The sadness of You and I

What to do when tears well up in you for no reason? The fucking feeling of being lost. To be a loser born out of tune with a world, wrestling to get to terms with it and yourself. So focused on beating yourself in tune that you feel beaten black and blue and bloody tired of that everlasting energy put in the beating?

Missing verbs and punctuation unsorted. Such is my feeling that sucks the life out of me. I cry out for help but know not how to cry. I want it to end but my ending bothers you – I know that, yet I do not know why.  I have not written for a long while although I wrote so much that I did not care for to be really red.

Cassirer – on sadness – said: “We found that the separation of “I” and “You” – just like that between “I” and “World” – constitutes the target and not the origin of our inner life.”  If so, it is creative sadness that is our destination and blissful sterility that is our craving. Or with his words: “The productive is in a continuous struggle with the traditional.” And so we get, for our autistic history of philosophy, another set of irreconcilable oppositions reconciled in awkward worldly struggle.

Thus is my sadness and thus my insistence to create something in the vain hope of trying to get it across to you. Again and again until there is, finally, no again. But for now, again:

Because every attempt in breaking what was is creating what will be. Whether I worry of getting the groceries done or illuminating that this spell of imagery can only be dispelled by imagination, the fact is that there is no dispelling without a spell and no groceries are done without the worry of wanting the family to be fed. What we try to break apart only appears to be broken because it cannot come apart. As Cassirer said, and Davidson too, I and you share this world and only in sharing it you can become you and I became me.

There is profound hope to be found there alongside profound despair. And it is certainly so that it is better not to constantly look into this abyss because to some extent we are all afraid of these heights. So we try to keep calm and carry on only to realize it is just one of those slogans invented to tranquilize us into not giving a damn. And not giving a damn is by far the most superficial thing we can do. As Gadamer says, it is what makes us ignore the stranger crying out for help because he is a stranger and we do not want to put in the effort of seeing her as one of our own, sharing this world as a potential you to our I. It is, it really is, refusing to make the jump Kierkegaard counseled himself, rather without any real success,  to make. It is not realizing our potential I, and sticking with what “They”, as Heidegger had it before just joining them, have put in our brains as “the thing to do”, the spell of acquiescing in how things are.

So we’re left, I as well as you, flipping back and forth restlessly between one pole and the other, trying to find a lasting balance we hopefully never really find. Because to find it is to deny ourselves what we are. It is to become the beast which we once were and always tend to become again. So like autistics we try to stand on the tips of our toes and to rock gently to and fro. This is what we all do in our minds, even if most of us have learned not to – have been conditioned not to – do with our bodies. This convinces us that the mind is not the body and the body is not the mind but that this can’t be so is something Merleau-Ponty has clearly dispelled. Yet still, we can’t but want our mind to mean something even when our body no longer is. And thus Kant proves we have to accept the idea of an after-life and he is more right than he thought himself because as our body ages and our mind changes we die a thousand deaths. Each risk, each change, each novelty and creation is a death and the only reason for taking it or making it is because it may mean something to you. The I is only born from this and continuously needs to be reborn from that kindness shown to others, that charity deployed when listening to another.

To come back to my sadness, which is an autistic sadness, I do not think my way of being is any more meritorious than that of another. I do think, however, that, as I cannot learn to stop being restlessly rocking back and forth, I cannot but look into the abyss and try to find a way to make it bearable for you, even if you don’t see it and don’t want to see it. In essence what I try to convey about my sadness is that its yours as well, it is a sadness that sometimes shows itself as creative, helpful delirium. It is a sadness that is both Jekyll and Hyde. It is a charming sadness or a saddening charm but it costs an effort and that effort costs me my connection to you and therefore to myself. It is something great that is at the same time something of a weight on my shoulders.

And then I ask you instead of saying: “Chin up” and “Just try to be” to be charitable when I express my sadness and understand my hope that what I have done and am doing and will still do made, makes and will make a difference for you. So you can leave me in my wish not to be whenever the pain of re-inventing myself becomes too much for me.

As it eventually will even if, rest assured, not quite today.

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