A Woman Who Stopped
In the end, it is about movement. Like the movement that leaves the text open-ended, as if to signify the transcendence of time, the distortion inherent in the linear sequence. The annals of time begin with a different ending, and what takes place in us moves in opposite directions, stopping at the moment of being christened as an image. And here, we have a woman who stopped, and more than once. She confers her consonants on whoever is interested, in order to say something about the strength needed to be passive. This is her natural language, her diction, if you like. Her ideological movement is the movement of consonants, and in order to take the helm with her lips she must rub against edges, embody passive and active states, action and passion, man and woman.
For her past is strewn with beds, riddled with previously registered prostrations. “She is lying down, he stands up”, writes Hélène Cixous. “She arises – end of the dream – what follows is sociocultural: he makes her lots of babies, she spends her youth in labor; from bed to bed…”[i] What shall we do with this woman who insists on stopping in motion? The streams of water moisten her organs, whispering: “You have long been dispossessed of yourself,” but a recalcitrant habit makes her stretch up her legs, turning the crucifixion gesture on its head.
Her body rests on the cool floor with her arms spread out, like in an emergency instruction manual she once saw, warning against being trapped in quicksand. The head is bent back, the arms float, and only the legs are already sunk deep in the downsucking force. Surrender as a first, vital resort.
Now she pulls out her legs from the grip of the everyday and uses them to outline, almost unawares, a new vertical order. Her body delineates two contradictory paths – a perpendicular, structuring, organizing, hierarchical dimension, tolerating no interruption and containing all she knows, and a horizontal, expanding, all-encompassing dimension that contains her secret. Her confidants know the rebellion embodied in a rising which is not an erection, but an ever continuous, changing, diffusive flow.
How wicked is the joy that permeates her, her unseen gaze trained on her toes, become a horizon. She can almost speak, get reacquainted with the efficiency workers that gulp up the spaces of her life, generate the role reversal, the hovering that will be their lot. She teaches them to hold what is stronger than her, like a wave she has learned to tame, inhaling air into her lungs as if she were newly born.
In the end, it is about movement.
[i] Hélène Cixous and Catherine Clément, The Newly Born Woman. Trans. Betsy Wing. University of Minnesota Press, 1986, p. 66.