The Ever-Processing Machine

I can’t find my incense. I don’t want to write. I desperately want nothing more than to write. For ever. So then, perhaps I’m just a stymied masochist at heart(less), doomed to miserable inaction for the rest of my days.

I do not dedicate myself as I should, as I need. . .

There’s a llama on my printer. A small one. A wedding gift, eight years and counting, staring me blackly in the eye. It knows. Trying to escape, my eye rests upon a small picture sat beneath my computer. It is my own babyface peering out with merrily blank baby eyes. The photo is overlaid with the thick shadow of a chain-link fence. This is me. Trapped by a shadow. Waiting for the world to do something. Trying to grasp the significance of the strange, cold eye that trains itself on me so often and aloofly clicks.

*click*

There’s so much crammed into this tiny office I could cry. I used to think I would write always and anywhere — give me a closet and a cardboard box, set me free with charcoal under a bridge and I would be unable to refrain from wordplay, perpetual swordplay with man and nature alike, taking the measure of everything by means of soul, squished then through a kind of linguistic strainer until all I had left was the juice, the essence, the concentrated taste of experience in this undeniably awkward universe.

Now that belief has shattered. It may have been true once, but I have lived into a future where I hide from myself — and everyone else — quite effectively. So here is a journal that is lacking all pretence, simply my words, simply me, all my flaws on my sleeve.

*click*

Can you see the chainlink fence?

I can. It’s all the mouldering critique in my soul. Surely if I put organic stuff in there it would become mulch instead of poison. Perhaps I am now more than part machine, and the organic materials cannot breathe. If I lived for aeons, my mouldering mulch would become the solid stuff of the planet, sandstone, limestone, volcanic rock jutting out of soft soil at awkward angles, baring its bones to escape unfathomable pressure. But I don’t want to be the solid stuff of earth, I want to grow. Become green in the sunlight, swing in gusts of wind, evaporate through expanding skin and rise to join the clouds, journeying towards a body of water and aching for the ocean deeps. Even the rocky shore submits to the tireless ministrations of moisture.

*click*

The cold, cyclopian eye is back. I think it wants to eat me. It’s everywhere, and I fear if I pay too much attention to it it might just absorb my essence. Like native people distrust photos, I distrust the all-seeing Eye with a maggoty, crawling kind of fear. I am sure it can erase my life, my futures, my Being in a moment’s time. How does one go about retrieving one’s essence from the maw of the beast? Can it ever regain its form? Its motivation? Its mind? I am not sure, but I will fight.

*click*

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Phenomenological Movement Journal

Katie Huffman / PHIL 340 / Halteman

Journal # 1.5 (date?) ; Response to the Phonomenological Movement

Several Quotations I reacted to very strongly:

“When epistemological inquiry sought to answer the question of how the subject, filled with his own representations, knows the external world and can be certain of its reality, the phenomenological critique showed how pointless such a question is” (p.131).

“To that extent, the method of phenomenology, in contrast to all scientific methods, is a method which has no foundation, the way of a “transcendental experience,” not an empirical induction. For it must first create its ground for itself” (p.160).

“Now all these relativities, even out captivity in our own life-world, which has become historical, lose their disconcerting meaning when the eidos “life-world” as such and the range of it’s variation is known” (p161-162).

“The idea of a gathering of all the past into the “absolute” present of an “absolute knowledge” proves itself to be absurd. Just as the future, which fades away into the uncertain distance, is incorporated into the immediate flow of the ego as an infinite horizon, so does the past, which also fades into the distance” (p.162).

The idea of philosophy and the use of language being the self-healing of self-inflicted wounds (p.177) was also particularly striking to me. That “the field of language is not only the place of reduction for all philosophical ignorance, but rather itself an actual whole of interpretation that, from the days of Plato and Aristotle till today, requires not only to be accepted, but to be thought through to the end again and again…” rung so true.

I really liked the articulation that “we are ever and again only “on the way to language”” (p.177).

This reading, though very difficult, was joyously so. The challenge was fascinating and I loved every minute I spent with it! 🙂 Many things hearkened back to our class lectures and the few texts we had thus far consumed 😉 but I only caught onto a few, I know. In reading the piece over again I find more and more that I can say I have a fuller understanding of where I had only an inkling of meaning and direction before…

c. Mary Kathryn Gough (huffman, maiden)