Sunday, April 20, 2003

Speaking of the private, I have been reading ostinato, which is neither poetry nor prose, but rather a biography written in the language of emotions. Reading it, I become hyper aware of my own emotions - the sensation and images that make them up. And how interesting and disappointing that so many of his emotions are about sex and pain and the small deaths we suffer as we live. I'd like to think there was more. Love for instance. But, Love is primarily a selfish emotion.

So writes my friend and she is right; for the thought raises in me the larger question of how we can escape the old philosopher's conundrum of reducing all actions and emotions to mere solipsism. The "other" it seems in the best case can be much more than a reflection of ourselves or a pool into which we cast our wishes and dreams. They can also be an expansive gateway, a secret door, which when unlocked can seem to open up a wider world.

The reflection of ourselves, unlike a simple mirror, always brings something back with it, an alien cargo, which makes this more substantial than an illusion, much more real and substantial than a hall of mirrors.

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