Mark Marking Questions
“Man is a riddle. Our complex relation to others may also be affected by our fascination with this riddle…Origin means, perhaps, question”
“Writing as the ‘talking cure’
he thought, thinking in language what he thought language might do. Be doing. To him.
He heard “why?,” a term learned early in order to learn, and thenceforward laid over nearly everything he read, encountered, overheard or stumbled across, as if it were his placeholding destiny in some infinitely progressing equation simplified “world.”
He’d read he needed other persons and things, places and times to know his own. – “Why?”
He’d heard “until others acknowledge or teach you your shape, your ideas, what you see what you feel what you taste or speak or hear, your perceptions and scope, you won’t be aware of a thing. You’ll have no ideas or sensations per se, you’re essentially Nothing without Them.”
Arching his back and shrieking a sound at an absence of breast: “why?”
“I guess I’m just punctuated that way,” he came to think, as he adapted vocabulary. “My role in a sequence is: – ?”
“And God said ‘Let there be light,’ and there was…” well, maybe – ?
“The Tao that can be named is not the eternal Tao…” well, maybe – ?
“1 + 1 = 2,” well….maybe – ?
“You are Mark, a male form of a human animal, replete with these working organs, the English language, and certain beliefs. These are your parents, your sibling, your probable friends. Here are some feelings, some expressions and thoughts. Here are your words.” Well. Maybe – ?
Shaped with letters and numbers and sounds. Voices and touchings and feels, he became, slowly, surely, puttied toward a recognizable form – perceptible to others, acknowledged, even affirmed or engaged from time to time.
“Why?” propelled the lengthening problem of life but never grew toward solutions.
He read elaborate explanations and descriptions as he borrowed more languages. Spiritual terms, medical terms, words scientific, political, philosophical and intimate. Thick reams of median symbols asking to be joined or embraced, understood or imbibed.
Mark enjoyed these fabrics, and found a belonging among them. Layers and theories, emotions and dreams – he simply need append his simple gesture – ?
Trouble, in the form of discomfort or pain, of disjunction, arose when agreement was desired. Explicitly or implicitly, this undermined his form. In situations where reciprocation or statement, some firm relation was called out for, his questioning mark failed to serve. Choices, commitments, integrities or beliefs turned to drizzle around his definitive (self-identified) symbol.
“I love you,” she wooed. “-?-“ he replied. “I cannot know what you mean, what your language portends, I am unable to verify why?” he’d respond. To collapse and retreat.
Even thoughts and decisions were questioned and split open on his sharp weapon of a mark. He was not trusted or deemed trustworthy as doubt was perceived an anomaly.
He remained uncertain.
Self-perceivably, he reliably questioned, he’d respond and then take it away with his mark, his “signature move” as it were, his undoing. “Yes I will…” “This I think…” “I am…” always followed by his -?- (which sounded like “why?” in the air) and found no rationale that could not be further put to query.
The world was unstable as well as a “self” for him. All under the branding shadow of “why?” This Mark never outgrew in all his adaptations, acquisitions, mutations and metamorphoses. His certain core of uncertainty. His permanent doubt. His oxymoronic reality of being, not-being -?-
They perceive him – they really do – but as full of content with no substance; as possible and capable yet a great risk; as veritably human but unnamed from within. Without “identity.” This is true even of his wife and his children, parents and friends, all unsure who or what they are relating to, marked with the sign of the -?- The indeterminate one, the questionable and uncertain, the duplicitous and vague, are various ways he is read and conceived – standing there as he does on his tiny spot of here, long-legged and stooped as in prayer, or inquiry – ? –