Monday, February 09, 2009


In the Sun Like a Seal

I’m sitting on our magical Guatemalan blanket the color of Peruvian gold on a beach of small shells and miniscule stones listening to the on-going thudding roar of most of the earth. Jennifer is lying on her stomach beside me in red and purple plaid reading an old issue of the New Yorker and poking at small hopping insects the color of the ocean of sand around us. In front of us is California’s largest coral reef which offers silent rippling pools for hermit crabs, sea urchins, and deathly still jelly fish. A little nut is rolling across the sand toward us pushed by the wind from China.

I’m taking a little break from reading Julia Kristeva’s journal About Chinese Women circa 1974. We brought with us as we usually do on weekend excursions into California’s flora and fauna a crusty loaf of San Francisco Sour Dough, some cheese from Monterey and bright green apples. Other than the occasional shriek of sea gulls and surprised children, the ocean is the only sound. We’ll lay here for the afternoon and be glad that Olivia is coming to see us in a few weeks giving us an excuse to come back.

On page 12 Julia Kristeva offers me the term jouissance as a word for which there is no suitable English equivalent. Instead there is a definition which announces the simultaneity of organic and symbolic, material and ideal, pleasure of the speaking human subject. For a slightly confused Marxian Anarchist (not to mention Mennonite Humanist) such a term makes me wish I was French. But I’m not, I’m an American man sitting with my legs crossed on a beach watching the world roar and spin around. “Do you wish you were a sea lion or a seal and could live here forever?” Jennifer asks. “Yeah.”


Anonymous Olivia said...

it won't be long til I'm at your doorstep. I guess I'd better bring my sleeping bag. I'd better not drink any coffee on the way, but you know I will, and I will chatter nonstop at the roaring world.

5:56 PM  

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