Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Scatological Paradox

I’ve gone through some very interesting experiences lately. This has been the most transforming sequence of perceptions and actions that I have been through since I came to the USA. This blog forces me to digest every town before moving to the next; a healthy process that I recommend to everyone.

But the problem with blogs is that they're public in nature, so I can’t expose every single detail here. One Costa Rican writer, Max Jimenez, used to say that we could be better writers if we just get over the fear of being known. But that’s not the only obstacle. Any number of people will also tie their personal life with mine (even inadvertently) and I can’t go on to make it public without their consent. I have strong reasons to believe I’ll never get that authorization.

So, let’s use the power of analogy and generalization.

I went to Washington. The capital always makes me think of sex. Not just for that monument but for the image of Arlington. Sex and death are great analogies: they are both natural hence people try to keep their references to them brief in normal conversation. We are scared of both but inevitably attracted to their symbols. We don’t like to be harassed or frightened, yet we pay to go to places where we are targets for both.

I call this the scatological paradox: Something that we reject and move towards at the same time. Our attraction to food and our repulsion of its byproducts represents many of the dilemmas we confront in life. How to be in love and not get dispirited by all the mundane details of sharing space? How to want a baby and not the diapers? How to tell the truth and not been alone?

It’s not just the disgusting things that we hide. We hide extremely positive things: unjustified optimism, ambitious goals, free hugs, kiss greetings and inopportune love. We city people are so diligent on been proper that we miss on the opportunity to live. None of the monuments I have visited was erected on behalf of a man with such an attitude. None of them were wary or lacked opposition. None of those creators made sarcastic remarks against their enemies; instead, they directly raised a sword and ran toward them.

I don’t think that loneliness is a price too high to pay. The company of cowards is sterile anyway.

The pursuit of affection is similar to the stock market: do you like to win very little very often or do you prefer to lose most of the time and one day hit it big? Common wisdom says that the first strategy is better. Mathematics favors the second choice if you have the guts to embrace it.

Some of us have no option but to develop bravery since the smell of routine and safety turns our stomachs. There can’t be such a thing as a shy dreamer.

Can you read the deeply personal history between lines? If not, I have become a good literary codifier. If you can, then you are personally involved.

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