The Ecstatic Silence: 43


14 Jun


The blind babysitter girl yielded a real stigmatic image on her retinas. What was travelling along the obscure and tortuous conduits of her optic nerve? Maybe she sensed some icon reversed or a throw-back in hideous capture? Maybe blurry sailors down canals of green almond. Maybe a melancholy spontaneous duende climbing up the throat in a snarl. Johnny heard its marble-and-salt growl near his ears, his cheeks, his closed down eyelids as she evoked herself in the furthest reaches of blood. There were dark and shuddering descendents as she crawled over. Johnny staying fixed on the insoluble tv. He never flourished throughout her antics. Immense rushing sounds blasted the hysterical air. She would come in the room like a cleaving spirit. She was the impersonal il faut containing obligations and necessities. She became a modulation on the verb ‘fallen’. Johnny was whatever happened to fall in front. There was a skein which tangled them up. Deceptions threw them both off balance. But there was a debt that needed to be paid and a transgression that she wouldn’t see. He went into it in hideous detail , fastidious and horrifyingly minute. Estimates for individual limbs and parts of the body were imperatives of her cruel tension. Throughout the tv remained on. 

Formulations of debt, obligation and the contract possessed him, his freedom, his body, life, mind, conscience. He was an explicit cure. He watched tv whilst the child slept and the neighbours were dancing elsewhere. And the blind girl came from the far door with her methods and actions and needs needing ancillary reciprocity. She would hold Johnny as if he was a thin envelope. He continued to watch the tv as if his eyes might penetrate the screen and duplicate her invisibility. And afterwards she would leave through the far door and he would be still like a portrait or phantasma. He would arrive and the tv would be turned on and he would sit. And the blind girl came through the far door and leave through it. She would wear the ambition of modesty and evoke the sadness of her lust figuratively. Through the night the child slept in another room like a dragon guarding gold. Johnny was absent before the girl’s eyes. This absence compassed all the earth, beyond national borders and her archaic features. She raised the issue of the poverty of desired goods. She left through the far door. Johnny watched the tv. Her imitation confers a presence in the world upon the false. He brings to her the cultivated desire. He was the classical imago – a foreign object chosen according to the model of childhood objections. Johnny was some primordial representation. 

He was destined to become its imaginary survivor. This whole scene was the alienation of the specular image and maternal breast, imagine. When fully developed it would be, tragically, his nature and an alarming crooked soul. He sat down and watched the tv. He felt relieved of something and always tender. Everything was absent. Everything lacked spontaneity. Everything lacked self-determination. It was all unintelligible. The opposite always happened when he was being pushed towards a general pandemonium. She came from the far door as a final example. Johnny steadfastly watched tv. The child slept in a far room. She left by the far door. The neighbours returned and paid him. He took the money in a simple exchange. He occasionally noted the neighbourly wife’s beehive hair. It was golden as an afternoon. He would have loved to stroke it. Stroking can be coordination without subordination. Owls flew between trees. The moon was always a reconciled beauty. The short walk was a sort of floating. He slept on his back so he wouldn’t get blood on the sheets. There are other kinds of lives that exist. He dreamt with the wind in the wild dark nights, the owls and moon and stars all imitating our nurses. Something noble flew up in a sudden brief sign, like a crimson flare in the deepest existing reality . Then it extinguished itself in his heart throat. One night there was a howling gale from the furthest reaches of Russia and Puglia to the outer reaches of Spain. After the confusion it remained with him alone. 

His language would not be one of communication but rather grace. What’s at stake here is the very understanding of his project. He would be a continuous interaction without reduction or exclusion. He sought to be the child smiling before all this happened. He was without any need to recollect or reproduce. Johnny resolved to play in a language that had died out. The wind had not yet arisen that you see streaming through the hair. He took a certain freedom. There were prophetic stirrings in a daring palette and miniature realism. There were no empty spaces. Gestures and figures were linked to attitudes. The way you saw them you’d think they had dedicated their own destructions. The entire feeling was tragic rather than divine. But something stirred the draperies. Vegetation bent beneath mysterious breezes. The sky is filled with fires, stars, angels whose wings beat incessantly. Trains with red lights and green lights complete balanced tones of shadows and filtrated illumination. Faces are anguished and look forward. The land is filled with wounds. Existence is moot. Wars last a day. Small famines and plagues were in the sounds of lutes and harps playing. The church at the top of the lane was a fearful apocalypse in miniature profile. It cast his findings before our eyes. Dreamworks were gold rosettes and numerous buttresses. Islands on the pit slag-heaps smaller than a child’s nail were enchanting. He went further than before. He walked across the numerous heaps surrounded by trees and below watched the riverlets and small boats. The slag heaps were now ridges of green hills resting a moment on a distant line. The boundless expanse of sky was barely blue and floating clouds could only just be seen. Through a discredited hell a new universe was waiting to appear. There was an illuminated moment worthy of psychology. On the whole, though, Johnny was kind of post-psychology. The most shameful irregularities slipped into contortions. Johnny lived in an imaginary world. It was his own strict decadence. He had memories of outworn notions and disreputable fears. 

