everyone wants to feel so sure
If you’re sure about it, you’re safe.
If you’re certain about something, no harm can befall you.
If you’re right, you’ve got the edge on everybody else, they will see ramifications of their ignorance. You’re exempt.
As much as we want it to be true, nobody can be THAT certain of anything.
Whether we declare them or not, whether you are aware of your own or not, we all adopt a framework of beliefs and stances, a sensical structure for Life and our place within it, to insulate us from the awfulness and the non-sensical and to stave off inevitable insanity.
The lens through which you see the world is yours, but it doesn’t imply that you can be more sure of your position than others are of theirs.
This is what the cubists taught us. By rendering an object, a violin for example, from as many viewing angles as possible and representing all of them in one composition, it toyed with the notion of truth. Even in the absolute sense. Every single slice of the chaotic, fragmented painting was documenting truth; this is the subject from the top, this is what can be seen from the right hand side and this is all I can see when I stand in the southwest corner of the room.
This jumbled mess makes us nervous. Why can’t we make sense of what we see? Why won’t it settle into something we can gaze upon without the sense that it has no intention of being understood, pinned down?
We like to trick ourselves into believing that being sure is synonymous with security.
That what we see as right, as certain, as good, is rock solid and will take us through our lives untouched by anything truly fucked up.
But that’s precisely the point here. No amount of righteousness can exist without fear. The trembling fear that accompanies your trying to hold the world together lest it implode is what gives birth to righteousness.
If others don’t see the dangers that you do and don’t understand, then something apocalyptic will surely come.
The stark realisation that certainty is fleeting, unreliable and exquisitely difficult to maintain is terrifying for us.
We need to know that there is something we can be sure of, something to keep us mostly safe and warm.
It doesn’t come from the high towers of being right. It doesn’t come from protecting yourself under the guise of a misanthrope.
The thing upon which we can all safely rely, is love. And it’s the eternal part of us that knows this, has been sure of it and will always be sure of it.
It’s the human thread. The one perennial certainty of our souls.
We are all in the same room, just sitting around the thing, seeing it from different angles and the arguments will be without end. But the one thing where we can all shut up, look up, and agree upon is the greater reality of what it is.
We all see a violin.