Alain Dlugosz Salas:
“mirar el cielo
tocar la terra
y nada más”
Para mi, son importante las cosas al azares.
For me, the random things are important.
Last night I was confronted about my project, (AVAILABLE HERE), by a Cuscueñan actor. There is a line in the Castillian video that reads:
“La Tierra Es Contra Ti.”
“The whole earth is against you.”
And this gentleman was adamant:
“(paraphrased) I agree with the whole of it, but not that line. I do not believe that the earth is against you, I do not believe that the world is malicious. I believe we are all part of the world, so how can it be against us?”
Then he retrieved a book: Tawa by Alain Dlugosz Salas and told me to flip to the last page. And what I read was the poem at the top of this post, which roughly translates:
“To watch the sky
To touch the earth
To be a tree
and nothing more.”
Ser la tierra
Ser el sol y el agua
Ser la hierba entre la tierra y uno
Ser la pequeña casa que parece reducida
Ser el minúsculo ganado que está todavia más lejos
Ser los árboles que suben juntos por la montaña hasta la cima
Ser la enorme montaña y los copos inalcanzables
Ser el azul descubierto por las nubes lentas
Ser la sensación de ser y saber sentirlo
Ser sonrisa y lágrima de alegria
Ser plentitud y felicidad
Which roughly translates:
To be one
To be the earth
To be the sun and the water
To be the herb between the earth and one
To be the small house which seems diminished
To be the tiny pack of roaming cattle which still is further away
To be the trees which rise together up the mountain to its peak
To be the enormous mountain and the unreachable flakes of snow
To be the clear blue behind the slow moving clouds
To be the sensation of “to be” and to know how to feel it
To be a smile and a tear of happiness
To be plenitude and happiness
To be an instant
And I agree.
I like to be disagreed with. In fact, I think its the point of stating opinion. To disagree.
I had an argument about disagreement, which I believe proves my point.
My friend has said that she does not like to disagree. I think that many are uncomforable with disagreement because it assumes a personal element. Opinions are personal, and many feel attacked when they are challenged.
This is not news.
But how else are they to survive?
Disagreement as a concept suggests war to many people. Disagreement suggests passionate attacking, it suggests terrible conflict and loss on both sides.
But I do not think disagreement is war.
I do not think that it is senselessly violent.
But I believe it is violent.
I want to re-frame violence in this context. Feel free to disagree. In fact, please do.
Violence, yes, is senseless. It is (wo)man eating (wo)man. It is (wo)man subjecting, objectifying (wo)man. Some argue that the distinction between man and woman itself is violent. I disagree.
Because I believe that violence can be made love to: I believe that its organizing principle can be co-opted. And is. I believe that it is creative because it is destructive. And I believe we are here today because of it.
Evolution is violent. As a whole, the earth is a supportive being, giving birth to life, sustaining it, nurturing it. But on a micro-level, the way it sustains life is through constant struggle, eating, consuming of the other, integration of the other.
Do not think I am moralizing or making metaphor. Again, the sort of violence two protazoa inflict upon each other, a lioness upon its prey, a falcon upon the rabbit, the rabbit upon the grass, is not the same sort of violence inflicted by colonialism upon another culture, it is not the same as when a man takes up arms to kill.
But to view violence (itself, in meta-sense, as defined as a clashing of forces) as morally wrong is to exclude what power it may have.
The best way to defeat this sort of violence is to make love to it, to give it child which resembles it. By enemy in this sense I mean that which is to be combated. (By this sort of violence, I mean the violence of man against man in senseless struggle. )
I am whirling in circles.
To be clear:
I am (arbitrarily) suggesting two sorts of violence.
- Violence as conflict, encompassing all sorts of natural conflict. (ie. protazoa vs. bacteria, plant vs. plant, animal vs. plant, animal vs. animal, species vs. species, idea vs. idea, natural order of dis-assemblage and re-assemblage)
- Violence as poisonous product of conflict, as allergic reaction (A man kicks a boy for trying to sell him gum, a man in norway kills almost a hundred, a nation, in [terrible, brutal] retaliation against [terrible, brutal] retaliation, starts a war and places itself into debt solely for its ideology, there’s more.)
I think that in order to end this second sort of violence we must, must, must, must disagree and conflict with each other. Too often have I heard that disagreement is the root of war. Its not. War is the root of war.
An inability to disagree is the root of war!
And indeed, it is much more complicated than this. People write for years, they spend their whole lives debating this topic.
And for good reason.
Memories travel through generations, they are transferred through performance, they are transferred through food, they are transferred through books, academia, family, they are transferred, transmitted.
Why are they transferred?
Because they are alive, just as we are. They do it on their own Their bodies, blood, fluid are comprised of our bodies, blood, fluid. They are greater than us; sometimes we worship them. And so, and so, and so…
We exist in a symbiotic relationship with these ideas. We support them. They support us.
But when they clash, when these greater ideas, sometimes encapsulated and named as gods, sometimes as ideology, sometimes as finances, sometimes we, as their body, overreact, as histamines against an allergy, we implode. We destroy ourselves because we perceive a threat.
And there is no threat.
Because ideas do need to be violent (in the first sense). In order to ensure their survival, they need to strengthen themselves through constant challenge, through disagreement. Their strength is ours. But our folly is theirs.
Thusly, I do believe the earth is against us, yes, I do. Precisely because it supports us. It places us through tests, it constantly weighs us down through the force of gravity, it exerts pressure upon us in order to strengthen itself. This is not about survival of the fittest. It is about exercise, it is about breaking muscle to build it.
But it does not relent.
Because you are one with the earth, because you are to be, because you are to be a tree, because you are to be the fucking sky, you must also be violently pulled at just as the tree is by the wind, the sky, the atmosphere, is by the solar ray, you must also “be” violently against all that there “is” in order to sustain yourself and it.
All this in the first sense.
And if we make love to violence, if we embrace conflict as inevitable, healthy, then we can vaccinate ourselves against the terrible reactions which can arise from poorly completed conflict.
So please, watch this video and disagree with me about all of this.