To 2016

I am uncertain why I am sharing this, it comes from a personal email response to a friend, but as I was writing it, things that were coming up resonated profoundly in me.  Composition just does this for me.  I suppose I want it on public record for my own remembering.  That I learn things about me, that change is possible, that decay is transformative.  Okay then I am posting a personal reflection for myself – to declare it more widely in lieu of a personal social group.

chrysalis

“leaning upon nothing because nothing offers support”

-Maurice Blanchot-

The following is a response to a scholarly conversation regarding philosophy, science, cognition and so on…entirely out of place or sync, but seemed a personal confession on the passage of time and what it reveals…

Greetings —-.  It is good to hear from you.  I’ve been inundated per usual with family activities – good and tiring – and disorienting to my habits of reflection to some extent.  Feeling a bit bewildered re: semester start-up and the madness it brings, and yes, missing ANY considered interaction and dialogue.  I feel lucky to have encountered you.

Wee, random breaks and work-from-home days incite my nostalgia and bodily recall of creating creative work in language.  I ache for it.  Loss of its regularity is a depletion that changes me.  But then I read, “the process of transformation consists almost entirely of decay” from a book about butterflies.  And “we have not much language to appreciate this phase of decay, this withdrawal, this era of ending that must precede beginning” from a commentary on it by Rebecca Solnit, a fine book – A Field Guide to Getting Lost that I like to read while traveling.

I suppose as the library is closed and our work quiet and insect-like on research, curriculum, and admin reports back here…my sociality turns to the work of being open and refusing stress in interacting with my beautiful children.  Which clicks onward into the ever-insistent questioning I face regarding whether there are adult relationships that can be predominately nourishing or reciprocally intimate.  Do we offer one another boon?  Any of us?  Our interactions have consistently done so, and I am very thankful to you for that.  So much conversation wears on me with the subterfuge and maneuvering to get anywhere near meaningful discourse.  I suppose I am tired, and perhaps in a strain of melancholy.  The wishing I could sit back with a drink and listen to intelligent talk without necessity of defense or critical acumen.  Just enjoying that we can.  Imagine and inform one another as humans.  I want this to mean something for me.  To mean I go about things variantly, shy from exhaustion and welcoming to possibilities.  From where does this determination to endure come from?  To “make the most of” idle repartee, body language, archaeology of behaviorisms and attitudes, – supplying too much (or inordinately) in order to learn in situations.  I dream of the luxury of perception and interpretation without analysis.  Reception.  Or where analysis co-creates itself.  Mutuality.  Enjoyment versus labor.  Or an effortless labor to enjoy.  Ahem.  Off-track and losing…

All this, I suppose, to apologize for my lack of acumen in the dear and full emails you and —- have provided…and probably an explanation of my messages of links rather than thought.  Others’ works as hopefully substantial stand-ins for my intellectual lack or confusion.  I do not know where the path is at present.  Just spinning in a lot of literature and activity.  Confession.

Trying to view decay in a hopeful manner.  The slow tears in relationality that introduce distances.  From friends, to partners, to ‘self’ – the flux of it all.  Many seem to have a greater capacity than I for working thematically regardless of internal/external context.  More flexible beings, I suppose, less bound by circumstance and scenario.  Ah well, this is no relevant response to your missals.  Apologies.  They enliven me – simply that thought and invention are going on around me – so please share them all as they arise – it is a great matter of hope for me to watch thought and process in others.  A stay against loneliness.  Thank you.  As I age along, some confusions do seem to dissipate…particularly confusions of my own blindnesses.  What nourishes me: intimacy (emotional, intellectual and physical), the thought and imaginative work of others, people striving to process experience on multiple levels, quiet & rest & reflection.  The commerce of ideas and bodies – entangled minds and bodies – passion and gentleness and reflection.  When these dissipate or decay or are absent in some strange idiosyncratic equilibrium, life is just harder for me to insist on.  And how terribly crucial the activity of writing is for me in my own ability to process my experiencing.  A weird alchemical embodied activity for me that seems to bring forth learning, feeling, imagination and all those characteristics I would like to take root in myself, to be me.  I am better when I write.  Better when I love.  Better when I rest.  Better with meaningful dialogue.  All sounds simple and general, but revealed ever more insistently to me as my epidermis thins.

