I have an idea that an “I” is composed in large part of representations of the important “yous”. There is a sameness about “us” within communities which makes a “we” out of “you” and “me.” We assume that what we are is what others are, and our outlook on things allows that experience. But our sense of “community” is threatened when we meet someone from outside our experience and sameness is interpreted as difference.
The ensuing loss of “normal – ordinary” is horrifying to witness. We are watching this occur all over our world. Sameness to differences. Normal to extreme. Walker Percy says the most difficult thing most of us (in this country) will have to face is a lifetime of ordinary days. Yet we are drawn to the comfort of routine. We set up structures within which to exist, then chafe when they become too confining. For some, the cycle is challenging. For some it becomes numbing. The point of choice–whether to embrace the pushing of the rock up the hill in order to experience the freedom while it rolls down, or to despair at the continual pushing and acquiesce to it is what I believe Percy was talking about.
My work involves a celebration of obsessive behavior through the use of multiple objects and/or repeated activity in relation to ordinary domestic routine or ritual. Mindless activity is often called women’s work, and for many of us is very provocative. This is different from the routinization/standardization encouraged by our marketplace, which seeks a Sameness through loss of self and actual mindlessness. Acknowledgment of the absurdity of my routines allows me to recognize them – acquiescence to the predictable tedious nature of life deadens one into accepting “things as they are.” I believe this acquiescence can fester and infect one’s spirit, leaving them empty and hopeless. It is only through an understanding of self, can that one can maintain the “We” of which I speak.