Monday, April 22, 2013

Flowers of Boredom – Rick DeMarinis

Sometimes it isn't the complete story but just a paragraph, maybe a sentence or two, that sticks in your head.
I found that with this particular story.  I didn't see one overall idea or message that I could readily pull from it (of course one could always surface later) but a nice passage below as well as part of the Contributor’s Notes will do for this entry.

“Nobody knows jack-shit,” Voss is saying to Lamar.  “If you are going to stay in this business, you’ve got to remember that.  Something else, something besides men and machines gets all this fancy work done.”
“I see what you mean,” Lamar says.

“No you don’t. You really don’t,” Voss says.  “What I am telling you is that there is a great dark…consensus…that sweeps things along to their inevitable conclusion.  There is an intelligence behind it, but, believe me, it’s not human.  It is the intelligence of soil, the thing that lifts trees and flowers out of the ground.  I am too astonished and thrilled to be frightened by it.”

And then in the Contributor’s notes section Demarinis writes:

“I believe thought processes are primitive.  Logic and reason mask a dark topography rutted by glaciers of superstition.  We prefer intuition over analysis.  Reason tells me smart men with blueprints and serious purpose create ICBMs.  My limited experience and my intuition tell me something else.  One of the results of this conviction is “The Flowers of Boredom.” All this happened decades ago.  It still astonishes me.”

And thinking further on this, I can take the above personally as I work in my life and in the life of my family to move away from the “dark consensus”. 

I think about it quite a bit actually and I believe that it is even more prevalent and powerful in our lives than it was when this story was written in the late 80s.

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