riddling utopia


I am: exploring the connection between perceptions of landscape and the search for utopia, wondering: how does a claim to place, a sense of belonging, emerge from a phenomenological encountering of that place? Perception, the act of mind becoming aware of a thing, this process of growing conscious, is a state of being, an experience. And how does this experience function as a claim–that is, a claim to this place to which I know inmostly that I belong as if reawakened in a promised land?

The materiality of experience–personal, bodily, emotional, reactive, responsive experience–creates relationship between me and this material environment. The place that is this environment is otherwise perceived as that which is not-me. It is (prepositionally) beyond me, outside of me. It is other–alien, impenetrable, longed-for, feared, irresistible, and unknown.

But learning the other, entering relationship with the other, repositions alienness or impenetrability, casting it in the light of newness, excitement, nervousness, nerve-ness; sensory–not overload, but loaded, bright, sharp, clear, abundant, energetic; senses on, awakened.

This is landscape not as other but as lover; between us is productive energy created by my self and this place. What comes is naturally produced from between we two, emergent life, at home, home-birthed.

There is movement in me that goes toward a thing; it longs, and the longed-for thing draws me. This is the honest force of living response. Being awake becomes (verbally) entering what is out there, reaching, touching, connecting, ongoing, producing.

The good place that is no place, then, becomes the space that emerges when I enter relationship. Through relational experience, that apprehended other, the alien scape, becomes my own, my known; we are intimate, connected. The separation layered between we two is real, but phenomenal, negotiable, traversable. Expanded, made possible, it is the locus of relationship itself–mutual, reciprocal. It is generative, productive, energetic; the gap between everything, producing a spark, utopian space.

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