21.8.09

So much to say...

























A small "journey cloth". It´s about being
stuck in this city...
The words Seen and Sucht can have quite a
bundle of meanings - together they´re a variation
of the German word Sehnsucht = longing -
Seen alone means seas/lakes, and Sucht
mania/addiction. But sucht also is third person
singular of suchen = search, so one can read it as
part of a sentence, too (wenn sie Seen sucht =
when she searches for lakes)...
By far not as sophisticated as it sounds, though -
the words just emerged...


"What surprised me most my first few days walking
around the city? The most obvious thing - the
cell phones. (...) I remembered a New York when the
only people walking up Broadway seemingly talking
to themselves were crazy. What had happened in
these ten years for there suddenly to be so much
to say - so much so pressing that it couldn´t wait
to be said? Everywhere I walked, somebody was
approaching me talking on a phone and someone was
behind me talking on a phone. Inside the cars,
the drivers were on the phone. When I took a
taxi, the cabbie was on the phone. For one
who frequently went without talking to anyone
for days at a time, I had to wonder what that
had previously held them up had collapsed in
people to make incessant talking into a
telephone preferable to walking about under
no one´s surveillance, momentarily solitary,
assimilating the streets through one´s animal
senses and thinking the myriad thoughts the
activities of the city inspire. For me it
made the streets appear comic and the people
ridiculous. And yet it seemed like a tragedy,
too. To eradicate the experience of separation
must inevitably have a dramatic effect. What
will the consequence be? You know you can
reach the other person anytime, and if you can´t,
you get impatient - impatient and angry like
a little stupid god. I understood that background
silence had long been abolished from restaurants,
elevators, and ballparks, but that the immense
loneliness of human beings should produce this
boundless longing to be heard, and the accompanying
disregard for being overheard - well, having lived
largely in the era of the telephone booth, whose
substantial folding doors could be tightly pulled
shut, I was impressed by the conspicuousness of
it all and found myself entertaining the idea
for a story in which Manhattan has turned into
a sinister collectivity where everyone is spying
on everyone else, everyone being tracked by the
person at the other end of his or her phone,
even though, incessantly dialing one another
from whereever they like in the great out of
doors, the telephoners believe themselves to
be experiencing the maximum freedom. (...)
I did not see how anyone could believe he
was continuing to live a human existence by
walking about talking into a phone for half
his waking life..."

(Philip Roth: Exit Ghost)

Uff - that had to be said...
Read Berlin instead of New York, and Kurfürstendamm
instead of Broadway, and you know how I feel...

Kommentare:

ArtSparker hat gesagt…

I don't own a cell phone. Yes, it''s strange.

Chrissie hat gesagt…

fascinating story of your journey cloth, and I couldn't agree more with your quotation about people talking on phones!

Lucy in the Sky hat gesagt…

Sehr schöne Gedanken über die Bestandteile des Wortes "Sehnsucht" und außerdem habe ich jetzt Lust auf eine langen schweigenden Stadtspaziergang morgen oder übermorgen (aber nicht am Kurfürstendamm, das ist sicher!).

cottonseed hat gesagt…

the etymology of words is fascinating...could the words also mean an very strong longing/searching for the openness the sea holds?
i was finally talked into having a cell phone, which i 'conveniently' always misplace, have on vibrate mode and rarely answer. they make me nervous and anxious.

ger hat gesagt…

Thanks, und danke...
Yes, Michele, that´s very true about the openess of the sea...
I have a cell phone, but I only use it to take photos - when it rings (plus vibrates) once in a while I wonder how comes the camera rings...

Joei Rhode Island hat gesagt…

Seems that many people have forgotten the Songs of Silence.

ger hat gesagt…

Yes, indeed - and how sweet the sound of silence is...

Deb G hat gesagt…

Too afraid to be alone...?

ger hat gesagt…

Probably... - missing one of the true achievements of civilization...

thepilgrimmage hat gesagt…

lovely leaves, stitching and words!

ger hat gesagt…

Thank you...

ever jeanne hat gesagt…

journey cloths . . . i like that. and speaking on a plane above the streets, you do take the most inviting and eloquent trips.

grrl + dog hat gesagt…

I love the little extras when I come here... not only the wonderful calming cloth pieces, but the small german lessons I get too..

ger hat gesagt…

Thank you... - I like the "plane above the the streets"... - and I, of course, only borrowed the term journey cloths, from Jude...

Danke schön, das ist sehr freundlich...