Fragment: Brief Conversation

“How come language (or drinking) makes the pain of language (or drinking, or relationships) go away, recede, soothe…and then becomes language (drinking, relation) and its pain…again?” he asks.

I smoke.  I look at him.  He is examining (with obvious pretend furtivity) my pale, smoothe legs, coming out of my singular light dress.  At my arms, my skin, my cheek and throat, my hair.  Lasciviously thoughtful, he.  Almost curious.  Almost authentic in his desire.

He is trying to daydream.

I am trying to be.

We are drinking now.

I am young, he less so.

Or neither.  We do not know.  Anyone can be so near their end.

So the story goes…

“The world smells good,” he says, and the delectability to the nostrils clearly depended on death: burning wood, smoking pig, a nostalgia of forests…

I knew not what I felt.  Mixtures.  Pleasures and sorrow.  Excitement and fear.  Doubt.  I did not respond, just masked placidly.  Pleasantly, I hoped.  Ambiguous.  And what does he sense?

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Within / Without

Image result for person walking past yard b&w

 

“I have only to go on, as if there were something to be done, something begun, somewhere to go.  It all boils down to a question of words, I must not forget this…”

– Samuel Beckett, The Unnameable

Waiting for the passerby to pass.  Contingency.  To not open the door until the potential for harm is past.  No apparent harm: adult man, skin color variance, divergent ethnicity, strolling outside the iron black gate surrounding my home, gesturing toward and addressing my small pet mammal (a dog) – ostensibly safely contained and separate – from the strange-other, (“stranger”) traveling past my abode on a designated path “outside,” a public sidewalk… yet no harm is ever apparent, or we’d be almost certain to avoid it.

From behind the closed door, thus abandoning the small animal, the “pet” that I care for (“care”? – to keep alive with food and water, activity and touch – for what reasons I have never understood, it seems something we do, or something done to us) in any case (who “us”?) to me (“me”?), in any case, in every case, (what is “case”? – case is what occurs), in any case the sensation that harm is imminent, is possible, that any/every-thing (or case) harbors potential threat – intrusion, oppression, obligation, response-ability – that ANY passer(s)-by may enforce (force what in?), force “presence” (presence: the pressure of an other)…occurring-with.

Mammal, woman, weather, man.  Peril of change, of inevitable occurring, alteration, the inception of a “case.”  Event.  Permutation.  Disaster.  Perhaps.

Wait for “it” to pass (ambiguous constancy of language, of pronouns, of perhaps).  To be.

No apparent harm, harm always arriving where not apparent, otherwise averted.

Therefore damage expected everywhere, until proven otherwise or bypassed, for when has it ever been the “case” that harm, hurt, or affliction were not lurking unaware?

Always caught “off-guard” when injured.  As in “accident,” or un-fore-seen.  Must not not-fore-see.  Avoid wreckage.

He passes by.  Or she, or it, or they (ambiguous language and malleable, eminently referable, transferable, vague for application).  No harm incurred (as far as is known).  As who knows?  Who might know?  Or what?

World transforms.  Passers-by.  Incidents.  We have a “case” (who – “we”?).  “I” step back, step in, amidst  walls, barriers, rooms.  “I” retreat.  Evading catastrophe.  Probable hardship.  Imaginable uncertainty.  Such is the “case,” my “cave,” a cave uncertain, unreliable, self-designated, no one knows.  This (what “this”?) is vague – hurt has always materialized unexpectedly.  Danger is disaster, or if not, no harm no foul, never wounded by suspecting, only oblivious or uninformed.  Must anticipate harm.  Less proven guiltless.  Never guiltless.  Never harm without an-other, without outside, without obscurity.  What is “with-out”?

When ever not with-out?  With-out always.  With.  No in without with-out.  Danger of disaster.  Any definability requiring with-out.  No in without out.  Being with out.

Waiting for passersby to pass.  Bye.

When have I been harmed when I expected?  Perhaps in love, perhaps adventure.  Any venture with out.  Into the without. Within without.  Knowing I was risking with the out.  “Self-harm.”  It would appear without’s within as well.  Never not another.  Abysmal and ubiquitous.  Possibly impossible: to be without with-out.  No reference or referral without being-with “out.”

