“Express only that which cannot be expressed. Leave it unexpressed.”
“The world eternally turns round; all things therein are incessantly moving, the earth, the rocks of Caucasus, and the pyramids of Egypt, both by the public motion and their own. Even constancy itself is no other but a slower and more languishing motion. I cannot fix my object; ‘tis always tottering and reeling by a natural giddiness; I take it as it is at the instant I consider it; I do not paint its being, I paint its passage.”
-Michel de Montaigne, 1580-
“Sincerity – it’s the insatiable process
of transition, of fluctuation…”
I began one place, and become another.
Wallace remarked that the most difficult thing to teach young writers was the difference between expressive writing and communicative writing.
“Two utterances cling tightly to each other, like two bodies but having indistinct boundaries.” (Maurice Blanchot)
A notification informs me that today is the first anniversary of my experience of the blogosphere.
Humbled over 365 days.
And thank you.
I imagine many writers/artists start out, in the youth of their writing (or creative work) from a singular sense. There’s this “me” experiencing this “world,” it seems like – an I and a chaos, an identity and a multitude. When the I (or eye) feels full, it is like to burst. Things touch us, hurt us, impinge on our locus, our “self,” and it seems something must be done about it – we must exert – strike back, reach out, kiss, craft – exhibit our presence. Interact. The dualities are clear.
Are confused. Experience turns out to be very mixed, an impossibly confusing weave. As we begin to plunder these “moments,” we’re countered. Things that happened to us, we were there for, in all fairness, our activities encroach.
We begin perhaps to recognize our existence as agents – not only done to, but doing; not only recipients but respondants, reactive. The wrestle of expressing ourselves through materials (language, movement, matter or sound) teaches us this. The Other’s inextricably woven – what occurs and results is the same. Is unlike. We lose balance.
Conceiving the work as a subject toward object (our creating) deriving from object to subject (our experiences) – our investigations quickly expose this unclear. Attacked by requirements of how. Stubborn like marble or tricky as oils, even recalcitrant conventions, we begin to comprehend a falsity to working on, as a single direction, and realize it’s all a working with. And we struggle.
Even working with. The earth, or people, or bodies, or clay, things rarely abide our intentions. We set out to disburden ourselves, get incited to construct or create (to “use”) and find ourselves consistently foiled. Reality doesn’t care. We find precious little room for expression. Compromise and nuance, novelty or style – ineffective to the longings we exude.
Perhaps at this stage we lose faith in our voices or visions – what we seek we does not seem to obtain. This is fine. This is something no product can resolve. For there isn’t. There is no solution to life. We are IN it. And there is no replacement for death. Then we’re OUT.
Whether language or matter, movement or sound, our “I” never works on an Other. We are INsulated. INextricably. Communicative activity means cohabiting the spaces, simultaneous-ing the times. Realities – experiences – accord. Everything possessing the prefix co-. It’s admitting the reciprocal, the recursive – we’re not separate beings being, we are beings expressing ourselves commensurately. Perhaps control is adjusting to convention. Accepting agreements with place. Expression living IN and WITH, communication the word for the weave. That we’re behaving, creating, co-mposing in inseparable connectivity (inexpressible process) – transition, fluctuation, IN –
– attempting to paint its passage.
Thanks so much for reading, joining, my attempts.
N Filbert 2012