Mountain Return

An early morning return. Hazy, sleepy Jeremy looks out the window at Adirondack wilderness: green trees against white snow, patches of gray rock, looming heights, reddish-blue dawn sky. If only I hadn’t had those two sweet bean buns! They sit in my stomach as only piles of bean and dough can. Amiable (and so delightfully plump) at first, they become persistent, and eventually overstuff their welcome.

Thus we passed through the Adirondack state park on our way back to the city: Soovin and myself in the back seat with my bag and his violin, his parents in the front seat… His parents are extremely talkative even at 6 AM, eek! Clouded by buns, unable to really speak or think, I cannot fully appreciate the landscape. But I have a little pang around frozen Schroon Lake, where I spent some frustrating (and now frozen) quality time with an old love; suddenly I am paddling in a canoe, out to the center, reading Proust ….

What have I learned in the last week? Let’s see. Surprising things about reading and alcohol. Take, for instance, the following passage, which I came across first while having a delightful martini:

“Schopenhauer’s thesis is that the world presents itself to us under two aspects — as Will and Idea — and that these two aspects are always distinct and always conjoined; that they totally embrace, or inform, one another. To speak in terms of either alone is to lay oneself open to a destructive duality, to the impossibility of constructing a meaningful world …”

Now, the sober Jeremy, rereading, would have probably glanced right on by this passage, in the course of an impatient skim; but he thankfully was given pause by the tipsy Jeremy, who apparently was quite moved, mid-martini, judging from a giant “WOW!” written (perhaps scrawled) in the margin … the sentences were circled for good measure. Seemingly, drunken Denk is in some cases SMARTER than sober Denk, and is considerably more willing to walk with Schopenhauer into destructive dualities and whatnot. (Drunken Denk is also more willing to consume pints of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream.) Now, the thing is this: normal, everyday Denk did a double-take, suddenly realized/remembered the beauty of this passage, its layers of significance yadda yadda yadda, because of these signs (like the markings of a caveman) left by his gin-soaked alter ego; the site of my revelation was in my brain somewhere, unearthed by a pencilled wow!, visible and valid currency to the sober eye, but somehow ignored.

So, the moral of the story, which I plan to pass on to all my children (should I have any), is: Drink Up! Blog readers: feel free to post your drunken or sober interpretations of the above passage. I am curious. See if it’s possible for you to construct a meaningful world.

For those who want to be regaled with tales about kiddie concerts, teeny-bopper Q&A sessions, and howling winds over Adirondack slopes, I refer you to my other blog, which actually recounts the events of my life, and which does not exist. No, no, it was a really delightful week “out of time.” There were many sweet people, and many sweets were consumed: cheesecake, cookies, glutinous rice pastries, Pepero-brand Korean chocolates… And we played hymns, and Ives, and Gershwin, and “Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair.”

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One Comment

  1. Nils
    Posted August 19, 2005 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Philosophy is so much less fun on an empty stomach, and so much more fun with a tasty cocktail in hand.

    Blog away—this is the kind of stuff I enjoy reading.

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