Monday, May 3, 2010

the bridge (a rehearkening back to heidegger, through vn)

"Yes, Sebastian quite liked to loll in a punt on the Cam. But what he liked above all was to cycle in the dusk along a certain path skirting meadows. There, he would sit on a fence looking at the wispy salmon-pink clouds turning to a dull copper in the pale evening sky and think about things. What things? That cockney girl with her soft hair still in plaits whom he once followed across the common, and accosted and kissed, and never saw again? The form of a particular cloud? Some misty sunset beyond a black Russian fir-wood (oh, how much I would give for such a memory coming to him!)? The inner meaning of grassblade and star? the unknown language of silence? the terrific weight of a dew-drop? the heartbreaking beauty of a pebble among millions and millions of pebbles, all making sense, but what sense? The old, old question of Who are you? to one’s own self grown strangely evasive in the gloaming, and to God’s world around to which one has never been really introduced. Or, perhaps, we shall be nearer the truth in supposing that while Sebastian sat on that fence, his mind was a turmoil of words and fancies, uncomplete fancies and insufficient words, but already he knew that this and only this was the reality of his life, and that his destiny lay beyond that ghostly battlefield which he would cross in due time." -V.--- in The Real Life of Sebastian Knight, New Directions edition, pages 49-50

i got the tingle. the tingle is most certainly in the base of my spine but less a full-fledged tingle than a dull thud, an invitation to straightening out and eliminating with the oval of my palm the dry oversensed shock. 

the tingle did not start at the beginning, because i did not recollect this:  

as one tends to when one thinks of the collegiate institutions of prestige in England. 

it is a sharp pain to begin thinking in images and recollections now, as all ideas are portmanteaus of previous images. i am of course too weak to be the perfect reader of vn. obviously this passage was to me of bridges (one SK will not cross, writ with violence as the battlefield, but i am far less violent than vn, even on my violent days [a violent tantrum being how i broke my computer screen]) and whereas i should have been hearkening back to this bridge:

I instead heard the whispers of a bridge on which we took no pictures. the closest i have is a personal picture of my ex-boyfriend and his father on the same bridge, but that of course was a day of happiness for them, and of sadness for us. heartbreaking because i knew he was on the cusp of falling out of love with me (which he did, three weeks postnate), and heartbreaking because i could not recreate any sense of familial or general intimacy on that bridge. and the mist seemed to me to hold a weight with which a million pounds of coal could not compete, as we stood in the middle of the foot path, and i tried to convince him to walk onwards, and he only wanted to walk back.

my view:

And here is some Heidegger to corroborate these ideas of the bridge: The bridge swings over the stream with ease and power. It does not just connect banks that are already there. The banks emerge as banks only as the bridge crosses the stream. The bridge designedly causes them to lie across from each other. One side is set off against the other by the bridge.  (from Building Dwelling Thinking)

Allowing ourselves a bridge to begin with means that we created the banks, and we therefore make the two banks offset one another. The bridge is what does this. This is what I mean by existing in liminality, the ever-deciding space of the bridge. And all of this is what I thought when I read (from the above passage)-
the terrific weight of a dew-drop? the heartbreaking beauty of a pebble among millions and millions of pebbles, all making sense, but what sense?

i know  now that, whenever it occurred*, everything ended, that the sense which we were making was a sad sense of defeat lapping up our incomplete fervor. the ghostly battlefield, however, is always ahead, always. i have never, will never, cease to be enclosed in this liminal space. 
I'm still on the bridge. 
I never walked back with you.

*timelines have ceased their influence over my days

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