I was almost overwhelmed this morning by what has become a familiar experience. I don’t know where I am.
Well, of course I know where I am, right?
But, no. I don’t know where I am. And I don’t know how I got here…it’s all really foggy. And (is it worse?)- I don’t know where I’m going. And yet, I am homing, it seems, on an incredibly strong signal that seems to be pulling me, pushing me, coaxing me, onward towards new horizons. The landscape I am traveling through is not featureless or without, what? Ley lines? Lines of guidance?
The other feature of this all too common sense of disorientation is the surety that I am somehow on the wrong train, opening the door to the wrong classroom, etc. Wherever it is I am going I am somehow lost and in the wrong place.
I’m familiar with the journey (even in this confused state). What I’m less familiar with is enjoying where I am I am as I pass through.
I am reading the Introduction of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari’s A Thousand Plateaus as part of an anthropology independent study course. This stands out at the moment:
“In a book, as in all things, there are lines of articulation or segmentarity, strata and territories; but also lines of flight, movements of deterritorialization and destratification. Comparative rates of flow on these lines produce phenomena of relative slowness and viscosity, or, on the contrary, of acceleration and rupture. All this, lines and measurable speeds, constitutes an assemblage”. (Deluze and Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus)
I’ve been working with the notion of “untidy assemblages” since my Intro to Anthropology class two years ago.
“Cultures are, after all, collective, untidy assemblages authenticated by belief and agreement, focused only in crisis, systemitized after the fact.” (Barbara Myerhoff, Number Our Days)
Assemblages, forming, reforming…There is a continuing thread for me here, in my life and in my research interests. It is trying to clarify itself for me and the gossamer quality of it all can be so difficult to hold and understand. I’d like it to whisper itself in my ear a bit louder and when I actually have time to listen and process.
But I’m not sure when that might actually be…
Oh, the scene from yesterday? The scene that I said felt familiar? It showed up again in today’s painting. It’s Camaderry. From a different perspective.
Ley lines, anyone?
(© Karen Opp. All rights reserved.)