L’INDIFFERENCE D’OISEAUX / THE INDIFFERENCE OF BIRDS X

l'indifférence d'oiseaux

(Click to enlarge.)
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In this second to last post in this series we would do well to return to the artist’s own description of this “doodle”. (This can be found in II.) There he says, “this is what it is to play where the object of the game is to keep the ball in motion, not to arrive at some final conclusion that would murder all the fun.” The tiny birds look out and away, speaking not only of their indifference, but also to the indefiniteness of their focus. They could be looking anywhere, for everywhere is the same Mystery.
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Yet in saying so, and in having interpreted every element within the tableau, we must admit to having “murdered all the fun”. This is perfectly acceptable, and possibly even necessary, but now we must make murdering the fun part of the fun. We must self-efface our formulaic pronouncements, our “final conclusions”, and put the ball back into play. We must return the doodle to its own mystery, and let the reader have her or his own fun playing within it.
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Like Zhuangzi’s “spill-over-goblet words” where the words tip, self-empty and are forgotten when their intent is realized, here too we acknowledge our formulae as the myths that they are. Yet where every pronouncement is necessarily myth, our myths are not without their virtues. Only their greatest virtue resides in their self-awareness as myths. In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. We can all open that one eye in the acknowledgement of the “obvious”, that we all live together in the land of not-knowing.

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