In Search of A/The Point of Life

AFTER HER RE-ENCOUNTER WITH GRAYSON PERRY/CLAIRE, SICK KAIDIE HAS A NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCE.

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  1. CFTE

    Hello Kaidie. I wonder if you’d pass on my thanks to your mother for a lovely evening on Tuesday? I’ve been meaning to write to her, but she seems not to have a facebook page of her own, so you’ll have to play intermediary – I hope you don’t mind. I too was disappointed by not having the chance to put questions, statements, recipes directly to C/Grayson/P. Apparently they have giant tea towels for sale at the moment. I was hoping they might offer a discount in person. Please thank your mum also for not running off when you did. It would have cut the evening short and I would have missed out. After you left we had a number of well-executed conversations, (and some equally worthwhile misunderstandings with over-worked bar staff). Don’t worry, she only said nice things about you.

    Sincerely,

    CFTE

    P.S. It was hooray, not hurrah.

    Jul 08, 2010 @ 22:08


  2. CFTE

    P.P.S. this might be more meaty (careful): http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00sx8ng/Grayson_Perry_on_Creativity_and_Imagination/

    Jul 09, 2010 @ 07:45


  3. 3rdlifekaidie

    Hello CFTE,
    Done – thanked my mom on your behalf. (But what do I the messanger get in return?) She asks me to thank you back for the evening as well (And what I I the messanger get in return?) Well, good that you two had a ‘lovely evening’ – while I fight the world (of Kaidie’s) of its Nemesis (and come home to blog). Hooray. Some CFTE that you are!! (Or is it ex-CFTE? Or CFTE-every-now-and-then, assuming that I control my projectile puking and disposition for running [off]?),
    Yours Sincerely, Kaidie

    P.S. We are happy to receive your comment on our running blog. We take it that yellow agrees, or disagrees less, with you (given your complaint about the illegibility of black on pink).

    P.P.S. Thank you for telling us about the meaty Perry programme. We do enjoy meat every now and then, and one thing we really like is what Ray Tallis describes as the ‘universal wound, which is the wound of being born, as a creature that is going to die, as a creature who passes life, a life full of incomplete meanings’…

    Jul 11, 2010 @ 08:36


  4. CFTE

    Hello again. CFTE, ex-CFTE, CFTE-every-now-and-then: I suppose you know (precisely) as much as I do about the future implications/extrapolations of the name you have offered me, and I have accepted. It’s one of those incomplete meanings, isn’t it?

    I’ve read a lot more of your work here since we met and I think I’m starting to understand it, or at least REACT to it, which is almost as good as understanding. Even the pink and black are making sense to me. The yellow is certainly fine. You indicated that your project is frivolous in some ways, we talked about its tone, your worries about the risk of trivialising certain events in the first world (1.0) with this reflection in the second (2.0). The pink and the black, the tacky aesthetic of internet sales, pornography, pop-ups flashing, your 70% cocoa nemesis (you should try 85% btw). Food and sex and consumer preference. But this is all precisely that – an aesthetic, right? This is the place where it happens, so this is what it looks like. And the way it looks to the casual observer is inevitably that, casual. Heidi’s wandering and learning. Carrying a secret. Heidi, Kaidie. Hiding something serious. Or not hiding, exactly, just not stating exactly (not exactly stating). Letting the sinister simmer. Seeing if it will stay put or break through. Murky waters, these.

    Heat and insomnia recall a solitude I savoured once, can still savour. London is full of friends who disappear. We spoke about this too. These are the people the city provides – people who go away, like you do, I do, the way they went away from somewhere else when they moved here. They are all runners, movers, seekers, the people we befriend. Even those that don’t leave can still disappear – transcend to another, inaccessible plane of existence called Work or West London. I am running out of friends lately. And the solitude is dangerous. More so the inability to move out of it. Worse still the willingness to stay – the learning to savour. New forms emerge from the unchecked mind. In the darkness (pink and black) of the digital floatation tank, the feedback of the optic nerve begins to flower into recognizable shapes. The associative mind projects its detritus onto the screen of the retina, with no light, no shadows from the other side to temper or adjust its morbid regurgitations. Kaidie, your project is the celebration of this dirt, the backwash of lonely minds, peering into the open drain of fantasy-adjusted verifiable events: a collective relegation of rigour, gathering and participating, validating, mutually permitting. I will allow you to fabricate our lives, we say quietly, I will indulge your factitious impulse, if you will do the same for me.

