On the meaning of friendship

In slight disagreement with the much-circulated definitions, I think that it is a mistake to see true friendship as the occasion where – in the presence of another person – “one can be oneself”. In my opinion, such an account mischaracterises the realities of self and being because nothing, be it person or thing, is ever really stable enough to know who or what they are, as if they were a single unit resistant to change, spontaneity and the general chaos of difference. Instead, I prefer to see friendship in its strongest sense as marked by a time and space, shared between two or more people, in which one is allowed to be no-one because, there, one is not obliged to be some-one. Basically, where and when the all-consuming stress of self-stabilisation – which preoccupies most social relations – is relieved rather than resumed in the presence of another person, the self has found a friend in that person, indeed.

In a world where most social relations demand specific identities at specific times and castigate deviations from those, surely the greatest social relation, friendship of the highest type, must be the doing away of such demands, the clearing away of the need to be someone or something distinct. It is not so much that each person has one true identity which is constantly being suffocated by all the social roles that have to be performed, but that, in reality, a person is just a cacophonous mess of different, all in all uncategorisable, people, sporadically, spontaneously spurting from the same body, and friendship becomes the vital opening of a gap within the quasi-oppressive social whole, not so that the one true self can be whatever it thinks it should be (which more or less sounds like yet another imposition of the same oppressive whole), but actually so that this complicated body of self can finally, freely sing out of all tune and trust the audience to dance, in the special harmony that comes from shared atonality.

Yes and No [The Contradictions]

The positive need

of commitment is

such that it must learn

not only how to say

Yes, but altogether

fashion Yes out of

saying No, too. Hence,

commitment to something

is onetime Yes and

then everytime No

to all else of equal

or similar possibility,

thereafter. Those who

fail to learn the positive

power of No, are

doomed, likewise, in their

chances of attaining

mastery of the

strongest sense of Yes.

In every positive, still the Negative

To those who argue for or subscribe to the philosophy of universal balance

that preaches “for every negative a positive, and vice-versa”

such that good things and bad things follow one another and ultimately cancel out,

I have a pinching question

for an internal debt has been growing slowly with each change

and I have not by myself been able to resolve it

thus, I ask:

is there not a sadness ineradicable that lives through all endeavour and hope,

despite all endeavour and hope

which fresh endeavour and revived hope never annihilate

only temporarily survive, then by which consumed, once again

no matter how articulate or vivid the promise of a Future

or how widely the children might be awoken to a new time

or how near or distant, audaciously or austerely, the parameters of paradise be set?

thus, is there not rather this understated melancholy so necessary and clear that it need not be said ever because it is already said always

said by a default mourning

every morning

there in the feeling that knows the difference between

gaining something and losing something

the irreplaceability of something, the absolute individuality of all things

that replacing one thing with another is not replacing it, at all

but trying to forget it,

to kill or postpone its memory with the presence of something else

as the day today does not replace the day yesterday

it is here instead

and all days are in their own way

once done, lost forever

tomorrow will come and be lost its own way too

and nothing will be able to replace it, just as it never replaced anything, either

the new only takes the place of the old and that is felt

the absence of the old is not covered or forgotten by the presence of the new

but is quietly mourned through the experience of the difference itself

as if the only real difference between a morning and mourning were a spelling mistake

fundamentally, are they not the same event?

to the philosophers of great balance, I turn and posit this

is not the miracle of birth still no consolation for the senselessness of death?

thus, is there not this residue in us that accrues like a debt

and no future able to satisfy

without adding to it when its place later taken, too

in the eternal return to the Negative?

Natural Weather

Where the sun lifts the world like a flower-builder

which is to say an impression-grower

The clouds come and go as contrast-breakers

like doubt-creators

When the rain drops, soup-filler

and runs, route-divider

The wind, from breezy to fiendishly tropical, a plain-sweeper

and over water wave-sweller

with all the force of a coastline-to-beach-converter

Storms being a bit of most of these combined, awe-inducers

and when absolutely electric, apocalypse-teasers

then the temperatures, an all-weather phenomenon, season-dependent home-conceivers

in winter, armchair-by-the-fireside-philosophers

summer, all-night-dancing-in-the-streetlight-lovers

Purple, historically (the horizontal perspective)

Different things can only behave indifferently

for their difference is at stake,

their indifference, met by other differences behaving the same,

begets more difference, unbeknownst to their selves indifferent

next difference comes as a shock

a destabilisation

turns a simple change to ex-change:

the future presents without the full sight of its pre-sent property

this is what turns history on

what sexualises history

and a bastard is born.

