I live beside the Harold Washington Park, over looking the lake. It's a nice enough apartment, I guess. But the view - the lake, the park; lakeshore drive and the multitudes of cars that pass by... to me, silent shapes that move, from left to right, right to left across to the edges of the window; then they abruptly vanish, like the many things which have entered and left my life.
The point of contact, this silent observation.
At once I want to empathize - in every car resides a story, a destination, a ... something. Something important perhaps? Trivial? Something human.
The city is a karmic thing. A beautiful karmic thing.
Urban life, the exaggerated social contact shapes the urban man or woman: remote characters, polis pride, the 'cosmopolitan' person that turns the wheel towards a common goal. Routines that define success, lunch meetings, monthly paychecks.
But we also develop subjective lives.
Apartments that exist as a chip of the whole block; interior design.. what's inside? : a continual process of self-identification, self-definition.
The culture of subjectivity ironically models the urban person towards a generic definition; we live platonic lives that exhibit, in its highest form, highest subjectivity.
Socrates asked: "Do you think, then, that someone would be any less good a painter if he painted a model of what the most beautiful human being would be like, and rendered everything in the picture perfectly well, but could not demonstrate that such a man could not exist?"
Glaucon, being the good Platonic interlocutor, answered in the negative.
We would answer that yes! the painter would be less good not because he could not demonstrate that such a man could exist; indeed, we cherish and seek comfort with this fact. The painter would be less good simply because that his model of what the most beautiful human being would be like would have to be subjective and personal.
And the most beautiful form, being infinitely subjective, would be a multiplicious chameleon, adapting radically both internally and externally to the observer. It exists as an unstable fixed philosophical form, like a quantum flux, demanding to be changed and shaped by every observation.
The drowning light of the sun flows into the room.
There is intimacy, and then there's oceanic enveloping of warmth; sensations that appears to embrace, to surround you in a sea of therapy.
French theorist Jacques Attali, taking after Jacques Lacan, gave this sensation the term 'sonorous envelope'.
Thus music, that surrounds you and hugs you, takes you back into the comfort of the womb and the comfort of the mother's voice. The sensation crosses the divide between reality and nostalgia, breaks the threshold of sense perception to recall an earlier emotion; the experience of a fantasy, a wish.
The sensation of waking up; of the oceanic comfort and warmth of the bed; of the undefined state of mind between sleep and awareness; of the vague ideas of existence and being; of the ignorance of total consciousness... the bridge between the ethereal dream world and jarring reality...
These are beginning moments that resemble a form of bearable existence. The lull and haze of sleep surrounds and bathes you just as the sunlight warms the room... transportation back into the mother's womb, except this moment of rebirth would be experienced and rehearsed; less traumatic that way? Perhaps.
But rousing from sleep, entangled in the sheets, misty eyed and half-dreaming; the transience and pain of existence seems to be drowned in the deafening beginnings of daylight.