Another turn of the wheel, bellows to the desire to thrive before the end.

To 2016 then.  And hope.

Something better soon.Kockelman_Figure 9, BSTCSG

Begging your patience at year’s end…

Who is Writing

The year’s end approaches.  Writing by hand grows slower.  In need of practice.  The ubiquitous milieu of technology.  A differing technology, and our relation to it.  Our co-evolution with it.  My father’s handwriting is beautiful.  Still.  Differentiation of the digital.  Digital purposes.  Digits accustoming to tapping, percussive, losing their ability to flow, to caress.  I squeeze this pen too tightly.  As if in fear of losing.

Embedded in each loss a gain, development, adaptation, transformation.  Slowness for speed.  Close- for hyper- (reading).  Ambiguity for binary.  Sloppy for distinct.  Mystery – machinic.  Unique for uniform.  Elegance to efficiency.  What is communication?

Interesting to me, easing my grip on the pen, recalling, desiring, hoping, [nostalgia]…

…it occurs to me:

Habitude.  For years, approaching the blank page [paper] – began with “in the beginning was the word…” an “as if,” as if the void, emptiness, blankness of pulped tree afforded emergence, ex nihilo, some everclear clean unknowing evolution out from inchoate.  Trace and track from complex disorder toward infinitely specifiable order.  Each session a composition of the new…

I am struck by the assumption.  Presupposition of potential: that ANYthing might blankly begin (already, like bicycling, shoulder-elbow-wrist-hand and its particular angles operating this ink-stick picking up pace, stretched and loosening, reaching stride).  Presumption of absence, emptiness, a universal glory of “From nothing: This.”  I create.

Happens no more.  Reviewing the increasingly sparse occasions (with age and responsibilities) I am able to operate with technologies of paper, pen and hand-i-writing over the past few years of employment, reading, writing, parenting and relationship…the fundamental (as in foundational, originary) manner of approach…to composition, inception, expectation, hope and desire…is significantly altered.

The fidelity to languaging remains.  That belief, commitment, conviction and trust that ordering the disordered – shaping absence, mattering energy – still transacts secrets into reveals, fabricates meanings of mysteries, is an activity of arbitrary author-ing/-ity; that experiencing’s a processing of signs, of signaling and symbol – that invention, discovery and behavior = complex activities/adaptations of interactive dynamic systems interlocking at multiple scales – inexplicable, indecipherable, far beyond observation or comprehension – and that action or activity actualizes SOMEthing = something unknown, unforeseen, “free” or “new” or potential simply via the inter-, intra- activity of operationalizing with an environment – IN it, part and particle, (that all ‘moments’ eventuate this)…and yet,

There is difference.  Cermonializing, greeting, risking the activity of encountering, engaging, marking a blank page (against death, in hopes of being, realizing desires, imagining, etc.) no longer invokes “In the beginning…” or “word…” somewhere/sometime along the living this transmuted into “Who is writing – ?”

Space-time carved, empty notepad placed, pen inked and ready, and only the sensation, the amorphous geography of a question emanates – Who is writing here now?

No more an assumption that Someone prepares to express, incise, inscribe.  No more presumption that given the space and the time “I” am an entity full of content waiting for production.  No more Someone with Something to process, work out, or to say…

Simply – “Who is this coming to write?”

And any word will do.  Any mark.  But not just ANY word (although also that) – whatever word(s) come to occur between the living – the instrument – the surface – and said ACTIVITY, INTERACTION, RELATION becomes its own answering.

In the “opening” – questioning and answering are one and the same: RESPONSE and ABILITY.

Writing, a certain sort of what might be culturally convened ‘creative writing’ – for me has become a constituting behavior/action of RESPONS-ABILITY.  Given the temporary knot of my organism-in-its-environment or context…what inscribes here represents my ability to respond within it, at this time.

Who is this writing? replies in the writing, and also takes shape as a Who in the writing.  In A beginning (inception of a specific way of acting) is neither Word nor Who but a bothness occurring in its occurrence…

Who is this writing?

