I am not a stranger in this world
I’ve got my home right here
and no my home does not lie
along some policed border between word and flesh
the paradox lies in your conceptions
accepting the duality without accepting
being on the losing side of it
how then shall we find our way home
if there is no sure difference
between us and the mountain and the river
she asked as she folded her umbrella
yes, beyond the institutional memory
of approximations there is the smell of rain
and the ritual warmth, perhaps, of tea.
– Edinburgh 4 Aug 2013
“i am not a stranger in this world” composed with a Pilot Precise V5 XFine pen on a single page of an Ecosystem journal serial # HM27010RB, Edinburgh, 4 Aug 2013.
The conversation between two people, no matter how ritualized that conversation might actually be, cannot be reduced to an algorithm. It is not possible to enter a secret code, flip a switch, and be able to perfectly predict all that will be said between two people as they talk. Conversation requires listening, even when that listening is done in the dark watching an actor on stage. This is not to say that there are no formalisms that guide the theatre; there are many, and they evolve. Audiences today at Venue 13 and elsewhere become quiet when the house lights go down and applaud when they come up, but these are cultural conventions, not biological imperatives, and did not always happen. Formalisms now include algorithms implemented by computers, such as the programmatic reproduction of an encoded video digitally projected behind an actor to supplement the action on stage or of encoded sounds synchronously played over several speakers to create a sense of space and suggest things present but unseen.
Indeed, there can be a sign we see, and an interpretation of that sign we make, which can through stagecraft allow us to be a part of that dreamlike world where the correlations that connect those signs and interpretants are not cardboard props and projections of videos, but are a world we share for all too brief a time with the actors who make that world vivid for us. It is different than watching a movie. For the magic time when the lights are down and the play is on, we breathe the same air as those actors in that world they are staging for us.
And around us, the world goes on, not waiting for us to notice.
[Note: "na h-Alba" is Scottish Gaelic for "Scottish." "a h-aon" is Scottish Gaelic for "one." "Satori" is a Japanese term for a type of enlightenment found in Zen Buddhism.]by