Cabin Reflections

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“Penelope remembers having read that of all the liquids and fluids produced by the human body – sweat, semen, vaginal fluid, saliva – tears are the only one without any trace of DNA… Impossible to identify someone from their tears, we’re all identical when we weep despite the many different reasons we have for weeping, something like that.  Unlike unhappiness, tears don’t set us apart, they make us the same.”

Rodrigo Fresan, “The Invented Part”

Last week I spent with my four offspring at a cabin on the Pikes Peak Massif in Colorado.  Mostly I register grief and loss in my experience of living… but interestingly enough, the first entry of my vacation journal begins with the simple sentence “I’m happy.”  Unqualified, that’s it – myself + my offspring + a rich world reeking of “no service” and untellable beauty… “I’m happy.”  Here are some notes I made throughout the week:

Simple things innerheard during cabin stay:

The stars: “We can’t tell the difference: between light or dark, death or what remains.”

The streams: “Where have we come from, where are we going? / Where we have come from, where we are going.”

Growing things (grass, moss, wildflowers, mushrooms, wild berries, etc…): “Not yet, not yet.  Who knows?”

The rocks, the boulders: “Once upon a time.  Now.”

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The mountain(s): “Maybe.  May Be.”

The cabin:  “Us.  Here.  We.  With.  Hold.”

Phrases of my children:

  • “It’s good to live this way once in awhile.”
  • “Why do we leave here, ever?  I never want to.  What is have to?”
  • “Dad, everything here is your ‘favorite‘.

And me:

  • “Nothing is like this.  Nothing… Belonging, I belong.  Time changes, it’s different here.  As if there isn’t.  THIS PLACE IS ‘BEAUTY’ TO ME.  THIS PLACE IS WORTH MY LIFE.”
  • on climbing: “I’m a dad: we ALL make it, or none of us really do.”
  • on love: “If I say ‘I love you’ – please don’t hear it as worship, as inordinate.  In love we see the ‘too much‘ of the other – that which is always beyond our own reach, the ‘too much’ in each of us we struggle with, and seem to be unable to assimilate or observe in mirrors of our own.  Perhaps this is one of the reasons the conundrum we call ‘love’ exists?

Addresses to my children and loved ones:

  • To T: “Always beware of logic – our fabricated things.  What we may wish toward but doesn’t make matter.”
  • To A: “Recall.  There are differences.  Beware.  There are openings for more life.”
  • To I: “You have it.  You carry your own water.  Your own dreams.  Your own beginnings.”
  • To O: “Heroes also may shrink you, diminish, contain.  You are deeply your own.”
  • To H: “Never mind.  I am not the one who can conquer it in you.  I believe someone will.”
  • To ?: “I love you.  Like literature: the possible of life.  Impossible.”

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Thank you mountains, rocks, growing things, streams….

Confusion : Fusion-with

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The light is good.  I’m confused.

What “good”?  “Good” for what, and in relation to?  Diffuse, azure atmosphere of oncoming dusk.  Chilly, not cold.  Nearly pleasant, yet crisp enough for shiver and grip.  Unsteady, trembling grasp of pen, a striving for control mated to its lack.

Hardly daylight.  Liminal.

I would like to express.  What I do not know, perhaps am even unable to.

This is why I approach a page – blank, blind, lined, empty – in “good” light and confusion.

Fusion-with, what?  Chemistry, alchemy, biosphere, organism, complexity, surround.  Others’ emotions, experience.  Possibilities not actualized, each swarming potential of vocabulary, gesture, signification – line, sign, mark, motion – converging formulation, conveying contrivance / re-cognition. What is not, hovering about each “is.”  To write.  To write (only) this.  When…

Once begun.  Light, terms, cursive.  Blue Bic ball-pointed pen.  Moleskine substitution and human and language and in- and ex- perience and some =, some theorized equation of functions and results.

January 29, 2017.  Nathan Wayne Filbert.  5:44 pm according to a Centrally Standardized Timepiece, an Apple product, arranged amidst pages from many centuries and sources, composed music sounding from the last, temperatures…”actualities”?…amid vast, incomputable com-possibilities.

