The Process Involves Différance

Derrida’s variety, by which the meaning of a word is endlessly deferred as it is further shaped by additional words, which add to and shift its meaning and are in turn shaped by the words that follow them, and on and on so that no definitive meaning is ever arrived at, ever determined, ever set.

Because most of the time I don’t know what I mean. Most of the time I’m following the path from one word to the next, waiting for the string to lead me to something. Sometimes it’s an actual point. Sometimes not. It doesn’t really matter either way. What matters to me is that in the process of combining words and following the shifts in meaning, the words begin to shimmer and vibrate. They move. They come alive.

It calls to mind old Bruce Lee movies. His style of kung fu, he said, was “the style of no style.” He studied all the styles and then let the situation determine which techniques he used. The important thing was to be fully present, adaptable and responsive, able to act in the most appropriate way. To let the circumstance guide the hand.

I don’t know enough about kung fu to know if this is why his movements were so beautiful, but when I watch him on screen I feel like I’m watching a dancer. He has his way of carrying his body, his own distinct walk, prowling and yet light on his feet. And then he moves so fast it’s hard to believe they didn’t speed up the film. But in fact they sometimes slowed the film down so the audience could see what he’d done. I take this all to mean something. I feel that these words have led me somewhere.

About Marin Sardy