Heavy physical labour empties the mind, nothing from inside appears of itself. What I see is merely entering me – gently, without knocking. It is there, just to please me.


Here, on the bow of the little Isle in the River Creuse, cruising it like a boat, what flows into me is: music, a fisherman standing in the water, the rippling stream itself, a mere two metres a second, little fish jumping, a sudden breeze… All of them equally welcome.


To einai estin – Being is. All this here, merely to prove its point.


Between me and this world there is at most a trace of consciousness. Through it, I do not completely coincide with what’s invading me. Yet, all projective interference on my side has evaporated. Even this very pen glides over its paper – all by itself.


Not my will – Yours!


Like the green weeds under the water’s surface, is how I feel.


Lightly whirling to and fro, now and then giving the impression of progress, even of direction. Simply my optical illusion, added to their captive caprice, with their little root arms anchored in the river’s bed.


The Mahreb and her deserts surge into the little speakers of my iPod, this time with a touch of Dylan and a sprinkling of J.J. Cale. Repetitious like the swing of those weedy under water nymphs – sonorous and trance arousing.


The fisherman, first standing in the water for what seems to be hours, has made six steps and landed himself on a little island, a mount the dried river threw up.


After he has unbuttoned his rubber booted harness, throwing the straps over his arms, grey-blue smoke is mirroring the movements of the emerald green weeds. Fauna which I see, but he doesn’t.


From my position, seated up high, the eye penetrates the water’s surface. To the fisherman down there it is merely a glaring mirror from which a second sun hits him.


What a thing it would be to ebb away now, fade into some kind of brain damage, blood slowly flooding the last rests of existence. More or less the definition of final bliss.



Sierksma, under Ruffec le Château, 28.9/2016




Author: rjsiersk

Sierksma was born in Friesland, a 'county' in the northern part of the Netherlands with its own language which he does not speak and with an obstinate population to which he both belongs and does not belong. A retired Professor of Social Philosophy and Aesthetics, as a Harkness fellow he taught at Rutgers and Berkeley Universities in the USA, and at GUAmsterdam and TUDelft in the Netherlands. In 1991 he was awarded his PhD from Leiden University on the subject of 'Surveillance and Task: Labour Discipline between Utilitarianism and Pragmatism'. His books include Minima Memoria (1993), Lost View (2002 with Jan van Geest), and Litter Scent (2013). He has published poems and articles in Te Elfder Ure, Nynade, Oasis and the Architectural Annual. Half the year he lives in Haarlem, the other half he spends in la France Profonde, living ‘in his own words’ as the house out there was bought with the winnings from his essay Eternal Sin, written for the ECI Essay Prize (1993). In this blog, Sierksma's Sequences, written in English, he is peeping round his own and other people’s perspectives. Not easily satisfied with answers nor with questions, he turns his wry wit to a number of philosophical and historical issues. His aim in writing: to make parts of the world light up in his perspective - not my will, thine! Not being a thief, he has no cook, one wife, some children, one lover and three cats. The reader, interested in my writings on aesthetics, literature, and sociology, may want to open Academia.edu, where various pieces are published.

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