Honestly Kid

by Daniel Damkoehler


2nd thoughts

Address Unknown

Any buzzer will do…

Man is equal­ly inca­pable of see­ing the noth­ing­ness from which he emerges and the infin­i­ty in which he is engulfed.
— Blaise Pascal

Like every­one, I have a few favorite ideas that I can’t help return­ing to. One of those is get­ting lost, wan­der­ing around some­where that might have once seemed so famil­iar, and then find­ing my way home again from a whole new angle. Note: I did­n’t say it was entire­ly orig­i­nal, just a favorite.

That’s why I usu­al­ly laugh when I dri­ve through a neigh­bor­hood and some clever bunch of van­dals has done over all of the street signs. It reminds me that it’s all just made up any­way. The map is not the world. Change the signs on that inter­sec­tion and three streets still meet, but are they the same three streets. If one was Dumbass Ave and the oth­er Einstein Blvd and they change to Smith and Jones respec­tive­ly, does it real­ly feel the same? Maybe to you, but not to me.

There’s some­thing besides names and things (or sign and sig­ni­fied, if you pre­fer a more for­mal con­struct) at work in the way we see the world. Names. Things. Those names you nev­er remem­ber. Those places you nev­er for­get. And the reverse. There is a thing between a name and a thing that makes it feel like it fits or does­n’t. Perhaps that’s sim­ply our mind or our con­scious­ness or our cul­tur­al bag­gage?

Go out and get your­self lost and you’ll begin to take notice of the per­cep­tu­al fil­ters you rely on to main­tain your so-called coher­ent sense of real­i­ty. And maybe you’ll notice that real­i­ty is some­thing we like best one step removed from our­selves, safe­ly fil­tered. And maybe too, you’ll dis­cov­er the ways that some­thing that both­ers you about the way world works is as much a mat­ter of the way you’ve cho­sen to see things as the way things might actu­al­ly be.