Two variations of older, longer works…trying to remember possibilities…
“Always too late. This is the message of disaster. We are too late to the scene, and undone.
Even thinking and emotion. Even love, can’t keep pace with disaster, with entropy, with chaos.
Death always outruns us. World and chance incessantly out-maneuver. We are small. Very small. Infinitessimal, as it were, in our finitude.
Thus begins our own story of destruction: we are born. Perhaps conceived (of). Perhaps even further back, before developing. Prior to evolution. The brokenness. The cracks. The destitution.
Arising of accidents. Formed of the fractures. We become.
In other words – doomed from the start. Our ends preceding beginnings – the beginning began at the end.
At the point of ‘exist’ – our last chapter.”
This would be Alias, grieving his friend, in two colors. The living, the dead, the to and the from.
Laramie dies, and is absent (if memory serves).
Alias keeps after his death – loving Lucy, and children, performing labor and sin and its necessary too much – in his office with paper and pen.
He pauses and looks to the window. Birdsong, stray cats, and the leaves.
L. is gone, but he’s not. Just inevitable.
He perceives it as some kind of race – but death always the tortoise that outruns the hare – and is needed.
Hears the children.
Senses purpose –
The pen stays on – marking the book.
Alias. Alias alive.
Laramie. Laramie ceased.
Spiders and sunlight and dust – all alone. All all-one. All “the Same” in some mystical way, called the Real. The Real that repeatedly ends – its beginning. The Ends, then. The end.
Beginning this way, I have jettisoned my goal.
No one is able to say precisely when it will rain, until it is raining. Not this one. Nor…
At times it is raining.
When will I be here? Or, better, perhaps – When am I here? (Already? Again?) How?
Am I when and where I love you? And how? Forego why, too complicated.
Say “I am this one who loves you” now and now and now again. As if a presence on repeat, differently again. Registers and tones; layers, levels, circumstance; sense/nonsense and the liquid continuum between.
Who are you?
Say “you are the one this one loves.” Or the many. Or the one this one loves in relation to I. Or the other-than-one loving other-than-one, here, now, again, again, differently.
When is this love? And how? Dropping why in the craggy abyss, as it dissipatively floats, up and away. Where is this love?
I begin. It is raining. Say that you are. If I say that you are, or how, when, or why, I have failed what I set to inscribe (you). Say now. I just missed it. Say love, saying what?
I’m aware of your absence with pain I can’t tell. I say “love.” I say “miss.” I say “yearn.” Goal discarded.
Please say that you are. I will be that relation. Will not. And I am.
It is raining. What it? Say I am and you are. Less than one and still more, it’s becoming. Undone. The suture begins in the cut. We are we. We might be, when we are. Now and now, say now, and is differently.
We’re unfound in this you and this I inter-change. Inter-change-able as we. And we’re not. Either you or an I as these two, but not quite, there’s an extra: BETWEEN.
Which is nothing, like water in air, molecules known by connections. Re-cognized. Understanding might pull them apart, separate, while reason(s) constructs some assemblage.
Say I love you, as this one to this. Say it’s so, without knowing, ‘cause with. In between, together; understanding, a part; reasoning a sort of equation.
Where am I? I appear in this with. Who are you? This one forming between. When now comes it is raining, again, again different. Some of the notion we are.
Report: Beginning from the Endless End: A Community of Thinking: The Experience of the European Graduate School
“the center of thought is that which does not let itself be thought”
– Maurice Blanchot
Perhaps a community.
A community “risking a fragile resilience” (Philip Beesley).
“Distinguishing the indistinguishable.” “Compatible Incompatibilities.” “The Origin is Empty.” “The path to truth is truth itself.” “More than 1, less than 2.” We are always with without.
I feel rich, calm, a sense of belonging. And loss. In my second year of a PhD program at the European Graduate School, nestled far and away in the Swiss Alps, in the canton of Saas-Fee. It is June, it is chilly, high, quiet, separate. Far from the searing plains of Kansas. Far from my employment, my partner, my children. Far from domestic duties and sustaining (endless) chores. Removed, set apart, drawn up to the mountains, the rivers, the snow. Another language, an other culture, a situation of difference.
Mladen Dolar, following many great others, tells us we must “slow our temporality.” That we can “only do philosophy if we pretend to have all the time in the world.” How could this be done within the everyday?
