“Sometimes God, sometimes nothing”
-Franz Kafka –
“Blank page called a day.
– Dan Beachy-Quick –
The praxis of empty signifiers : words : full of sound and fury.
If you accept the ‘I’, or find a name to call yourself – like using a credit card received in the mail (illusion of invisible funds), what do you charge to it, and does it always end in debt?
Does it make of you a consumer to believe the ‘I’? To use self-reference as a token or coin?
How soon do “my” and “mine” follow after, even though each object, event, or transaction, is clearly only a loan?
What is charged to the ‘I’ must be paid back – to put it in legal or religious terms.
Be careful what you say.
Wittgenstein claimed that we mostly speak without giving full meaning to the terms we use – that we ought remain silent whereof we cannot speak with adequate comprehension. Where we sing beyond our knowing –
very few (if any) utterances comply.
But how learn anything (even the untrue) without not-knowing? Without composing walls to break apart or knock upon, to breach or to climb? Without making it up to unlearn and repent of?
A word changes direction.
It’s happening as I write or think or imagine this. As if.
As if it signified something. I write with sound and fury. Into silence.
It’s what ‘I’ do – so I should do it! (shouldn’t I?!)
I seem to know I’m alive by touching, tasting, smelling, hearing, seeing – things other… feeling, sensing, perceiving… crafting empty signifiers like nostrils, like a tongue, a kind of eyesight and ear, my fingertips. My flesh on loan. To be paid back.
In debt to what then? ‘World’? To sing. To sound. To dance a little. Imagine.
If I am given the sound of leaves as they crisp and color the Autumn breeze, refracturing light; if I can smell the moisting decay (debts repaid by undoing what was charged), if I can gather them with my hands and roil about them with my body, if I can bake the seeds and chew, take them in…
…what does ‘I’ owe?
You sentence me: two I’s. I hear your melodious song. You whisper, close.
I say ‘I love.’ Terms lacking comprehension. Metaphysics. Their meanings beyond knowing. Unlearned. “We” are (whereof we cannot speak).
Charging invisible funds we become responsible for. Obligated.
Swiping our cards for contents.
What do we owe?
What do we know?
What can we?
Each their own set limits. Sometimes raised, sometimes lowered, depending on our fidelity to pay with interest.
We owe. We all of us owe.
Even for our silence.
Even cash-only – that empty signifier – words. Even simply action. ‘I move’ – is a statement on credit, like breath.
Sweet burst of being! To “is.” To “I.” To “we.” All so heavily borrowed, contingently. Imagine.
Imagine what it means. To owe.
Again I break the silence of what I do not know via signs of repentance. These words.
All the silence they require.