If Nathan had not been “this one,” had not begun with a “T” or a “T + h + e” in this light, in this almost comfortable, discomfiting condition, in this notebook, with this pen and its ink at this time on this bastardized quality of paper, among such circumstances and scenarios, amid these relations as a father, a student, librarian, scholar, male – of this certain (arbitrarily standardized mandatory and countable) age, intimately (accordingly – to strata not set by either) coupled to- caring for-, concerned with-, worried by-, wishing for-, happy about-, and so on…

this word or letter at this time in this space with these extremely idiosyncratic and unlikely determinate positions and scenes in a surround incrementally rare and unreckonably accidental…

“The light is good.  I am confused” leading itself its own very peculiar particular wave way toward each next and next co-dependent with innumerable constituents and counterparts yet occurring here, now, 5:54 pm CST in Wichita, Kansas in United (are they?) States of America (wha-? why? how? when?) 2017 (by what calendar and whose and wherefore?) at an intersection outside of a centuries-old and decrepit “house” it calls “home” (why? wherefore? from whence toward and…?)…

Indeterminate.  Indecipherable.  Unreasonable and incalculable.  Not accountable or even conceivable…but IS (apparently).  Simply IS, what is written, at this time, in this place, by this organism, of these relations, in this surround, at this moment, occasion, “actuality”…

…as it happens… as if

“The light is good.  I am confused.”

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Out of the Woods

“Why did you come out of your place in the woods?” I was asked.

“I guess so,” I replied.

So what?

This I find I cannot answer.  It is irrational.  Perhaps to stir and sense?  Dis- or un-cover?  “Strife” (from Ancient conceptions of the term).  Turbulence.  That something rather than nothing?  Not to have one’s hands folded on one’s lap? (Dostoevsky).  How should I know?  It’s irrational.

Unreasonably, I’ve begun.

Of course beginning will destroy things:  my stasis, comfort, stillness.  Family roles, relationships, profession.  Any beginning changes everything before (prior) to it.  Friendships, rituals, schedules, habits.

To START (anything) means to RUIN.

And also…BEGIN.

In other words, if I (one) reach out – lash, swipe, caress, call, correspond, text, touch, encounter or engage – an Other (one)… all will be disturbed… it’s the nature of contact between living beings: landscapes, art, humans, animals, spaces, times, words, events.  Everything alters at encounter.  Period.

If I (or we) are available (or needy) and therefore present ourselves (vulnerably) to a reality (actuality, happenstance, opportunity, occurrence) everything changes.

Past.  History.  Future.  Meaning.  Understanding.

So “Why did you come out of your place in the woods?”

What was my ‘place in the woods’?

Repetition.  Familiarity.  Habitue.

Security?  Comfort?  Compatibility with my environs?

I must have desired DIFFERENCE.

And how to account for that?

This is something we just do.

Clothes, taste, touch, belief, surroundings, movement – variance, dissimilitude, change – this signals in some way to our mechanistic (apparently) methodology of ‘survival’ – that we’ve ‘still go it,’ still HAPPEN, to-be… we live.  Are a-live.  Existence.  (See how the noun – the naming/defining – kills it?  Stills and destroys it?).  Existing.

Out of the woods I desire – not to be “existing”, not to crave “existence.”  I do not want any THING.  SOMEthing. I am simply wanting to be-ing… indefinable, indescribable, occurring, happening, all-live – not staid enough, locatable or timed enough to be characterized, apportioned, described and named.  No!  I (for one) am wanting to be happenING, impossible to capture, occur-ING, become-ING, vital not repeatable, unique not typified, tabulated, calculated or classified.

And thus, and so, I change (again).  Again.

Again I come out of the woods.

I be-come.  Out from the woods.

I say, I write, I speak, I act.

I am.

The “Tense of Incoherence” ( Paul Valery)

“I am suspicious of all words, for even the slightest reflection shows the absurdity of trusting them.”

– Paul Valery, Monsieur Teste

“You know, dear you, that my mind is of the obscurest sort…I am composed of an unfortunate mind which is never quite sure that it has understood what it has understood without realizing it.”

– Valery –

FOR NO REASON

Delight.  Hope.  Survival.  

Homer .  Beckett.  Kafka.  Hegel.  