It feels monastic almost. 30-40 humans from all over the world gathered to hear, speak, inquire and reflect. Many silences. All impassioned by the above – the difficult work, accidental work, error-filled work of “distinguishing the indistinguishable” finding “compatible incompatibilities,” facing the “empty origins,” and setting onto the path that has no end, in the risk of a “bad infinity” – of selecting or creating or imagining impossible tasks and eternally postponing them, finding no conclusions, resolutions, foundations – everything put into question, everything problematized, intervened – “the truth is mediation, a passage.” The happening, the process, of thinking. So we believe. And so we gather. With eminent leaders, guides, mentors (for example, this session: Slavoj Zizek, Helene Cixous, Philip Beesley, Christopher Fynsk, Mladen Dolar, Jean-Luc Nancy, Keller Easterling, Chris Kraus, Alenka Zupancic, Benjamin Bratton, Werner Hamacher, Anne Carson…and more…). We hear from them, we question, we think with them, think FOR other thought drawn toward us (Hegel, Aristotle, Plato, Heidegger, Foucault, Lacan, Freud, Deleuze, Blanchot, Spinoza, Holderlin, Goya, Beckett, and on…). What lives, what continues in our seemingly endless end. What might in-form and unsettle us, what might disturb and enliven us, how we might change-in-relation, again and again and again…
To “take all the time in the world” for 30 days. To read closely. To be overwhelmed. To exhaust. To end again and again, to fail in hopes to fail better. To “start in a bad way, in order to arrive in the good.” The process and problems. Our “selves” in becoming, the one and the two and the many – always with lack. Negativity, absence. “Nothing is identical to itself.” The “greatest order and disorder exist as one.” “Constancy is slipperiness and change.” How do we dwell there and evince. How do we act to find out? There is always the other, another, a lack that we seek. That is nothing, just lack. Drives and desires and neuroses. The community of thinkers.
Some of us question “what is wrong with us?” Why a surplus enjoyment of troubling existence? Why identities founded on nothing? “Philosophy always arrives too late” (Hegel). We can only begin at the ends. Against nothing. Yet toward. And it is here I feel valued. Here recognized. Here is a home. I belong. In a timelessness of knowing in time. An everywhere of nobodies anywhere. Senses replete with mountains and rain. Clear air and short breaths. An absence of tasks. Singular tasks. Monumental tasks (for me). That need all of the time in the world. Are all of the time of the “world”. Senseless letters. Turbulent being. In media res – in the middle of things – when outside already inside, inside where something’s always left out.
My collegiate journals from decades ago are riddled in their margins with: “to be the writer of loss,” “to be the philosopher of grey,” “to compose absence.” A longing for empty origins since thinking began. Repetition.
I walk for the body to process. I dream of sharp thorns in my feet, of lost items, of absence and language and two shades of grey. Rain comes through the clouds in the fog. “The end is in the beginning, and yet you go on,” “My mistakes are my life,” – Samuel Beckett. And so, and yet, I go on. Intensively, demandingly, having “nothing to write, having no means to write it, and being forced by an extreme necessity to keep writing.” – Maurice Blanchot.
I miss those I hold nearest. And I love them – how indecipherable the term – further description annuls it. To say the unsaid or unsayable. I am confused and elated. Inspired and exhausted. Drawn forward through despair. And I love this experiencing. It belongs.
On Being Other
(after Heidegger, on Holderlin)
Broken off from origin: gods, family, homeland.
Early switched direction – turning back, against, since.
No belonging. No church, no community of mortals.
Reliant on the peaks and the abyssal.
No lasting love, but efforts toward convention –
when giving up –
even offspring, domesticity,
No lasting commerce, always in-between,
feeling resistance and restraint,
constraints of discipline and need,
of longings, love, and lust.
fueled by others – across the times –
creators of the peaks and their abysses.
Not yet rational, it commences –
undone in the unknowing, uncertain constant flow
generates turbulence toward an opening
or a gap, some kind of fold –
“run up hard against the unsayable.”
the closing line is a quotation from Heidegger’s
lectures on Holderlin’s poems “Germania” & “The Rhine”
Greatly appreciated for thinking…
Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their
……….—Gertrude Stein, “Reflection on the Atomic Bomb” (1946)
It is a very sad thing that nowadays there is so little useless information.
……….—Oscar Wilde, “A Few Maxims for the Instruction of the
F. T. Marinetti in his epochal 1909 “Futurist Manifesto,” (in)famously quipped:
“Time and space died yesterday.” Paul Virilio derided this collapse of the timespace continuum into a virtual world of excessive information, saying,
“There are eyes everywhere. No blind spot left. What shall we dream of when everything becomes visible? We’ll dream of being blind.” (The Vision Machine)
Virilio would also prophesize that the “…reconciliation of nothing and reality and the suspension of time and space by high velocities replace the exoticism of journeys with a vast expanse of emptiness.” (The Information Bomb) Those who index such things tell us that…
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Wanderings & observations
Understanding ourselves and the world we live in.
-the near-unconsciousness of possible meanings -
Daydreaming and then, maybe, writing a poem about it. And that's my life.
Information hygiene for the Covid-19 infodemic
Caminante, no hay camino. Se hace camino al andar. Wayfarer, there is no way. You make a way as you go. (Antonio Machado)
all that inspires, shocks and makes me purr
Freyja Howls is a writer, performer and activist who would have been a style icon and comedian a century ago.