Near Window 30 +1

and now, the end is near, and so I face the final curtain.

Well this has been one hell of a journey. I’ve been inside for 56 days, and I’ve written so many little things it’s a bit mental. Mostly, I’ve felt cut off or lost; the spring playing theatrics at the window: thunderstorm, sunshine, blackbird, fledgeling, flight, and a bee.

Through the window comes the image of the first day:

A square of gold on crumpled white linen. A warm left knee catching the first few days of March sunshine. A sky clean as kitchen walls, and air the colour of breakfast, if breakfast has a colour at all.

I wanted Near Window to be an experiment in writing every day. I didn’t quite manage it, there’ve been about 20 days where I didn’t write anything for the blog. I’ve written a lot of things in the meantime, I’m still working on a big Olsen Mythos post, and I’m still working on rewriting the book. In a way, I feel like writing this every day has brought out, and brought about, more things that I was expecting. I’ve made connections to people I had never expected to, I’ve built something out of it, in a way. I didn’t think I’d find connection, when connecting was forbidden.

You know how, when you show your favourite films to someone, and it feels like you’re sharing all these little fragments of who you are and why you see the world the way you do? Or, like when you’re at a party, and you’re talking about music and you start talking about songs that form up your romantic viewpoint?

That’s what I feel Near Window has been for me.

Reading them back yesterday, on the last day of actual Confinement (though we’re still ostensibly confined) I was struck by the yearning I found therein. Such a simple feeling, desire. If the unconscious mind is a kind of theatre, as Deleuze and Guattari say, and that desire is itself based on a factory model, then the desiring-machine unleashed by my involuntary incarceration in this Parisian garret, is for the simplicity of connection. To be recognised, and to be understood. Like when you reach the zenith of a night out, and you turn to your friend and scream “i love you” in their faces, and feel the music enter somehow inside your lungs.

I wrote most often about friendship, about it being the last vestige of the divine in secular life. I wrote about dreams of a life outside of these four walls, and I wrote about letters reaching each other across the gulf of separation. What I discovered, through this writing, is that I am simply a common or garden romantic. I want to be wooed by the theatre of clouds, and by the theatre of my own desire. Is this desire destructive, though, as it is in the case of Deleuze and Guattari’s desiring machines? Does it destroy social assemblages in its becoming-machine? I don’t think so, I think it’s a strange hybrid assemblage that only desires the social assemblage after the moment of exit from those structures.

I don’t know, I think the desire for connection is the way to exist from those structures. My daily life, in which I flitted from one establishment to another like a pigeon searching for scraps, left me with no room to acknowledge that deep seated desire for actual connection with others. Being in a country that wasn’t my home, in which my skills at language weren’t good enough, and in which I often felt like a fish out of water, the desire to connect was perhaps an acknowledgement of the fact that I didn’t fit. Perhaps not fitting is already having exited, perhaps D+G would suggest pursuing the line of exit to its conclusion. Not for me, though. I want to be connected, even if it’s by arbitrary and loosening tethers.

I wanted simply to hold your hands. I wanted simply to have my hand held.

Near Window has been about putting my arm out of the glass to catch raindrops, or passing conversation, or blown kisses.

…and that’s all from me.

Keep your peepers peeled for the inaugural edition of Near Window 1: Confinement which should be coming out some time in the next week-ish.

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