That phrase has been ringing in my ears for some time now. I'm actually working on a number of poems (not all of which will make it past the cutting block (but those that do will probably end up up here)) using that phrase, because it is a pretty nice one I like to think. And it is in a figurative sense somewhat accurate. Pondering history is an easy route to insanity. Trying to figure out a pattern, trying to work out a direction, trying to find the rhyme or reason, these things will drive a person mad very easily. Imposing a direction or a rhythm on history is easier but not much saner. And yet there must be some, because people are after all made up of fators, of what they started life with and what they accumulated along the way and history is made up of people, so it all should be able to be chopped into factors, then added up into history. Or better yet perhaps there is some macropattern that has just popped up, like the way weather takes millions of unknown factors and then finds a pattern, maybe history is like that. Maybe. That's a maybe that will drive you mad.
And those who embrace history most fully. Who wish to enter her, those who wish to become one with history, they are the maddest of all, because history is in the end, I think, a creature of nature, and a creature of dead nature, it in the end has no special life to itself, but the life we give it, and so yes it can be loved as an idea, but as a lover, that commitment, it will drive the lover mad because it is an illusion, and it is an illusion composed of the chaos of the combined comos of all the humans who have ever lived. There is the author of history, God, whom one can embrace, but history. History gives us nothing but what we take from it. If we ask it for love, it will give only madness.
5 months ago