Inside Out

Placing ourselves in space.

These solemn geographies our limits, and yet. We persist in aiming to be where we are not. If the first myth was of some beyond outside, the next was that it was assembled of infinities––in defiance of the limits that confront us at each breath.

What creatures are we, to be embedded with impulses to defy our own natures and nature itself?  The first way we did this was to presume to give her a proper name, capital-N, and place her outside. 

After that, we would not recognize what breathed against the window, fogging the glass through which we meant to keep an eye on her wild beyonds, out there.

Risk of Becoming

With Antonin Artaud.

All he wanted was a change in the human condition. They can laugh at me, he said to the mirror. When it came to the question of what a human might be, he didn’t claim to know. Over time, he grew distant from those who did, and these were many.

All he could say, when it came to describing his predicament was, it’s possible. He sought reconciliation––between matter and mind, body and soul, fact and idea. But people loved their borders, and he kept being detained at the boundaries of his body.

Then he turned on words, preferring only sound detached from the old symbolisms, and he let these run through him, imagining that their resonance, after all, might affect some inside-out change.

Really? Someone asked. 

It’s possible, he seemed to respond, and he did not say a word.

***

In honor of the birthday of French artist, poet, dramatist, and writer Antonin Artaud, I spent some time this morning in Naomi Greene’s 1967 article in Yale French Studies, “Antonin Artaud: Metaphysical Revolutionary.”