28 november 2017
- “Living systems… are by definition “open self-organizing systems that have the special characteristics of life and interact with their environment. This takes place by means of information and material-energy exchanges…”
“Autopoietic systems are “structurally coupled” with their medium, embedded in a dynamic of changes that can be recalled as sensory-motor coupling. This continuous dynamic is considered as a rudimentary form of knowledge or cognition and can be observed throughout life-forms.”
i’m coming from a long way off. i’ve left one state, i’m not what i was. but what i was is what has set this change in motion, given me the components i am using to become… something else.
someone becomes someone else. this process churns through me, involves massive deconstruction of formerly structural features of myself, the building of unfamiliar new ways of being what i never was before.
before i am what i’m becoming, what am i?
i’ve been through something like this before.
i left my native country, language, family. i went to a place where i had to learn an entire language and the culture that gave it life while simultaneously maintaining and developing my life… without having the language i already knew to support me. i became quite disoriented as i struggled to function as a person without a personality, a sense of humor, dreams, relationships… without the benefit of the language that a person has always used to be that person, these things evaporate.
structures that i depended on broke down and lost their function, but they didn’t simply dissipate. they remained in a form from which it was possible for me to build new structures to depend on, structures that my self developed in relation with my environment. from the seed-stuff that made me who i was, i changed and learned and developed new traits that gradually resulted in me reaching a state of living with the ability to express these essential Human attributes once again. i left one wholeness and took from it elements that i used to construct a newly configured whole.
in between i was… in pain. as i have been of late.
tonight, i want to give the new person a chance to come out, i want to see if i can see me, how much of becoming-me has autopoietically appeared. i want to find the Joy glowing at the center of this change.
tonight, the pain is gone for awhile… and i want to write… i’m trying to write myself a bridge… from a place like a battlefield, a place full of injury and pain… to a safe place, a place to plant the seeds i saved from the ashes of the battle, a place to make my home, where my soul is free and loving and loved…
i’m trying it on. i’m on the maiden voyage. i can’t seem to keep the poetry out of it and the prose just has to learn to deal with it. i’m singing all the time, even when i hurt. i hurt all the time.
i take off when it hurts, i may go this way, but i’d rather go that. i try to go there, back there… the place… before all this pain became the boundary line between me and who my body has to be, for now.
pain. piles of pain. time and distance are related, one goes up and the other goes on and on… i look down from the heights, see all that i’ve passed on the climb, i’m a long long way from the ground… it’s been a long time.
all the desperation of clinging, the fear of falling, the sadness of longing, the danger of losing, the shame of admitting, the despair of forgetting, the ways and ways and all the ways to be wrong and be wronged in a nightmare of no song, no legs to lift me, no sure footing, no well-lit highway.
tonight, i’m resting on a crag. it’s dark and quiet. i can see for miles. my heart is in charge, my heart is calling the shots, my heart is taking this night and taking a trip, to touch. a trip to feel, a trip to me, this me that i obey, this me that i love, i’m in her thrall, i’m here because she needs me, she wants me, she is me.
she kneels by the stream and her apron brushes against the ground, her hands cupped she ladles herself a drink. in the stippled points of light that reach her she reflects and she waits, still. with her seeds. still. seeds that were saved from a time before any thought of danger had even been conceived, saved when no one was ready to save anything, when it all got so hard.
autopoiesis. transition. regeneration.
here in the mirror, here in the dresser, in my closet, here, tonight. i put my makeup on, i pick a blouse, i sit with my legs crossed and my hair tossed and i say to myself: i’m here. gold hoops in each ear. the world appears.
my hips feel it, i move to it, it has me twisting in my seat. it soars, like some hawk, way way up into the blue… all that blue air… and light. smiles. feels right, feels hot, feels so very very nice, a smile won’t suffice.
slide across the strings of a violin, an air from a million years before, something sweet and sour and bitter and tart, something to put me to sleep… something to open the window and let in the dreams… sounds from the garden, the moonlight, the dripping of leaves, my mouth breathes, my chest heaves, i believe…
feet shuffle in heels, calves taught with tension in tights, tonight… right here in this room, right here on this floor, right here in my sight… the new form is here, she’s smiling, she’s laughing, she’s going to fly.
“[autopoiesis is]…the process of the emergence of necessary features out of chaotic contingency, the thinker of contingency’s gradual self-organization, of the gradual rise of order out of chaos.”
— Slavoj Žižek, “Less Than Nothing”, Verso, 2012, p. 467 (cited in Wikipedia)