Sunday, November 23, 2008

Asute Quote

I am reading Doris Lessing's The Golden Notebook, and in her 1971 introduction there is a beautiful reason for writing about personal matters--one which resonated with me. I am an admirer of Lessing's work and I am amazed by the quote below, since it applies so perfectly to the phenomenon of blogging. (And to ideas and conclusions of mine.)
At last I understood that the way over, or through this dilemma, the unease of writing about "petty personal problems" was to recognise that nothing is personal, in the sense that it is uniquely one's own. Writing about oneself, one is writing about others, since your problems, pains, pleasures, emotions--and your extraordinary and remarkable ideas--can't be your alone. The way to deal with the problem of "subjectivity," that shocking business of being preoccupied with the tiny individual who is at the same time caught up in such an explosion of terrible and marvelous possibilities, is to see [her] as a microcosm and in this way to break through the personal, the subjective, making the personal general, as indeed life always does, transforming a private experience--or so you think of it when still a child, "I am falling in love," "I am feeling this or that emotion or thinking this or that thought"--into something much larger: growing up is after all only the understanding that one's unique and incredible experience is what everyone shares.

This is in harmony with the idea that it (you know: life, the universe, and everything (hehe)) really is all about love. I love you because I love myself. Or, I love myself therefore I love you. We all share the same ancient dance, the same common (not used in the sense of mediocre, but the sense of shared) experience. We are each unique, amazing, never seen before and never will be seen again, and yet we are all the same. All in step together on this beautiful twirling whirling ball of ours...

This is central to the reason why the tattoos, each and as a group, touch me so much. The tattoo is experienced by each of us differently--they are in different spots, different sizes, done in different countries, and even undertaken for different reasons. But they unite us, mark us all as sharing an idea, sharing that experience, making us a group, a whole together. Some of those dear people who have been tattooed for me (or for themselves, however you chose to look at it) have not even seen me in decades. Most of them have never met each other. They are spread across 2 continents. And yet, they are all united with me, with each other, through that ink in their skin.


Amina said...

I ink
therefore I am

mamefati said...

Deep momma!!!
Love the quote...
thinking of you and no, never have met ya!