    So, OK. It’s not so much *your* project. More that of “Life 2.0” and the minds that make it up. Yours is the task of reflecting a little of this echo chamber, capturing and propagating a corner of it, stating the rules over again, trying to scrutinize the results a little more finely, admit to the perversity more readily, acknowledge, swallow, re-process the misery of it, the mutual voyeurism, corroborative self-deception, groundlessness, botomlessness, circularity, blindness, bewilderment. The relinquishing of meaning. The task set is to confront the void we are making here isn’t it? To stay with it, sit still, knowingly contribute. Befriend? But there is danger here. It frightens the hell out of me, the thought of you doing this in real time, in real virtual reality, exposed to the workings of the void every moment, the thought of you making your little home at the very horizon of the hole, on it’s lip, your clap-boards juddering in the force of the cosmic suck. With apparent wreckless abandon. The implications are deadly. Too much to contemplate. Have you read about resolution? Do you know that we are on a continuum? *Real* life, as seen through the eyes, felt through the skin, is at one end of the dial. A bad drawing at the other. Films and video games (and Life 2.0) are somewhere in between. And all that separates us from the consequences of our “virtual” actions is lack of refinement in the rendering. If I could describe a fictional murder in enough detail, I would go to jail for it. There is no clear distinction between one Life and the next – no true boundary as between digits (1.0, 2.0). You say you are looking for the best of both. But what if something unexpected breaks through?

    Perhaps you know. Perhaps you’re just braver than I. After all you’ve told us what happens in the end. You’ve scratched your epitaph in the stone of your name. The pebble on a string around your neck. XXX days remain. Like a hit counter at the bottom of the page. Kaidie, you are a temporary self. A universe that exists among many possible worlds, for a limited time only. Unrepeatable. Before vanishing. This is the same as all selves. All worlds. All friends who disappear. The only difference is that you admit to it. You make it your project. You make your death your life.

    Who did I meet last week? When did you peel off? If I had been watching more closely, would I have seen you depart?

    Jul 12, 2010 @ 20:19


  5. 3rdlifekaidie

    Hello CFTE, and other possible combinations, implications, extrapolations, incomplete, and complete meanings of CFTE,

    Thank you for your words. For the record, I think it is the most detailed comment that we have ever received on this blog. Congratulations.

    It was quite fascinating an interpretation, and, as importantly, a beautifully-written piece of text. It is an intriguingly-layered piece about many things, including but not exclusively about this, which as you have correctly – insofar as rights/wrongs exist in this scheme of things – pointed out, and our consensual fabrication of this, of my lives, of our lives, and our/their re-presentations. (A consensual hallucination was what William Gibson famously calls the Internet, afterall). Perhaps it takes a fellow runner to have come up with what you have.

    Your text fills us up with many thoughts, and there are so many lines or phrases we can pick out and unravel, unpack, play with, play on, play up and extrapolate. And savour. I think we will do that across a few posts in the near future. So please do run back every now and then to see the posts, and to respond to our responses to your responses, etc.

    If I may ask the same question you threw me: Who did I meet last week? The psychologist? The non-psychologist? The writer? The runner? Or the anti-psychology psychologist?

    Yours Sincerely,
    Kai(die)

