Mental diagnosis felt like an act. A script I shouldn’t have played into. Some do. Some need to. Those whose function cannot find place. Like mine at the time. But I was passing through—turbulent heartbreaks, growing pains, clashes with Hims—and mistook role for reality. I overthought my relation to it, that joy and suffering, and tied it to a being beyond. I regret that now. Or at least can see it as it was: seeking, clenching, grasping. Am I nothing more than a need to reach? Maybe. I’m human. Some childlike essence that shows in contours when ignoring and blurring details of pores. Take off my glasses and focus on the obscure. The fuzz. That uncertainty between me and it. Subject in/to object. Still disoriented in space, lost along the way, I may trip a few times too many, but that’s okay. Because it’s only and not me at all.
She is or ceaselessly becomes the place of the other who cannot separate himself from it. Without her knowing or willing it, she is then threatened because of what she lacks: a ‘proper’ place. She would have to re-envelop herself with herself, and do so at least twice: as a woman and as a mother. Which would presuppose a change in the world economy of space-time…
Who or what the other is, I never know. But the other who is forever unknowable is the one who differs from me sexually. This feeling of surprise, astonishment, and wonder in the face of the unknowable ought to be return to its locus: that of sexual difference… Sometimes a space for wonder is left to works of art. But it is never found to reside in this locus: between man and woman. Into this place came attraction, greed, possession, consummation, disgust, and so on. But not that wonder which beholds what it sees always as if for the first time, never taking hold of the other as its object. It does not try to seize, possess, or reduce this object, but leaves it subjective, still free…
A sexual or carnal ethics would require that both angel and body be found together. This is a world that must be constructed or reconstructed. A genesis of love between the sexes has yet to come about in all dimensions, from the smallest to the greatest, from the most intimate to the most political. A world that must be created or re-created so that man and woman may once again or at last live together, meet, and sometimes inhabit the same place…
How can we mark this limit of a place, of place in general, if not through sexual difference? But, in order for an ethics of sexual difference to come into being we must constitute a possible place for each sex, body, and flesh to inhabit.”
An Ethics of Sexual Difference
Doesn’t the dismissal of emotion stem from emotion? Is there a neutral non-emotive state?
A teary night. Heartbroken morning. Put on some tea and sat. Forced myself out the apartment. Biked to the studio. On my way, I noticed a smashed vase in the gutter. Like broken bubbles. The sun hit those curves and even the sharp edges reflected softness into my eyes. It was just a brief glimpse. Thought about stopping to take a photo, to capture the feeling—shattered. With puffy eyes that glistened like all those pieces. But I was late, so I sped past and thought I’d return later. I practiced. Got coffee with some others. Listened to them. We spoke in and out the night before. Removed myself from it. That thisness. And then, as I smiled and waved goodbye, I decided to bike back to that glossy mess and take a photograph, but by the time I returned, it had been swept away. Only one shard remained.
And the question began to arise: What if I don’t have kids? Maybe this record is everything I want to say to my child whether I have them or not. And then, Who am I a parent to if I have no child? And maybe the point of what it really means — expanding, or working on yourself — is to begin with this one specific person you call “Mother.” And as you grow, you see Mother everywhere. You have a nonspecific feeling you call Mother. And it becomes very animistic — it becomes the ocean, it becomes the Sun, and it becomes other people. And for me, without a doubt literature has been a Mother, music has been a Mother. And art has been a Mother.”
-Devendra Banhart on Ma in the LA Review of Books
I think of beauty as an absolute necessity. I don’t think it’s a privilege or an indulgence. It’s not even a quest. I think it’s almost like knowledge, which is to say, it’s what we were born for. I think finding, incorporating, and then representing beauty is what humans do. With or without authorities telling us what it is. I think it would exist in any case. The startle and the wonder of being in this place! … Some of it’s natural, some of it’s man-made. Some of it is a mere glance. It’s an absolute necessity. I don’t think we can do without it any more than we can do without dreams or oxygen.”
-Toni Morrison on beauty in The Paris Review
on John Stewart’s Evolutionary Manifesto and his concept of ‘intentional evolution’ to propel humanity beyond current environmental/existential crises.
If all that came to be in humanity goes extinct, was it really for nothing if it created beauty? /// Can an individual be a ‘self-evolved intentional evolutionary’ and also refuse to procreate? What will happen if intentional evolutionaries refrain from having children and the masses continue to procreate ‘blindly via trial and error?’ /// What’s so bad about leaving no trace? Isn’t the goal of continuation selfish in some ways? Isn’t the desire to reach further into time and space another form of manifest destiny? Is it arrogant to assume human capability to advance so far beyond? /// Can anyone actually unfetter themselves from their biological past? Is that ability/inability to disconnect an illusion or encoded within us? Can it really be rewired? /// If more and more people begin to experience a mindful gap in their consciousness, some space between their embodied awareness and thoughts/reactions to others/the outside world, then won’t they become more robotic/mechanical? How will this impact human relations? Can’t this gap actually take people out of the moment and into a headspace of calculation and separation? Can’t people progress and evolve intentionally and still be completely immersed within direct sensation/reaction, even if that reaction can at times be ‘wrong’ or less than productive? Will the mindful delay in reaction further connect or disconnect humans? (If intervention in connection/disconnection is possible.)
on further thought… and why we should consider evolutionary history and trajectory…
Maybe the more we delude a tilt into the sheerly cultural, and ‘extract’ ourselves from our evolution/biology/environment, the more sick and disconnected we become internally and externally. And reliant on pharmaceuticals. Anyone who says ‘biological determinism’ as if it’s a bad concept is deeply disconnected from their origins, body, Earth. We were born! We are here! We have senses! We are not floating purely in culture, but deeply grounded in matter, in physical embeddedness. And what a relief. We are together in this. But right now: I’m okay with the oblivion. With some Earthly fever clearing humanity out.
There we lived for a time, a time incapable of passing, in a space one could not even think of measuring. A passing of time outside of Time, a space that knew nothing of the usual habits of real space… O futile companion of my tedium, what hours of happy disquiet seemed to be ours! Hours of ashen wit, days of spatial longing, inner centuries of outer landscapes… And we did not ask ourselves what it was for, because we took pleasure in knowing it wasn’t for anything.”
The Book of Disquiet
Their conversation is like a gently wicked dance: sound meets sound, curtsies, shimmies, and retires. Another sound enters but is upstaged by still another: the two circle each other and stop. Sometimes their words move in lofty spirals; other times they take strident leaps, and all of it is punctuated with warm-pulsed laughter—like the throb of a heart made of jelly.”
The Bluest Eye