Sunday, March 17, 2013

This fine experiment

Think of what it would be like, this life, if it could be taken at face value. If I could treat it as a series of experiments.  Try something. Fail? Take notes, try again with adjustments. Succeed? Take notes and see if the success can be replicated. The outcome can only be discovered through the experiments.

I forget where I read this now, and the context, but I was reading an article recently that suggested a different reading to Frankenstein. The problem, the article posited, was not that Victor Frankenstein created the monster, but that he abandoned it. To which I said, probably out loud "well, yes, how else would you read that?" I've always thought that the creature was very sympathetic, and intended to be so.

So with my life, cobbled together from the pieces of my past and circumstances, brought to life by the incomprehensible magic of the line of nows that lead there - it would be a mistake to reject it for not looking the way I imagined it. It would be a mistake because, quite apart from missing any merits that it has, in abandoning the life I have in favour of some illusory other life, some hypothetical future, I bring out the monster. The monster of the life I have rampages while I am away looking for a dream life.

The dream life? Maybe from afar. When I approach it, I find that this new life, too, is scarred and lopsided, and now wherever I walk I tread on the traces and debris of my rampaging creature. Now there are two monsters; because if I could not see the beauty in the face I myself made the first time round, how could I do better the second time?

This creature, this life I have, this wild experiment of mine, it shines, if I will only let the scars heal.

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