“I’m so bored. I hate my life.” - Britney Spears

Das Langweilige ist interessant geworden, weil das Interessante angefangen hat langweilig zu werden. – Thomas Mann

"Never for money/always for love" - The Talking Heads

Saturday, March 21, 2015

being there -NOT

I’ve always been fascinated by lacuna. Existence, it’s a word, we use it pretty easily, even when we ornament it, like a Christmas tree, with various symbolic ornaments. But it always seems there – the being there of Heideggerian lore. Alas, this thereness, when looked at levelly, seems a bit too thick, a bit too simple. It leaves out of account the vacancy which we bear on our journey through life.
For instance, tell you what I'm talking about: a couple of days ago, Adam wanted to see Adam. He wanted to see the Adam pics on my computer. There are, of course, many. Hundreds? At least a hundred. From birth until now, the now being precisely two and five months. As we went through them, again – for we have done this before – I notice, as I also noticed before, a small wedgelike sensation of strangeness, of losing my total grasp on this small face and body, the one before the speech  I can understand, the one before the two and five month year old who says Daddy, I racing, and promptly flurries for a bit down the sidewalk in his blue and yellow crocs.  Yes, this was Adam – my sentiment reaches out to this small infant whose hair at one time was not so flaxen, whose laugh was not the developed chirrup it is now, and whose crying was more primordial – cries that seemed to come directly from the beginning of all things, the big bang, the whelp universe before it hit its stride and started to get fat.  Sense, sensemaking has crept into Adam’s cries.
Myself, I have pondered the fact that my growth, my physical growth, is something I know and yet can’t feel . I can’t get back inside being, say, four feet high. Going back, returning in my mind, in the meld of imagination and memory, I am outside those four feet. And of course this is so – I don’t quite feel my height even now. But from my present height, the world spreads out. I sit on this stool in a coffee house and look at the screen and at the passerbys through the window at my given height, which is the point from which up is up and down is down. Adam, on the other hand, has much more up, in human terms, and much less down. I did too when I was his age. I can’t recover that. It isn’t there. My being is not there, even though my existence surely was there, and surely, in the sense that all moments have their own eternity, still is there.
Heidegger modifies the notion of Dasein with the notion of thrownness, just so you won’t get too comfortable with there, just so you won’t move in and plug in the tv, the airconditioner and the refrigerator and watch your favorite shows. In this sense, the there does have the essential property of recession – it perpetually recedes from the here. So perhaps in the end I should give MH some points. Adam is already fascinated with what he was once, even though I feel that – in a way – he points to the old Adam, the baby Adam, for my sake. He’s more interested, as he tells me, with Adam in park – show me Adam in park, daddy, meaning the Adam of last week who I briefly phone videoed shooting baskets.
I wonder if, like his old man, he will grow a bit morose about the lacunae, the failure of imaginative power, the failure to be there enough?

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