Terrific collection of attempts at languaging mystery around incarnate language: https://maney.us/blog/2014/12/28/meditations-on-the-incarnation-from-select-church-fathers-and-doctors/
St. John Chrysostom: Homily on Christmas Morning
This is another post I made during Advent four years ago, which bears repeating. I have read this sermon by St. John Chrysostom (late fourth century …St. John Chrysostom: Homily on Christmas Morning
The Songs I Do Not Know (1)
“Tell me the songs you don’t know.”Dan Beachy-Quick, Of Silence and Song
“–knowledge is made by oblivion.”Sir Thomas Browne, in B-Q, Silence & Song
clips, or snippets,
the known as partial
hymning (nearly celebrating)
its reverse –
i didn’t know
the sounds of
as they were
always changing –
so i made noise
transparently novel (novice)
framing, marking, visibling
all i do not know –
every word an icon
all it’s not
thus every song i sing
i sing of what i do not know
or hear or dream or feel
but do i tell of songs
i do not know
or sing not knowing?
would i recognize
it’s hard to tell
It would have to be fragmentary, partial
perhaps pointing, with hope,
like us, living things,
at any given moment:
saying things, not yet said,
ever in the midst of acts,
if there happens to be a real
it must be incomplete and full
of undoing and becoming,
of perhapses and oops
I had started out
at some point,
taking up this pen
and applying it to this
open screen, unknowable unknown,
had started out toward
in order to write
“I had started out”
but all is different now
and now again,
assertions and insertions
of possible reals or facts,
some happenings of actuals
be-fore (in face of, in lieu)
words or some expression
It stares out, staring in,
fractured and non-finished,
fetishized with objects
that stand for something else,
always something else
than what “is” or which has been,
unfinished and hardly calculable,
and inexhaustibly exhaustible
and without beginning
(or we would ‘start’)
on a way then, in
doing toward undone,
“The experimental dimension is precisely where thinking at its limit takes place, where the singularity of a given thought is being shaped…”
– Michel de Beistegui –
“the present is as long as a walk when I am walking”
– Chryssipe, quoted in Francois Jullien –
Or, “the present is as long as the sentence I’m composing…” the tune, the breath, the weather… the lunge, the gaze, the listen… the sex, starlight, heartbeat… presence determined, according to scale.
“…as long as the thought I am thinking…” that leads to the next, and the borrowed, the other, imagined. The languages lent, or made new, bastardized, reconstructed, remingled…
Therefore [have I now ‘left’ present/-ce?] the present writing is present just as long as it presents itself? Does this explain run-ons and magical realism? The refusal to pause or to finish? Avoidance of punctuation, cessation, or periods…in order to be writing? (as long as it is writing…living written?).
I am drawn in writing presence. And I aspire. To be writing as often present-ly as possible (in all the senses of the terms you might conceive). Working, present-ly, with presences that present themselves in the activity of writing – ages, layers, eons of language becoming toward these significations I am physically inscribing NOW with evolving, accumulative, adapting and erasured meanings over times and places, persons and presents/-ces. This continuous bodily activity and operation marking whatever presently transpires on lines – between my organism, this instrument and matter of lined pages – creating a Mobius-like twisting endless loop of circuitry, a breathless action (almost afraid of interruption, disconnection, or cessation) as if it would disqualify present/-ce with unauthorized and arbitrary finite personal breakage.
Yet I know (or believe) the present/-ing will continue all the same whether I am writing or not – ever assailing with near-infinite (perhaps infinite) encountering and engagements…be-ing… regardless of my regard, participation, choice of action, and awareness. Unconcerned by my present/-ce as I a grain of soil or blade of grass, singular molecules or mosquitos, the hairs dropped from our heads. Matters of scale of what matters. [To/for us. ME. At our scale, at whatever scale, DEPENDING].
Interruption occurs. Into, inter-, enter: an eruption. Anything that commands response. A call from another, a locusts’ buzz, tonal or temperature flux. Changing track and attention. I plea for intervention versus interruption, that the breathless present/ce might go on, unintruded but intervened. Eventuation, eventually, new contents entering veins of the stream I am searching, spreading, scribing…at the limit of…
Intrusion. Inter-eruption. Or inter-vention, intra-venously… WILL OUR PRESENT PRESENCE all bound up with, knotted, wound and intersecting, inserted and inserting reciprocally or complicitly…go on, remain, continue? Will it be dissipation or dissension, distension, desiccation or decay? Can we have, swerve, welcome an irruption intravenously? I hesitate, I turn. A response.
Staccato desiccation. I’ve been bombarded. Like tragedy, untranceable. Persistence and flow stuttering, gives way. The stream of thought polluted, a turbulence assigned. Coming undone, branch drying up, kindling, that is to say…
Yet if to say, that is – perhaps we’re crossing, coming-over, over-coming interruption as irruption. Response-able, disabling, but hearing more, lines converging with complexity, a chaos, a banking flow…or spilling over and dispersing?…who could know. What means – BECOME?
