Imaginal journeys and liquid writing: One thousand and one adventures in thinking, walking, living and dying
Karel Capek: «To understand is my one mania; to express is another. Not to express myself, but to express things.»
To read sometimes feels like finding and going through an unknown door. Going through that door takes one out of the ‘world’ and to a hidden inside of the world. I would like these texts to become such doors. I can still enjoy the privilege and miracle of my own presence in this incredible world, alive to feel, observe, and listen; think, imagine and sometimes I just sit down with a calming cup of coffee and write a little piece or a poem.
So – I can hear your question – why this endless writing? First, it is perhaps defensive; “I write to cure my own sense of having been overinfluenced since childhood’ (Harold Bloom). Also to avoid being overinfluenced in the overwhelming here-and-now bombardment. And after that, it is perhaps an escape from one’s self, as Foucault says: “one writes to become someone other than who one is.”
At home, I have this small garden of plants and trees to tend. Writing offers me another and inner form of gardening, what Rainer Maria Rilke spoke of as his ‘internal gardening’. Through a process of slow and reflective writing and frequent rewriting I can say with the old philosopher – ‘I am’, – because to write is also to be – I even enjoy the uncomparable solitude and silence of writing, being active and even a little connected without having to live a busy and demanding social existence. Yes, writing gives me presence. But then; just to own presence in this world has its advantages but it is not enough by itself.
Like climbing to the top of some mountain, sometimes I need to engage in some hard brain-work that is required to open up and disclose some of the endless secrets and even lies of this world. Truth is most often not about finding hard facts, but maybe more about what is hidden, what lies in the dark waiting to be disclosed. What better adventure can there be than to discover and disclose secrets, find cracks and openings in the web of existence and rediscover the light that help us see into the dark? And of course, I also need to connect to other voices and ‘friendly forces’, to meet and confront others who search for openings and closures, I depend on an intellectual infrastructure to meet and exchange with other humans.
Here it is, the communication magic, the internet meeting place. Good to see you around, but please remember, this is not a place for info/entertainment, but for slow and serious reading and thinking. Robert Musil once said that: “In the realm of the aesthetic … even imperfection and lack of completion have their value”. …I am not particularly interested in being ‘understood’ by anyone. I would like to ask of you, as the philosopher Nietzsche did of his readers; “one thing above all: to go aside, to take time, to become still, to become slow. (…) it is more necessary than ever today. In the midst of an age of “work,” that is to say, of hurry, of indecent and perspiring haste, which wants to “get everything done” at once, (…): — this art does not so easily get anything done, it teaches to read well, that is to say, to read slowly, deeply, looking cautiously before and aft, with reservations, with doors left open, with delicate eyes and fingers. My patient friends, (…): learn to read me well!”
I would also like to go with these words of Karel Capek: “To understand is my one mania; to express is another. Not to express myself, but to express things.”
Yes, it is true. As you, I am also an outsider. As many of us are, in one way or another. To live in a society, almost drowning among people one depends on, one in a basic way has to learn to be an outsider.
I think I am born like that. Both with a deep desire for and a more elementary need for being alone, for having distance to other people. So, this lonely writing is an outsiders writing. Its a way of keeping distance. And, at the same time, it opens for another form of closeness to people.
Walking the the long and winding path of life, a lot of thinking is necessarily going on. A stream of ideas thought about and then fast forgotten. Some few ideas take hold; one doesn’t want to let them go, but start to work on and develop them further, into some kind of deeper or broader understanding of things in or about this world.
These notes and articles of mine are like that, ideas that I brought with me and started to cultivate into coherent views and perspectives on things. I even carry a stronger ambition; to develop a sort of comprehensive and coherent view on this world and the creatures that inhabit it.
Most of what I am writing is not easy reading, I admit that. I have not developed them for easy reading, easy readers or free riders. To me thinking is most of the time a demanding business. One first of all has to learn to use one’s head and its abilities to think.
I have not written short pieces for entertainment. I write as part of my self education, forging my own personal view and perspective on things.
So, if you are going to read my stuff, your attitude has to be one of patience and effort. Your ambitions should be to forge your own perspective on all things – of course not just take over or confront mine.
These articles that I have created in my imaginal journeys are like adventures in thinking. Travels into unknown terrain. Most of the articles in this blog are still being developed. They are ‘work in progress’.
That is one of the reasons that I prefer blogging as a way of publication or presenting views as they are a part of my living and therefore will be corrected and developed further. Probably until I die.