This week I did a 24-lecture series on Nietzsche, and Wednesday night my head was swimming and as I was walking to my car, trying to cope with complex philosophical conundrums, my head took me back to basics and told me that if I wanted to know the meaning of life I ought to start with a kiss. I ought to give myself over completely to a kiss, experience myself lost totally in that connection. That’s how I used to teach philosophy. That’s a toehold, a foot in the door, an easy way to get at the truths that cannot be expressed effectively with words. I felt lost, unanchored, mentally and emotionally and spiritually, and the safe place to turn, to get my bearings, was a kiss.
But I got in my car and I drove home anyway.
Nietzsche apparently has a lot to say against all forms of asceticism, and it seemed pretty convincing as it rolled into my mind. Gave me a lot to think about, about the various asceticism I prescribe to, cling to. Unstuck.
I have friends who can lose a job and find a new one faster than I can make up my mind about whether to kiss a beautiful woman. I have friends who don’t know how or whether they can afford treatment for their depression, but who go anyway; I know at least three different ways my insurance covers therapy for me, but I stand frozen in depression for years at a time. At least I have friends, I suppose.