What you seek is seeking you or
You are what you are seeking
• = it, they, he, she, آن
In telling •’s story, in demonstrating •’s “world-making”[i] (Tsing 24), in thinking in •’s mind, I should ask: who is •? or How does • think? or What does • think about? This piece of text explores these questions by recording and rephrasing these questions in the context of • itself. Could I find •? Did I touch •? Did I take care of •? No. Thereby, the questions might not necessarily lead to answers, but to further questions or bafflements that aim at unpicking the information backed up by humans’ frame of evidence and ways with which • is studied, recorded, used and understood. Nevertheless, these questions seek new ways of associating, communicating, conversing, observing, noticing, thinking, listening and living. In this sense, listening is vital. Listening refers to a series of cognitive and psychological processes in humans through which a certain range of frequencies is perceived. The human mind’s inability to record all the information on human’s memory interprets those frequencies as rhythm and melodies, shifting the human’s focus on assemblages of frequencies rather than segmented pieces of information (Call). On top of that, ‘cultural history and experience’ of individuals impact the interpretation, understanding and attending (Oliveros xxiii). In the ‘polyphonic listening’ we seek to ‘make assemblages’ of •’s ‘ways of being’ (Tsing 157) and in seeking so we listen to the rhythm by which • inhabits, flourishes, kills and disappears. Last but not least, this text in no way tries to ignore the human. The human is the channel through which •’s story is narrated. The human is neither the conductor nor the observer but is in a dynamic relation with the act of seeking •. The human uses the English language as a tool to write with, and occasionally thinks in the Persian language. The human expands her mind to think in both a second language and in a second world of •. Moreover, the human is the audience who assesses this process. Now I embark.
• • •
Finding • in my habitat has been difficult. •’s absence expresses itself through my displaced mind seeking •. This is the world in which I world myself and • together. The absence present in displacement and migration worlds us together.[ii] Absence of my cats, absence of my home, absence of my rice, absence of my shapes of door, absence of my mind expressing • in a world of familiar physical and imaginative bodies. Presence of my imagination of a new home, presence of another creature as my mate whom I love, presence of a new sky, new blue, new shapes of doors, new ways of speaking. • and I become a new way of listening and narrating.
Where are you? I was told I could probably find • around the mosses I spent time in: lands of water or oceans of solid organic matter layered on top of one another throughout thousands of years (Mitsch and Gosselink).[iii] I was told I could find you in damp and sunny places, this is neither a good season nor a good temperature as sun is scarce here now. • is sleeping in time and yet I am seeking • in a library. • finds me in here, the similarity of shapes and colors in my breakfast:
Figure 1-2: Breakfast on 23rd March 2019, Main Library, George Square, Edinburgh
Figure 3: Drosera rotundifolia
I find • in the main library:
Figure 4: Cipher Manuscript (Voynich Manuscript)
The ‘bubble world’[iv] (Tsing 156) of •, called by humans, is Drosera or Sundew. I like Sundew more: ‘The Dewe of the Sonne’ (‘Sundews’). An expression used to connect dew[v] with the sun[vi]. They used me, they drew me, they loved me[vii] (Enquist) and I became present. The presence of the others made me reach my sensors of attention into the air, and the limitations of my attention glitter in your eyes beneath the sun (Darwin 1-14).
Breathing sunlight made finding • very unlikely at the human time-scale: • is present in spring, summer or all seasons in other places in the world (Butts et al. 271). She seems worried as she can’t find me, but I become present as she seeks me in the main library, drawn in the 15th century of their time-scale, written in a language they should decode. Their ears blind for meaning.[viii]
• creates music in the air, if you draw • you would know and you would have listened, as Darwin did (Fig. 5). • is an expression of affair and is present when someone makes love with •. • hugs nearly 300 species of sphagnum moss to drink water (Allaby). • makes sticky love with 10 million or 5 million or 1,170,000 species of insects (Ødegaard; Thanukos) to make up for the absence of soil. • takes •’s time to kill, eat and digest as these processes happen gradually and simultaneously (Darwin). Then • connects to the sun to flourish.[ix] • is present in about 7850 scholarly articles (‘Author De-Identified’). •‘s sticky and glittering tentacles are like frequencies laid out in time and space creating different musical patterns in association with sunlight, sphagnum moss, passing creatures as bodies of food and a bigger environment. • is the landscape.
