POSTCARD #23: Delhi: There’s something cozy about having to have the lights on in the daytime; skies are quite dark, a curious colourless light. Feels nice, just pottering around in the house wearing indoor slippers; walking along the corridor to get something in the kitchen, flip flop flip flop flip flip… I arrive there and can’t remember what it was I wanted. Strange, how a thought can simply vanish like that, leaving only the context of it. Walk back down to the living room and as soon as I’m there I remember what it was, ah yes… there’s something about this action that seems to retrieve the memory. Walk back along to the kitchen, and, goodness me, I’ve forgotten again – pause for a moment… there’s no memory of it at all.
A curious reality, the forgotten thing is associated with the idea it’s a lost object and it’ll turn up later, but when it does, how will I recognize it (if I don’t know what it is)? Let it go and the thought has gone, taking with it the thinker of the thought… thoughts without a thinker [Mark Epstein]. Conscious experience is filtered through the conceptualizing process. Without that, there’s no ‘me’; there’s nothing; a state of no ‘thing-ness’. It’s not the object, it’s the space it’s in; this ‘something’ within which things seem to exist, then unexist.
Shortly after that, I remember what it is I’m looking for; the eye-drop bottle – I have a schedule of eye-drops to take because of the eye operation. Walk back to the kitchen repeating the words: eye-drop bottle, eye-drop bottle, eye-drop bottle, and there it is sitting on the counter in plain sight – how could an object like that become invisible? Back to the living room where I’m distracted by other events for a while and when I look for the eye-drop bottle later on… can’t find it, oh no (this is giving me a headache). Then it’s there, sitting in the place where it was placed, an existential presence; nature morte avec bouteille d’oeil-baisse, “Still Life With Eye-Drop Bottle”. It holds my attention now – have I taken the eye-drop already, or not yet, and feeling my eyes for moisture, trying to remember…
‘The range of what we think and do is limited by what we fail to notice. And because we fail to notice that we fail to notice, there is little we can do to change; until we notice how failing to notice shapes our thoughts and deeds.’ [R. D. Laing]