re:verb (falling away from us, no.2)

bungee, 1994

~

Ethics, in Passing

The descent gives us a body seized by letting go, whereas the climb up gives free reign to the common centripetal passions, such as: clinging to handholds, acquiring, drawing by means of nerves and muscles an onject toward oneself and oneself toward an objective, arriving or desiring. Seizing, devouring, consuming. Down-climbing leaves behind. Gesture, then, becomes generous. Starting from clenched hands, the arms open out, you'd think that they give and no longer take, that they abandon the mountain to the given, to that perpetual given men have been capturing, since the history of their schemes began its performance, without tearing the least little bit of wear out of it. An hour of frost erodes the wall more than a thousand caresses by feverish and groping hands. Trust those who let go — the wisest among us — trust those who descend, who leave behind, who can but don't, trust the detached, trust those who give way, trust the poor and those who live apart. Those who ascend, on the contrary, and who stretch out toward the desired seizure neither do, nor think about anything other than what favors their appetite. Culture, civilization, wisdom, beauty, even thought begins with letting go, with the arm gesture that relaxes, centrifugal. Active, enthusiastic, courageous, dynamic, willful — begin nevertheless by desiring strongly. Otherwise, might as well praise passivity, another form of the animal state. Ascending, first, seizing, wanting, sweating, happily taking your fill by the armful; once past the summit, removing, taking off, parting with, divesting yourself, this is the proper course of time.

~

bungee, 1994

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(Michel Serres, Variations on the Body ~ Lake Taupo, NZ, 1994)

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