Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Blue of Distance

I was looking for something. I found this instead. From A Field Guide to Getting Lost.

We treat desire as a problem to be solved, address what desire is for and focus on that something and how to acquire it rather than on the nature and the sensation of desire, though often it is the distance between us and the object of desire that fills the space in between with the blue of longing. I wonder sometimes whether with a slight adjustment of perspective it could be cherished as a sensation on its own terms, since it is as inherent to the human condition as blue is to distance? If you can look across the distance without wanting to close it up, if you can own your longing in the same way that you own the beauty of that blue that can never be possessed? For something of this longing will, like the blue of distance, only be relocated, not assuaged, by acquisition and arrival, just as the mountains cease to be blue when you arrive among them and the blue instead tints the next beyond. Somewhere in this is the mystery of why tragedies are more beautiful than comedies and why we take a huge pleasure in the sadness of certain songs and stories. Something is always far away.


Anonymous said...

I've got to get around to reading this book!

Rebecca H. said...

Me too! I wish I knew how to cherish the sensation of desire on its own terms, as Solnit says. That strikes me a great idea, but very hard.

Anonymous said...

Hi Stefanie, Hi Dorothy:

Yes please, would highly recommend reading "A Field Guide to Getting Lost" (I sound like a broken record, I know, I know)

I found myself re-reading parts my favourite parts of the book last night. I believe you will find something from the book to take with you.

But what Solnit says is so true. We do not know how to just "own our longing" - to hold on to it, just BE and not have to act on it.

It seems a lot of suffering and unhappiness in our lives comes from constantly needing - wanting to satisfy the never-ending desires.

There is a quiet beauty in just longing. I just wish I have the wisdom to appreciate it more.

LK said...

Oooh, very thought-provoking. I think I need to check this book out.

A happy new year to you, Dark Orpheus!

P.S. You have an awesome classics challenge list!

Anonymous said...

Hi LK,

Thanks for dropping by and thanks for the compliment. Book Challenges - we make try, and everything in the universe conspires to upset these best laid plans.

And yes, do check out "A Field Guide to Being Lost." I keep coming back to re-read it from time to time.

I swear, I sound like the author's publicist. ;p

precious said...

'the blue of longing', that's just so beautiful.

Carl V. Anderson said...

I can agree with that. I get very melancholy in the fall and winter and I absolutely love the feeling, as ridiculous as that may sound. My music choices, reading choices, etc. will often feed that melancholy. I think it is good to embrace the longing sometimes, as long as one stays balanced.