Minding the Borderlands

Mark Koester (@markwkoester) on the art of travel and technology

Monde Lunaire.

monde lunaire.

We enter by the back door, deaf and dumb, though listening. We plead with ourselves to listen and to be listened to. Culture de l’autre. Perdue dans un monde lunaire, nous cherchons à retrouver quelchose de nous-meme. Delocalized souls. We listen though we know not what to listen for. We sing though we know not the words. Alien codes that inch towards the known, towards a known know already by someone else. We read the world about us in the virtual clarity of our known tongues, our already soft-wired brains of stereotypes, and we are connected across skyped oceans and globalized weblinks. We are not so foreign there, but we aren’t quite so there-there in the virtual there. It’s an away home always closely there, but never here-there.

The territory can no longer be mapped, because in the digital network, we create in a space without limits, we stretch out towards borders that will never be within sight, and, in the interim, unknowingly, we map, we map, we map ourselves, our worlds, and our lived-in, lived-for territories. But these growing cultural places remain places of solitude. With technology fully-inter-connected, localized languages and cultures explode in personal world-creating, and suddenly the globalized planet finds itself each speaking in and living in and for their own culturally walled-up worlds.

Globalization has not yet bridged these gapping differences. The virtual space has made us more connect, alone. And so some of us must continue to search, like modern day explorers, beyond our borders and continue to stake personal colonies of ourselves across the familiar virtual and into the other culture’s actual, into the other culture’s actualization of the virtual. Forced to speak in possibles instead so-close-to-the-chest mother-in-tongue meanings, we deflect the verbal “to be,” “l’être,” and the its metaphysical totality of universalizing meaning, because in life, like in 中文, being wants always to be positional. Its lack is absoluteness, its compass no longer mapped.

And yet, au moins, we connect whole-heartedly, though half-knowingly to the foreign-to-familiar, to the coming others around. But their voices crackle like roasted bones, cracking to my hearing. And yet, au moins, I listen in guess and talk in self-assurance. My self understood. My self expressed in the mosaic of a re-languaged, re-worded me. Me as the 是, l’être, the to-be of being. And yet, as our biological energy ebbs and flows across interacting processes, we dance, we dream, we sing, we die, we speak, we are.

monde lunaire.