The Earth Trembles [English txt], 2015

0.

It was unimaginable! Suddenly it was dark and we were pushing into each other and just praying that some heavy object wouldn’t crush our heads and we would survive.
A minute laterit was already over. We all knew that something had happened. It was terrifying. A hundred meter tall plume of crystalline ice for about a minute afterwards. Each of us tried to find the safest place possible. It was completely dark, the visibility was zero and we huddled next to each other. Everything was unstable, some things were falling and other things were rising. It was over.

We weren’t sure what to do: whether to leave or stay put.

1.

A disaster is not something that threatens to happen in the near future, or, on the contrary, something that has happened earlier. Rather it is something we experience right now. There is no specific moment of destruction. The world does not end with a big bang. The earth trembles. No one knows exactly what caused the disaster. Its cause lies somewhere in the distant past and is totally separate from the present. The catastrophe is a negative miracle, a curse, which no penance can undo. A disaster can only be alleviated by the intervention of something unpredictable, such as the event that triggered it. It makes no sense to try anything; only senseless hope makes sense.

What actually is a disaster? Maybe its design must be grasped as a metaphor or as an expression of some other kind of anxiety. How long can catastrophe exist without new stimuli? What happens if nobody comes up with anything surprising anymore?

A catastrophe suggests that the end has come, that the future can offer us only a repetition, a variation of one and the same thing. It is possible that we can no longer expect any surprises?

A consequence of anxiety is constant fluctuation. On the one hand the hope that sooner or later something has to happen, on the other the fatalistic view that nothing new can happen. We oscillate between waiting for the next big thing. How long has it been since something like that happened and how big was it actually?

2.

1. What, then, does desire cause?

2. A foreign desire, and therefore it seems that the tears are not his or hers, or not only his or hers.

1. It belongs above everything!

3.

1. When the boat sunk I couldn’t find my friends.

2. But that emotion is not his, because it is too powerful to belong to one person.

3. “Where are they?” I asked. Then I found one friend, but I never saw the other one again. We helped each other, but it was hard to swim for hours at a time. We all searched for our friends or family members in the water

2. What kind of testimonies are possible at the intersection of humiliation, desire and rage?

1. Whenever anything happens to the body that cannot be survived, only words remain.

2. Simple arithmetic. Inhaling and exhaling.

1. What we inhale, what we exhale, what protects us, keeping us alive minute by minute, when we inhale and exhale the universe.

1. We breath, we inhale into words, and as soon as the breath is stored in words, the body is passed on to another.

2. The body that exists close to others is susceptible to injury. Injury is an abuse of vulnerability.

1. When the imprisoned body utters its request, desire resounds. The body still breathes, even though it is prevented from breathing.

4.

If the future is exhausted, we are left with nothing. You stroll along the beach and see objects removed from their context: the accumulated objects aboard the boat of some naive conquerors of the universe or some such. A suggestive image of how the process works in practice.

5.

1. I can’t get used to it. The circumstances we face are catastrophic.

2. When I lie on the ground, the earth beneath me moves. It’s a terribly strange feeling. I can’t get used to it.

1. There will be calm after the storm.

2. Perhaps you are asking why we don’t go somewhere else? We’d like to, but there’s nowhere to go.

6.

1. The body is not an obstacle. On the contrary, it is something into which thought submerges or must submerge in order to achieve the unthought-of. That is, life.

2. It’s not that the body does not think, but in its obstinacy it compels thinking what is beyond thought life. The category of life – that is the attitudes of the body, its situation. What things can the body do in sleep? How much strength is in it, and what endurance does it have?

3. We don’t even know what the body can do. If thinking means discovering, what can the unthinking body achieve?

1. The body is never located in the present. It includes the before and after. Fatigue and anticipation.

2. Fatigue, anticipation, hopelessness – these too are attitudes.

1. What comes after, when everything has already been said?

7.

The sound that accompanies the event emphasizes repetition, the presence of wind and the movement of feet over any surface.

8.

1. Some people may perceive the event as an attempt to return to speech via rhythm.

2. Others, on the contrary, as a shift from the wall of sound towards silence and subsequent noise.

3. It is about an attempt at rediscovery of the (social) body via the event, but also an attempt at escape from any influences that form such an event.