Language.  

Wittgenstein.  Heidegger.  Merleau-Ponty.  

Fosse.  Derrida.  Foucault.  Sterne.  

Imagination.  Philosophy.  Fiction.

WHAT CAN BE THOUGHT? (Philosophy) “on the verge”

WHAT CAN BE WRITTEN? (Literature) “on the verge”

Maybe I’ll just read.  Perhaps suicide (stop).  Perhaps create.  Perhaps avoid.  Perhaps participate with others (friends, family, children, pets, nature).  Perhaps think and drink.

WHO CARES?  NO ONE.  NO SOME.  DO I?

Selected “foods for thought”:

The Event – Martin Heidegger.  Monsieur Teste – Paul Valery.  Replacement – Tor Ulven.  Inexhaustibility and Human Being – Stephen D. Ross.  The Meridian – Paul Celan.  Verge of Philosophy – John Sallis.  and so on.  Potentials.

Directions for staying alive (as human being).  Follow something: desire.  hope.  beauty.  sex.  belief.  pleasure.  pain.  Try something.

Read history and imagine imagining a world that sensible.

Read science and imagine imagining a world that ordered.  

Read literature and imagine imagining a world.  

Read philosophy and imagine imagining that many questions.  

Read religion and imagine imagining that many answers.

Stop.  Say your own.  (thoughts, imaginations, feelings, perceptions) to someone or to nothing (write them).

And so on.

For no reason.

But perhaps staying alive / living a little longer.

WHAT DO YOU WONDER?  DESIRE?  WISH?  PROPOSE?

And so on.

WHO CARES?             DO YOU?

And so on…

…for no reason.

Thus the life of “the writer,” “artist,” “human,” “scientist”… WHATEVER – WHOMEVER HUMAN (so-self-called) BEING.

In other words… when we encounter “literature” we (perhaps, perhaps probably) are engaging a fellow human being in the NOW – amidst an odd tactic of applying (through a strange and meddlesome nigh-universal ambiguous medium) the operation of EVERYTHING he/she knows or has experienced to the point-of-NOW.  And we (weird, individualized organisms) either find correlation and correspondence with (some or much or little) of their ‘whole’ knowledge & experience (and thus, perhaps, probably, are moved by or like them) or… find very little correspondence or similarity with our ‘own’ knowledge and experience and therefore consider them banal, useless, uninteresting, untrue, or off-putting.

WHO CARES?  DO YOU?

I do.  It keeps me alive, surviving.  I drink, I read, I think.  Attempt to forget obligations, relations, and responsibilities (I can’t).  That I’m a FATHER, that i exist in a socio-economic scenario that requires the bulk of my life be passed in “bullshit jobs” that somehow appease ‘Powers-That-Be’ and allow me a place on earth and a terrible fight to try and defend or spend ANY portion of existence doing-what-i-want, or what ‘fulfills’ or causes me happiness / gladness / joy in being alive…

When I’m able to “snare,” “steal,” “TIME” – I read and write, make love, or drink alcohol – because these things make me feel GOOD or WELL as the sort of being I am.

Why is it I feel compelled to sneak, steal, or justify what gives me joy in being? (whether plant, ant, mammal, or any other cellular construction)?

I wouldn’t ‘rather’ be famous, or a president, powerful, or a businessman, artist, or ‘professional,’ or anything.  I REALLY just want to be a human-in-society valuable-to-the-rest because I happen to be one who loves language, literature, pretending, fiction, inventing, thinking, imagining what might be – this-wise, that-wise, which-wise, whom-wise, where-wise, when-wise…

WHY IS THIS NOT VALUABLE?  ACCEPTABLE?  SUPPORTABLE?  along with each alternate things-one-might-want-to-be as valuable-to-the-cumulative…

Humans seem to be multiplicitous, variable, and plentiful.  Many wish/desire/like to be strong, rich, beautiful, productive, etc.  Why can not there also be room for those who desire neither usefulness, beauty, riches, or power… but CANS at the verges… of language, thought, imaginings?  And are these really so different from those pushing edges of other characteristics?

Suddenly this entry feels like a wallowing or a requesting of pity.

That is not the feeling.

