:

‘We treat desire as a problem to be solved, address what desire is for and focus on that something and how to acquire it rather than on the nature and the sensation of desire, though often it is the distance between the object of desire that fills the space in between with the blue of longing.’*

There feels to be something here about living with longing rather than seeking to remove it that is about giving rather than receiving.  Erich Fromm dropped this itchy thought in my mind when I read:

‘Giving is the highest expression of potency.  In the very act of giving, I experience my strength, my wealth, my power.  This … fills me with joy.  I experience myself as overflowing, spending, hence as joyous … in the act of giving lies the expression of my aliveness.’^^

For  this, there is no map.

(*From Rebecca Solnit’s A Field Guide to Getting Lost.)
(**From James Carse’s Finite and Infinite Games.)
(^From Seth Godin’s blog: Organised for browsing.)
(^^From Erich Fromm’s The Art of Loving.)

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “If there’s a map, someone’s already been there

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.