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

In Strange States and Finding Delight : Questions on Being Well and Doing Well

 “Nothing that is complete breathes.”

-Antonio Porchia-

Description:  Flux.  By its very nature, significant change is unsettling, disregulating and life-altering.  Over the past 6-8 weeks I have lost spouse, employment, my personal and relational rhythms and schedule, the savings in my bank account depleted.  I have applied for over 180 jobs, written as many cover letters, tweaked as many resumes, attempted to keep up with my coursework, and take good care of my four amazing children who abide with me.  Each week in therapy (without doubt a literal life-saving engagement) the session will end with something like curiosity at just how uncertain, good, terrifying, significant, painful, frightening, moving, difficult and meaningful the week’s happenings are.  I have felt I am living multiple lifetimes of experience in each 7-day period.  Inherently, overwhelming are experiences that cannot be described, portrayed, understood or explicated.  These are strange statesdevoid of much that could be regulating or structuring, a wild gyre of hope and despair, connection and separation, exhaustion and inspiration.  Strange states.

One of the things that has pestered and picqued me this past week is a growing recognition that most of the people I know – friends, peers, acquaintances, relatives – are people that can DO almost anything well, even exceptionally.  Humans have such an uncanny adaptive ability to (as Kafka says) “wriggle through.”  My people are the sorts of persons who find satisfaction and contentment in being well – the activity of living itself, ever specific to context, is its own contentment and satisfaction, often regardless of what they are doing (it seems).

From early on, many of us were instructed to “follow your passions,” or “use your gifts and talents,” another way, I am thinking, of saying FIND DELIGHT.  Delight, it seems to me, is that tone of experience we incur when both being and doing provide utmost satisfaction and contentment for our individuated and particular “selves.”  Moments such as that first eye contact that seems comprehending, recognizing between the infant you have brought into the world and love so much and yourself.  Moments often termed “flow” – when your ache to express and the form of your expression seem to unite, resonate – in whatever medium you most enjoy – dancing, painting, writing, conversing, thinking, playing, sculpting, calculating, making music, serving others – whatever it is that brings you joy coupling with your own unique history and experience and way of being.

And here’s the rub:  in our authentic relationships, most of us have a good sense between us of what it is that makes our “others” tick, or thrive, their core desires and wishes, delights and strengths.  HOW they like to be WHO they are.  My friends who love to observe and capture beautiful moments, create photographs, artefacts of world/self combined are often selling insurance, teaching classes, running cash registers.  My friends with conceptual strengths and reflective panache – philosophers with ever-evolving ideas and visions of the world and how it functions – are often administering organizations, delivering mail, stocking grocery shelves.  My friends who thrive in drama and play, or sport and music, or math and surfing – end up spending their days repairing roofs or selling shoes, concocting coffee or serving food, mowing lawns or teaching children.  AND THEY ARE EXCEPTIONAL AT WHAT THEY DO!

The rub:  When people are being wellit seems they do well, regardless of whether the task or activity would inherently give them delight.  It is the being that delights them, and they infuse whatever they do with that wonder and wealth.  The query:  is there, when is there, how is there – the possibility of (remember, our lives are brief) – combining our capacities for being well with those things we most enjoy doing well and might that not result in a life characterized by delight ?  Is it possible to insist on?  And is one able to survive?  As I search for work – I realize just how many things I am able to do well – like so many others – and that doing well at things has a certain level of satisfaction because one is being well.  But what joy (remember, our lives are brief) if our lives might be characterized by being well/doing well those things that delight us (nourish our well-being)?  We are social, and because of that our survival depends/inter-depends on one another – and society needs certain things of us – teachers, mail deliverers, food service, grocers, manufacturers, administrators, tax accountants, waste management, shoe repairers, and so on.  We fill these positions FOR one another, for our greater good, making effort to infuse and tweak our responsibilities with as much as we are individually able to also gain some satisfaction and contentment with the ways that we be in those roles.

This question is unclear.  I suppose I am wondering the experience of all of you out there – Is it possible to live a life characterized by delight?  Where we are able to survive being well doing what we most enjoy doing well?  I have yet to fill out the application, sit through the interview for, or see the job posting that asks me to DO WELL WHAT I BE.  Perhaps that is the application of life itself.  Perhaps I will never run across the posting that says – actualize your desire to write – whatever you are compelled to write – and we will make sure you are sustained and healthy.  Any testimonies of conflated being and doing and surviving and thriving out there?

Scripturient“Would there be this eternal seeking if the found existed?”

-Antonio Porchia-

Friday Fictioneers – March 29, 2013

Lamps

The body as a field where many battles rage.  Strife of ideal fathering, strafed with spousal passion and demands.  The infantries advance – toward occupational worth – stealth sweeping the rewards.  Childhood plans of freedom and grandeur – the risk and adventure – hits from guerilla flanks.  The will to heroic power and injured survival.  Biology of age.  Maproom of surrender and negotiating borders.  Where the surge will be.  Today.  Rigorous advance of death.  Waging to forge something like a home, a country, an interdependent territory.  All of it leaving its marks.

It is time to sit down and write.  Time, as measured by flame.

It has to be burning.

N Filbert 2013