“I am composed of an unfortunate mind which is never quite sure that it has understood what it has understood without realizing it.”

  • Paul Valery

Alias Thinks Back…On…

“To bring a work to ‘a conclusion,’ as Picasso said, is like putting an end to a bull – to kill it.”

-Francois Jullien-

diaries

from the diaries…

Woke this morning with a particular feeling.  I’ve never been one to believe people could name their emotions or feelings.  The best we can say are parts.

Words like a parts catalog: indicating pieces and components, but never the working, not the operative whole.  Machines are full of mystery.  What’s hidden.

They say you cannot know.  As you age.  Cannot know if it’s the end, exactly.  Perhaps they’re right – I’ve surely been surprised in middle age, believing everything was lost, doomed, downhill and erosive, some slow and steady depleting – and then WOW!  Who could have known or imagined!  This luck, this place, this woman or experience!  Perhaps.  Perhaps.  But maybe we do.  Maybe we really know, once twilight settles.  I’ve never trusted “them” – the “experts,” the “scholars” and “scientists,” “politicians” or “leaders” or “doctors,” the “speakers for” and “authorities”…i.e. privileged observers (an illusion or delusion or both – no one ever gets to be ‘outside’ existence, any more than any other).

What with Laramie gone, and a birthday round the corner, and language just a parts catalog – my experience.

I woke with a particular feeling.  That things were near their ends.  That I am nearing ends.  Work, love, breathing, will.  That the stories I’m involved with are dwindling in pages, thin and wearing out.  These ‘particular feelings,’ “somehow we just know,” kinds of things: lay down, close your eyes, cross your hands over your chest and hope things are in order.  Or not.  Depends on inclination and values, I suppose.  What one cares about, or for.  Perhaps.  “They” say you cannot know.

I’ve been surprised.  Even wildly.  Much I’ve never been able to believe and yet it seems: my children – engendered by me and of such promise; this beautiful woman that loves me; that I’m still alive.  One never knows (is what they say).  So who knows what?  And how do “they” know that?

I think I do, what with Laramie gone, and my faulty parts catalog, and this particular way that I feel.  I’ve worked too long and too much.  Tried too failingly.  Never quite trusted or believed.  Never found my worth.  Maybe now I know.  Maybe now I’m certain of something.

The end is coming – for me – always concerned and consternated by beginnings – how to start, where to set out – and now, here (nowhere) the path, it dwindles away.  What have I done?  What did I mean to?  What did I wish?  Why didn’t I?

I wanted to write a scholarly work about something that truly obsessed me.  Something I’d spent my life searching.  Something that likely doesn’t even exist, but no matter – because Scrabble, because poems, because science.  Unscramble (by scrambling) the letters – you’ll see: it can almost be said, almost anything – existent or not – almost.  Parts constructing strange wholes and plugged in, eventual malfunctions, repairs – and yet “no matter, try again, fail again, fail better” (Sam Beckett – I’ve read and I’ve taught far too long).

And one solid work of fiction and some poems.  That’s all.  That’s what I wanted to do.

So I studied, and traveled and loved.  Raised children, made music, pushed learning and literature publicly, worked and worked, and drank and drank.  Took in stragglers and strays, made it work where I could, doubted and doubted, desired.  Everything but what I wanted – that’s how you perpetuate desire.

I woke today with a particular feeling, though “they” say you cannot know.  Cannot know for certain, that things are yet to surprise you, yet to get better.  I will not argue.  Perhaps.  But what with Laramie gone, and all that’s undone, maybe I know, maybe we do.  Maybe we’re aware when our endings are coming.  Who could know?  Who could tell us?

My ends are coming.

I can’t go on.

I’ll go on.

(still more from Beckett)

Related: Alias Harlequin

Report: Beginning from the Endless End: A Community of Thinking: The Experience of the European Graduate School

Apply Now: Begin your MA/PhD this Summer 2016 in Saas-Fee, Switzerland

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.

“If nothing were substituted for everything, it would still be too much and too little.”
― Maurice BlanchotThe Writing of the Disaster

 

Impossible objects – Possible beginnings

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“We enter into thought, and especially our own, only by questioning”

-Maurice Blanchot-

This then, an impossible object with possible beginnings.  What says, what writes, what IS – all filled up with what is NOT.

