Monday, March 29, 2010

I am yet to do what my last post promised, but it will have to wait. Am currently working on a chapter on language, so have lost all enthusiasm as I wade through endless literature and data.

But today, we should talk about being sensate. I was on a mindless blog trawl looking at posts over the last few years and I realize the ones that evoke the most immediacy are ones that talk about sensations. About physical feeling (I suppose that's a little oxymoronic since all feeling is physical; what would anxiety be without the tightness in the chest, what would happiness be without the feet in flight?) . Taste, touch, smell, sound. The ones that are the most delicately ethnographic.

In life as in work, things work best when I work through the body. Through its unbelievable capacity to process externalities into sensation. So much so that one wonders where the body ends and where the world begins.

(Complete citational aside: I cannot claim to understand either phenomenology or Deleuze. But for those who the above sparks interest, I would recommend looking them up. Muriel Barberry's delightful novel "The Elegance of the Hedgehog" has a pithy explanation of phenomenology along with a rather terse dismissal on Pg.59

"All of phenomenology is founded on this certainty; our reflective consciousness, the sign of our ontological dignity, is the only entity we have that is worth studying [or as the concierge Renée puts it, our ability to know that we are scratching ourselves when we are scratching ourselves which nevertheless does not stop the itch], for it saves us from biological determinism.
No one seems aware of the fact that, since we are animals subject to the cold determinism of physical things, all the forgetting is null and void."

I am not so sure about this, but we'll save that longdrawn response for sleepier times)

Back to the body. Just so I can remember this thought and add to a much needed immediacy I am going to situate this post.

As I type this, my fingers feel the warmth of a a partially white keyboard. My nails feel like impediments, but comfortably so. The sun is sparkling on the screen, but I am too languorous to move. My legs are stretched out on the soft, striated, dark blue couch and I am surrounded by the smell of coffee. The money plant on the red coffee table is refracted through the water and its roots look large, green, full and promising. My toe-nails are crimson. The Decemberists are singing a ballad. I think I will go for a run today.

Write me back your current state?

Monday, March 08, 2010

Words, Words, Words

For those few of you who may have followed this blog for a while, one and only one thing might have stayed common across the seven years or so that we have spent together. Words. Duh.

It's true, I admit it. I love words. Before this blog. During. And hopefully after.

Words make me go weak in the knees. One syllable and you will pass muster; two may get you a nod; three might merit an elevator chat; four will move you into conversation; cross five and now we are seriously talking.

Words to me have force, real force. Not force like the way words signify some meaning that's out in the world, but rather words that create meaning as they go along. Maybe one word, maybe a chain of words. Maybe words that are clearly connected to meaning, maybe words that only describe what they seek to mean, maybe words that paint for us a state wherein we are abe to imagine what they mean to say. Are you with me?

Let's try something, shall we? So I demonstrate more clearly what I am so clumsily trying to argue?

a. Lie down and look at the ceiling (no really)
b. Close your eyes (again, really)
c. Make a mental image of your state of mind.
d. Now describe to me what your state of mind is.
e. Tell me what the image was.

Leave me comments and, I will tell you next post will use your states of mind to talk about language, the world and self.

On other fronts, I have begun to talk like an academic...damn!

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Here are some words; why don't you make me a sentence?

Sentient. Pocorn. Terrible. Scarlet. Umbrella. Tower. Bookshelf. Street. Reproduction. Repercussion.