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?