“Excess of sorrow laughs. Excess of joy weeps.”
— William Blake
Why is the Horizontologist so suave, so seemingly self-assured? Even amid ruins, he strides kingly (or queenly) unimpressed. Would we be surprised if the low lying one sipped a meager tea in some bemused state of grace even in the face of calamity and desolation?
The bed beneath the stars like Robert Louis Stevenson’s famous “sleeping sack” is truly the room with a view. It is not a tent. It’s easy to carry and serves as day camp or bed.Â And what else more do we need in this world than a bed?
There is no window treatment to frame the celestial panorama. No Ritz-Carlton cracking up the horizon.Â You lie down, look up and drink in the dazzling exposition — cinema special effects pale in comparison.
But alas! It’s free.Â It doesn’t “cost” anything (or should I have put quotation marks around anything?). And so this practice of lying roofless in field and valley is not forwarded by our society. Our governors of commerce see no profit in it.
The Horizontologist remembers:Â all striving is folly. Whatever we want, once we get it, we only wish to wrestle ourselves away from it. Desire sought to its end leads to surfeit which then leads to contempt for that which was desired.
What can a poor, hapless Horizontologist do about that? Well, if it be possible you can …Laugh. ..
Life is to laugh. Laughter is that spontaneous realization, sudden and exhilarating, that life is indeed ironic and puzzling and often absurd. Like the Japanese koan, it releases the mind beyond the normal constraints of survival and pursuit.
But what are you pursuing and why are you pursuing it?