Sunday, November 18, 2007

Habitation in the Open

Nancy says that freedom "is not pure spacing, it is also 'habitation'–habitation in the open–if the nomad does not represent errancy without at the same time representing a dwelling, and thus an ethos" (The Experience of Freedom, p. 146, Nancy's emphasis). Nancy's thought meanders towards enunciating a surprising generosity of being. I want to linger a moment here on the idea of habitation in the open. The open as such isn't given prior to habitation. We can speak of a dwelling being more or less open, the boxed in or the wide open. We can speak of a dwelling as being more or less in the open. In fact the decision for there to be any open at all was made with the act of dwelling. Yet who made the decision? If we're unhappy with the decision perhaps we should negotiate. Openness would have no business saying it's not open to negotiation. And habitation would be nowhere without openness. Let's hold that over its head.

A favorite image of Nancy's is the open mouth, the mouth opened in a cry. Should I reverse myself and say there is an opening given prior to habitation, an opening of the body? I don't know that the body isn't also a habitation. If we understand what it means to inhabit a building, we are able to witness the suffering that abides there, that seeps through its pores. Doors also open in laughter.

An ethos, then, does it demand that there be something like the open? Is the open the space where differences are negotiated? How would it be possible to truly inhabit a space of negotiations? Really, this has me turned around. Wouldn't it be a space of no secret places, but only promises and secrets of secret places? Is habitation as good as its word? And why would habitation give such a thing as the open? What's its angle?

Labels: , ,

posted by Fido the Yak at 2:37 PM.


Post a Comment

Fido the Yak front page