Posted by: Louise | February 2, 2011

a bit of philosophy

My head is swimming. My bum is numb. The ironing is up-to-date. I’ve been tucking into the chocolate (again). Today is a study day – a thesis day.

This is a tiny glimpse of the inside of my brain. I am actually keeping a creative journal alongside all this reading. I have thought about it for months, but suddenly it is a necessity. I need it for balance. My journal, the tea breaks, the ironing breaks, the wandering around the house breaks, the staring out the window breaks. Analysing data is a struggle. I like the ideas stuff.

And then, in the middle of it all, as I read about the philosophical background to the method of analysis I am using in my thesis, I found this….

For Sartre, things that are absent are as important as those that are present in defining who we are and how we see the world…. Sartre describes how he approaches a cafe for an appointment with Pierre. He enters the cafe, expecting to see Pierre. All that is there is mere background to the anticipated meeting. When Pierre is not there, Sartre’s relation to the cafe is altered – all is unsettled, and cannot become fixed and focused because the raison d’etre of the cafe (for Sartre, on this occasion) is missing:

“I myself expected to see Pierre and my expectation has caused the absence of Pierre to happen as a real event concerning this cafe. It is an objective fact at present that I have discovered this absence, and it presents itself as a synthetic relationship between Pierre and the setting in which I am looking for him. Pierre absent haunts this cafe.”

(Sartre, 1956/1943: 42) in Smith, Flowers & Larkin, 2009: 19-20

Louise describes how she approached a point in her life for an appointment with Laura. She reaches that point, expecting to see Laura. All that is there is mere background to the anticipated meeting. When Laura is not there, Louise’s relation to life is altered – all is unsettled, and cannot become fixed and focused because the raison d’etre for this point in her life is missing: Laura absent haunts her life.

Even when I turn to the books, she is there, in all her absence.

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Responses

  1. Beautiful. I love the creative journal. Amazing work.

  2. So much said so beautifully – and simply. The artwork is a lovely picture of you…and of Laura’s never-lessening absence. That bond between mother and child is not severed even by death and in no world would we want it to be.

    I was struck by your last post, as well. I don’t think the “old me” will ever be back. Reminders of her are very painful & I avoid them.

    Your writing connects so many things. I am sure many feel it as they read. Thank you, again.

    Cathy in Missouri

  3. Wow Louise.. both the artwork and the Sartre quote. Absolutely amazing how she is always present in the many facets of your life.


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