Who is Writing2.JPG

“When I write I escape myself, I uproot myself, I am a virgin; I leave from within my own house and I don’t return.  The moment I pick up  my pen – magical gesture – I forget all the people I love; an hour later they are not born and I have never known them.  Yet we do return.  But for the duration of the journey we are killers.  (Not only when we write, when we read too.  Writing and reading are not separate, reading is a part of writing.  A real reader is a writer.  A real reader is already on the way to writing.)”

-Helene Cixous-

The Absence of Center

“poetic language directs us not towards what gathers together but rather towards what disperses, not towards what connects but rather towards what disjoins, not towards work but rather towards the absence of work […], so that the central point towards which we seem to be pulled as we write is nothing but the absence of center, the lack of origin…”

-Francoise Collin on Blanchot

maurice-blanchot-4

http://research.uvu.edu/albrecht-crane/486R/Peter%20Pal%20Perbart.pdf

http://research.uvu.edu/albrecht-crane/486R/Peter%20Pal%20Perbart.pdf

http://research.uvu.edu/albrecht-crane/486R/Peter%20Pal%20Perbart.pdf

http://research.uvu.edu/albrecht-crane/486R/Peter%20Pal%20Perbart.pdf

Meaning

From an email conversation I am involved in regarding human relation to technology…seemed to expose a who-I-am via what-I-concern-myself-with moment in my life worth sharing… and would love any/all comments, ideas, perspectives, regarding:

“I like that inference of thought…influence of larger and smaller systems interacting in our particular (as Lemke refers to them – “focal levels”) living.  I think from Heidegger onward that attention to the reciprocal or interactive influence of what we devise/make and who we are and what makes us continuously reshaping/constructing/constituting us IS a fundamental challenge/question Humanity is within.  This is why I am drawn to technesis as a human activity.  There is no difference from developing domiciles and agriculture, accounting and writing, language and representation in its holistic alteration of the species as there is with what we are within with the devotion to the “digital” – an oddly ubiquitous remediation of experienced matter-ridden-media into this ONE SORT OF ORGANIZATION/CODING.  A strange phenomena.  I think the nearest relative is “writing” and this is where Hansen (“Embodying Technesis”) and Hayles (“How We Think”) as well as Hodder & Ingold’s anthropological works help elicit perspective (& Kittler) on how ALL technological development (craft, architecture, invention, production) so foundationally EDIT us as a species… akin to geophysical change for all forms of biological life.  I suppose what I hope for is some small increase in awareness &/or experiment of capability for Human-kind to discern what amount of agency we may (or may not) have in relation to what we evolve and construct.  Is the system too vast – the biological motive too strong – to continue exploitation and networking (also increasingly representative of our fundamental relationality) – or are we a kind of thing that can affect larger systems in such a way that is transformative?  How small of a part are we, what are our limits of capability, do we have ANY genuine (actual) capacity to discern telos of larger systems… or not (trickles all the way down to personal behavior and ‘psychology’) – can we ever determine our AGENCY (collectively / personally / speci-ally)?  Or is it airy imagination and the activity of abstraction?

Sigh.  This is where I’m at…”

The Dual Activity of the Properties of Erosion

Having traveled 2000 miles: Wichita – to – Carlsbad, NM – to – Guadalupe Mountains Nat’l Park – to – Presidio, TX – to – Big Bend National Park – to – Wichita in the past few days, I was privy to the glories of erosion.  What it builds, what it wears away.

My 10-year-old is studying erosion in 4th grade and reminds me that the current definition is simply the movement of material.  What dwindles somewhere accretes in another…

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and leaves or creates (absence or presence of absence?) some glorious ruins (or productions)…

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In an accidental synchrony, we traveled the paths of a favorite album of mine – This Will Destroy You – This Will Destroy You, and the following clip has long moved me, perhaps as much as any music ever has…

…ever reminding me of how I’d like my living dying to go…the movements and decaying – its constructions – the thickened gradual swelling of the deep good of being alive, punctuated by weighty whiles of thriving and ecstasy, momentous significants of loss or gain, as materials move and their relations alter / evolve / generate and decompose.  Its insistence and tocking inevitability.  The (hopefully) delta-like depositing of the full lot, spreading throughout, in its end…

Here’s to our living-dying onlyness…and wishes toward beautiful erosion.