No within then.  Only out could be.  In with in?  Self-same.  Tautology.  A=A.  How A without out?  Without not-A?  Without absence, other, space, not-line, shapelessness, void?  A=A because A is distinguishable from.  Distinct.  From – ?  Without.

Why “without”?  Why not only “with” – necessarily out or other?  Variant.  Different.  Without “out” no “with.”

Squirrel, leaves, air, skin.  Cells, organs, activities and processes.  Even what’s “in” is “out” for “with.”  “In” “with” “out.”  A=A.  So say.  Think.  “I.”  Passing by.  Table, paper, pen, without prompting “in.”  In without as well.  No “in.”  A=A.  IN WITH OUT.

Out the “within.”  Without in/out.  Writing.  Saying.  Bleeding.  Breathing.

Only think with out.  All out, away, a way.

Wait for a way to away.  Within/Without.  A/A.  No equals.  Never equal.

Pet mammal dog, own voice, man, woman, child, sensation, language, molecule, atmosphere, ground: without with-in.

WITH, then.  Simply with.  No out, no in.  All danger and disaster, potential and unsuspected harm.  Can not.  Unprotected.  Only WITH.  No out, no in.

Waiting for the passers-by.  Passing.  Bye.

 

 

On a Personal Note

Prologue:  I do not know what I am about to write.

saas-fee

Saas-Fee, Switzerland.

In less than one week I will be in Saas-Fee, Switzerland in the midst of a thousand novel things.  I am going as a participant in the European Graduate School’s PhD in Philosophy, Art & Critical Thought program, studying with 15 or so others, guided by Simon Critchley, Giorgio Agamben, Christopher Fynsk, Boris Groys, and Luc Tuymans, et. al.

For weeks now, any spare moment has loomed like this:

7.25.15

working my way through the bulk of Agamben’s corpus, Heidegger, Hegel, Kojeve, Derrida, Brecht, Benjamin, Nietzsche, Deleuze & Guattari, Spinoza, and columns of secondary literature.  I do not know what to expect.  I expect small seminars of conversation and dialogue, led by persons tattooed on my arms – persons I “assume”? “understand”? are paid to think – employment I would SO love to land – to experience & think, inquire & think, research & think, & report.  Perhaps?  So we’ll gather for 6 to 9 hours a day (or more) – discuss principal thoughts/texts/events of human thought-about human thought-about human being-experience…and…?

Walk in the mountains – Nietzsche claimed his thoughts would only be possible up here.  Sleep.  Read.  Think.  I really don’t know.

It’s been the first time in my life (I can remember) in which the hours of reading I’ve poured into this have actually eventuated in headaches.  Distinguishing terminologies and concepts.  Following trails of thought.  Engaging them.  Responding to them.  Add to the above William James, A.N. Whitehead, Eugene Gendlin, Mikhail Bakhtin, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Steven Shaviro, Brian Massumi, Gilbert Simondon – my own favorite philosophical corpus – to construct conversations, critiques, and alternate points of view through.  To think-through-with.  And still with thousands of pages to go.

EGS

Here the classrooms and buildings.  Mountains and trees.  Novel, novel, novel.  The minds I’ll encounter.  Novel.  From all over the world, perspectives, perceptions, reflections, opinions, resources, references, practices, habits…novel.

And mostly (always?) I still simply want to write.

As my mindbody gestates and swells with new jargon and lingo, concepts and theories, voices and styles, there are many moments of cluster, confusion, conjoining and merger.  Thoughts disarrayed.  Set loose from their sources and synapted to knots and knobs of my own kernels of thought & experience.  A pregnant field.  A chaos.  I will need to walk.  Need to sleep.  i lose my bearings.

Language.   Other moments it feels everyone is considering the same things in different voices.  The same ‘truths’ in variant language-games.  The same purposes.  Not always.  But those hunting and haunting human experience – with that strange zeal and compulsion, near-desperation of finding-something-out, making-sensequesting meaningful presence…from diverse times and cultures, languages and histories, feelings and vocabularies…

I sense similarities, ties.  Tangles and diversions.

“the chief error in philosophy is overstatement”

-Alfred North Whitehead-

WATCH YOUR LANGUAGE

is what I have written at the beginning of my notebook for the journey.  What are you talking about & how? written just underneath.  Wittgenstein.  Whitehead.  Bakhtin.  James.  What we experience together alters everything we bring.  When we dialogue occasions occur, events happen.  When we encounter and meet.  Interaction.  Action and process take place, differentiated, by Other.  