“the present is a write, as long as I am writing” – this presence fractured into fragments, presents, now, perhaps beyond deciphering. The mode of ciphers, potent codes – standing for?? Standing for??? Which represents THIS…what you read. Read in, read from, read into and out of. We do not step into the same stream twice, it has been said, or three times, or even once, even, again. We don’t know “same,” yet use it like a God, destructive hoping (“identity,” “non-contradiction,” even Truth(s) or Fact(s)) – that SOMEthing might not change.
NOT in this world, and we know no other. Conjuring zeroes, ideals and myths, utopias (literally “no-places”) and lines of imaginings. Hoping for control? Security? Continuance? – of what, of which…presence. Scales to track the motions with, fallibly. Attempts to stay the flow, stay with the flow, re-cognize, re-member, re-main. What continues to fall apart and reassemble, ever ‘new’ but only partly, in its occurring, range of scales ever irrupting, erupting, interrupting as comings-to-be in all their goings, it’s going…a fragile now.
But I digress along the stream, exposing fragments, perhaps connected to a mouth, a trunk or mother. Dispersive river, interminably con-fusing elements transgressing finitude. Number, line and term. Concept, law, or theory. None of it works, and some of it seems to. All may belong, depending on scale.
A matter of present/ce perhaps, and of movement. Some matter of species, perception and dream. Susurrate surround, full of disruption, riding waves, but not for long.
“the present is as long…as a singularity of thought is being shaped…”
– Chrysippe + de Beistegui –
(much later and rescaled)
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.”
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.
(to/for whomever wherever whatever)
i.e. IN FACT – I AM WRITING.
On Being Other
On Being Other
(after Heidegger, on Holderlin)
Broken off from origin: gods, family, homeland.
Early switched direction – turning back, against, since.
No belonging. No church, no community of mortals.
Reliant on the peaks and the abyssal.
No lasting love, but efforts toward convention –
when giving up –
even offspring, domesticity,
No lasting commerce, always in-between,
feeling resistance and restraint,
constraints of discipline and need,
of longings, love, and lust.
fueled by others – across the times –
creators of the peaks and their abysses.
Not yet rational, it commences –
undone in the unknowing, uncertain constant flow
generates turbulence toward an opening
or a gap, some kind of fold –
“run up hard against the unsayable.”
the closing line is a quotation from Heidegger’s
lectures on Holderlin’s poems “Germania” & “The Rhine”
Becoming What and Who
The Neutre Becoming : Untitled Writing
“the writer must expose himself to his exteriority”
In the process of inscription, I am neutral. Ambiguously being. Neutered.
Existing via language that has not yet been written opens a sort of potential – possible becomings, as yet unknown, unidentified – possible positings of the impossible – WRITING enaction. I am unspecified before the letters which commence demonstrating what / who / how as It (this human) encounters them – imagines, recalls, learns, selects, experiments and undoes, chooses and deletes. Engaging with the sea. With hearsay and learning, words read or perceived, borrowing, borrowing, sifting and hybridizing.
From wherever, therefore, whomever, toward knows-not-what…IN THE MIDST…WRITING: activity, action, attempt…Everything trying.
A human. A person. Acting. Toward what ends? Perhaps to say. To express. To communicate. To discover. Invent. Investigate. Imagine. To play. To die. Not to die. Becoming / evincing / composing / traversing ‘knows-not-what.’ Anything. Nothing. Living…to Death.
This is why. This is why my own ‘need-to-write.’ To become. To try. To live on. To keep going. Living toward, forward, into… perhaps.
Not-knowing I do not know. At the edge, or a limit. Searching a way. To say. To discover. To hear. To emerge. Wanting to express, to find out, to dialogue – capable of expressing “Very little…almost nothing,” I “try again. Fail again,” and hopefully (but “no matter”) “fail better.”
The internal urgency to write rather than speak, or to speak writing or even write speaking arising when I don’t know the words with which to.
‘The need to write is linked to the point at which nothing can be done with words.”
Selecting the pen, scribbling into the paper when there are no words (that I know) for that which (before words) I experience an urgency toward.
Therefore…working and playing – experiment and effort – name-changing and changeling – It commences. Exploring. Expeditions into letters and language. Into sounds, mouths and breaths. Into indeterminate dreams and dubious memories. Desires and wishes and hopes. To connect or converge. To speak or hear back. To know by finding out. WRITING: to learn by failing.
“becom[ing] the empty place where the impersonal affirmation emerges”
Melancholy (Lispector, Pessoa, Beckett, Jabes, Kafka, Blanchot?) and ecstatic (Rilke, Mallarme?, Holderlin, Nietzsche, Cixous?) human activity/task/capacity. “Need.”
“That there is language.”
at the point at which nothing can be done with words
I attempt to express the extent of my experience of love…
Endeavor to language particular beauty…
Strive to tell you how I… try to say…
Make effort to describe my children, the cheek/lip/ankle/voice/presence of my beloved, the eye contact and thought-contact of a friend, paw of a kitten, core of a concept, element of a scent, a breeze, a trace, a view…
Venture some new construction, a world, characters, possibilities…directions and directives…
Ache to communicate…
Will to connect…
Crave to continue…
WRITING: TO LEARN (something?) BY FAILING
“the attempt to open a space for the unsayable”
IN THE MIDST
Moments: The reality of accrual and depletion, growth and diminishment
“It is of the essence of life that it does not begin here or end there, or connect a point of origin with a final destination, but rather that it keeps on going, finding a way through the myriad things that form, persist and break up in its currents.”