Reality receded. Emotions were bereft, melancholic and unhappy. Temptations, tears, envy, torment, languor, damnation, appointments, horror, lying, pride, dishonour and sadness shortened his ability to be sincere. Tears flowed freely but not always sincerely. Everything was a frontier. He was no longer within any framework. Nor were his acts of adoration justified by perfection nor love. Lines degenerated to fate’s stocks and shares. The human face scrupulously handled the soul. His way was different yet his thinking remained the same. He was at ease with pagan myths and Bibles, with his Virgin Mary Venus and God Jupiter. He tore at his own contemplative insides. He saw unknown things. He was more viscous than oil. Everything remained on the brink of enjoyment. Midnights clothed him in sunlight; the moon at his feet and crowned by twelve stars. He ran through the fields and his arms burned. His life was softer and the mystical evocations were laments. He believed he should at least experiment in perspective. Photographs from this time show his few vigorous lines, a maximum expression of grief covered with intense restraint. The spirit appears to float above his rather stiff figure as if proclaiming eternity. There were unobtrusive links between earth and elsewhere in the pathos. The gravity of inner life is captured by a wide stretch of dark blue sea in one of them. He looks down with flat tones. Its as if he only lived in the upper part. Currents were drawn in from different directions. He contrasts with harsh lights. His sublime started by avoiding transcendence and mysticism however. He made his excuses but only at night when absolutely alone. He walked round and round so that his walks back from school were tripled. He sought out regular volumes and polish. In the agricultural hinterlands he added motifs, alcoves and colonnades to barns, outhouses, tractors and combine harvesters. A strange supernatural aura lit up his perspectives. In the intense summer light he saw the contrasting light and shade. His sense of isolation zoomed across everything for as far as the eye could see, for sure, but implying for as far as ever could be. Light had no sense of origin. Solid, corporeal forms lingered in an abstract space that belied his sullied mind.

He listened to grasshoppers. One day amongst the slag heaps he was burdened by a great anxiety. It fell on him like a cloud of parasitic flies. He took several last looks at the scene. He plunged down through the rough terrain. He walked by the lagoon. The dark water was a heart-broken darkness. It’s surface was like a physical insomnia. Not all solitariness is instinctual. He did these walks like looking for a final inspection. Afterwards he often went to pieces. There is a sort of perseverance that is invisible to others. If seen it would be considered brute idiocy. Johnny came up as usual like that. By lonely reeds he lay on his back and stared straight up into the sky. He rooted nature in his own nature. Flowers and bindweed lined up with his own body. He revealed there had never been a human body there in the first place. The illusion that he had ever stood up in pure verticality was what had been proven. Odd aspects of dress and pose stick out at the time. Language seemed to decompose. He paid virtually no attention to photography. Beauty was just a mean not a rule. Composite forms could always end up spherical. Individuals were increasingly irreducible and the figure of the sun cleaved and became enormous. What was striking was what he did in tandem. The bleak ponds and hills were backdrops to more formal integrities associated with human bodies. 

This is how he felt. Biological reality wasn’t art in any full sense. The human body was not the biological fact it appeared to be. It was a striving for verticality against anatomical horizontals and tooled-up illusion. Where he sought it out would be where he would measure all things. The head was a ball. The legs cylindrical columns. The torso a cube. There were considerable masks, body parts and materials. There were too many middle grounds. He built a small enclosure using twigs and harvested materials. He enclosed space so he might see it. He felt like a certain era of settler. Perhaps as hunter gatherer he might impose stability on the wild expressiveness of nature and people. He marked escaped routes using wooden branches. He caught small animals. He once took a grass snake to show them at home. Reegan shouted so his mouth almost bit Johnny’s ear. His mother barked like a forest wolf. It was a hallucinatory time. The division between animate and inanimate wasn’t as clear. Sometimes he reckoned that his idleness was an act of unconscious compensation for a departure from optical convention or something like that. 

He bordered on the physical when his sense of geometry, stasis and defence against monstrous forces peaked. This was often. There were many repressive and controlling elements. Some of these were inner infestations and were a struggle. Their perverse activations threw him in to the deep penetrations of a kind of tectonic religious zeal. He found himself activating a polymorphousness of forms. At times his figure as a man disappeared for days. He retreated into enclosures probably best thought of as being somewhere in his head. But better on the point of a needle. Or in a rough sketch. Or a long doodle. Or at the point of swift departure. His wanderings were parts of how he lost contact.

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