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
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Writing Ontologically? – the shit thickens

“It is the slowness of the art of writing, in its mechanical execution, that for years now has at times repelled and discouraged me: the wasted time of a writer throwing words on the page.

Julien Gracq – Reading Writing

for Jean Lee @ Jean Lee’s World, with apologies

I really “mean” it when I say that I don’t know what I am writing, and that the REAL WHY is because I want to write, and am able, and that I honestly have no character, event, or idea in mind or body as I apply this mediatory marking instrument (ball-point-pen) between whatever-myself-is and this-blank-lined-paper.

I truly might be WASTING LIVING TIME.

OR…might be recording something useful…providing traces…leaving marks of process…like masturbation, cooking, politics, or work – HOW LIVING TIME IS “WASTED.”

Who knows?  The scientists?  Or neurobiologists?  The philosophers or anthropologists?  Historians?  Pastors?  Sociologists?  CEOs?  Artists?  Who determines (evaluates and judges) what is “waste” from what is “significant”/”important”?  Do humans?  Does Time?

For what it’s worth, I have an ellipsis of minutes I am not (apparently) needed by children, pets, work, or world…and so I have taken up a writing tool and am drawing letters in collectives called words onto an empty section of a blank lined notebook.

Is this valuable?  Don’t we wonder or ask this regarding every action and breath?  From holding a child, to exercise; fixing plumbing to sleeping?  Laundry.  School.  DOES THIS MATTER?!?  And, if it might, to WHOM or WHAT…why?

I cannot imagine to whom it might matter that I am stumbling out sentences with nothing in mind other than WRITING, TO-BE-WRITING – excepting my insignificant eperiencing of “self” that WANTS TO BE WRITING – in any case.  Therefore, I AM writing.

All those who seem to depend on me for their well-being, survival (or SENSE of same) also SEEM to be surviving and existing at relative comfort.  Those who purchase (shamefully) my “LIFE.TIME” via employment – have proffered the day off as a normative weekend practice.  For the time being, apparently NOTHING has immediate NEED of me, so I am left to determine what to do with “TIME.”

(my LIFE).

And because I overhear myself continuously complaining, desiring, wishing and bemoaning that I ‘never have time’ to write – I AM WRITING.  Because.

As far as I can tell, I am writing nothing (of worth) because, as much as I desire to write, I actually don’t know WHAT to write, or for WHOM, or WHAT – and so i am just WRITING because.  Serving no one, not even myself, yet perhaps.  Perhaps, because the WANT or URGE “to write” as a writer…is NOT to WRITE SOMETHING (as far as I can surmise – albeit I also regularly wish I were writing something ‘great’ or ‘evental,’ etc…) but truly is simply to be IN THE ACT OF…WRITING, which I AM, and therefore I cannot know what good any of it does beyond being what I wish I were doing…becoming ACTUAL.

Wishes come true: I AM WRITING.

To no point of purpose but the fulfillment of desire: I AM DOING WHAT I WANT TO BE DOING: I AM WRITING.  And it does feel good, and part of it (I think) feels good because I am unable to discover a path, direction, or ‘way’ for it to feel good FOR.

In conclusion: I AM WRITING

and this is: WHAT I WANTED TO BE.

Mission.  Accomplished.

(to/for whomever wherever whatever)

i.e. IN FACT – I AM WRITING.

Philosophy / Philosopher

Things happen.

Accidents.

Today, I was browsing the shelves of the library at which I work, looking for books most precious to me to “represent” me as a person – a librarian, human, father, partner, son, life-trajectory, organism, friend – in honor of (yet another inexplicable almost insane “let’s-find-a-reason-for-celebration-instead-of-accepting-reality” National arbitration of “National Library Week” among perhaps many other things we are trying to laud ourselves for being every day/week/month/year).  And I stumbled across a title related to a hero of mine I had never seen – combining both the delights of the personage & thought I associate with him, and a favorite thing to ponder – communication or discourse:

Rhees - Philosophy9

From that point on, it has been what Eugene Gendlin might label felt experiencing: the occasional yet over-powering moments in life where we feel all-in, fully alive, in the flow, MET… RESONANT… acknowledged and identified.

The book opens with a prefatory essay by one of Wittgenstein’s students, literary executors, and, quite clearly, astute thinker in himself, Rush Rhees.

I include it here because it evinced that moment of relief, exhaustion, affirmation, Okay-ness, that comes from Emily-Dickinson-like “What – you too?” moments in our strange, convoluted, web-networked, chaotic and most-often-indecipherable human Who-Am-I existences…

All to say I read this brief and delightful (to me) report of a fellow human and thought:  Okay, I let down, I collapse, I am guilty of what you describe… and elated to find I am not alone.

For what it’s worth… this seems to “get me” :

Rhees - PhilosophyRhees - Philosophy3Rhees - Philosophy4Rhees - Philosophy5Rhees - Philosophy6Rhees - Philosophy7Rhees - Philosophy8-001

From

From