Monday, July 23, 2007
"the inherent insincerity of organized rites of passage"*
I have been trying to come up with a seamless way to re-enter the blogosphere, seeing as my last actual entry was posted many months ago. Should I comment on the absence? Should I let the silence speak for itself and continue posting as if there was no significance to the silence? Was there significance to the silence? Is silence significant in writing? And what, exactly, would that sound like? On and on these questions continued, letting me spiral further from the relevance of writing into an ambiguous place of non-writing.
Because of course, a return from silence carries with it a tacit expectation that some sort of wonderful, transformative moment was had - an emergence from the subterranean would seem motivated by a special alchemy between darkness and vision, a spark shooting you upward towards the conversation...
But I don't know if between the months of May and now I can say that I have been transformed. I do know that the things that have happened have touched me: Tante Monique died on May 9, I traveled to Ireland and crossed the Atlantic, I witnessed a regime change in my adopted country, I continued to fall in love, I taught students who made me realize how much I love doing what I do. But what qualifies, really, as that epiphany, that spark, which allows everything to be illuminated? If anything, shouldn't death and love and Paris be on top of the list? But, of course, it is not simply the experience which is transformative, but it is the manipulation of that experience which contributes to the texturing of a soul, which pushes experience past pure event into metamorphosis...
I am in Florida now. Since teaching is now done for this academic year, I left Paris a few days ago to spend some time in Winter Park to "study for my PhD exams," which is the simplest, most legitimate-sounding reason I can offer inquisitive neighbors (and myself). I am hoping that the sunshine will coax my moments of experience into bursts of illumination, further evidence that all truth is nomadic.
*stolen from my favorite line of Jonathan Safran Foer's "Everything is Illuminated"