Did you find it, what you were looking for, all the time you were using the perimeter of the ring, the stage, the self, the world?
What did you see after you threw yourself against the ropes, launched yourself from them? Did you find anything? Did they crawl over your wrists, the ropes, tie you in knots when your knees bent climbing them? Did you meet that other body you raged against? Were you subdued before you hung from those arms?
Did your senses return you to yourself? Did you ever reach the limits of that body?
You never forgot yourself, did you? And you wanted to, but not when the forgotten piece would become another fragment of yourself, bartered, fingered, passed from craving, crazed buyer to buyer. Teller of tales, you become coin in their tellers’ hands. (That would be cinema in this late decade.) You are still looking for something more.
Your face when you are not guarding it.
Ask me for the shape of things and I shall pick you up a pebble. Let the wind answer for me. This bit of hair, this dust of skin. After the communiqués, I shall take courage and be wrong.
Ask after the old and the new and I will find you some soil, my sandbox to play in, some knitting, there will be no albums. And I will tell you of the span of ten fingers, all dreams and air, and the desperate need for record-keeping.
Experience is a fault between people. You cannot speak of things, you must see them, feel them flapping around your ankles, like mud and refuse on your hem before you are changed by them. The same thing touches one and brushes past another and suddenly the limits of our beings are reached. There will be no breaching, no new entrance into new knowledge together, no paucity of doubt and difference now.
How does one mourn something one never had? ‘Everything’ is beyond reach. More than this pouch of skin can carry. But we are used to coin — that measurement of time and material and life and human things in small holdable bits — so we make ourselves the things we can count everything with.
We say: ‘Everything’ is here, in the maps of the stars, in the seas that pull up in tides, in the astrologies of our hopes, the transit of the cosmos measured in the hourglass of a human life. We pretend it is here, and give each other everything in consolation.
Ref: From Simone de Beauvoir’s The Ethics of Ambiguity:
“let them accord value to one another in love and friendship, and the objects, the events, and the men immediately have this value; they have it absolutely. It is possible that a man may refuse to love anything on earth; he will prove this refusal and he will carry it out by suicide. If he lives, the reason is that, whatever he may say, there still remains in him some attachment to existence; his life will be commensurate with this attachment; it will justify itself to the extent that it genuinely justifies the world.”
Allow me to see what I need to see in you.
Some day this will return as a reminder of the ideals that are required of us.
It is not she but the wind that keens, wandering, probing, unearthing, looking for things it has lost. Looking for the truth it dusts away the loose soil, all that is not tied down in the world, making canyons out of friendships and wind-pebbles out of dalliances. And finds that those other things are also gone–—love, close companionship, trust, faith in human nature, some justice perhaps. It grieves intensely for them. In summer it is lulled, diverted, tired. But come the winter it rises up in a madness of grief. And because these are not things it can ‘get over’ it remains in mourning. The loss of one thing, one life becomes prolonged, enlarged into the loss of much that is human, much that is natural. Its geography of sadness.
And then one day he exulted, for he had found out the secret of love. It did not lie in requitement, nor in desire, merely in direction. It did not matter what he had, nor what he wouldn’t have, nor even that she would never know him. He knew, and it was enough.
You measure my weight in terms of clarity, so that you may set me in contexts you deem appropriate. You come expecting a limpid bit of prose to give you access to meaning, perhaps even me. Have you broken these words open yet?
Every thing takes on the characteristics of its making. The impressions of materials, moments, masters.
We are what we have been. In this sense at least, our position is not Janus-like between past and future, but human, facing all the past we reconstruct and the future we spy over the shoulder of God.
There is nothing ‘new’ nor ‘pure,’ only that which we think has not been touched yet in this world, that which we hold aloft above this ship of fools.
‘There is no death. There is only, I am dying.‘
There is no finality in experience. There is only the frozen urn, beloved image, and the invisible sex of what is and what is not.