Site Meter Peculiar Susceptibility: October 2008

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

"I would like to believe that there is a Paradise. Where one is always young and full-bladdered."

Tonight I will go to my parents' house, and we will stand out by where Joseph and Natasha, two of the most generous dogs of my acquaintance, are buried and I will read aloud Eugene O'Neill's The Last Will and Testament of an Extremely Distinguished Dog.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Et j'ai crié, "Regardez, regardez!" Et alors, il a salué.

More than anything else these days, I have been craving time to write. And I can see it in a lot of what I do.

Silent films look like photographs of hysteria patients.

I can see it in the way Andrew Bird looks like some illustration by Cruikshank come to life (although, I suspect there is far less vitriol in Bird's being than in Cruikshank's).

I can feel it in the way I read. It's shifted (as it does from time to time) from analyzing the text to analyzing how the author structured the text.

On Tuesday, I watched Man on Wire. There's a part in the documentary where the director splits the screen so that on the left, there are photos and footage of the construction of the World Trade Center and on the right there are photos of Philippe Petit as a child.

It's even seeped into the way I do my job. Last weekend I listened to Nuruddin Farah suggest that when we donate something, when we give someone aid, we are not doing it for the benefit of our beneficiaries. We are doing it for ourselves, because that person who needs our aid is a metaphor for ourselves.

Friday, October 3, 2008

self layered on self layered on self again

What happens - I want to know - to a pearl that's not harvested.

I've set out a couple times to start my essay for the Archaeology of Wonder catalogue.  Each time I do, I think back to conversations - specific ones - from the early days of my two most significant relationships.  Such a strange feeling, this palimpsestic self.

It's always in Egypt that one forgets oneself in labor, overwhelming labor, body-bending and memory-arresting labor.  And so it was for the heir apparent who, sent by his despot parents to fetch the pearl (this, some rite of passage), fell into it.  The filthy clothes.  The food of back-breaking work.  The days so filled with it that they eclipsed his own legacy of himself.

Natural pearls are sometimes formed by a parasite lodged in the reproductive organs of a mollusk.  The creature soothes itself, smoothes over the intruder with the very nacre that makes up its shell, does it again and again until there's a pearl.

So, when the son forgot his former self, it was as though that former self was an intruder that he covered and covered, calcitrated by each new situation of self.