In my parents’ house there is this porcelain tray in the shape of a jar for holding spatulas and beaters off of the countertop, coloured yellow with some writing on it so french that I never bothered to read it in full as a child, but it intrigued me. Not enough to have me properly examine it, but enough to get me to smile a little bit every time I walked past it. I smiled because I knew that there was some elaborate joke etched into it that, without what seemed like great effort at the time, I would never understand.
It represented, to me, the unequivocal depth of complexity in our world. It meant that no matter how I read or inquired there would always be some things beyond me, and that was greatly inspiring. People look at the myth of sisyphus and think that his unacomplishable task damned him to perpetual and fruitless toil, but he would always have something to do. There is great solace to be had in defeat. Is it not comforting to know that the mountain is greater than you? Is it not comforting to know that the gods are greater than you?
Today, I read that piece of porcelain. As it happened, it had been given to my parents in a gift basket by a company that sold mustard. There was no joke. There was no mystery.
I don’t feel very well.