A non-definition

Share / Comparte

I find myself constantly thinking about one of my Philosophy high school classes, for some reason. My teacher, who was one of the most demanding and whom I remember warmly, walked through the corridors between the school chairs asking everyone, one by one, “Who are you?”. I remember thinking hard about the question, as he approached my desk, without a clear answer. “A person”, “a student”, “a human being”; That’s how my classmates answered, and I just couldn’t think of alternatives.

I no longer remember what I answered, surely nothing different. However, ten years after that class, I still don’t have a concise or sharp answer, not even one that makes sense. Sometimes I feel made of wind and beach, a wave that is going to break, other times I barely exist because, like everyone else, life has no room for any more. But what I do feel about always is a nearly necessary urge to search. I like to search because that is the only way things break, and amid the fragments, I feel that I am looking for myself.

The search, for me, implies breaking, or beyond breaking, disrupting. Disruption means interruption and opening; it is to stand on the established, break it, if necessary, touch it up, and sew it to give it a different shape. It is beautiful to think that light comes out of these possible pieces, that what has exploded can open other paths. But search means not only fracture but also movement and dispersion.

I’m usually not one to focus on one thing for a long time. Being in one place, in terms of interests, work, etc., is not my thing, and that has led me to jump in and learn different things. I don’t think I’m the only one, far from that, the world changes all the time, and we all change with it. However, I have the feeling that staying still is acceptable while actuating is not. I think back to when I was a child and they congratulated me for sitting down and behaving, while my sister was scolded for flitting around. The sitting-me was surely searching too. However, the search while taking root in one place, stable, at some point is exhausted, one hits a bottom and there is nothing else.

The scattering, which verb means to make something less clear-cut, leads, most of the time, not to understand. However, “wanting everything to be understood to preserve oneself is a trap because the truth only appears in that possibility of what is not understood” (here the truth as a definition, as a static place). These words of Tamara give me comfort because they make me think that from the diffuse one can reach a place that, contradictorily, is stable. Because of course, one cannot go through the world in an incessant search without having a refuge to stop for a while.

This blog aims to find a non-definition in which to live through the fragment, the movement, and the scattering. It has worked out well for me in life to search from one place to another following my instincts, but I do not stop feeling in constant contradiction because of it. Here, I try to take the contradiction as an object, without falling into it with my head down, as Bruno Latour advises in Cogitamus. I think that writing about all the topics I’m interested in helps me to do that and, perhaps, to build the answer to my teacher’s question. 🎀

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *