Thursday, May 21, 2009

Lila (लीला) with Multiple Subtexts

To extemporize is to surrender–in a single gasp–to both the ephemeral and the forever. To accomplish this paraphrasing of Stephen Nachmanovitch (Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art, p. 21) I woke from a dream of being washed down stream, swimming against the current, losing strength, being drawn under. I woke with the realization that the stream was me, as in none other than me. Paraphrasing is so integral to my daily routine that I'm almost surprised by how wretched my paraphrases are. In fact my attempts at communication make me violently ill. "Stepping into the unknown can . . . lead to failure, disappointment, rejection, sickness, or death. . . . [W]e play undisguisedly with the fleetingness of our life, with some awareness of our own death" (p. 23). We signify. "Exterior to Time" means we surrender to a single breath, means we can step outside–outside parataxis–and play. We signify, playing the shadows of the paraphrastic. What sensibility is this?

The impromptu accedes to a remoteness from both passage and aporia–gasp#&150;a remoteness always ready (made ready by the impromptu impromptu) for its own remoteness, that is, a remoteness simultaneously born of the impromptu and pregnant with it, carrying the echo of the impromptu, immanent remoteness if you will. Sonorous access to infinition–dunt infinitions, sad to say. . . . Maeiutics and euphoria have yondered off to some other remotion, or other remotions. An imminent remotion.

"[T]o do art only for the high feeling of completion and connectedness in the moment of inspiration would be like making love for the moment of orgasm" (p. 18). He completes his thought: "The work of the improviser is, therefore, to stretch out those momentary flashes, extend them until they merge into the activity of daily life" (p. 19).

Another day passes. I apologize for a David Simon quality to yesterday's negativity, a frustrating, if momentarily gleany, one-sidedness. What I almost wanted to do was to begin anew a critique of the moment, a critique that extemporization prompts in my thinking, though such critique is not entirely foreign to me of course. Nachmanovitch actually says that in improvisation we accept the transient and the eternal. Does this imply that we could somehow say no to both? On the fly? I want to witness the birth of thinking. Do I want to feel it? What feeling accompanies my daily praxes, the rhythm of my play? What feeling is there in the breach?

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posted by Fido the Yak at 11:53 PM.


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