an absolute release may be well out of reach but a momentary dislocation is entirely possible. sitting in a cafe or a garden, a park even, where the air is stirred by the movements of that which is other than yourself, it is possible to experience the dislocation of reality; the truth outside yourself. removal is not the same as dislocation, aside from the former being more conscious, it also implies a movement of the subject, whereas in dislocation it is possible to get lost. removal also implies an absence whereas dislocation contains a very sense of presence albeit less specific. it is in these dislocated situations that i can confront my unreality, those truths which doesn’t form part of my daily existence but of my being.
a tenacious earache and black friday - the obscene and holy sacrament of consumerism - forced me to the medicine cupboard. i’m sure i’m not the only one who has ever experienced that indeterminable slow pause between taking medicine and waiting for it to work; never being quite certain whether it has or not, checking the expiry date and side effects, therefore i understandably had to keep myself busy with something to distract me from the tedium of my malaise. sure enough i started clearing out expired medicines, recalling each event for which they were needed; a horrible skin rash in croatia, a fever analgesic from a holiday in africa, cortisone, ibuprofen, and more peculiar and familiar names on tubes and bottles announcing their promises and effects. cysts and sores and bites and burns. by then the pills had started working which gave me enough false optimism to continue to the next cupboard filled with redundant electronics; lonely, outdated and shattered devices which i once couldn’t do without. when i unpack my brain it is the same.
inevitably i came across my old ipod and after ascertaining whether it still worked, started scrolling through memory lane. it took only a few minutes of listening to convince myself to hold on to it. i was once again outside myself - dislocated.
i found my spirit animal in single-use devices, the break of a connection to a world i have no connection with was instantly liberating.
the rijksmuseum a few weeks later: tu wei-cheng and his art comprising the archeology of the present. his investigations into the artefacts we leave behind may be a little obvious but it hit a certain note with me - questioning progress; by re-looking at objects from our recent past and present and putting them in the context of antiquity, not only does he question the meaning of the passing of time but also imbues them with a new sense of mystery. for not all advances are forward and the mere notion of it has a built-in vanity which is bound to stumble; as it was so it shall be, seems to describe all ruin.
i remember the the telephone ringing, long ago. it stood in one part of the house and one had to to a bit of a rush to get to it if you were in the other part. it rang so loudly one could even hear it outside. mysteriously one picked up the earpiece and announced yourself; to whom? who called? it was before the answering machines and faxes, so one would take the call without knowing. now it seems adventurous even.
typing is a skill i never acquired, i always constructed my thoughts with the muscle memory of longhand. i was happy to see the industrial phycologist’s advice for ibm’s office workers; to doodle. you can’t doodle with a keyboard, you cannot type in the sand.
don’t misunderstand me, i find new technology and the internet’s reach astounding events to be part of, i just need to be a bit more careful of my own habits, habits which are not forced but coaxed from parties with no interest in my online wellbeing. the single-purpose device has perhaps dialed me back a bit, but the release from a device’s hold is a tremendous relief, it then returns to its natural state of being a tool, a single-purpose tool, but one without opinions and comments, sales pitches and interruptions, which allows me to focus and think for myself. i find it very hygienic which is why i kept my ipod and invested in a writing tablet. as a poet once said; when everything is taken away from me, i will still write with my bloodied fingers against the sky. if people can boast about their proud battles against drugs, alcohol or cigarettes, i’m sure i can also about my battle against the device.