Morning Thoughts – Saturday

“If there is progress then there is a novel.”

William Carlos Williams

     You wait for it to come, grow, become.  You may be waiting forever.  Like love.

Perhaps it will visit, pass by.  You’ll notice, probably feel hopeful, or inspired.  Forlorn.

You’ll keep trying, as in waiting.  Wanting and waiting are such wrestlers.

From time to time you’ll dream.  Fantasies and nightmares.

But language will twist your words.

“Today I wrote nothing.”

Daniil Kharms

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I see nothing

“The sky would have to be inside me for my words to have the brilliance of stars”

– Edmond Jabes, “A Foreigner Carrying in the Crook of His Arm a Tiny Book”

Dasein means: being held out into the nothing”

– Peter Sloterdijk, “The Art of Philosophy”

“Even when nothing / replaced the gifts, it was a kind of seeing”

– Jack Gilbert, “Collected Poems”

I was driving in the dust of this planet while wondering how I knew the sky was not inside me.

After all, there are theories.

But my words do not have “the brilliance of stars.”

Hugo Mercier & Dan Sperber concocted The Enigma of Reason… and I want to say …of Reasons.

For after all.

After all (i.e. “in the beginning”), where we set out from seems to be an enigma of reasons.  The proffering of theories (the art? of fabricating reasons?).  The urgency to describe or define, explicate or explain, ‘make sense’ of things like her glance, or my illness; the weather, or wear (time), something felt or imagined, desired.  Each engendering theories.

We call that engendering the imagination.  Using language and sensing, others and other, an-experience-in-the-world to … give reasons.  And why?

There are theories.

No bottom.

Haven’t we begun everywhere?  With urges and instincts, desire and relation, observation and interpretation, and so on… and yet it’s only ever ‘mine’ or ‘ours,’ – a giving of reasons and investigation that is human – no, not quite.  Not even that.

We incorporate ‘earth’ in it.  And many things nobody owns or created.  Language and sense, and earthy-othery tools: microscopes, telescopes, instruments, numerals, metals and plastics and paper.  Electricities.  Motion.

Anything to wrap ourselves in and around… and give reasons.

That experiencing: when one aches for a knot or a kernel, a key or a gem.

Mine might be the Texts for Nothing.  A nothing I never can reach (and I knew it).  Don’t we all begin once we discover we can’t?  After it’s all already begun?  In the midst of?

Why why?

Mystic-scientists propose an only-what.  Eschew reasons.  The lock of the rational derive.  Sense or no, this is what we observe in conditions.  Phenomenology.  The human (“observer”) limited experiencing.  Only that.  Being-there.

But the tekne collaborates and alters.  There never is only.

Reportage.  Disinterested.  Impersonal.  Facts and accuracies.

A reason:

I pursue nothing because I know I can’t find it.  Will not find it until I am not.

Even then?

So I err at desire.

Like a theory.

A digression.  Transgression.  Omission-emission.

A longing for order?  For sense transcribed into reason?  For nothing to give rise to all and these everythings to foment continuing?

But we know don’t we?  Deeper down, without bottom?  Don’t we know we’re a tiniest book?  Carried in the arm of a world-without-end?  Of further reaches?

No, we don’t.

We don’t know.  We make ‘knowing’ or ‘knowledge’ – a description – a typification (a logic, a rationality, i.e. a reason, a theory).  Floating in infinite perhaps.

They say we share common elements we’ve devised observationally.  So the sky might be inside of me.  But words aren’t stars, are they?  Theories.  Experience.  Ours.

We’ve come to experience not-knowing as a kind of ‘humility’, ‘valor’, and ‘honesty.’  But why?  We don’t know.  If that’s so, we can’t know we don’t know.  And life is a loop of inquiry, perception… that leads to the giving of reasons and the making of sense.  Beginning ourselves from began.

Things ‘ring true,’ resonate, and we follow… on… seeking reasons, making sense (where there is none?).

Posit ‘God.’  Posit ‘Method.’ And we’re caught in the crevice of crafting for reasons.

“Even when nothing / replaced the gifts, it was a kind of seeing.”

Inexpressibles

The Three Oddest Words

When I pronounce the word Future,
the first syllable already belongs to the past.

When I pronounce the word Silence,
I destroy it.

When I pronounce the word Nothing,
I make something no non-being can hold.

 

By Wislawa Szymborska
Translated by S. Baranczak & C. Cavanagh

Copyright © Wislawa Szymborska, S. Baranczak & C. Cavanagh

thank you Unwanted Advice

Continuing Reading Writing

“an ‘absoluteness of absence’ if writing is to be possible” – Jacques Derrida

Certain works by Samuel Beckett eventuate an environment of silence for me.  For instance, the brief poem “What is the Word?”

What Is the Word

folly –

folly for to –

for to –

what is the word –

folly from this –

all this –

folly from all this –

given –

folly given all this –

seeing –

folly seeing all this –

this –

what is the word –

this there –

this this here –

all this this here –

folly given all this –

seeing –

folly seeing all this this here –

for to –

what is the word –

see –

glimpse –

seem to glimpse –

need to seem to glimpse –

folly for to need to seem to glimpse –

what –

what is the word –

and where –

folly for to need to seem to glimpse what where –

where –

what is the word –

there –

over there –

away over there –

afar –

afar away over there –

afaint –

afaint afar away over there what –

what –

what is the word –

seeing all this –

all this this –

all this this here –

folly for to see what –

glimpse –

seem to glimpse –

need to seem to glimpse –

afaint afar away over there what –

folly for to need to seem to glimpse afaint afar away over there what –

what –

what is the word –

what is the word

– Samuel Beckett

Perhaps the what where is always what we’re attempting to tell.  Perhaps that’s eternal recurrence / return.  The when is always known.  Always NOW.  The folly, truly folly, of our attempt to tell the what where that is our being, our being NOW, always being NOW, no when needed, no whom known, just what where presently…occurring.  Is this always what we are attempting to say?  To find words for?  To tell?  What where, now?  Always NOW – whether reading or writing, assailing past, present or future – it is NOW that it’s occurring, but what? where?  And what is the word?  What are the words for this what where we’re attempting to tell?  This is my writing, reading – in a way, it seems, the all of it – my folly.  Perhaps what where is unnameable.  

And so I also offer a reading – for even as soon as I re-read my own writing – I cannot remember the whom or what-where of the writing.  Because the reading is always right NOW.  This reading – a chapter from Mark C. Taylor’s book Tears (as both eye-leak or suffering and rift-split-rip-“tear”) entitled “How to do Nothing with Words”  (my own copy a rainbow of highlights and symbolized marginalia – like all that I read significance to). If this sort of thing – this philosophizing or wondering writing – is not of your interest – don’t bother.  But if it is kind of intriguing, or causes curiosity, I find this chapter a compelling and admirable attempt to descry the “what is the word?” tussle I constantly struggle and strive for enacting the telling what where.  

Tears

(click image for chapter, or here: How to do Nothing with Words)

And, after all that…here is neither, a short writing by Beckett to go on with…

neither

To and fro in shadow from inner to outershadow

from impenetrable self to impenetrable unself by way of neither

as between two lit refuges whose doors once neared gently close, once turned away from gently part again

beckoned back and forth and turned away

heedless of the way, intent on the one gleam or the other

unheard footfalls only sound

till at last halt for good, absent for good from self and other

then no sound

then gently light unfading on that unheeded neither

unspeakable home

– Samuel Beckett

Thank you for your time.  It goes on…