Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Welcome to the Age of Nugacity

We are living in the Age of Nugacity. This, from a word-a-day service
a friend once gave me:


(noo-GAS-i-tee, nyoo-)
noun: Triviality; futility.

From Latin nugax (trifling), from nugari (to trifle).

Last night, after I had read in the LA Times and on Yahoo about Adolf
Hitler's Olympics unfolding in Beijing, I took myself out to the
Joshua tree and watched the moon's slow progress toward the mountains
(which is, more accurately, the earth's falling into day) and I said
to That which contains us, "I am so sorry."

It is astonishing to me that the moon, the old tree, even the lights
of human dwellings slowed my breathing and brought a little peace. I
was able to sleep.

I woke this morning to sadness. Immediate. Inexorable.

Later I read this poem:

All night I could not sleep
Because of the moonlight on my bed.
I kept on hearing a voice calling:
Out of Nowhere, Nothing answered 'yes.'

- Zi Ye, translated by Arthur Waley, *A Hundred and Seventy Chinese

How much we have all forgotten---the Chinese, the Americans, every
global victim of the Great Hypnosis...