Stephen King: We forget that life is fundamentally mysterious

I ask you to consider the fact that we live in a web of mystery, and have simply gotten so used to the fact that we have crossed out the word and replaced it with one we like better, that one being reality. Where do we come from? Where were we before we were here? Don’t know. Where are we going? Don’t know. A lot of churches have what they assure us are the answers, but most of us have a sneaking suspicion all that might be a con-job laid down to fill the collection plates. In the meantime, we’re in a kind of compulsory dodgeball game as we free-fall from Wherever to Ain’t Got a Clue. Sometimes bombs go off and sometimes the planes land okay and sometimes the blood tests come back clean and sometimes the biopsies come back positive. Most times the bad telephone call doesn’t come in the middle of the night but sometimes it does, and either way we know we’re going to drive pedal-to-the-metal into the mystery eventually.

It’s crazy to be able to live with that and stay sane, but it’s also beautiful. I write to find out what I think, and what I found out writing The Colorado Kid was that maybe — I say just maybe — it’s the beauty of the mystery that allows us to live sane as we pilot our fragile bodies through this demolition-derby world. We always want to reach for the lights in the sky, and we always want to know where the Colorado Kid (the world is full of Colorado Kids) came from. Wanting might be better than knowing. I don’t say that for sure; I only suggest it.

– Stephen King, from the afterword to The Colorado Kid (2005)

About Matt Cardin

Teeming Brain founder and editor Matt Cardin is the author of DARK AWAKENINGS, DIVINATIONS OF THE DEEP, A COURSE IN DEMONIC CREATIVITY: A WRITER'S GUIDE TO THE INNER GENIUS, and the forthcoming TO ROUSE LEVIATHAN. He is also the editor of BORN TO FEAR: INTERVIEWS WITH THOMAS LIGOTTI and the academic encyclopedias MUMMIES AROUND THE WORLD and GHOSTS, SPIRITS, AND PSYCHICS: THE PARANORMAL FROM ALCHEMY TO ZOMBIES.

Posted on December 27, 2012, in Arts & Entertainment, Religion & Philosophy and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Matt… I’m with you on “wanting might be better than knowing.” Wanting leads us on. Wanting just may be the gravitational force that leads us to our own undoing, which is the door to awakening. What say ye?

  2. oh I unravelled alright.

    Approach Chaos, and it will spit something out -just- -for- -you-.

    in Vietnamese Dau Mau, they call all spirits, to increase their chances of success, you could say.

    Whatever it is, let it find you, at your peril, but you’ll receive a major windfall in return.

    Reciprocation is a harsh lesson

  3. I think it is these ideas that I find most fascinating about the horror genre. I feel that it is the only genre that really tries to deal with the big questions and makes us ask “what if”. It mocks our petty answers and drives us closer to the edge of the darkness to find out an answer for ourselves, not just one handed to us.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>