Now listening : Shawn Colvin, "A Few Small Repairs"
'Specially : Track 1, 'Sunny Came Home'
I listened to this album near (Adjective used as adverb, that was. We can do that.) daily the summer before my first year in college: on my morning bikerides to the house where I was babysitting, then back from there to the PNW gift shop where I worked afternoons. Sometimes, too, at home washing dishes. I'm back to it now, after weeks and weeks of sleep-depravity, because I can't be 18 on a bicycle anymore, and I haven't had a walkman in years, but the melody is associative comfort food.
I remember being a little confused and irritated back in the day that someone would not believe in transcendence (which the title character in track 1 is sung to do). I? Believed in transcendence. In the priority, even, of transcendance over immanence. I was a Romantic back then. Now look at me, all goofy over non-metaphysical theology and materialism. (Base? Aleatory? Psychosomatic?)
Still, always and already a sucker for confuddlement, though.
There is metaphor; there is symbolism. There are angles on the work. But there is no transcendence; there is always work/workings. Unpacking that: my assumption (my assumed rescue operation) is that transcendence implies (an) escape (that is inherently wrongheaded and destructive). Implies that its movement beyond usual experience and limits breaks these experiences and limits up or shows them to have been either illegitimate or illusory. I think that's where my critique will fall apart if it does. Does transcendence actually do this, actually leave anything behind? Religiously or philosophically, does it dismiss 'previous,' 'apparent' reality/-ies as irrelevant and ignorable? In using the term/concept, does the user slough off her past, and if so isn't that a good thing? In my hard, cold head, I'd say it's an impossible thing; and its attempt a bad one.
But then, I just got done watching Welles' "The Trial," and remembering how torn up about Josef K I've always been. Is he a revolutionary, a necessary spark in the social world? Or is he anal, blind and costly; an alphabetical sequence of destructive interpersonal traits, the sort of prophet Sunny (in the song) would repair with fire? Is his inability to get a handshake his own damn fault? People have argued that Kafka writes in dream-logic, thereby implying that it doesn't count in waking states, or if it does, then only in informing the waking about what/how they dream. Again, I find that unsatisfying.
Transcendence, to me, always apologizes for either deferrals or neglects. It is an anti-communal trait. (I think I've fallen into the habit of using 'social' when I mean to treat groups as subjects of science, and 'communal' when I mean to treat them as subjects of communication.). Deferring to an apocalypse or neglecting a neighbor. And caring can easily be neglect if it is less than thoroughly engaged with its subject. With its object. A neighbor is both, and transcendance masks that in all the ways I've ever read it. That's another part of my assumption - that transcendance denies the object-ness of subjects as much as their subject-ness. I am, inevitably, both. Like water is in water, on a good day.