The Thing About John Updike

The thing about John Updike is, I found yet another inspiring post on Brain Pickings recently, about John Updike and some ideas of his about writing and death, and how various things we do (addictions, writing) are merely ways of avoiding accepting the reality of nothingness, of our imminent demise and the likelihood our death will be our extermination.

Happy stuff.

It was inspiring because I really like to think of a guy who’s dedicated himself to writing and contemplation,

and contemplation is a key qualifier to writing here, because lots of people write, but there is a way of writing purposefully and meaningfully that I think adds an extra dimension of importance to writing,

and that is to use writing as a tool for contemplation.

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Flux Comb

So I started Flux Comb when perhaps I should have been journalling about yesterday or reading the Updike story I found or otherwise somehow processing how inspired I was by hanging out with C,

and then it got really late and some of the wind fell out from under my wings, but I pursued some of this nonetheless, because that’s what flux combing is:

flux combobulation;

combing the flux until you find something you can identify with for long enough to not feel entirely adrift on a planet spinning so fast through a cosmos so random there is no chance of ever not having messy hair because one moment you’ve run a comb through it and the next moment CHANGE.

I write about things to help me understand them, and in writing about yesterday I hoped some insight would pop out, but understood that maybe it wouldn’t and I have to allow myself to be okay with that, because insights are like karma in the sense an experience might not yield an insight until decades later when some experience you have now then causes you to remember how you might have reacted to a similar experience back then.

Something I know is important (something that yielded insight immediately) is that I accessed a sort of existential mania I had long associated with my recently former tendency to binge-party in search of edifying drunken conversation I would then promptly forget and be much too frazzled and fragile to recover.