Oh It’s a Good Day


Ah.  After so much Bar-O-metric pressure, if you see what I’ve done here, punning on the prezelect’s gorgeous name, after so much, I see my facebook friends facebonking their new worries.  I say Not Yet.  I say Take a moment, a day, a heyday and let us let a little open hope-ism into our choked throats.  I say we sing.  I screamed, I hope you screamed, let’s we all keep singing.  Sing the mind solar.  Sing the heart gas and oil.  Sing the body too.  Electric.  I say give a holler and hold it.  Raise up, and say, “Ho, Oh, Oh shit, dude, we overcame.”  Say, “I had a dream, and when I woke up, there it was, true as blue.  The sky looks blue because of particles up there, and the way they dash the various wave frequencies around, the oceans are blue in reflection of the sky.  So blue is as true as anything, true, but not true.  Doing the best it can.  My friend, my friend (imagine me a foreign acquaintance, racing up to you, from behind, with this question), my friend, you have been alive long enough to know, so tell me, “Is the world good?”   I’d like a Woody Allen impersonation here, a repetition of the hypothesis with raised eyebrows, a shrug, and emphasis on the final word, “Uh, well, I don’t know about good.”

Here’s what Arthur (Schopenhauer) says of our search for hints that the world is good.   He says, “Instead of this we see only momentary gratification, fleeting pleasure conditioned by wants, much and long suffering, constant struggle, bellum omnium, everything a hunter and everything hunted, pressure, want, need and anxiety, shrieking and howling; and this goes on…until once again the crust of the planet breaks.”   And in the other volume of that same book he says that for him optimism “seems to me to be not merely an absurd, but also a really wicked way of thinking, a bitter mockery of the unspeakable sufferings of mankind.”

I hear that.  Yet, today I steer my ear to the world’s equal cacophony of birth, joy, and satisfaction, a day of taking the cloth of humble and ground-down, and rip what you have sewn, and racing out to autumn’s grown-lamb bleats and bursting stamens to, yeah I said it, to reap what you have sown, and what your grandfather plowed and your grandmother broadcast as seed in that wide arm gesture of dreams of fair days coming.  Drink the honey of the hive right now, no more conservation of this little treat.  Eat.

Of course, nothing ever changes, but on the other hand, the one thing you can count on is that everything changes.  I remember again what has happened.  I grin and tear up.  Oh you city on a hill.  (pronounced as if a woman has been given an apple pie of diamonds by a guy named Sitti Honah-Ell).  I bat my eyes at thee.  Things change slow until they change fast, but as Harry Klittis said, “You can’t step in the East River twice.”

The tar pits on the other foot (seemed kinder), are the kind of shiver you can step in once. As the Ned the insurance salesman said to Phil at the street puddle in Groundhog Day, “First steps a doozey.”   So big red mastadon: Gowan down to the river, lay you down to sleep.

Surely, I’ve said too much and not enough, but I gave myself til noon to croon at you, and to be turned into a pumpkin in this season is no idle matter.  And as my children might report, no idyll mater.

Have I lost my lyrical little mind?  Yes, and along with bed rest and fiscal redress, that is what I generally today prescribe.  My friends, my countrymen, and all the girls I’ve loved before, it is a good day for blowing a fuse, and chasing the blues, and good news, good news.

For notes on the Schope, it’s all in my book Doubt: A History.  (I should have to type in German twice?)

Until next Wednesday.
-Hecht out.



About jennifermichaelhecht

I'm a poet with a PhD in the History of Science from Columbia University and I've written five books, two poetry, two popular philosophy, one intellectual history. I live in Brooklyn with my husband and our two little kids. I teach seminars in poetry in the MFA programs at The New School and at Columbia.
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