Leapdragon 2016 - Aron Hsiao Was Here

Taking a brief walk in the rain at night  §

always has the effect of reminding one of the fact that there is rain and there are nights.

I live in a world of text. In fact, I live in a world of metatext and hypertext—text about texts and texts that reference other texts. My world is shot through with metaperception and metaconception and hyperperception and hyperconception and very little… well… pavement.

Don’t get me wrong—I love academics. I love, most specifically, philosophy and theory, two things that cannot be too shot through with pavement as a matter of professional practice the way these disciplines have been vocationalized. And vocations are what modernity is made of, no getting away from that.

I love to think. I do. But sometimes I feel as though I spend rather a lot of time thinking about texts that are about texts that are talking about dirt and pavement and the meat that walks on them… when I’d rather (just every now and then) be that meat walking on them, not thinking quite so very much.

I suppose what I’m trying to say in the most clumsy way possible is that despite the continual feeling that I have an utter lack of knowledge in comparison to those under which I study and that I have will spend the rest of my life trying to “catch up” to all the knowledge I wish I had, there is also a feeling somewhere inside me that even more than knowledge I lack experience. My feet have been on the ground in relatively few places for my liking; I have seen relatively few natural or man-made “wonders,” I have spoken to comparatively few people from various corners of the Earth.

“Comparatively” not necessarily in relation to the average low-information American voter, but certainly in relation to my own wishes, my own idle dreams.

I remember being a kid and visiting my grandparents. They had every issue of National Geographic on a very long shelf, stretching all the way back to the dark bits of the twentieth century. I used to read and read and read and read every time we visited.

I was convinced that despite the fact that I felt I could already smell and taste and hear what I saw in the pictures, I would smell and taste and hear them even more when I went to those places, when I met those people, when I engaged in those journeys.

Hasn’t happened yet, for the most part.

Too much time in books and papers.

Which I do love, more than anything but my wife and family, I think.

But time is, nonetheless, always running out… a little more each day.

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