    Jul 15, 2010 @ 10:06


  6. CFTE

    It’s probably banal to say you met them all. The runner and his bad knee, the psychologist I am trying to kill (but keep on life-support, for when he’s useful), the person who writes things down (whereof he cannot speak, thereof he remains silent etc). What’s more interesting (maybe) is the man that was made that day for only the duration of our meeting, dying neatly, mercifully, at our departing; another, related, who persisted for a day or two after, sucking the moody bones of the first for sustenance, to no great avail (thin gravy of the newborn); and another still who had lived before but been dormant and was prodded awake, summoned, by the evening’s events and who I turn to now, with the task of pinning him down again, back where he belongs. A variant, descendent of an ancestral form, this last is a ghoul I’d trapped in a body intricately fashioned over many months – a person made up just for the purpose in hand, given a name and memory, a claim to personhood and a prison body. An unwanted self brought to heel, gathered and specified and described into submission through pains-taking artifice, the detailing I have described, and placed at a safe distance in a fictional city the other side of the atlantic – a dungeon city layered with imagined texture and verity, made to house a cast-away, a place in which this narcissist could be kept busy, tricked by mirrors into thinking he still lived a real life (my life, that he had before parasitised). I locate him exactly here (the tall reddish building on the South-West corner of Centre and Broome):

    http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?client=safari&rls=en&q=260+centre+street+nyc&oe=UTF-8&redir_esc=&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=260+Centre+St,+New+York,+NY+10013,+USA&gl=uk&ei=YYQ_TP-BJaP80wT60q2NBw&sa=X&oi=geocode_result&ct=image&resnum=1&ved=0CB0Q8gEwAA

    The people at Google have kindly supplied a trillion photographs of the place of imprisonment, the mirror maze, making it all the easier to maintain. (Because DETAIL is all important, Kaidie. It’s the thing that makes the difference between something being convincing and looking like a fake.) There are worse places to be trapped, but, as I say, this is a vain animal and needed somewhere he could believe in (he can’t know it’s a prison). In writing this down I am reading it for the first time myself, and am alarmed by elements of it. As I’ve said, there is something about this place, too, that is worrying, this exposed place, unguarded, unsafe (but that’s why I’m doing this, to frighten myself, I suppose, because I must think it’s worth doing).

    Kaidie is different. She isn’t banished like an unwanted cat, an enemy. If anything she seems to have freedoms that Kai doesn’t – gets to have more fun than her mother. She lives in many places at once, and moves about freely, sharing Kai’s life, joining in the bits she likes, wandering off to have fights with cakes if she gets bored (if things get too specific, too real, too mundane). She’s more like a familiar, a family member, a daughter. That’s how it should be. And it’s something to be thankful for. In such a short life.

    Jul 15, 2010 @ 22:45


  7. 3rdlifekaidie

    Dear CFTE,

    Isn’t one’s multiple-dimensionality precisely that which makes one interesting? The runner with a bad knee; the psychologist on standby-mode; the writer; the man that lasted only the duration of our meeting, now dead; the shadow of this man in the next couple of days (but no longer?); the ex-New Yorker; the trapped; the trapper; the delusional; the gullible; the believer; the non-believer, the prisoner in Plato’s cave; the ghoul deliberately buried that come back to haunt ever so often; the unwanted cat; the vain animal – these avatars are but constellations of ourselves, variations on a theme (what of?) or two, and they inform and make us what we are, as we continue, at the same time, to peel off old, irrelevant skins and append new ones. Referring to the Internet, Sherry Turkle – a member of ‘your kind’ – says that ‘people come to see themselves as being the sum of their distributed presence on all the windows they open on the screen’. It is not that Kaidie (restlessly moving across the the real world and the Internet, and realms of imagination) is different from your cast-away, but that she is an extension, a variant of you. Kaidie is familiar, a family member or daughter, because while having a prison-body as well, she leaves it behind when she wishes, risk-taking in exposed, unguarded and unsafe places, to have more fun than her mother (and her mother’s CFTE). Yet it is the same prison-body that she learns to work with, to understand her mortality, to know its limits, to run, step by step, so as to fly. Kaidie is Kai, Kai is Kaidie, although not all Kaidie is Kai, and not all Kai is Kai(die). You can be Kaidie. Kaidie is you. You are Kaidie. She is a template, our collective (sub)consciousness. She is at once imaginary yet grounded, for a runner needs at least one foot on the ground. She is a guinea pig of a theory of happiness. Or pig’s cheek, of having a go at it, in this short life, because if not now, when? So Kaidie didn’t completely run off that evening of the attack of the killercake – she soon ran back, to real life, to not be bored, but perhaps you hadn’t noticed.

    Warmest regards
    Kai(die)

    Jul 22, 2010 @ 02:08

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