transit, transit. the sensation of simultaneous self-effacement and self-definition, in the way that rocks eroded by water encounter, at one point, the expressed distinct boundary of the rock vs. the non-rock, or, air.
earlier yesterday I went to this project built by tadao ando, minamidera, in collaboration with james turrell. religious experience, nearly.
you make your way into a pitch-black room, hand hugging the side of the wall, grasping onto architecture in order to find your way. after five minutes, your eyes start to adjust to the dim, dim light. in the distance a hazy rectangle pulsates, as if receding and approaching, stepping back and forth. wave-like, perhaps, as in fort-tilden-in-summer waves, as in pensive-sitting-and-watching-waves. after a while your eyes adjust, you see the walls step forth into the background, the building starts to make itself known. one-point-perspective dawns on you. and then you step forth into voids, spaces, fields of power, these abstract zones, etc etc etc
etc. etc. the inevitable fallibility of a written description of bodily experience. is this always the case? will this always be the case? I mean, there's literature, fictional narratives, expressed connoted creations ('art'), sure. but sometimes it seems that beyond our meek attempts at transmission, there is nothing but the monolithic and mute force of nature that is the non-transitivity of lived experience, the knife of "you had to be there" that slices these boundaries between us, cleaving and inscribing little territories, enclaves, suburban cul-de-sacs, voronoi-shaped sectors, zip codes, regions, gated communities, demarcated fences, property lines, country borders, barbed-wired colonies, tax lots, categories, taxonomies, distributions, partitions, segmentations.
two people stand next to each other; one is deathly sick and suffering, the other absolutely healthy. how is one to say that space is not different for these two people? that time doesn't move at a glacial pace when one is in the midst of sickness? minutes stretching into hours? if you are perhaps a materialist or a rational scientist, the swirling mass of material (bodily fleshy emotional chemical corporeal visceral) experience constitutes being itself; no day but to-day, no me but this bodily-me. within that context, being sick is not an imposition or an overlay of chaos onto an orderly system, but rather a plunge into a new kind of systematic balance; one in which the physiological/chemical/biological cycles of the body are altered into a mode that happens to involve (differing amounts of) pain, suffering, agony, etc. there is no 'higher' order, just 'another'. time is different, not longer, shorter, but for a moment there, you are a different being entirely.
in any case, trying to share lived, bodily experience feels unbearably solipsistic. ex) what are descriptions of lust like? are they not always first-person narratives? or, for that matter, what about descriptions of pain, war, suffering, ecstasy, and so on? and in the midst of this solipsism of the bodily, trying to talk about a turrell piece.
calm satisfaction, pure delight. at one point my eyes adjust and I see the room, and it is wonderful because on one hand I understand the simple geometry of the architecture; on the other hand, this low confusing subdued level of light renders it optical, this continually flickering haze. fuzz in, fuzz out. and then I walk towards the light, and suddenly I realize that I can outstretch my arm into the rectangular oculus, and I feel nothing but space, or absence. that sudden moment is like that little gasp when you trip and you suddenly realize that you are about to fall.
I always forget how wonderful it is to meet people, how there are so many people in the world, how joyous it is at times to drink them in like a breath of fresh air that skims across your face, left to right.