During these times of pandemic self-exile, I find myself slipping further into both introspection and indolence. A bit of a recluse even before the plague, I find many of my slovenly habits have been exacerbated and going unchecked. There’s no one to scold me to remove my shoes when I put my feet up on the couch and gawk at my favorite shoes- a pair of ancient, beat-up Red Wings. And thus has begun a new project: an experimental stream of consciousness; damn the rules of grammar; The Red Wing Chronicles are jazz riffs using words, rambling ruminations inspired by the visage of my dear old friends- those evocative, provocative catalysts of repressed memory and random musing- my precious Red Wings.
Philosophy. Staring up at them those Red Wings propped up on the couch yes they sooth and incite memory memories good and bad but they also inspire contemplation and the urge to wax philosophical.
Philosophy. Greek for love of wisdom. Here they are again those wondrous Greeks no not the the ones today who seem like unlikely descendants but the ancient ones of antiquity come on you know who I mean Aristotle who was mentored by Plato who was a student of Socrates who invented the oft times annoying Socratic Method endless argumentation not unlike Talmudic Hair Splitting but let’s save the Jews for another time.
Plato was an apt student and protege of Socrates who ultimately annoyed the entire city state of Athens they simply couldn’t take it anymore and you know what came next he didn’t drink the Kool-Aid but quaffed the hemlock and it was good by Mr. Chips.
But my Red Wings do draw out the philosophy in me and let’s face it to endure the indignities of life the endless effronteries one must be philosophical but which the list is long Stoic Existential Aristotelian Episcopalian oops veering into religion now though there is some overlap and isn’t Buddhism more of a philosophy than a religion and Jainism more of a religion than a philosophy so many to choose from something for everyone Objectivism Nihilism Cynicism Idealism Skepticism (Ha that one challenges the veracity validity of all the others) and then there’s Quietism the perfect philosophy for the hung over.
Absurdism. Now there’s a philosophy. It posits there is no inherent meaning in anything zero nada nothing zilch zippidy-doo-da and so the individual must forge meaning within the meaningless probably not the best choice for the unimaginative but ah the possibilities to heroically take head on a meaningless chaotic universe a wasteland without a map an endless sea without a sextant or for that matter Dead Reckoning or the North Star don’t expect a rescue ship or a bright beckoning beacon a lighthouse with a narcoleptic myopic keeper is more likely or a search party of blind babbling fools it’s all you baby you’re a big boy now it’s all you as you venture into the void teetering on a tightrope without a net and alone.
But- the power. The intoxicating power. You want justice in the world the cruel cold world then put it there you want a moral creed a personal code of honor draw one up who’s to stop you a cop a priest a prune sucking librarian whose only function in life is to hiss shhhh! well your beliefs principles values are as good, no, better than theirs because they do what the law the Good Book Robert’s Rules Of Order Miss Prudence’s Book Of Etiquette tell them to do how do they know the bible tells them so like baaing sheep docile obedient dumb not aware that the pleasant walk in the pasture is in fact a death march off to slaughter.
It’s all you baby. No one at your back no posse compatriots comrades reinforcements it’s all you baby, alone, all alone.
Now full steam ahead.