I envy the confidence of ignorance,
The stillness of growing grass,
The rustle of dead leaves.
The majesty of trees succumbing
To the changing seasons with
I envy me too, if I look at myself as I look at things
I cannot conceive. So full of life and energy,
It seems. Some strange thirst for life and death.
For I can’t resist the changing cycles
Either. But I am great only as an object.
My subjectivity haunts me,
Disturbs every sublimity. I wish I could
Perceive without perceiving my perception...
Maybe that’s what trees do?
“I envy the confidence of ignorance” was written in Maine, after an invitational lecture titled “Problems of Desire: Self-consciousness and Self-Narration in Late Tolstoy” I gave at Bowdoin College in 2019. The beautiful autumn nature of New England was very much an inspiration along with Hegel, Tolstoy, Heidegger and concerns of self-awareness.