Separation

Yesterday, from the market and through a passageway, I came upon a cat emerging from an unlikely place and saw its eyes, large with warning and concern. In it's mouth, was a kitten. I felt, in that single moment, the fragility of life but also the instinctive protective nature of the animal, which some human beings do not have. At the market, I had bought some tomatoes from my favourite granny. Once this summer when it was about a hundred degrees, I came upon her snoozing at her stall, and hailed her loudly, mother, so you're sleeping on the job, and for some reason, from that moment she became my granny. I could see that I had been divided out from the rest of the market-goers: to her, I have my own identity.
These are the scenes I content myself with, at this computer, upon which the work I do inches by so slowly that the tempo itself is enough to make one go to sleep.
During one of those critical breaks from long work hours, I turned on the box and was drawn in by those images of the seventies, wall-to-wall carpeting, corded telephones, even some Al Green from a record. The film spoke in Takovsky's dream language: later interviews of character-as-adult; the montage suggested the film's contemporaneity to us, but the theme - beginning with a teenager taking her life, the neighbourhood boys entering into the girl's psyche by going through her diary, the future Yalie playing psychologist - was so unlike what one is used to in such a quality production. I was left with the ever more disturbing ending about which there is no reason to write except to say that I was so dissatisfied that I looked the movie up on the internet thanks to seeing Sofia Coppola's name at the top of the credits.
The film was her debut as director, which explained everything: knowing the genesis of the film somehow resolved the tension of its lack of resolution, also so disconnected to anything one could imagine through healthy instinct. Putting the unresolved film into a larger context saved it, relieved it - as from the word relieve, to raise (someone) out of trouble, alleviate. To raise something out of trouble indicates having a new context, one that hadn't been there before the raising, the separating out.






Separating is also the word of the horizon; from ὁρίζω, horizon implies I divide, separate, mark out boundaries. I limit, I restrict, I define. We lose the meaning of the horizon in English when we say it marks the boundary between earth and sky, for sky in so many other languages is also the word for heaven. Maybe that's why all we raise up is also so heavily tied to the terrestrial.
What is it that we raise up. It is rarely the words that cost nothing to divide one out from the rest of the market-goers (you come and buy in the market ... but I...). It is not the instinct of preservation even had by the cat - the wordless cat. To look at Coppola's film, to think of Nietzsche, to think of the early French philologists researching language in their white coats, we see mental illness. I would argue that such afflictions are not articulate - and that even the articulate person wishing to relieve may run out of ideas as to how to provide the saving context.
To look further above into the depths of the 'sky' one may think of the heavenly hosts, and how it is said that God is flanked by such protecting forces. I admit that I cannot think of such things for much longer than mentioning them: it is too far out of my league, but I do know what it means when a friend saves one from oneself, reminding one in trouble of one's overall context. To survive wholly - articulately, for to articulate is to connect the joints - is to need this context.
So to return to that horizon is to question our knowledge and experience; τίνα ὅρον ὁρίζῃ - which Liddell and Scott translate as, to mark out for oneself, what criterion do you assign
It is easy to see in my workplace, considering that I work where criteria may actually be met literally, in spoken English, I see the incongruity of the horizon, not everyone can agree on the criteria;
αὐτὸν πολεμεῖν ὁρίζομαι I lay it down that the problem is that some people do not wish to teach towards proficiency. Pro + facere. Not wishing, or knowing, how to teach others to go and make, which happens to be the promise of life.
 


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