Tim Ingold – Being Alive: Essays on knowledge, movement and description
In the reading journal I keep, I record what I read each day in entries numbered according to my years. For instance, today is Day 364 of 43. Each day counts UP the days I have lived, simultaneously counting DOWN the days I have left.
If our weight in the world is conspired via our capacity for object-making, “perception,” – how we collate and identify active collective of particles, lending them shape and color, space and duration – in effect: “organize them according to our own purposes and facilities” – co-creating manageable entities with which we might interact and navigate life “sensibly” (body-minded)
then the “lightness” of vitality/movement/being comes from the constant (relatively frenetic) buzz and action of the unseen particles composing and constituting the scales we are able to perceive and conceive.
Does this sound workable? I trust that I am a hive of vibrating, exchanging, bounding, colliding and connecting atoms/molecules/whatever, and that to certain interlinked bundles of material interactivities this can appear, be sensed, perceived, interacted with, as an apparently distinct “organism/being/organization of activities” constructing (or being constructed/perceived AS) almost a form, a differance, an “object.”
And likewise, and vice-versa.
Particles, drilled down or zoomed out in their interactivities and motion form ever-varying “wholes” (temporarily composed perceptible forms or variable entities). Thus poets and scientists, thus Ovid and religions, philosophers…HUMANS…METAPHOR. Taking various realities for another and one another, or, ALWAYS – in relation to.
Crossing and dipping, perceiving/conceiving, we are able to invent scenarios and subjects, conduits and concretions, whereby we are also able to communicate, invent, share, cognize imaginative possibilities for our temporary coagulates (or “life-forms,” ever active and morphing). The tinier particles simply continue their trajectories and behaviors while their collaborated forms appear to be “born” (or formulated, occurring) and die (or dissolve, dismember, separate to join in other alignments, reactions and compounds).
Thinking is a lucky pleasure of our particular combo-formulations, as love, emotion, felt embodiment, enmindedness, entanglements…
I am grateful for all of it: lovely purposeful accidents to sense, perceive, grow, change, become, decease, connect and disconnect…attach and release…combine and unravel.
IN THE MIDST of which…and this is where the trembling, shifting, unstable, particularly and elaborately conditioned partial perception “I” initially chose (in languaging) to begin…”in the midst of…”
but then I realized that MIDST might beggar a belief-explanation (theory) as to what I was beginning in the midst of…ALWAYS…this strange living process…and so I diverted through the above contingent caveat.
i.e. EVERYTHING DEPENDS. On context, formulations, occasions, circumstances, surroundings, kind, type, species, conditions composing NOW.
There is some longevity to “sticking together” (successfully? Symbiotically? Interactively linked or bonded for some formal survivable persistence) but it’s all quite temporary (the place-time from which an opinion is held or conceived, promulgated…changes slightly with each moment, more in an hour, a day, each “year,” each…occurrence).
To say: all is active and contingent. I.e. DEPENDS – on multitudes of very specific things, unseen tiny things, enormous systemic things, situations, arrangements being…”the case.”
A Hal Hartley film or a novel by Dostoevsky, the face of my child or the sound waves of song; the body and voice of my beloved…won’t have any “effect” “meaning” “sense” when my particles realign and this particular arrangement is “dead,” “decayed,” “reorganized.”
Activity is a curious thing.
Although we experience “age,” “knowledge,” “experience,” as a kind of “growth” or accretion, it isn’t very long at all in our formulating as a human before we become profoundly aware that our “growth” is an indicator of cessation, “progress” a sign of our undoing…dismantling, shifting, and changing.
This central comprehension of human systems – paradoxical tension, momentary accretion/diminishment – likely fuels much of the emotion, trauma, passion, energy, delight, grief, disturbances and elations of our particular species instinctual cognitively embodied behaviors.
Angst, joy, terror, hope – perhaps all of these reside in this mysterious yin-yang of coming together / coming apart AT ONCE and ALWAYS. Each addition is a removal, each connection another breakage, each revelation a forgetting. Each next accrues a last and never.
NOW – the pivot point of addition/subtraction – for human living.
I crave, delight, wonder, rejoice, and find my survival with each NEXT while grieving, losing, aching, suffering, and ceasing with each movement as well.
There is no choice in the matter (that I can see) – it happens. Everything we do effects and disaffects inherently.
Rising indeed IS falling. Growing IS diminishing. Living truly IS dying, while our dying is yet living for something else…Reciprocal, ongoing, continuous realignments. Any departure is a novel thing joined.
And thus, simply process, simply going-on. Not “us” but it. Not you, I, we, but the particles and universal systems, arrangements.
And we, in the midst.
Perhaps. That’s how I’m thinking it today.
As I count up and down the days.