Right now I want to go shopping. I want to be wooed. I want to dance drunk and dizzy, intoxicated by the kaleidoscope of blues, greens, yellows and the infinite shades of beige that make up the fall catalogue. I want to see pictures of beautiful people doing beautiful things and be convinced that my story can intersect with theirs. The melodies cascading from store speakers will complete this mystical experience, upon which no price seems to high.
I want the promise of a different life, a more beautiful life, a happier life. I want to be numbed to the constant nagging inside me. The nagging feeling that chases me throughout the day. An emptiness, a void, a hole. The tempting suspicion that this is all there is. That the fleeting moments of happiness that loose their value like cheeseburgers on a descending economic utility scale are all I have to look forward to. Maybe this is depression. Maybe this is life. My optimistic wife would tell me the former. My melancholy spirit says the later. I am not sure.
What I am sure of is that I need something more. I am sure that the market’s version of the way to overcome this incessant nihilism—Shop! Consume! This is what the colorful ads advise—is simply another form of nihilism. One that slowly pervades the rest of this planet and this community called earth. From the mega-slums of the majority world cityscapes, to the destruction of the rain forests, to the invasion, conquest and slaughter of foreign lands and foreign peoples, this nihilistic desire proceeding from my own inner void infects others as I release it in my desire to consume. But what else is there? I have this drive to live, and not only to live, but to thrive. To attempt to thrive, to live in the midst of LA, where can another path be found that supercedes this simulacrum? I am not sure and if I am not sure than what good comes from my pseudo-prophetic attempts to expose the insanity present in our current form of life. For insanity to be seen for what it is surely it must be juxtaposed against something else, something at least semi-sane?
And this something else must meet me here. It cannot come to me only in the mountains or floating in the ocean, or on an open plain. It must reach into the very heart of this festering, sweltering, desirous, city. It must reach into my heart in the heart of this city. Slow down. Peace, be still. Be still, and know that I am God. But where God, where are you God? At what location can this nomination take place? God of my heart is not enough. God of history used to sound better, but in our epoch it almost resounds as a mockery, reverberating through the halls of a seemingly vacuous, homogenous history, bouncing off of the cracked walls of progress. But these walls are of our own making, so why should cracked plaster cause such alarm?
I need a new project. We need a new horizon upon which to view a radically new way of being human. I have seen glimmers of such projects. I have heard stories and read reports. And so I am crying out to you God, to you LA, to you world. At the risk of sounding incredibly over dramatic I am asking what this project is. What it could be? What it may be?