April 8, 2009
There must be a point in your life where you’ve encountered the annoying instance in your chair being too low to type comfortably (check-amended) and being torn between two things: not ice cream or lovers or shades of shoes or truths or lies, but suitability.
“I’m right for this; you’ll have to dig but I’m right for this!”
“I’m right for this too; you’ll have to dig but I’m right for this too!”
On the face of it they might not seem to differ much, but you damn well know they do and it’s only on the face of it that you see where they are so similar that you understand why you’re in this mess to begin with: they’re both difficult to work with and they’re both insisting that they’re the right one for the job.
Nostalgia and a bizarre understanding of complicated ideas is making me yearn for not so much the comfort and safety, for there is no comfort or safety to be found here (oh no… not here), of dare I say it – Derrida – but his sometimes unnerving act to make me fall in love with these odd little symbols that you find scattered about all over the place. And they should make sense, right? Not in my life time.
Then again… the flirtatious coos of something I’ve not really explored that much and have only recently taken a fond interest in is in itself, creating enough emotional havoc in my already befuddled mind(s), lax and tired from being pushed too hard, as to leave my heart-strings in the throes of a perpetual, arousing hum – such are the movements that I follow in Cixous.
I feel familiar (!) with the former and at ease (!) with the latter but both shake up in me excitement, dumb-foundedness and liberation and all of the things that lead me to sit here on a Wednesday night wondering which one would be more suitable for what I want to do; so weigh it up they say and I do and discover that neither are going to give me an easy ride and here it is now, the crux of why I am so in love with what they have to say —
I only have to decide what I want to say.
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