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On Thu, 20 Dec 2001, John Perry Barlow wrote:
> My Cynthia,
> The precision with which your articulate heart ever finds its words renders me mute once again.
I'm grateful for the words. I haven't always had them. I don't always. And, even when I have, I've not always shared them. I've held them back. But it's not my desire to use words that mute your voice, and I wonder if I should change something? I feel like I've moved in the field, that I'm clumsy, and that I might, in speaking, drive away the very thing that I came into this forest to see.
>You really ought to be writing for a larger audience than me.
You seem plenty big enough.
> perhaps being aware that someday these extraordinary flows might be read by a larger audience.
Would there be any good in contemplating that possibility? I would, if it would help something fine grow. I would, if you need me to put my attention elsewhere.
I'm frightened of being seen so deeply, and I feel like writing is one way to exercise the courage of being seen.
Shortly after September 11th, my dearest friend Tom Atlee was asking the question "What would have prevented this from happening?" My immediate gut answer was "Telepathy".
We're not ready for telepathy, are we? We're not ready for this kind of raw nakedness, in which privacy disappears, as well as many of the treasons and trespass that privacy is supposed to protect us from. What an amazing world that would be, yes?
By writing to you I practice opening, and feeling seen, and dissolving the fear of being understood - or being misunderstood. I suppose those are all sensations that will be necessary for us to embrace without resistance if we're to have a culture sane enough to fluourish on this planet.
I don't know about future/other readers, though I'm hoping that the Voice that seems to be emerging - the one that wants to talk to You; the one that feels as though it's been buried deep inside me for years and is just now seeing some light at the end of the tunnel - will transfer into a good story somewhere along the road.
Sometimes I feel that if I can leave behind just one great yarn, one Tall Tale that excites others' imaginations about the possibilities of this good world the way hundreds of Tales fed me, then I think I'll feel ok about not leaving behind babies, or a strong family, or some other living echo of my joy while here.
>Much of what comes through you is so exquisite and new that I feel wasteful of it, as I would feel if Kandinsky had been painting only for me.
Don't you think Kandinsky often *was* painting or writing, perhaps just for one other? We don't really know what muses one another, do we? And, at the end of the day, my words are really "ours". They're something made between you and I, and by us, and they serve us. If others someday find utility or inspiration in them, then that's a wonderful thing, but right now all I want to do is touch you, and this is all I have.
Off my bookshelf, on the fly:
"When religion, science and morality are shaken, the two last by the strong hand of Nietzsche, and when the outer supports threaten to fall, man turns his gaze from externals in on to himself. Literature, music and art are the first and most sensitive spheres in which this spiritual revolution makes itself felt. They reflect the dark picture of the present time and show the importance of what at first was only a little point of light noticed by few and for the great majority non-existent. Perhaps they even grow dark in their turn, but on the other hand they turn away from the soulless life of the present towards those substances and ideas which give free scope to the non-material strivings of the soul..."
--" Wassily Kandinsky, "Concerning the Spiritual in Art", 1977.
Would the exquisite art of it be any different if I was singing to you, or feeding you chicken soup, or holding you? Don't you think we are always engaged in crafting the great art of loving around the ones we care for?
I don't feel wasted in the least. I feel heard, and loved. I hear, and I love, and through it all I feel like I'm just a very small person, making a weightless noise in the world, who is so very thankful that you hear.
>I am very glad your jets remain lit, if still on the tarmac. No flight plan filed at the present time. The whole sky is open.
Well, it's a pretty long tarmac, isn't it? The better to build up speed and lift, I presume. Who do we see about a flight plan?
Like I said before, I can grab little snatches of time - sometimes on pretty short notice. I can give you little windows, and we could see what we can make of the light of it.
On Standby, waiting for the tower to respond,
your jet girl...
PLUR. Remember PLUR
-- Anonymous, December 21, 2001