1.19.2016

The Materiality of the Invisible (a verbal essay)



A change of pace: a verbal essay in which I try to make sense of the materiality of the invisible, the matter of memory, through four lenses (it doesn't seem to load on my phone; here's a link > )

- Rereading the Tao Te Ching (the Ursula Le Guin translation is fan-freaking-tastic), I am struck by the surge of sensations I feel. Which is to say, in rereading it,  I am not reminded of certain things per se (unless we shift how we define memory). And it's not that I understand certain things again; my understanding persists with or without reading it. No, I am struck that as I read, I participate in the tao, again and anew, and right then and there. Reading it is an incantation, not a mnemonic.

- The same is true when I look up at the clouds. I'm not reminded of my place in the universe; I become my place in the universe. Seeing, a certain seeing, is a participation.

- When babies cry, you change environment and, often, they stop crying. This is true of all of us. In a shitty mood? Change where you are. Change rooms. Affect, mood, my very way of being is locally and environmentally, uh, involved.

- Which makes me think of Castaneda and his sites of power. Think about where we sit in a room, a restaurant, a classroom, a bus. We look for the site that suits our power, that lets us be as we want to be. Space is never neutral; it is all inflected. The straight line between two points is never straight. We live in a curved world.


1 comment:

Robert Schenck said...

Brilliant and original essay; when reading Lao tzu we are participating in Tao; actually, we are participating in Tao no matter what in every moment of life; but reading Lao Tzu our awareness of that reality is elevated. I love your line "I become my place in the universe." Like a light ray your line "seeing. a certain seeing, is a participation." went straight into my heart.