Stand Up Writing

How vain it is to sit down and write when you have not stood up to live – Henry David Thoreau


April 2017

Writing and Not Understanding

Claiming to write so you’d understand is as crazy as “claiming to write you so you’d understand”. It’s a useless and an absurd comparison but it has to be this way because there is nothing as ludicrous as that claim.
Writing strikes me as a process of spilling myself. I spill myself unto the pen which in its turn spills itself unto the paper, in a way which i don’t always control – as if it is a different entity with a mind and soul of its own – but it understands me and expresses me better than i do.
In the origin, it was life that was spilled in us and that continues to spill over unto everything we touch. My role, i have found, is to provide it with the space it needs to be True, Good and Beautiful.
Frankly, i can never claim to understand Truth, Goodness or Beauty, i just cherish them, and hope to do so with enough decency and enough courage that will allow me to abandon myself to them, and in them to abandon myself to myself :
To endlessly wake up to the stranger that i am, and tirelessly drink from the glass which he offers. And though he may not be appealing and his glass be bitter, i drink it all the same. And when it’s finally nighttime and his waters drown me, i reach out for the glass one more, raise it with one hand like a trophy, and drink to Life.
And then, after a while someone will trample upon me, covered in whole by sheets of paper and brutally grasping onto a pen. Maybe then, i’d tend to their drinking needs . . . Maybe then, they’ll make their own toast to Life.

Eddy Abi Younes


William Desmond on the history of philosophy.

“I give counsel to myself: Do not smash the wheel and proclaim the glorious liberation of human creativity; you, or someone else, years hence, will find it necessary to reinvent the same despised wheel – decked out perhaps with a new name to assuage the pretense to glorious creativity. I think we have to be able to interpret the rationale, the strengths, and the limits of the basic philosophical possibilities, as diversely expressed in the history of philosophy. This requires a thinking about them that refuses to stay on the surface of the packaged positions that easily get regurgitated in standard histories of philosophy. We must go deeper, approach the originary sources of perplexity and astonishment, out of which the surfaces of the positions have grown. This means we must already be mindful of the matter itself that has occupied philosophers for millennia. Much more than being a historian of ideas is asked of us. One must be a philosopher to understand *as philosophy* the history of philosophy. One’s attitude to past philosophers cannot be defined by simple rejection. One learns from them, even when one disagrees with them. And even in disagreeing with them, one ought to have a hermeneutic generous enough to allow one to make strong intelligible sense of their essential contributions. Every previous philosopher worth his salt harbors latent reserves that challenge continued rethinking (…). I reject what has followed from the alleged completion of metaphysics by a Hegel, or a Nietzsche, or a Heidegger (…). We must move beyond the paralysis and stultification generated by this rhetoric of the end of metaphysics.”

William Desmond, ‘Being and the Between.’

The Iceberg that is Man

There’s a strange man on a balcony, peeling off his skin and sending it to the wind. With every departure, i see the wound widen, deepen, lengthen, it grows. The man grows, swinging between a valley and a mountaintop; an iceberg with his hands out, glowing and blistered, taking waves in and peeling skin off.
The sun sets and he’s poor, he leaves the balcony for the sidewalk as mages from near and far make their way to him.
They hold him in their hands. They pass by him, looking for him.
Battered by the journey, they bow their heads, faultily stumble upon the beggar, and all they see is a big lump of wounds.
They surrender, relax their hands and the bits of skin slip into his bowl. He is there in the bowl, He is there at the sidewalk and yet they are not alike, he is in both and yet in neither.
With prayers and silence, he tries to sow some of the skin back and fails, other bits crawl back on him by themselves like stubborn parasites so he takes shelter in the moon as he remains dangled from himself.
The sun rises again, he goes back up to the balcony, trailing himself, dragging his skin up the stairs so he can get back to his daily liturgy. Peeling off the new, never shaking off the old.
Where once laid a strange man, now lays an iceberg, the waves keep on crashing on it and go on their way; and yet never does it think of keeping its skin, not once does it think of dropping its hands.

Troubled by all this, i lift my eyes up to stare at my hands, and the taste of salt in my mouth is overwhelming. . .

Eddy Abi Younes

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