thinking with freud and with proust. about memory and freedom. and memory as freedom. one speaks of memory as healing, the other of memory as restoration.
somewhere, the somewhere where i lose my thoughts, i hear nayyirah’s words saying: the thing that you don’t want to feel. feel it, and be free.
i think of remembering and feeling as ways of freedom. to feel is also to remember, and also to be free.
i feel your hand, the hand i knew for many years, the hand that left me – in my solitude, a place where i found love, a place where i found ntozake’s words saying: [here] i can’t take you/ it’s my space/ a land lovin’ you [gave] me.
it’s my space
a land lovin’ you gives me…
… i can’t take you/ but i can tell you/ all i can remember/ when you touch[ed] me.
— a remembrance of things past.
Like a dirty novel
On the long ride in
The creaking of the wheels
Calls to me
And I can see the wolves
Even I can see the wolves
Yet another, dull delight
Of no control
I’ve been away (x4)
After an hour of omissions
The ground moving so slow and discrete
And owls forming lines of division
In the skies
The sketch of no man’s
Off brand urgency
I’ve been away (x4)
I can sense your unbound violence
Living in your untamed silence
I can feel your unknown power
Sleeping till the final hour (I don’t wanna wake up)
I’ve been away (x8)
(I don’t wanna wake up)
lyrics by Mons Vi
tengo un hermano gemelo
en un cerro jorobado
mientras él mira hacia el mar
yo miro a mi cali amado
– jorge iván cardona soto, Cali Para Principiantes
I am the lunatic teetering on a skyscraper’s cornice in Calvino’s city of Zirma. I can see the blind black man tapping his cane on the cobblestones, the girl walking with a puma on a leash, and other lunatics, like me, spending hours on the cornices, watching the city below performing its rituals. Its rituals are its existence. “The city is redundant: it repeats itself so that something will stick in the mind.” I keep playing it over and over again, the silence, the absence. The absence. Even my memories seem absent. I am unable to remember, to go back, to gather, to find. My mind is scattered. Only things around me stick in my mind.
zenith: (zen’ith) – the point in the heavens exactly above an observer or a place
I know heavens does not mean the place where god lives. It means somewhere high up in the sky. This is one of my most favourite words. When we go to Ukunda, Kim and I sit on the sand at night and look at the stars and we talk about everything and sometimes we talk about what we will be when we grow up and what we will do and the places we will go. The thing I like to talk about is our friendship. Kim says that nothing will ever come between us. We look at the stars and see ourselves in the millions and millions of lights. And when we are sitting there on the soft sand I always imagine someone watching us saying, “these boys are looking up to their own zenith.”
A map is also an archive that allows communality. First it is personal, and then it is documented, and this archival process makes it communal. It is mine then it is ours. This is important; to involve, to bring in, to invite, to take with, to leave behind, to start afresh, to keep going. To map – to create a (specific) image, track progress, archive – is to be aware of the movement of time. The movement of time, alone, is life – constant and unchanging, irregular and in flux – and to be aware of this movement and to adjust accordingly, is growth, is survival.