Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Pseudoiteratives (Quotes from 2313)

In 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson describes “pseudoiteratives.” The last couple of days I have been thinking about all the pseudoiteratives that I have had over my lifetime and the one or two that I currently have. I know that pondering this idea will ever so subtly permanently change the way that I look at my world.
He needed order, and a project; he needed habits….Of course there was no such thing as a true repetition of anything; ever since the pre-Socratics that had been clear, Heraclitus and his un-twice-steppable river and so on. So habits were not truly iterative, but pseudoiterative. The pattern of the day might be the same, in other words, but the individual events fulfilling the pattern were always a little bit different. Thus there was both pattern and surprise, and this was Wahram’s desired state: to live in a pseudoiterative. But then also to live in a good pseudoiterative, an interesting one, the pattern constructed as a little work of art.
Oh yes, I have been where Wahram is. I think of the times that I have moved to a new city, suffered the loss of a major person in my life, left or taken a new job or project.
Life is at most a pseudoiterative. Each day has its particulars. Performing the same actions day after day, in a ritual to ward off time, to hold the moment, does not remove these particulars, but rather burnishes them. The animals, our horizontal brothers and sisters, remind us; each day lived is a kind of adventure, a success. Nothing ever repeats. Each breath is a new suck of the atmosphere, a gasp for life. A hope for experience. Feel that and go on.
Oh, these two quotes are so beautiful. This is why I read, to have someone describes ideas like this that change my perspective on life. Thank you, Kim Stanley Robinson.

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