The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

December 6, 2016

night thoughts, credo

it comes down to this. i can move my fingers in a certain way,
and a sound appears, and a sound remembered. i have made a
movement and the movement has a result, draw out by the
movement, in a causal nexus, not cause and effect, with the
movement. now somewhere else a man sits and he presses a button,
and he is breathing and his hands, his fingers, are moving, and
the button is pressed, and a chain of events occurs, and many
die, and many others suffer terribly, and perhaps are wounded or
starve, perhaps are burned alive. both of these are
inextricable, the pressing of the button, the appearance of the
sound, both are actions, both have consequence. i say these are
equal, that by saying they are equal, i retain my freedom, my
sanity, my conscience. for i will not give one up to the other,
or the other up to the one; as long as i am alive and capable of
thought, i say in this regard, my action suffuses as does the
action of the other, which i abhor, which i resist. but i must
retain my action as a counting of countries while i am walking
the walls of the prison, as the saying of prayers as the smoke
rises from the chimneys, as the performing of songs as sirens
scream in the distance. i will be found out, it is my desire to
be found out, to be part of the world. as the world withdraws
from me, i am diminished, as thoughtful as a slow suicide. as
long as i make the gesture of the appearance of sound, to myself
i am still alive, i am still among those who hear of the man who
presses the button, with so much suffering and so much death, in
its nexus and wake, the wake for the dead and the tortured. it
is the sound that i make, it is the nestling, the rustling of
this sound, but it is also the gesture and the thinking of this
sound, and the tending, the stewardship of this instrument that
i hold, that i will care of, and yet it is not in little things,
but the greatest things of all, what might be and what could be
and what would have been, that holds me in the skein of the
world, the world with the man with the button, who i forget, who
id o not think of forgetting, for whom i am one of the forgotten
ones, for whom i am unaccountable, unaccounted-for, hardly worth
the effort to remember a name or a sound or an instrument. and
of him i think the same, and will not name him, he is more
nameless than the others precisely because of his name, and now
this gesture is over i think, what i have been saying, and the
memory of the sound, each gesture has a sound, and all are equal
or unequal, all are present in the world.

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