 

The search for Genesis

that seeks the day before a birthday

comes as history makes visible

the Invisible

is at once the interruption and resumption

of an ever land-ing fall.

 

Where the fall is just the continuous bastardisation of everything.

 

The colours of the Fall (the vertical perspective)

In the permanent fall

Red and blue are different colours

one falls red, the other blue

 

Because the fall,

although permanent,

must at least sometimes land

otherwise it neither falls…

 

(permanence is not permanent

unless it can be some time interrupted

and then full Time resumed

the interruption that which makes it visible

with resumption later confirming what was seen)

 

…sometimes these colours will spill

on the surface of an interruption

and then they act on their differences

red flows out from its landing place

blue likewise from its own point of contact

 

there, on this sur-face,

red and blue difference is not just a distinction

it is an indifference of red to what is blue

and of blue to what is red

in logical spread they will meet

the faces earlier they distinguished

will clash

this is the violence of being indifferent in

a room of limited difference

limited visibility

where the horizontal shape to being visible

causes a movement of indifference

spillage, that spreads

goes on to over-take, from itself,

and does not change itself in that

but will be differentiated again

 

The encounter

Red clashes with blue

 

What happens?

Purple signals the resumption

from indifference to difference again

the interruption has changed

confirms that everything is falling

From strong Cause to mere Difference, either way Trans-modernism

I am the puzzle of a forgotten memory

or

just the presence of an impossible one

 

Either way, the process is always re(-)collection

to recollect a distant but motivated past informing the present

or

to re-collect the confusing terms of a present to build a more sensible future

 

Either way, being is a re(-)minder

a reminder of what of time now points unknowingly to a time before

or

a re-minder of how all time ongoing is but the repetition of itself without a full concept

 

Either way, there is a di(-)stance

a distance of time broken between past and present that reduces the latter to the former’s lunar re-presentation

or

a di-stance time put together by a difference that will never be caught by a single invitation

 

Either way, a person is a people

from the many possible iterations of a buried experience to the complex personhood they hold today

or

by the mercurial stand they cannot but assume from all the unstable difference perpetually flowing through them

 

Either way, the weather still needs company

the solar smile to wake us up from the ever-returning nightmare of the repressed

or

another half to complement the mere halves we rain down into at every possible moment.

 

Either way, either way.

 

Everything is the puzzle of a forgotten history

or

just the presence of an impossible one

“through our dead grip.”

People go into the People a lot like forests

Family roots hold like trees and branch off like trees

Above the ground, some touch and entangle, a roof

Halving the light to the entanglement below:

 

Which, a life-death mess of broken Falls, uncut Springs

Floating off the soil in a river of moisture

A thick seaweed grave of recycled everything,

Doubles the people between memory and movement.

 

People as the People take to the ground like forests

On roots first spreading then threading and hugging unison

Affixing there a half-lit dome of a half-left space,

Enters the person who went looking for themselves.

 From the precipice where the walkable level ends and the horizon collapses into a watercolour of lands falling over one another below, and you survey everything with the condensed perspective of a cloud, watching – with a detachment that makes everything look both relative and adorable – the ecstasies, anxieties and challenges of the natives down there, and once you have smiled to yourself, maybe even extending to a shake of the head in disbelief at how unnecessary their actions and reactions seem from up here, there is no other direction to take but to river back to the hospitable origin whence you came, where you will tell your family and friends, and every local willing to listen, of this remarkable discovery, and who knows how happy the possibility of visiting this vertically deposed world will make some, and how fearful the possibility a visit from it could make others, and what legal attention may have to be given to either scenario… And amid all the consideration it starts to rain, and you wonder where that cloud could have come from, and you smile to yourself again, this time less assured of what you are (not) seeing.