Perhaps the most important thing is that the sky isn’t blue.
That is, once you recognize the sky as blue, you’ve lost something.
Let’s recognize that when we’re in a space, any space, that that space becomes a metaphor for humanness.
Even in the laundromat, when the dignifying and distinguishing gesture is solely of waiting.
In the waiting, there is a chaos of possibilities, revelatory possibilities of the sun shining down, vertically, dialectics of what is indispensable and what is cursory. In the waiting, there is the sitting, there is the swirl of your underwear in the dryer, there is the eternal circular action of machines, there is the hum and the televisions, there is the constant return to boredom. Or, in this waiting, boredom is completely irrelevant. This is a heavier moment, one that is a relief and a burden. This waiting becomes a kind of slow indifference becomes a generous gesture on behalf of the universe. You can wait here.
We cannot identify ourselves with their feelings. But we enter into something more essential, into the very duration at the heart of which things penetrate and affect them, the suffering of repetition, the sense of another life, the dignity assumed in order to pursue the dream of this other life, and to bear the deception of this dream.
— Jacques Ranciere
The waiting is not the gesture, but your interest in the waiting. The space in which you wait, ie. the laundromat, a space for repetition for tedium for facility for reflection for confession for death. In waiting, you are waiting for death.
The feeling of waiting for death.
To understand a text by starting from the center from where the whole thing starts, the heart, which resonates magnetically outwards to fill and transform a space: the body, the room, the world, and change even the color of the sky.
This is the generosity of waiting. That is, instead of slitting your wrists, instead of pointing a gun at your head, the waiting is the most fallible and generous gesture you can muster up.
This is the dead calm. La calma chicha.
That is, you can hear the ringing in your ears, the feeling that something is about to happen, but it is so calm. Grasping onto a feeling of empathy. Original feelings lost and other alterations to a soul. Another landscape substitution.
Or simply waiting for your clothes to dry. To not forget. To linger. To wait.
After all, the most equalizing force in the world is the weather. Under the weather we are equally powerless, equally naive. What the skies bring is up to some other force.
That is, today I believe in God.
I mean, if when you look up at the sky to see this you aren’t thrown into a sudden state of awe and despair, then I just don’t know. I mean, fuck, right?
Can you even recognize how blind you are to everything?
The mind is able to relax, but in poetic revery the soul keeps watch, with no tension, calmed and active.
— Gaston Bachelard
Here is the idea: that an image, this image, this sky, is different. Different from every other sky on any other day on any other moment in any other time. That this description of the sky is different from every other, that this poem is different. That this resonates differently, a different origin, a different feeling, a different intersubjectivity. The essential newness of an image. The difference. My sky vs. yours.
Here is the continual problem: the sky. Yes, that sky. That mother fucking sky.
But here’s another important thing: I am a vile being and so are you.
This is truer than the color of the sky.
I stop wanting to think about things in a categorical or logical way. This is the distance we create now as humans. Intellectualism, intelligence, knowledge — which come at the price of empathy, passion, feelings, suffering. You disagree with me. We make objects of ourselves when we are at our most naive, our most privileged, our most focused point. These points are equivalences. Our most intelligent point is also an equivalence. The focus forgets about the rest of the landscape, the heart, the sublime ectasy of a kind of felicity that is rooted in tragedy, that is rooted in the sky. Don’t forget about the sky. Don’t forget about waiting.
The sky, at a point, becomes just the sky. The I, another I.
You don’t see it because you persist in the habits of judgment.
My clothes are in the dryer spinning.
Now here is the task. Think of the most vile human being you can conjure. Now become him. Be possessed by him. Understand him so fully that you become him, he becomes you. Here is empathy. You did not understand it until now. Here is the ability to recognize what it means to be a human being amongst other human beings, to recognize both the extreme goodness and extreme vileness present inside each and every one of us, to become the other, to let the other become you.
Is it possible for you to live without judging everyone else, without knowing you are right about everything? With the realization that you really know absolutely nothing except that there are seasons and to wait for rain? With the utmost acceptance of uncertainty? Is it possible? Is it possible for you to ignore the petty and narrow possibilities of the world for just a moment and recall a little bit of the weather? The sky? The feeling you get when you inhale ocean air? Can you put your hand upon the womb of this planet and feel its resonances and let those resonances become yours? Can you come to understand something other than all this?
The poetics of spaces.
You are cast into the world and claimed by certain metaphors. But there is the sky.
Remember though that the sky isn’t blue.
The poetic image places us at the origin of the speaking being.
A flicker of soul and silence. Silence makes a space seem suddenly very, very large.
So when you look at me, quietly, silently, the space of our lives suddenly becomes vast. An eternity in the image that stirs below the surface.
Every morning when I wake up and roll over to see you there, I put my arm around you. You awake slightly, move your arm so that I can rest my arm between yours and your chest. This is the most eternal and joyous of sentences, this moment that occurs differently each morning, but eternally. Like the sky, holding all the devastation and hope in the world in a single look.
It’s still morning and I am whoever my dog thinks I am.
Upon some shores will wash up slumbering images of devastation.
Today the sky is shrouded in clouds, is waiting, is enacting the problems of language.
Tomorrow the sky is a mirror, clear and pecked and flickering, subtle gradations of creation and failure, the conditions of life when no one intends to escape.
I drag the memories behind me in a net. I stay where I am. Everything is calm around me and the sky is not blue but it is different every time.