The Finitudes

The Finitudes August 1, 2011

It’s taken almost sixty years but I’ve stopped

figuring out what people want. Now I’m working

on not being afraid of not giving people what they

want. I’m trying to absorb light which from a person

feels like truth. Trying to let light pass through which

when it happens feels like love. Then I stumble on

Heidegger’s notion of dwelling with care in the being

that underlies everything. Feel myself saying yes. Only

to discover he supported Hitler and enforced Aryan

law as Rector of the University of Freiburg. A telegram

to Hitler. And three Sieg Heils at the end of his inaugural

address. Now my not being shaped by what people want

seems trivial. Or is it the DNA of conscience? Hannah

Arendt, his student and lover, was a Jew. She testified

on his behalf after the war. How are we to hold such

contradictions? Somewhere seeds are breaking ground

and somewhere flesh is burning. This is hard enough

to take in. Yet how does this happen in the same

person without their soul exploding? We’ve all been

taught to take what we need and leave the rest. Why

not drink from Heidegger’s being and push the rest

of his plate away? But the pushed-away parts evolve

too. I’m trying to absorb what we’ve done to each

other throughout history, trying to eat all of what

I see and scrub one thing back to the beginning.

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