We are alike because each one of us is exposed to the outside that we are for ourselves. –Jean-Luc Nancy
And so my flight into otherness is headlong either way. This– “my problematic”– was my liberation. My answer? Going out to meet you was always worth it, especially when it made me uneasy; in fact, it gave the very criterion of “worth,” gave us over to what was most invaluable: that being feel itself other, feel itself through the other, in another– at the intensity of a death brought closer to us both. How strange, my conclusion! That the reason for our hope be that we shared death, with no hope of return, without communing, already.
To be exposed therefore is automatic, does not constitute a work. But then there is no way purposely to get closer. An unapproachable nearness is absolute.
An ominous cloud passes over the disorder of our incompleteness. Never have I felt so on my own, so close to you. Never have I been so open. Never have I felt so touched.
Everything starts over here then, from here on out. Back to the drudgery– truth of singularity– intuited long ago when this serial ordeal first started. What’s piled up here– comatose; the tower– tumbling; the middle of it– eroding; approaching– literature.
Dizzily, always dizzily, I embrace this strange intimacy, this bubble we form together that’s popped over and over again by each dry, passing event. You think you can remember it; you think it can be evoked; but you and I and our bubbles are broken, provoked exposed by this limit we share unbeknownst to us, this limit suffusing every word with death’s truth. The coming cut understands us, absorbs us and thrusts us back out. This violence is our life, our community, the obsessional basis of words. We’re doomed to a strictly mutual falling out; and ultimately, we cannot do each other any good– no more than we, feebly seething, can help ourselves.
Here then ends the myth of “me”– constantly, repeatedly. In this rupture what’s left is only the unnavigable landscape of my emergency: no map to be had, no appropriate vessel to man– as if to navigate it one had only to bear the vessel being bashed by the weather swirling about it. As if this is what it meant to be “human.”
Who has the courage to face up to all this, to the humbling limit of non-being, without defaulting back into the conciliatory territory of myth, replacing sand dune with oasis and crevice with unity? The free fall, the death of God, has one basic consequence, or it has not even flapped us yet: to break the bubble of all self-narratives, all “unities,” to expose all our “properties” as lies. What falls out here is our bond– even if what we then fall into is each other. This is the abject territory in which the myth once set up its offices, architectural and literary, where now our orifices just cream. What we lose here is our belief in the ability to be happy and right. It signals an infancy of being that, in the end, requires every resource we don’t got– every patience, every measure– requires that we offer ourselves up to a communication that reveals to all our self-outsiderness. That we receive the grammar of the other in the lived abandonment of solitary thought. Such trauma delivers to us our joy, our everything: but we can only tremble, dizzied by the magnitude of unimaginable possibilities, which blind us and make us scream.
And so like a blind man I reach out for the master of truth and light in vain, anticipating what I know can’t be handled, what I know cannot be reached. Does it trace out my reach or my failure to reach you? What does the offhand offer you? Remains to be seen: I could not see to it or foresee it, let alone foretell the thing. –But what if I learned, if I was taught, to see while staying blind? If you taught me something by your blindness, right here? I’m tempted to say that then, finally, I would be alive. Then, finally, we would be.
But admit this also: there would be no consequences… save to be exposed to the extremity of our blindness… and so to not look to eliminate it… but to instead enter this obscurity of sight so thoroughly that the anchor of our witness might emerge.