Monday, November 2, 2009

Hey, Nice Rock

Albert Camus? You have to be kidding me. Albert. I bet he got his le ass kicked on le playground. But crap if I don't identify with Albert Camus (Cam-ewwwww!) and his essay Le Mythe de Sisyphe. I hate most things French, but I think Bert has it about right.

Consider the original Myth of Sisyphus. Mr. Sisyphus (And yeah, he probably got teased on the playground, too. "Hey Sissy-phus, your tunic is showing!") pissed off some Greek god or goddess. I forget who, but even money it was Zeus. That dude had temper issues and couldn't keep his hands off the ladies. So anyway, Sisyphus sticks his finger in the eye of the immortals, and as punishment, he is eternally destined to roll a honkin' big rock up a hill. And right when he gets to the pinnacle, the rock rolls back to the bottom. Push, roll, repeat. Push, roll, repeat. Give credit where credit is due; the Ancient Greeks knew torture. Dick Cheney must love his classics. So Sisyphus was, well, damned. Pissed, sore, blistered, bitter, lonely, and so on.

But back to Albert. He posits that Sisyphus was all that -- blistered, sore, exhausted, etc. - AND happy. Happy? At first blush, one might think Albert had his head up his derriere. But roll with me and Albert here. All of the toil and struggle, the failure and misery? Part of the human condition. The rock exercise is simply a metaphor for our simple little human condition.

In other words, Sisyphus had a purpose. He had goals, He was determined (So, okay, fine, Zeus or Hera or Hades or Mars or whoever made him do it...). Don't measure Sisyphus by his failure along the way, but instead on the total of the journey he took. Why must he be sad or full of self-loathing? Perhaps he was content to push his rock, living in the moment, taking in the view, full of hope that one day -- one day -- he'd get the rock to the top and earn a rest. He didn't know any better but than to hope.

So push your rock. It might roll back down the hill, and if it does at least you have a choice. Quit or roll it again. Quit or roll again. Me and Albert, I think we are rollers.

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry I'm late to this post, as it pretty much sums up my feelings over the past few days. I'm trying to shake off the sadness and get back to pushing my rock. Thanks.


Please don't take me too seriously.