From another pile: Knausgaard, Mary Ruefle, William Bronk, Wallace Stevens.  Ivan Vladislavic, Ben Marcus, David Foster Wallace, Joshua Cohen.  In my readings – Valery, Rilke, Holderlin.  Blanchot, Kafka, Beckett.

Voices.  Styles.  Experiences.  Occasions.

Interpretations.  Experiences.  Thoughts.  Language.

EGS crest

What I expect is that “something is doing.”  Activity is going-on.  We/I will be being-with and being-in.  There will be convergence, dissonance, emergence and change.

It will be a variant “me” coming “home.”

http://panocam.skiline.cc/saas-fee/laengfluh

(live webcam of area)

To the mountains then.  To think.  To learn.  To live.  To be-with and be-in.

To become.

Rambling

Fits and Starts

How oddly and uniquely our dear bodies exhibit the effects of stress.  For some days now, exhausted and craving rest, I wake ever-so-early in a kind of sleepless sleepiness.  Wanting only to burrow in, immerse in comfort and calm, be tenderly near the one I love, instead I toss, turn, disturb and achieve none of my wishes.

Is this another emerging effect of aging?

My parents soon will celebrate 50 years of marriage – an example of what Andre Gorz describes: “If you join with someone for life in marriage, you share your lives together and you refrain from doing what might divide or damage your marriage.  Building your life together as a couple is your common project and you never finish reinforcing it, adapting it, reshaping it to fit changing situations.  We will be what we do together.” (Letter to D)  

mom and dad wedding

which means that I also approach 50.

So there’s also that – a kind of nostalgia, melancholy, joy, awareness…

I’m one to search and seek and inquire without end.

One to wonder and ponder and interrogate my experience with hopes of understanding it – but increasingly I find that apparently my being simply wants to be SO ALIVE.  Sometimes I feel that is what is happening with my waking body – that it doesn’t want to miss.  Anything.  The presence of my beloved next to me in sleep (Gorz describes what I am experiencing in that regard very well also: “how love is the mutual fascination of two individuals based precisely on what is least definable about them, least socialisable, most resistant to the roles and images of themselves that society imposes on them”), the particular quality and type of that morning time, house-sounds, obfuscated consciousness…I, one of those who have “just worn different identities on top of each other, though none of them were mine”…sometimes it feels…and that this particular kind of love slowly strips and erodes those away to the irreducible, undefinable reality of each ONE of us…

FITS & STARTS

I shoulda wrote a letter.  There are the griefs, the emotions mistrusted, the longings delta’d out, and a million wishes.  “The past is still the past : a bridge to nowhere.” And then there is SO MUCH NOW.  The children and their emerging, engrossing creating lives; my wonder/love – a thriving, amazing individual who loves me and has so much of her own; there are the animals, the leaves, the waters and the breezes.  The breaths, the touches, the thoughts.  The feel of it all.

The word/concept/term “Mashup.”

Perhaps that is what is going on in my sleepless sleepiness.  My habit of reading has always been to read 30 or more books from various fields, genres, authors, subjects, literatures in order that my mind would have to do it’s weird mysterious complexity/chaos/emergence/dynamic/creative adaptive process of making some new idiosyncratic sense of a kind of global dissonance – our inherent ability to be a Convergence Creator.  To not be caught obeying, devoting, under the sway of some authority or perception or ideology not a Mashup.  Perhaps the thickness of being alive to what is life, attempting to attend, note and notice, enthralls the entirety in a similar manner – experience is a Mashup – so many sources, so many responses, so many interactions, so many affects and effects, roles, obligations, identities, loves, fears, perceptions, interpretations…and perhaps I’m currently simply immersed in a particularly cogent nexus of complexity and chaos – the operation toward adaptive emergence and some temporary convergence being administered in clumsy and cluttery fits & starts…

Perhaps each now is realization & threshold.  And, as a friend recently pointed out…“hope is such a restless state”.

hope butterfly

Velocity and Friction

This uncovered writing has parts that feel like 16-year-old wordplay mixed with the aging man…sigh.

FROM THE 9 NOTEBOOKS

desert driving

Velocity and Friction