What follows is exemplary of my tendency when I open a notebook and begin to write… digression… sigh…
“a man, however intelligent, is no better at maze-running than a rat, unless assisted by notes, whether these are remembered verbally or sketched out in a drawing”
– Michael Polanyi, The Study of Man –
artwork – Pamela Caughey
I am beginning this story with words, for I am writing, and writing has often occurred as the transformation of experience to perceivable mark for communicable purpose: programming code, impressions in sand, lines about the mouth and eye, numbers, letters, notations and visible strokes.
The mark I begin with is “I.” To imaginative purpose. Say we could coordinate belief around marks (which “we” already have, or “you” are unable to comprehend, co-perceive or mutually interpret anything of what “I” am scribbling). Imagine with me that we can: foster markings and gestures, sounds and expressions, that stabilize over time toward agreement…
1, I; 2, we; 3, you; 4, with; 5, world; 6,… and so on… where marks come to re-present a sharing or relation toward – together we assemble at “tree(4)” or “word(4),” at “sign(4)” or “kingdom(7),” at “ours(4)” and “us(2)” and at “we(2)” or whatever(8). All might be marked other ways, sounded or gestured – a squirrel’s flicking tail, a whale’s sonic wail, bird twitters, rock cracks and colors, cloud movements, sighs. Images, letters, motions, or sounds. Impressible, expressible movements. Relations enacted, touches and probes, effects and affects across spaces and times, this is language in-scribed and con-scribed –communicability – glance of finger or toe or of eye, brush of hair or of death or of light… con-tact. Tactility, touchability, WITH.
Imaginatively-agreed-illusory and often elusive – “Abstraction (11, or 10+1, or..)” – What-is-not becoming what-is. “Creation(8 or eight or 11111111…).” Coordinated occurrence of subjectless objects and objectified subjects and things among things among things “co-existing(10),” – or so “we” mark “it.”
I begin with a mark that is “i” or 1, or the slightest, least notable line. “iota” in Greek, as Frost deftly inscribes – just a pass, accident, happenstance, hardly constructed and simple – a stick falls from a tree and leaves an “L” or a “Y” in the soil, but an “i”?
A mistake usually, a drip.
So “I” use it to refer to “just 1” = “what-is-not.” No “one(1)” has yet known only one. With “one(1)” there is nothing ‘to know’ – to attend to, perceive. With 1 there is only the one – less than nothing. 1 counts the same in negation. You have nothing or one, but once perceivable three – the 1, the 0, the difference.
We make marks.
The mark I began with is “I,” just the least, the inception, the start of a “we.” A cry, a twitch, a tone or effect, a coloration, occurrence. What’s the difference…
“I” could have made a sound. Could have poked, puked, stomped, wriggled…simply gestured into wind…
ANYthing, EVERYthing can only happen as more-than-one. More than meaningless mark (/) or vanishing point, it indicates RELATION. If 1=nothing, we still get 1 + -1 = 0…all ways at least 3. And if 1 is alone (“all-one”) there’d be no knowing, telling, perceiving, deciding without at least a “NONE(4, 0)” or “TWO(3, 2)” to proffer recognition – ALWAYS MORE THAN ONE for there “2B.”
I could not propose “I” without other or else (no-thing could be perceived without difference, and difference demands at least two + a relation, [even similarity – which always harbors difference] – therefore 3 at the least for a mark). If “you” couldn’t tell a difference (perceive or experience something…how would you know some thing is?). Identi(cal)ty would seem (necessarily) IM-perceptible.
1 NEVER EQUALS 1. Such is my thesis. If equality and sameness are possible no one could mark it, perceive it, proclaim it – 1=1 is not perceptible. For 1(“I”) to be identifiable, not-1(not-I) is required, which demands a 3rd(third) that might distinguish or experience – whether relation-itself 1±1 or Otherness to “tell apart” or cleave.
Identification demands Other. A mark, even the slenderest, simplest, accidental dash – to be perceptible, to matter – must be different from an other. Therefore, always 2 have to be for a 1 to be, and for that to be perceptible a third(5, 3) must exist… 1≠1=3, and 1=1=3…
i.e. I begin with “I” to invoke/inscribe MANY.
I am beginning this story with words…