Monday, 5 September 2011

The colourful variety of my ignorance

So to write a long blogpost about gaps in my knowledge as I scan around for inspiration, there is colour all around in postcards; little fragments, pinnacles of fabulous places I have been able to see on frugal travels, then I spot the anthology bravely supporting its little layer of dust; testament to inadequate domestic skill. Here’s a list to toy with: Baudrillard, Horkheimer, Adorno, Le Corbusier, Nietzsche (of course), Venturi, Deleuze, Hegel, Peirce, de Saussure, Heidegger, Foucault (yay, almost a friend), Jencks (who?), Hassan (yes, I think he popped up somewhere else recently), Lyotard (philosopher in Lycra?), Guattari (lost without Deleuze, where is he?) and, of course the incomprehensible Habermas!

Bless dear Herman Rappaport who pressed it all into our lives not knowing that all the time I was wondering if we could organise a 'find and replace button' for ‘man’ and ‘he’ and ‘mankind’ to make these wonderful texts more meaningful to me. I found my marginal note in the anthology, under a chapter sub headed, ‘The Illusion of Plans’ by Le Corbusier, it said ‘where are women’s eyes?:

‘The Plan proceeds from within to without; the exterior is the result of an interior.

The elements of architecture are light and shade, walls and space.

Arrangement is the gradation of aims, the classifications of intentions.

Man looks at the creation of architecture with his eyes, which are 5 feet 6 inches from the ground. One can only deal with aims which the eye can appreciate, and intentions which take into account architectural element. If there come into play intentions which do not speak the language of architecture, you arrive at the illusion of plans, you transgress the rules of the Plan through an error in conception, or through a leaning towards empty show.

So how strange it is to find myself currently leaning towards an empty show because of an enormous error in the conception of a Plan. In fact, there appears to be no Plan that I can detect at the moment; the architecture of my new job is there for me to construct but without foundation or guidance am I building a lean-to or an out-of-town shopping complex? My eyes and mind seek to appreciate the aims and intentions but this creation has been envisaged by eyes other than mine which leads me to wonder what becomes of intentions in these days of flux; would it be possible, for instance to remain in this limbo for several weeks, maybe even months? I’ve recently taken to describing my experiences thus: Day 1 in the Big Brother House, etc. I see myself as the new housemate but I don’t have a bed, a desk, a tea-stained mug or a PC on which to load my anchoring software. Permissions have not yet been granted to access files so I tap away at my old life on an external hard drive wondering if anyone knows where I am.

I was lost once before, in a hospital where I, in turn, lost a baby; shunted off to a general surgical ward to await dilation and curettage in the dead of night. ‘They’ll lose me’, I whispered to C as they took me to general surgical instead of gynaecology (the gyny ward was taken up with men’s urology – I've never forgiven that and here I am today plagued by a man with urological problems; and his passing stones). ‘Don’t be silly, of course they won’t lose you’. Well they did. The horror of that night lingers but stronger still the memory of waking alone, so alone, wearing the stains of our shared blood still, the only remains of my child and no-one in the world to wonder where I was. And I wondering where my child had gone alone into the night without me.

So every year on the 27th May I watch the chestnut trees flower and the meadows’ sweet, sweet grass and imagine my lost child suckling in the early morning light, just us both, watching the most glorious of seasons awaiting us while 5 feet 6 inches from the ground, man looks at the creation of architecture with his eyes. Is that it then, we are doomed to write about our domestic lives because we’re not tall enough and we don’t have a ‘find and replace’ button?