Wednesday, November 26, 2014

touching and seeing

 there is a circle of the touched and the touching
 there is a circle of the visible and the seeing
there is even an inscription of the touching in the visible

of the seeing in the tangible

and the converse
Merleau - Ponty


  1. Merleau=Ponty has been called by many the most important philosopher of the 20th century.

    I have been drawn to his ideas from the start.
    1. touch is more important than sight
    2. the inner/outer realities of a person are of equal importance.

    At least these are what I understand his ideas to be.

    I have a difficult time reading his writing. It's tough going.

    I come across quotes like the one in this post in other's writing and they resonate with me so much. I look up the quotes and find out the context - where the original is from.

    This quote is from his unfinished book The Visible and the Invisible. It was his last book...he died before being able to complete it. age 53.

  2. I can not imagine life without my hands to touch and make or my eyes to see and communicate....

  3. The essay that the quote was found in was by Paul Jobling, a researcher at the university of Brighton, UK.

    His essay was in the journal Textile: The Journal of Cloth and Culture published by Bloomsbury .

    Reading is important to my process.

    So often, I feel isolated and have no one to talk to about my work.

    That needing to talk to somebody about these ideas is probably why I write this blog -

  4. We both live on small islands - I wonder if that has much to do with this [shared] emotion of isolation and the need to write/read/blog? I don't remember "needing" in quite the same way when I lived on the mainland, near a big city - wasn't as difficult to find kindreds to speak with back then ...

  5. Merleau -Ponty was my touchstone for the series of lace pieces I created some moons ago for my masters degree- I felt his writing went deeper than simply touch but somehow pointed to some genetic memory of touch which could come down the centuries- my supervisor thought I was getting all mystical, but I felt there was something to it and still do - you merely have to watch what most people do when they see textile- its a reflective instinct to want to touch.

  6. This post intrigues me. I have always believed I could almost 'feel' the person ahead of me when I touch things. Yeah, too mystical probably, but I feel the same way about old things, places ... the need to touch old wood fences, stone walls, is powerful. Without seeming to be off my rocker, I want to 'read' the history there.
    Maybe there is something deeper to touch that our brains haven't developed to full potential, yet.

  7. Dear Sweetpea

    I have been thinking about what you said. Yes, I did say that I felt isolated, and I do but it is by choice. There are several kindred spirits here on this island that I could phone up, speak to, go out to concerts with, but I don't make the effort.

    I feel there is so little time to do the work I want to do, and that I just don't have enough time to have friends.

    I push myself to read at a complex level and when I occasionally blog about what I've been reading read it is a little scary. Putting my self out crazy I might seem.

    I am so very pleased to have some response and I thank you and the others who have commented here.

    Blogging keeps thinking alive for me, and the conversation can be provoking if we allow it. As well, it does connect me to friends.

    Thank you to Dijanne and Sharron and Mo for your responses to this post. Brave of you. What you each have said has supported me immensely.


  8. Hands touching.
    Hearts being touched.
    Circling around.
    Hands are their own intelligence,
    their own sense,
    their own light.

    I live atop a mountain, and while it's quite beautiful, I, too, feel isolated and deeply crave good conversation. Conversation that doesn't involve convincing, just plain conversing. Exploring. Sharing. Seeing. Touching.

    And being on the finite side of infinity, I understand being selective about how your spend your life. I choose to remain isolated because I have much to do before I Sleep.


Thank you for taking the time to connect. Much appreciated.xx