June 19, 2010
Sometimes I question the authenticity of my brain; I wonder if perhaps it’s actually a living sponge, wibbling across the ocean floor and shuddering in delight at the notion of plankton.
Maybe it’s just one of those days. I had a passionate conversation with my niece this morning but that’s all I can say about it: it was a passionate conversation. We can only guess what it was about – generally or specifically – and that sense of mystery can be accurately applied to the rest of the day that has just passed. With the exception of learning that a friend was almost gassed to death in the night and knowing that I ate four digestive biscuits today – one more than I should have eaten, according to my calorie plan – because they were delicious. Especially the rogue one I snuck in.
In fact it became rather apparent to me yesterday evening that I’d experienced ‘one of those days’ quite recently. Although I’m assuming it’s quite recently. I can’t tell for sure when it occurred namely because I have no memory of it, but the evidence is there and true enough. ‘One of those days’ occurred because I’m missing large swathes of documents that I deem important but at the same time, painful to keep.
It’s not like me to destroy something that will come in handy to me at a later date, no matter how inconvenient it may be to retain. I don’t like to assume, but I know me well. I’ve shredded those papers in a moment of unrefined madness and bliss.
A lot of people would be upset if they found themselves in the same position. I’d like to say the same about myself but because I have no memory of the event and the reasons and emotions attached, it’s all water off a duck’s back.
I’m dreadfully sorry but I’ve lost my train of thought…
Losing a train of thought – a train is an elongated piece of fabric usually stemming from a skirt or robe. So my thoughts have elongated fabric to them? Draping across the floor and when I wish to engage the thought, I pick it up. But the thought leads me, because when you hold a train, you’re behind it – does that mean my thoughts precede me? Are my thoughts the play of differánce?
And when I drop the train, the trace of my thoughts and their play? I lose the train? Lose sight of the train? I’m left with little more than a trace of that long piece of fabric I was holding onto tentatively; I remember having it in my fingers but can’t say when or where. It becomes a shadow lodged in the corner of my eye; ever-moving. Out of reach. It becomes the memory I can’t trust.
What are my thoughts trying to tell me? Where do they want me to follow? What are they trying to teach me?
I’m regularly seduced by madness, and today has most definitely been one of those days…
February 17, 2009
Everyone falls for this at some stage and even when I’m least expecting it, when I’m wanting it least, I fall for it too; I am Derrida’s “bad reader [...] the fearful reader, the reader in a hurry to be determined [...]” (1987:4).
But it only take a nudge, an embarrassing one, to put me back on track? No. To knock me off those tracks, and with such force that I am almost ashamed to look. Why? I’ve made a fool of myself? Believed I was bigger than this? The Authority? Yeh, why not. But more so, I am ashamed to look because I am not ashamed but frightened by there being no tracks anymore. I have bare feet now.
So now I understand, in my humiliated way, that I’ve been too busy reading Cixous than to just let her in by reading. I should be offering tea (if she wants to step over the threshold) but I’m too busy arranging cushions to notice that it doesn’t matter how ordered I make it, how much I reason with it or how strongly I wish to have it. I’ll never have it, and that’s the point. I’m not The Master; I don’t have to fear rejection anymore because I am waiting for it. I am not going to pursue, unless of course I want to experience language turning its back on me.
Language can do that. And I figure it will do it whenever I give chase and name (maim) so that I’m left deserted. Which is no bad thing as long as I am able to sense other things around me, like unexpected moments when I draw sensual relations between eating orange segments and being reminded of you; long, narrow and graceful hands with fingers I could suck.
These are unexpected and they shock me because I strive for these moments but they always falsify me; then they gratify me when it isn’t appropriate for them to do so.
I am Derrida’s bad reader, who thankfully he likes; this isn’t a bad place to start because from here I can at least begin to retrace my steps (1987:4) and I can “reach a goal unhoped for”, “good surprises”, because “we never reach a goal hoped for” (1998:193).
I shouldn’t worry about this; I shouldn’t worry about being rejected by my writing. I should just do
They keep telling me to move freely; don’t worry about it. I’ve repeated myself, but why worry? It’s a thought I’ve met already and it likes me, is still talking to me which means that I haven’t been rejected. I’m certain, like Cixous is believing in the departure and (re)turn – (re)arrival – of writing. No, I am uncertain and anxious because of it. We are moving.
Why haven’t I stopped yet? Because I followed the shadow and found, whilst losing it all over again, that when I am waiting I am alone, and when I grab I am rejected.
I am uncertain, anxious. Unprepared, under prepared, underneath my preparation, inside of it, inside of me, here all the same waiting. And now I stop. I ‘cut’ (1998:191) because I am letting this go; I have ‘been’ enough for today.
- Hélène Cixous, Stigmata; 1998: Routledge, London and New York
- Jacques Derrida, The Postcard: From Socrates to Freud and Beyond (Trans Alan Bass); 1987: The University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London
December 27, 2008
… is all that I want to take, of the millpond under the moonlight; nothing too extensive, I’ve no need to search for the complete works of my soul, but perhaps just a small glint of my reflection to remind me once again of all the people I am and all of who I could be.
And there is the face that belongs to me but always looks fresh, just out of the packet; and a theory that I have, somewhere in my mind, is that I am unable to clear the complexion of this face because it is not entirely mine – no remedies can exchange the irritated, relentless blush, not even for pale skin that looks unhealthy and gaunt.
What am I on?
Long story short – how do we know who we are, even when we stare at ourselves in a still lake? And how can we be certain of that being we are supposed to be, when we find ourselves disconnected from the environment around us, our very bodies?
An exercise for you:
Sit down and write for 30 mins. Write about who you are, but without doing so in relation to anything or anyone.