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10. Limitation

Updated: Dec 18, 2020



Nothing is achieved without limits; everything that is interesting takes place at the limits. Go down to the place where the water meets the pool’s lip: there you will find a dream in daytime.

There is always a cull. The argument is about who will be culled. There is an argument about who is a parasite and who is productive. When you are young the answer is pleasant: the world is the way it is because there are cruel people who take from the weak. It is their turn to be stomped to the ground: this is justice. When you grow a little older you look in the mirror. This is the first step toward responsibility. You see that everything is the wrong way round: the villains are heroes and the heroes are villains. At first, you feel a little sick. The world was beautiful and the world was moving forward, but now the world is a fearful place. The world is a lacuna. It is dragging you down. All these people are smiling and playing, but the ship is sinking. It is not death. Death was always there. It is a greyness; it is the grey blur that runs it all. Where does the mist come from? You do not know. The mind chews at the problem, but nothing becomes clearer; there is only a renewed fear, a sense that everything is slipping away. The father has left the world. When will he come back? Perhaps never.

There are those who never make this journey, the journey over the pool’s lip. They fail to move because they have come too far; even if they know, barely suppressed, that what they say is wrong, they must continue. There is money to consider and, more than that, there is the tribe. To be left alone is to die. We apes must huddle close. If you have come so far with this tribe…the bones are too old for the cold. So these men never make the journey. But, most of us, we make the journey, some loud and some soft, over to the far shore. The vertigo shore. We dig around in the soft mud and find the skull and crossbones; we look at the skull and smell battery acid in our nostrils. The cramped scent of death; the void of truth. Here it is. The final limitation; only a few, the amphibian few, who can swim in the pond and walk on the shore, can know this truth. The greyness is gone; there is no sorrow and no regret: the void does not know resentment, the void does not know regret. The void is patient.

An urgent telephone call from Moscow: “You have forgotten death. You, born in the pastel-coloured ‘90s, have forgotten the smell of battery acid. You must remember the ash and the skull. You must remember the chemistry of death…”

Let the dreamtime find its limits. The Internet has become your mother; it nourishes you as you die. The dream has ended. The man on the floor bleeds beneath the upheld phones; before the violence, the video: tribal provocation with screens. We only know passive aggression, until the first bullets are fired. We were looking for the real; we found it, bleeding to death on a street. Our last moments carefully dissected for rhetorical purposes. In the first moments, all our hands were up. We were not surrendering: we were filming. The theatrics of provocation; he pointed his phone at me, it might as well be a gun.

The enemy stole my image. The enemy mocked my image. I will break his statues. I will throw his ancestors from their graves. This is not about money or food; we will say it is. It is about limitation. It is about the tribe. It is about who is in and out. We only ever cared about that, and I am not lamenting. Who is in and who is out: limitation is the only thing that matters.

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