Sunday, March 11, 2007

height, part 2 (concerning destiny)

Morteza Katouzian, "Destiny" (xxxx)

destiny is the comforting weight of one's being, and resists the grasp of height. it asks that one give oneself over to the rootedness of what one is and find the full meaning of one's existence in that and in those, who like oneself, grow from the same root. it allows one to keep one's feet and know who one is. to resist even the staggering vertigo that one might feel at the realization of one's own inexplicable weightlessness, the feared-inability to keep one's grip. in destiny, one asserts, against the spinning vertigo, that one belongs to the earth: to blood, soil, culture; one is purely organic. one is thus assured of the solidity of one's life and its purpose; there are roots to provide one a destinal site in which to unfold. but this is little more than to glorify one's animality, which in a rational being is barbarity, as utopia.

the grasp of height is indeed a call, but it does not comfort one in the naturalness of one's humanity. it does not allow one solace in the organic nature of blood or language; there is not the peace of having a destinal space or a fate. the grasp of height uproots and calls us to be more and other than we are, to be more than our being would allow. height rips us away from everything comfortable to our nature and leaves us weightless: in an ek-static nothing beyond all being.



Lawrence of Arabia said...

if anyone knows the date of the katouzian painting, i would be grateful.

katouzian is a contemporary iranian painter.


A. said...

I feel like you capture perfectly my emotions on this subject...Why leave the fold, why bring on pain to oneself, why bother with all that reaching especially if one is unsure of what the outcome will be - or if one is unsure that one will be able to accept the outcome (at dizzying heights or disastrous nadirs) and live it with the grace and humility befitting a human being?

My mother always waves the specter of a life of emotional and familial disenfranchisement before me if I seem to struggle too hard and appear too picky about everything that is part of my culture and inheritance. I think women who are raised in south asian cultures feel all of what you have expressed especially acutely. The business of living is a fight to the last breath.

Irving said...

It reminds of the line from Shelley, I think:

"A man's reach must exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for!"

Ya Haqq!

Lawrence of Arabia said...

the challenge to be more than one is is certainly daunting, at times even overwhelming. and in the end only possible because god goes there before us, drawing us out of ourselves. i have to agree that much of the time it very much is a fight. but that line from shelley is very appropriate because of course it is going to be a fight, it is going to be painful, leave the comfort of home.


byron said...

Irving, the line is from Robert Browning's "Andrea del Sarto".

irving said...

Thank you, friend Byron :) I sit corrected :)

Ya Haqq!