1. We can only follow the double trajectory of desires through various methods.

2. Biographies of unknown persons. Geography without biographies. Countless numbers of those unknown ones disappear in dead silence.

3. The return of the silent resounds in a massive wall of sound. And then, wherever we go, we will be accompanied everywhere by the capital city.

9.

The murmuring, humming, fog and dance of particles of dust. A state similar to sleep or drowsing. Fainting – stupefaction.

1. I perceive the sound of the sea or a large gathering of people, but not the whisper of each wave or each person, from which they are nevertheless composed.

10.

3. During the following hour, as the gentle morning breeze grew stronger, a cloud of dust welled up.

1. Sometime, when the wind abated, the throng of people faded in the fog. Tension, rattling, shouting grew. Everything was more pronounced. The loud calls escalated, calls of frantic men guessing in foreign languages what had happened behind the veil of fog.

11.

2. Suddenly, from nowhere came the question: why not get by without bodies?

1. Why not? Is there anyone here who finds anything odd in that?

3. The absence of bodies is not a bad thing, unless there is someone here for whom that absence is a lack.

12.

2. A solitary wave, a wave outside the ocean.

13.

1. I closed my eyes. Suddenly there was cold. The others looked down at the ground, not answering.

2. There was a man there. After eight hours he said we should keep on in the same direction. He filled the tank with fuel and jumped in the water. He was never seen again.

3. Some drank salt water, then jumped in the water, never to be seen again.

1. We lost our concentration. Many died. We threw their bodies in the water. It was dark. I don’t know how many of them there were.

14.

1. The same question arose again: why not get by without bodies, if their desires are to be thwarted?

15.

2. However hard it is, we have to think up a boat on the basis of a potential that surpasses the souls that guide it and the bodies that make it a reality.

3. The body is an analogy of a boat that Europeans keep fixing. It is a peculiar knot.

1. When the bodies bounce of the wall, all have something in common.

16.

2. Distant echoes determine the direction of movement.

1. And it is from there that the sight passes towards the heard. From individual depiction towards a collective echo, the effects of the whispering and bustle of people.

17.

For a long time now the world has been treated as an illusion or a dream. Everyone knows well that hallucination does not mimic the present, but that the present is hallucinatory.

18.

2. When the boat sails ahead in the water, we say the movement of the vessel is the cause of the movements of the water that floods the place from which the vessel has departed.

19.

1. They gave us no maps. Nothing. They only said “Head straight in this direction.”

2. No one could return. I saw three people falling in the water. There were about 107 of us. Twenty minutes later the boat overturned and I too fell in the water. I couldn’t breathe. The feeling of nausea escalated. I also saw a boy who fell, just like that. I didn’t know if he had only fainted or was dead. Then I noticed that he had only covered his eyes so as not to see the waves, nothing more.

20.

1. Is it the same river, the same thing, or is it the same case?

2. Those who have their lives in their hands we will never get to know.

21.

A disaster is not something that threatens to happen in the near future, or, on the contrary, something that has happened earlier. Rather it is something we experience right now. There is no specific moment of destruction. The world does not end with a big bang. The earth trembles. No one knows exactly what caused the disaster. Its cause lies somewhere in the distant past and is totally separate from the present. The catastrophe is a negative miracle, a curse, which no penance can undo. A disaster can only be alleviated by the intervention of something unpredictable, such as the event that triggered it. It makes no sense to try anything; only senseless hope makes sense.

What actually is a disaster? Maybe its design must be grasped as a metaphor or as an expression of some other kind of anxiety. How long can catastrophe exist without new stimuli? What happens if nobody comes up with anything surprising anymore?

A catastrophe suggests that the end has come, that the future can offer us only a repetition, a variation of one and the same thing. It is possible that we can no longer expect any surprises?

A consequence of anxiety is constant fluctuation. On the one hand the hope that sooner or later something has to happen, on the other the fatalistic view that nothing new can happen. We oscillate between waiting for the next big thing. How long has it been since something like that happened and how big was it actually?

 

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