Stay the Same

Response #8 Dad
4 December 2011, 2:26 pm
Filed under: ALL, Responses to the project
I don’t know where the title, STAY THE SAME, came from or why, but it seems that a condition of life is that we are limited in time and we have changed and will change. So there is something of a trap, set by yourself, that has incredible resonance and poignancy. You mention ‘modern life’, but the theme goes back as far as self-consciousness.
Coincidentally, I have been reading a paper by Camus on the myth of Sisyphus, , and noticing examples coming up currently- I’m attaching this one with reference to ‘modern life’.
The Greek Gods are immortal and powerful, crudely wilful but not omnipotent or omniscient. They can therefore be useful for thinking about the urges and narratives that affect us from the unconscious ‘underworld’ within us.
In the myth, the God’s condemn Sisyphus to keep pushing his rock up to the place where it cannot rest and must come rolling down. Inside us we have powerful urges, our God’s, and our self-characterisations, like Sisyphus, and the narratives which drive us to actions, hopes and fears, dreams, nightmares and feelings. Although we can conceive of immortality and finality, I wonder about the rock and it’s futility, perhaps in a way that connects with the happiness that Camus ascribes to Sisyphus. Nothing may last for ever, but on the way some tasks, like your film, can get finished and can give satisfaction.
Recently I was visited by an acquaintance who remembered visiting my mother at her home in Yorkshire nearly 20 years ago. The thing that stayed in her mind was that my mother had the cleanest gas-cooker she has ever seen. Fancy trying to keep a gas-cooker looking new forever.

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