Thursday, January 22, 2009

The cause of suffering

What exactly do I want?

Sometimes I catch a glimpse of the answer to this question. It has a taste and a smell. It is emotive as only these sensations are, and as I cannot define it in words I find writing about my desires frustrating.

As ambiguous as the written word is in terms of formal logic it is still too constrictive to convey what I want.

All it can provide me with are vignettes: little scenes and doll-house models of what I desire. The following is one such scene:

We begin with the top floor of a high-ceiling converted warehouse in a dockland neighbourhood of a cosmopolitan Western city. The decor is minimal, the aesthetic oriented towards the pragmatic.

Large skylights flood the interior with light, tall pine shelves cling to the walls. The books balanced thereon are diverse in content. All are crisp and fresh of the printing press. Amongst them are reprints of classics, textbooks in diverse sciences and arts, design, cognitive psychology, economics, engineering, physics, biology, philosophy, ethics, law, craft, history, and business.

There are novels and compendium of stories and poems, again with the combination of disuse and overuse that characterises a consuming mind.

There is a tendency towards award-winners and critical acclaim amongst the volumes, as if someone had downloaded a list of everything that anyone had said was good and ordered them all in. This is a library for the reader, not the faux-intellectual, someone who wants to be exposed to ideas like a lab rat is exposed to germs.

Many of the books have been taken up and read and are left cast around the apartment, stuffed with notes and bookmarks, the dandruff of the mental dilettante.

The furniture has a utilitarian aspect to it. There is a virtually unused kitchen area and a dining area sans dining table. The core of the home seems to be a desk secreted in a shady corner: a tree sprouts screens and tablets, the roots formed with flat cables and wires trundling inward from ports in the nearby walls.

The chair in front of the desk is of a particular design, emphasising comfort and ergonomics. The keyboard is of high quality.

A few other notebook computers are scattered over the home, which is currently empty. It's occupant is out engaged in amusing and enjoyable pursuits. Not working, of course, but rather cultivating the art of life.

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