Thursday, October 1, 2009

the tip of the nail

It seems to me that an apple fell on Newton by chance and he came up with the theory of gravity, and a century and a half later, an ape fell on Darwin and then he came up with the theory of evolution.

Well, we stopped eating real apples when we stopped playing on trees like apes.

When one is, let’s say, 11 years old, before puberty, time is somewhat stagnant, as if it were constrained in the body. The only time that flows is the one that is found in some class hour one must attend. The first experience of something happening is when a baby feels hunger. When a baby feels hungry, his stomach contracts and hurts. Not until his mom comes with milk, is the baby satisfied. So time means pain from the very beginning.

Until puberty, the child conforms and constructs with objects and toys an impenetrable unity where time cannot penetrate. Playtime is no time. Let’s not forget that from one birthday or Halloween to the next, as a child, not one or a million years pass. Time doesn’t pass at all. Today, we experience the passing of time at a speed greater than 60 seconds per minute. After being 40 the passing of time is in someway or another, almost the obliged topic of conversation.

Sexual maturity coincides with the development of abstract thinking. That is why elementary school finishes there. Sexual maturity leads us to a state of “unwholeness” it feels as if our bodies began to crack and time flowed and oozed through them, time comes out as sex body fluids. Indeed, it is the time of waiting for the other one. Time starts to come out of us just as the new capacity to elaborate concepts, and concepts appear and allow us to separate objects from words. (Sometimes we confuse words with objects).

Isn’t God the great Tempter, prohibiting Adam and Eve to eat from the forbidden tree?
What kind of fruit is that? There are two traditions on this topic. An apple, leads us to a sexual reading belonging to the Middle Ages. The other possibility is that the fruit was a nut. So when you break a nut into two pieces, you find a fruit resembling a brain, meaning, both the apple, i.e., sex, and the nut: i.e., abstract thinking, break the indissoluble unity between the child and the objects, in other words, one way or the other we are forced out of paradise.

Everything we do after that, are attempts to re-establish that primordial unity: in art, love, and work. The problem is that we keep on biting the wrong apple. True paradises are uninhabitable and they reside either in inspiration or memories; we never remember the ants of the best picnics.

Most of our behavior patterns have a religious pulse in essence. Understanding “religious” etymologically; i.e., re-ligare: rejoin or re unite. All our activities, desires, have an ultimate aim: to be whole, that ultimate unity is family, couple, belief, art.
Happiness lies at the tip of the nail of the ring finger. It does not occupy a bigger place than that. I remember a night when I was with four friends, drinking good wine, talking about literature, and aspects of certain intimacy. We were at my friend’s study and it was winter; and outside it should have been snowing, I was happy. We all laughed, but the apple appeared at the tip of the nail on my left hand. I realized that my nail had grown a little, and while we went on talking I took my finger to my mouth and started biting my nail and at that moment, I did this: ….I bit off half a nail. The talk went on being animated, everybody continued laughing and no animal realized that Adam had abandoned paradise. I spent the rest of the night taking my finger to my mouth and blowing to calm the pain.

Being happiness such a fragile “something”, I think one should pursue other things that truly depend on our own free will. Without being bipolar or anything like that, within the same day we are happy, sad, melancholy, restless, excited and so on. That is why I think one should pursue intensity; meaning, to celebrate the presence of what we have in front of us, as we did as children. Dissolving distance between the subject and the object. That can only be achieved if one considers himself the subject; i, e realizing that one is only one once in the history of cosmos. When we become aware of that, we uncover the reality of our own finitude. Consequently, we embrace the object, and celebrate it in its purest singularity.

(Meanwhile, we abandon our present, modifying our past with Photoshop, not knowing that in the future we will never show anyone that photo.)
What wouldn’t we give to eat apples or chocolate when we were kids, abandoning all our being into a piece of candy. There was no more truth than that: eating chocolate.

Sometimes I think poetry has, in some way, for the individual the same function as religion; that is to say, the return to a state of unity. I said poetry. Poetry is that something that as it reveals this world, it creates another. It means both coming back to our homeland and adventuring into the unknown at the same time. Through poetry man becomes aware that he is something more than a mere object in transit. Poetry lies in paintings, movies, performances, when they are something more than plastic language or visual articulation. It is all about transcending languages using one’s own language.

Nevertheless, we can find ourselves confronted with a dilemma: can a stream of thought and action such as Nazism produce art? Examples such as Celine, Lenny Riefenthal, Ezra Pound and so on confirm that not only ethics and aesthetics are different and separate realms, but that philosophical thinking such as Nazism serves also to reach unity. However, it is not the same the silence of an idiot as that of a wise man. The construction of a totality cannot be performed by or upon the exclusion of the other because we are the others (as Rimbaud said). One is oneself because the other exists.

I have traveled 4 thousand kilometers to come back to a place I have never been before. It took to me 14 hours to arrive to a place I left 30 something years ago.

It is all about being able to see everything as in the first time, to recover the shining that things really had the very first time. The habit, the triviality of day-to-day life, the circularity of routine always ends up darkening our vision, making it opaque. It doesn’t matter whether I get hurt when I bite my nail, it would be as if I had never done it before. That is all that matters. I hope to be able to convey part of this recovered intensity into my own literature work.