A Fiction Fragment
A Fiction Fragment
“I”-dentity: and/or “I” is a product of the Other and the Us
I wouldn’t know how to tell you my story, though life knows I try and have tried (as if someone cared).
What is it to you? And “I”? Is “we”? When the parts are estranged, differentiated – unknown and uncertain? If the question of being is YouMe + We?
My approach to myself as an Other and Us.
Thinking in time with the seasons – their perceptible growth and decay. Their relations.
For all the world in the sheer ice of January the wheat crop is dead… but it rises late in the Spring.
The drizzling, chill fog is burned off by the Summer.
I succumb to grief, and then joy, but grief will come again (and then joy…and then grief… and then)…
Fall and its gradual dying: discoloration, departure. What we experience as lengthening quiet.
I thought it was over (this “I”), again and again. But it always turns out it is ready to bloom and express, given certain conditions (the “I” and what blooms, as well as conditions – differing every time).
Not quite fallow – apparently. The seeds and resources are there (that’s the HUMAN) – called out by consortial action.
So “I” is the product of the Other and the Us. Always more than one and all their relations. Sea, land and sky, our cells and their content-rich contexts.
I’ve been abandoned and resumed without loss each mysterious gain. I’ve betrayed and discovered new friends. We don’t remember where to categorize pain: is it “bad” is it “good” – but then simply it is just like we and the other and the us.
“I” dent. I am in-formed while in-forming. When I move, lie or make, I am changed.
It’s not fault of an-other, an outside, an “external,” nor “me” in my body, my space and my time, but the “we” is the cause – the “us” in relation: all is com-pound, com-plex, and co-herent (“co-here-in-it”?). Here together we change and are changed. And thus love.
And our fear. And we forecast by memory.
“I” am not “I” as “I” was. Nor like the “I” “I” will be. Which “I” cannot predict for all its co-dependence. Which we labeled “dis-ease” and no wonder – it makes us uneasy being out of control.
Yet we’re only an “I” in a context. A context of other and us.
When the “other”s keep changing (be coyote or mountain, NY or SF, literature, germ, snail or partner) the “I” also shifts and adapts, becomes “else,” becomes novel, strikes a balance with all that is “us.”
So give credit where credit is due (or a “cause”): whatever your “I” equals a me + a you – and is describable in manifold ways – as a god or the weather, a child or a feather, and is probably always ALL AND.
So no “OR.” Choice is an additive move.
TV news brought us the phrase “and now this.” Exponentialed via World-Wide-Web, and most probably true (or maybe it’s real). Connections incalculable, meshwork beyond comprehension, impossible untangling deciphers…now this and now this and now this = “I” (and “you” and “us” and “we” and “world”).
Terms are confusing.
We Are. Con-fused beyond knowing.
There is no other way (then/than) To Be.
“I” as a product of Other and Us.
I’ve recently acquired (via Inter-Library Loan! Woo-hoo!!!) a collection of writings exhibited below:
which opens with an essay by anthropologist Tim Ingold who starts it off with a remarkable movement through slugs and storms, lines-earth-eather, Kandinsky, Klee, Merleau-Ponty, and others – investigating them through a concept of “meshwork.”
“By this I mean an entanglement of interwoven lines. These lines may loop or twist around one another or weave in and out. Crucially, however, they do not connect. This is what distinguishes the meshwork from the network. The lines of the network are connectors, each given as the relation between two points, independently and in advance of any movement from one toward the other…the lines of a meshwork, by contrast, are of movement or growth. They are temporal ‘lines of becoming’…Life is a proliferation of loose ends. It can only be carried on in a world that is not fully joined up. Thus the very continuity of life – its sustainability, in current jargon – depends on the fact that nothing ever quite fits..”
-Tim Ingold, “Lines and the Eather”-
Journeying on from there through Deleuze and Guattari, mood and weather, meteorology and aesthetics he arrives at a conception of flesh as both meshwork (exhalation) and atmosphere (inhalation) – a whole-being experience of relation enabling and realizing animate life….
I’ve now been browsing numerous writings by Ingold, fascinated by the semiotic/anthropologico/ontological /scientific meshwork his production encompasses… Thankfully, he makes much of his work available full and free to us… if you’re interested – I risk the promise it will be worth your while…
and a fascinating working paper as introduction: Realities: Bringing Things to Life
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