20060518

The Allure of the Fragment

I am not sure that we have access to true order except via careful observation of the minutiae that compose history and individual experience alike. Nor am I sure that even such careful observation gives us the ability to compass, comprehend, present, express the order to which it gives us access. Careful observation gives us fragments of a whole, or only just fragments--the shattered facets of perception--and the whole is only the figment of our yearning. I cannot be sure, I would like to believe, I will not represent my desire as an order. Even short of the ripple-effect that might result from such an act of distortion, I risk missing something by dedicating myself to the composition of such an order. Hence the allure, the trick, of the fragment. I can get it down between glances. I can leave off at a moment's notice. I can signify without insisting on the magnitude of my significance, accept that I am a feature in the landscape without inflating my prominence.