This surviving is life beyond life, more than life, and my discourse is not a discourse of death, but, on the contrary, the affirmation of a living being who prefers not simply that which remains but the most intense life possible. I am never more haunted by the necessity of dying than in moments of happiness and joy. To feel joy and to weep over the death that awaits are for me the same thing. When I recall my life, I tend to think that I have had the good fortune to love even the unhappy moments of my life…
Derrida, Learning To Live Finally: the last Interview,
an interview with Jean Birnbaum,
translated by Pascale-Anne Brault
and Michael Naas, (page 52)
In the documentary by the same name, Derrida makes a case that we are all narcissists. He’s right to some degree we must be it is inescapable. In argument the accusation comes, “You only see things your way.” How else could it be? Even if I try to see things from the other’s point of view, it is still mine. It is my imagining of how the other sees.
So for today… a self indulgence: I will tell you about myself.
I am not who I am for you but for me. I move toward some imagined self. I falter and sometimes do not make my mark but incrementally I move closer. I do not do or say the things I say for you but for me.
I adhere to an ethic of hospitality and try to follow the logic which extends there from.
I believe that true “good” can only be done in singular secrecy. No other can know of it not even a god. To imagine a witness for that “good” is to seek reward and is therefore self-serving. I am not always “good.”
I am not always honest but I try.
I understand the nature of a secret makes the keepers of the secret close. It puts them on the same side, makes them allies. It is more intimate than intimate.
It is only in absence that longing can be felt.
I grew up in a world that believes in magic. It is not a question or a guess. The culture itself believes. It is natural to understand the world in terms of the supernatural for me. I do not believe in Heaven or Hell … that is blasphemy. Yet the supernatural… the ubernatural, the magic… that is something else.