Figure 5: Darwin’s sketch of sundew
Who is •? • does not contemplate but attends. • is indefinable for the same reasons • is distinctive (Mitsch and Gosselink 26-21). • is complex yet predictable (Mitsch and Gosselink 258). • is individual yet integrated.[x] • lives in a biodiverse solitude (Mitsch and Gosselink 258). • is poetic and dances with air, nutrients and words (Cambridge; Grigson; Pavlovič). • knows the land and time • has not been to.[xi] • has a memory of a millennium (Mitsch and Gosselink 3). • is an emergence of a specificity that fits into no logic but love perhaps (Cambridge 22). • creates hybrids of horror and justice.[xii] • creates hybrids of murder and love. • is modification of processes of symbiosis or whatever form of life you like to call it. • lives in a continuum of communities (Mitsch and Gosselink 232) that are both mature and young (Mitsch and Gosselink 231). • is self-sustained and cannot be forced to emerge into presence.[xiii]
Do humans call • a plant? But • is unlike many other plants. • is rare (Feldman 511). • is a rare expression of a land that lacks the living forms of phosphorus and nitrogen and does not need soil to grow (Pavlovic et al.). • is confusing and crosses categories[xiv] (Enquist; Feldman; Potts et al.). • is an expression of exception and transition. • is a transition of transitions and can’t be explained. • lives neither in water nor land but in both.[xv] • is a process of cohabitations. • is an expression of diversity of the environment it inhabits. • is an expression of the land that does not mix its elements: Water and soil separate yet together. Soils, branches, sphagnum moss, roots, music, patterns, they never dissolve with each other, but they come together, share their differences of minerals and they become one complex of body-time. • is them. • is the expression of others. • gives back the care it receives. • is an expression of the land’s impermanence and becomes absent in absence of presence.[xvi] • disappears to create silence for the land. • is death and life at the same time. • is contradictory as love is.[xvii] Affair is killing and killing is pollination.[xviii] Reason diminishes or shines visible through connectivity.
• is worried because • can’t see us, yet we are here, in the darkness, in the absence of all that • misses: cats, rice, ambiguity of •‘s language. I am waiting for • to love back. our world is the story of love in •‘s life. •‘s love is a mystery: they fight, they eat, they sleep, and they laugh. •‘s is there all the time, helping, smiling, hiding and yet • never knows what • really thinks. •‘s capacity for an affair with • creates a space for territory and murder. The tentacles of our liveability glitter through our differences. A free ticket to the impossible journey to ‘be’ something else, • chooses to perceive the world in •‘s eyes. Now, • is reminded of how I think. I don’t think. I do.[xix]
• is trying to dedicate all the neurons in •‘s brain to think with the ‘••••••• ••••’ or ‘vegetal mind’ (Gagliano e1288333-2), what skills do we have? We smell spring or life. We sense silent movements in the air. We decide to appear, to move and die with grace of life. We drink waste and water.[xx] We connect to many but cannot imagine •. • does not imagine •self reaches into the air for life. • reaches me as I imagine •. • reaches its associations with living organisms: sphagnum moss brings healthy water and records the life of carbon. Insects bring sun, generation and food. The cohabited entanglements help photosynthesis take place: • breathes and has affairs with the environment as not only is • a part of •‘s environment, but • gathers the environment together.
• becomes present in the process of thinking about • and • become present in •‘s physical absence. • becomes present in my response to reaching •. • is ‘آن’ and thinks as ‘آن’ . ‘آن’ stands for the Persian article for ‘he/she/it/them/you’. As Mevlana puts it ‘هر آنچه در جستن آنی آنی’ : ‘what you seek is seeking you’ or ‘you are what you are seeking’ or ‘whatever “آن” you are seeking to be, you are “آن”’. • reaches • and lives off of my anecdotal memories and languages. •‘s livability is dependent not on •‘s knowledge of •, but on the diversity of ways in which • can think of • or possibly live •. In this sense, • unlearns, • unseeks, • undoes, • stops knowing.
Time is vast for • yet so limited. Time is the process of growth and aging, water and land; the process of regeneration and decaying;[xxi] the process of happenings and silence.[xxii] Time is the process of interaction through which • is urged to be.[xxiii] Time is in between life and death because • is an expression of transition. • lives inside a record of accumulated time, land transiting to ocean or ice transiting to land. • is absent without the expression of others and flourishes to grow with the expressions of others. • is impermanence and is thinking impermanently.
• •s • as ‘worlds world worlds’ (Haraway).