Singularity and Boldness (or the lack thereof)
by Chua Han Au
This is of a hand, of an ear, of a bone that each I know is only within me when I watch it speak, an it that becomes a they soon after, this subject thickens the torturous delight. It is beyond a flame, a rich blue, of inferno that is not warm but hard to swallow, of a softness light as vapour, of weight heavier than ceramic. I am not quite sure how intelligible this motivation is. I know its singularity because of how they are all connected to one node and one node only. One must need more than a pair of eyes, a larger heart and two brains—to write and to feel simultaneously. One is not enough, never enough. He, she, them, all bodies that are smaller than their souls and spirits. Pen on their toes and arms, they write and spin, notes falling off the sharp edges of their esoteric smiles. Those people, these men and women, walking fleshes sometimes sedentary, silent and attractive—stories I want to know but would never ask. Through it all, I thought music played a part, but when it reached a decrescendo, I breathed with difficulty but still beating, my eyes parched no longer. I could still talk, still murmur. I could feel a love laterally wrapping me. I felt a different emotion, a birth, as if my body has reached another biological capacity—one I found hard to eschew. But if I believe that the mind and body are different, then what is this biology?
Now I take a sip of water, of warm, warm water. I feel the smooth fall of thick water, then splitting itself into a binary within my chest, I lose it immediately after. I know what drinking water is, what breathing with regulated fours is, what stretching toes on prickly Singapore grass is, but this detachment from watching Art thickens tonight. A sentiment I have fed and one that will never die. What does the body want that the mind is excited by?
And now I can’t quite write, I can’t churn the feeling. This singularity in expression, this predictability in writing comes only when three words appear, another four concatenate and I have two sentences I know I must write down. The accomplishment of which is then perpetuated by the instantaneous feeling of how massive this motivation has become, how my body feels like writing will only make me feel like I am accompanied, like I am understood. Woolf has said that this is intolerable—this revelation is reinforced, I grieve for the absence of company.
Yet that is the truth of the matter: no one has ever felt so passionately for the movement of limbs and their defiance of gravity. Franz Schubert now you tell me!
When I end, the body will return to its machinery, a dead, dead matter, or in better words, an entity.