Capture, mediation, confluence.  The impossible attempts, the radical effort: I attempt to SAY, to INSCRIBE, that which is incapable of being said, inscribed, touched or revealed: experience, THIS-NOW-HERE, YouMe.

This is what, then, I will create / not-be-able-to-create.

click here for more…

Everything Trying

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Kurt Godel’s Incompleteness Theorems

Everything Trying: Practical Philosophy

I’ve been thinking a lot this weekend about a kind of “credo,” or some sort of explicatory description regarding foundational experiencing that informs my perspective on being / world / living.  I.e., what have I experienced in 45 years of surviving as a human organism – as a bookseller, musician, philosopher, father, academic librarian, various conventional-cultural-relationally-roled son / spouse / sibling / friend / coworker / writer; student of multiple disciplines – that comes so close to a similarity or repetition, a near-consistency, that it evinces as near as I can imagine to a belief or pattern, a compiling evidence or seeming-steadiness, structuring a framework for my perception and navigation of being a living thing.

As a bookseller, librarian, and philosopher (“professionally” for nearly two decades) – I find I operate with a kind of conviction (yet to be foiled) – that ANYthing ANYone can concoct or intuit as a query, theory, illusion or idea, dream / hope / fantasy or wondering, can be uncovered pre-existing SOMEwhere in the recorded history of homo sapiens.  I interpret this as indicating boundaries and borders of our specific kind of organism – albeit changing, adapting, extending and diminishing over and throughout time – limits or inherent finitude to our capacities, contextual whelmings, procedural experiencings of being human kind.

Conceptual development, creative expression, technological or theoretical “advance” or novel efforts or elucidations, all seem to come about as recombinations, complex reformulations, convergences or collaborative emergences and collusions of ever-present conundrums.  The sphere of human being bubbles at mysteries and limits, “realities” intrinsic to our kind of existing.  We seem to design and develop varieties of “tools” with which to supposedly plumb and plunder the ever-expanding cosmos of unknowing, but also seem to be simply drilling differing holes into an amorphous void – conjuring observations and explanations, combining fanciful analyses and results – constrained and directed by our “tools” of inquiry (whether conceptual hypotheses, technological apparatus, socio-political experiments, mythico-religious imaginings, practical experiences, and so on).

We are limited beings, with (to our aspect) unlimited potential.  Over millennia, this would not seem to be the ‘case” of the world.  We are limited at every angle and turn – another being alongside many other sorts of beings and organisms, each restrained by our compositions and abilities, our frailties and affordances.

(Apparently) potentially endlessly individuated differings and nuances of activity-in-the-world / also (apparently) insuperably restricted frontiers to our possible activities-with-the-world.  Like any other species (given our “ways-of-inquiry” or “points-of-view/sensing”) we arise or arrive via incredibly (and genuinely unknown) complex processes and will likely desist and depart via incredibly (and genuinely unknown) complex processes.

Given the limitations of our kind of being – with ALL things composing our surround and withins – it would appear:

  1. There is an inherent IRREDUCIBILITY to our existing and its conditions
  2. There is an apparent INEXHAUSTIBILITY to its potential recombinations, convergences, deformations and in-formations, and
  3. These things are essentially UNSAYABLE / INEFFABLE – non-computable, sayable, expressible, conceivable – to the kinds of being we happen to occur as.

Principles we only (it seems to me) slightly comprehend – incompleteness, complexity, irreducibility, relativity, and so forth – whatever these ideas’ standing might be in relation to anything we might posit as “reality” – (only ever from our miniscule, or relatively very limited sphere-of-experiencing) – combine to intimate that:

  1. We are “of the stuff” that any/every-thing else is, and therefore (in the conjectural “scheme-of-things”) are likely to appear and vanish in similar fashion…with any consistency / repetition (or “universal”) occurring as something we might term CHANGE, and…
  2. We are faced with options on a scale of AFFIRMATION / MEANING / SIGNIFICATION or PASSIVISM / NIHILISM / SURVIVALISM / ENDURANCE in regard to our occurrence and election/selection of guiding behaviors, traditions, emotions, sensations, intentions and interpretations of existing.

