Home > Opinions > Come, Young Lurker, I’ve Much to Tell You

Come, Young Lurker, I’ve Much to Tell You

By Otis Nixon

Everything is in constant flux on this earth. Nothing keeps the same unchanging shape, and our affections, being attached to things outside us, necessarily change and pass away as they do. What say you, young lurker? Is there not a longing for immortality in your activity? To stalk among these fleeting affections—to watch them pass, like a large jungle cat fasting. You who dare to affront Nature!

Those very same fleeting affections, always out ahead of us or lagging behind, recall a past which is gone or anticipate a future which may never come into being; there is nothing solid there for the heart to attach itself to. Do you not, young lurker, in your refusal to make contact with the object of your gaze, dabble in some dark art? Do you not extend the boundaries of feeling which depend on acknowledgement and attachment? The lurker knows that, by erasing this element of humanity, he becomes inhuman. Society calls him an outcast. ‘Yes,’ he replies, ‘but it is I who have cast you out.’

Our earthly joys are almost without exception the creatures of a moment; I doubt whether any of us knows the meaning of lasting happiness. Yet we lurkers know what it is to suspend time by the rejection of worldly pleasures. The devil knows we are hungry but he doesn’t know that we are fed from a wellspring deeper than those at his command. We prowl in holy communion, invincible.

In the keenest pleasures of your ordinary Lankvillian, there is scarcely a single moment of which the heart could truthfully say: ‘Would that this moment could last for ever!’ And how can we give the name of happiness to a fleeting state which leaves our hearts still empty and anxious, either regretting something that is past or desiring something that is yet to come?

But if there is a state where the soul can find a lurking-place secure enough (say, a hedge or small tree) or to establish itself (say, the back seat of car or underneath an upended wheelbarrow) and concentrate its entire being there, with no need to remember the past or reach into the future, where time is nothing to it, where the present runs on indefinitely but this duration goes unnoticed, with no sign of the passing of time, and no other feeling of deprivation or enjoyment, pleasure or pain, desire or fear than the simple feeling of existence, a feeling that fills our soul entirely, as long as this state lasts, we can call ourselves happy, not with a poor, incomplete and relative happiness such as we find in the pleasures of life, but with a sufficient, complete and perfect happiness which leaves no emptiness to be filled in the soul.

Come, young lurker, I’ve much to tell you.

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