This post does not occur formatted as I have written it, but near enough. The inserted quotations are actually sidebars in the original text, not inserted, but I couldn’t find a way to do that here. Let me know what you think!
“Experience teaches not to trust experience”after Robert Frank
“It may be that to understand ourselves as fictions,
is to understand ourselves as fully as we can”
The “Talking Cure” they called it.
It occurred to me to talk to myself again.
“Finally, after five months of my life during which I could write nothing that would have satisfied me and for which no power will compensate me, though all were under obligation to do so, it occurs to me to talk to myself again”
I’d gotten lost. In images. In grey.
Pictures of dolls mangled by storms. Pictures of 19th century Parisian street scenes. Pictures of the American South in the 1940s. Pictures of hands, the sea, of flowers. Fragments. Instants. Without contexts.
Transposing my values to ambiguous greyscale. They called it “Black & White.” Albumen. Platinum. Ambrotype, Calotype, Collotype. Half-tones. Silent.
I had walked away at “unable.”
“My condition is not unhappiness, but it is also not happiness, not indifference, not weakness, not fatigue, not another interest – so what is it then? That I do not know is probably connected with my inability to write. And without knowing the reason for it, I believe I under-stand the latter”
Diaries 1910 –
I wasn’t unhappy, exactly. Not happy either. Not indifferent nor ill nor unusually fatigued. No crisis attended my aporia absorption…I simply hesitated…still.
There sat my typewriter, as every day, on top my large wooden desk, flush to the window, bright sheet of paper curled clean round the platen.
Loose pages scattered around, unmarked but willing, blank notecards and various writing implements all there, at which I sat and stared, unable…
(“the expression that there is nothing to express, nothing with which to express, nothing from which to express, no power to express, no desire to express, together with an obligation to express”…Samuel Beckett)
…not knowing why.
Someone suggested the talking cure.
“Why don’t I stay within myself?”
What would that mean? I thought. To whom would I speak, about what, with what and for what I could not imagine.
It occurs to me to talk to myself again.
me: might it be fear?
me: but fear of what?
me: fear of the unknown perhaps? the blank page, some swallowing void? distance?
me: I wouldn’t know what to be afraid of in that scenario
me: how could I fear?
“the blank page, the void where everything is called into question”
me: all these questions!
me: fear of having nothing to fear, yet feeling anxious or afraid
me: the obligation to express
me: from where or whom? and with nothing to express
me: nor apparently the wherewithal to express it
me: perhaps to express that fear, unknown, having nothing to fear?
me: make up a fear
I find myself afraid of losing things. Things changing. In other words, not being unhappy, I imagine alterations that might requisite unhappiness, might disturb a pleasant, if anxious, calm.
Someone with whom I have to relate, or find myself relating, might become dissatisfied or discontent. Travel, clothing, socializing, any number of disruptions are apt to dismember the present.
How fragile is the now!
me: afraid of change then?
me: the losses that change brings
me: and what of the gains?
me: what gains?
me: knowledge, experience, emotions, sensations
me: do you – do I – really go in for all that?
me: that change is advance? evolution, adaptation?
me: quite right – outside of a controlled environment – there are plenty, countless in fact, chaotic elements in this little room, our little house by the sea
me: I suppose
me: all we need for knowledge we can gather here, I’ve no doubt we’re not experiencing one another fully as it is – not ourselves, nor one another
me: susceptible to disease, age, time, accident, weather, supply or lack thereof, erosion, pests, mechanical failures
me: moods, thoughts, states, dreams, sounds
“words…are the source of mis-understandings”
The Little Prince
me: one another and ourselves
me: words and expressions
me: point taken
me: not of unknown but unknowable?
me: fragility, insecurity, contingency, frailty of finitude
me: seems at the mercy of everything within / without
me: reason to fear then, logical rational evidential reason
me: but I wasn’t afraid!
me: we invented that in order to try the “talking cure”
me: it had occurred to me
Not fear, finally, but dislike, distaste. Can a reasonable person fear what is inevitable? Mustn’t he or she come to terms with it? Lack of control, utter insecurity, constancy of change, approach of unknowable end? A trembling truce, an honesty.
It is conceivable to me that some humans might be such as inviting, engaging these things – find them exciting, compelling – to pass their time in action, adventure, experiment. Seems possible.
Various interpretations, fabrications, means for developing – in unaccountable degrees (albumen, Collotype, platinum, half-tones), hundreds, billions of shades.
me: if I were such a person
me: an explorer, a sailor, a hunter…Gracchus
me: yes Dante, Babbage, Rimbaud
me: inventive, welcoming, brave, per chance
me: bon chance!
me: nothing would be done
me: too much living and then dead
me: the noise, over-exposure, chaos
me: blown circuits
me: let’s stick with the metaphors
me: no limits
me: nothing contained
I walked away at “unable,” desk just so, the papers, the pens, the typewriter, the window.
Not knowing what to do. The waves kept doing. Grasses and winds. Even the page danced from time to time (in light, in draft).
Fear – no fear
The talking cure, they’ve called it.
It occurs to me to talk to myself, again.
I’ve nothing to say.
No way of expressing it.
“When people look at my photographs I want them to feel the way they do when they want to read a line of a poem twice”
the genuine writer has nothing to say. Only a way of speaking. Must create a world,
but starting from nothing, from the dust…”
Fear – No Fear
To be, or not To Be
as blank at the end as at the…
It occurs to me…