Innately, as it were, we elect/select these recursions and available gamut-of-human-existing ideas, processes, habits and practices (beliefs, behaviors, relations, stances) – all funded and founded on arbitrary groundings in individuated recombinations and experiencings suited to an effort at survival, that might be characterized (scalarly) on a wave-patterned range of “living” – each variable individuating occurrence (“self”) may characterize from “more-thriving” to “more-surviving” – or roughly resembling individuated differentiations of what we might interpret as experiencings of “pleasure” or “pain” and ever-changing self-selecting imaginings of ends or goals (telos).

For some of us, the very play and experimentation of extending and investigating limits and grounds, via the widest variety of human endeavor and activities we can surmise or imagine (currently) is a sort of curious “thriving” in itself.  I would call this something along the general web of “philosophizing” – but finds its application and practice in ANY human capability.  Whether adventurers, scientists, artists, inventors, warriors, parents, killers, children or politicians – ANY human might be experimenting and investigating, attempting to extend and elucidate (for their particularized occurring) their limits and grounds… what distinguishes what we might think of as philosophy or conceptual-knowledge involves a notable self-illusion-conviction of “reflection” or “recursive inquiry” (something variously nominated “awareness,” “thought,” “wisdom,” “faith,” or “fantasy”).

With the caveat (doubling as a confession of faith) – that the “whole ball of wax” as we are able to conjecture it – is ALWAYS BECOMING – with never a moment of stasis or rest.  There is never a moment to pin down or set grounds or fundamentals on – multi-relational interactive complexities never cease BECOMING other.  So even this “credo” is in flux…and will alter without notice.  Exactly as the living…

Compulsion, I suppose…

par example: https://creativisticphilosophy.wordpress.com/2016/04/24/formalizability-in-the-english-language/

Discursive Tangles

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Increasingly I find myself filled with the desire of simply saying what I think about.  To some generative effect.

“We live.  We die.  We wish the living mattered.”

But “that’s too simple,” you say.  “Everyone knows that.”

And you’re right, again, and it’s the best that I can do.

Not that I don’t do other things, in living.  I hold jobs and work for pay (at nearly ANYthing) to keep a home, feed and educate my children, and attempt to convince them to try to try.

And then there’s the dynamo of desire.  Urges and drives, lusts and obsessions simply to have someone who will allow me to be close to them – to touch them and smell, listen and taste, copulate and serve and talk back and forth.  I don’t expect them to love me.  I’ve long given up being wanted or desired.  Can’t imagine I’ve ever considered myself necessary to someone or something.  For connection – to world, to literature and art, to thoughts and conversations, to knowledge and nature.

“No matter,” He says, “Try again.  Fail again.  Fail better,” He says.

I cannot.  Oh I try.  I try.  I try again.  But never imagine proximity of others not involving pity, and my failure seem ever further from their marks.  Not better.  I’m 45 now!  Or 80!  No matter.

No matter, indeed.

No matter, at all.  Perhaps.  I know this, that, some other stuff.  No matter. So I crave and wish and hope.  Failing further, and worse, never better.

Long hours of days pleasing others (or trying).  No matter.  Family and employers, students and friends.  No matter.  Perhaps?

But to say something simply.  How that?  I feel caught in a tangle of discourses.  What language to say in?  What field?  How to be heard, perhaps evaluated, to “count” or to “matter.”  I read something years ago by Nathalie Sarraute comparing the dreams or demands of Dostoevsky and Kafka to be recognized…no, acknowledged  (“From Dostoevsky to Kafka” in The Age of Suspicion). To matter.  Appear.  Have a voice.

Said simply:

“We live.  We die.  We wish the living mattered.”

Selah.

Meaning-Making in Living Systems, or, 15,000 Things

subatomic

is a phrase and a theory I have queried, contemplated, spelunked and pursued for the past few decades of my “living.”  Since (apparently) before I can remember, I’ve been addicted to a kind of figuring-out – some offspring of “understanding,” any concept / idea / or belief-faith – that might elucidate to me my (experienced) compulsion to “meaning” or “significance” – to matter as matter-in-relation.

I’ve encountered many gurus (preachers, priests, philosophers, psychologists, scientists, mathematicians and artists, farmers and engineers, poets = “people”) along the way who have sent, directed, swerved, commanded, troubled, commended, interrogated, suggested and questioned this impulse of mine.  From sarcasm to scholarship I’ve been told I will not find that which I seek.  Or recommended resolutions that don’t withstand my particular scrutiny and skepticism.

It is sunny and light, Spring-y and gentle in Kansas today.  I took my lunch, after a walk, at a table among trees.  Birds were active, dogs ambling by, flowers in bloom, and a breeze.

For the most part I “eat” cause I’ve believed that otherwise I would fail (as a being) and die.  I like to enjoy food, but most often it’s presumed “preparation” falls to me, and therefore becomes a complication of time I would prefer not to.

So I sat and I drank (so much easier).  Water & coffee & other things to my pleasure.  And “pondered,” I guess – what I do, when (apparently) no one requires immediate need of me.

I was alone, in a way.

And thinking of “meaning-making,” and “knowledge,” “belief” and “desire” – human shit.  (It’s what I do – that compulsion).

*** As I was contesting people’s behaviors and language recently in my home, my unanticipated fortune of something like a life-partner offered the response “there are 15,000 things it could be.”  Which struck hold and has become something of a cliché in short order in our home.  Imponderables, indefinables, indescribabilities.  For any action any thing might perform – there are nigh infinite possible “reasons” (most likely irrational) – these courses are taken.  “Personal knowledge” is not something we have.  Systems do what they do – what is done is what’s done – and the likelihood of our assessments being correct is near null.*** [that’s all an aside]

I can be critical.

And quite gracious and kind.

“Depending.”

On what?

15,000 things.

I am rambling.  And have decided to do so.  Readers, you must know, I don’t write because I have something to say.  (15,000 things).  I have drives to express (inexplicably) – and most often what I write is precisely a declaration of what I don’t know.

“The more we know, the more exposed we are to our ignorance, and the more we know to ask”

– Marcelo Gleiser, The Island of Knowledge

Well that’s a positivist view.

When I write, I expose all my ignorance.  Compose hunches and urges, fascinations and fears.  Ache to pull my ineffables toward tongues.  Talking’s the same.  I don’t know what I’m saying – just hoping experience finds text.  Immaterial materializing.  We might get “something to work with.”  I don’t understand any of it.

Sitting then, in the sweet Kansas day, 20/30 years of my life gained a traction.  “Meaning-making,” to make meaning, was obscuring infinite unknowns.  Underlying such a contention – that meaning is made – swum its absence = there’s no meaning “there.”

“Person-hood” aptly decreed – “person” a “hood” that we wear.  “Person-ality” – some ability we possess to appear as in situations.  “Meaning” – a something we might craft to suit our unaccountable occurrences.  I don’t mean anything, significance is made.  If I’m lucky the people around me choose to do so with my existence.  Otherwise it’s matter of course.  We’re Matter…of course.  But who knows?  Also the problem of “knowledge” – the only “knowledge” we have is our own and some idiosyncratic communal bastardization of what our Species has MADE.

Not quite nihilism.  Just meaninglessness.

I like the idea of “meaning-making” – finding it in the relation of atoms, of stars, of humans and beasts.  Of dreams and delusions, of science.  I like “knowledge” – created cultural artifacts and residue, flotsam & jetsam, structures and practical theories.  AND it would seem it obscures what surrounds.  For every academic discipline that drills its way into a world we experience (as humans) and stacks up hypotheses and –pedias…there’s still the wide world there from every other perspective and experience – the ant, paramecium, subatomic particle, sky.  Your spouse or your child, parent or friend, or the foreign, the stranger, the Other, the “them.”

Myopia.  Perception.  The experience of meaning.  Attribution of significance.  What matters in matter to ME.  IF matter – for even matter’s a human contribution to what seems to be.

Perhaps it comes down to particularized –“hoods” and “-abilities” – “each one’s” momentary personhood and personality – whether experience is an occasion to “make meaning” or glide on in its unnecessary meaninglessness.  I don’t know.

What remains is my deranged and crazy compulsion – my “hood” I guess, and ability.

So many words come to mind.