Thursday, August 28, 2008

First Things First

An explanation of the name of the part of me that creates; "Josephines's Echopraxia".

Josephine- a character from Kafka's short story "The Mouse Folk". From Wikipedia (all quotes are Kafka):

Josephine is a rarity among the mouse people, for she has the innate ability to sing. She can not only sing, but she can sing beautifully, helping all the mouse people continue with their hardworking lives. Some of the mouse people dislike her and do not believe she is truly singing, while others gather round to listen to her, use her feeble vocal cords to their utmost strength, and treasure her femininity. Some of the mouse people wonder if Josephine is truly singing, for they wonder if mice can sing or if they simply just whistle? Depending on the position facing Josephine, her music sounds like great piping and sometimes it sounds like true music. At times, she pouts and stammers as a woman, bringing chaos and chatter amongst the people; yet, when she sings, she brings a hush to the crowd, and everyone realizes that she is special. They must protect their dear Josephine, for she is one of a kind.

"Sometimes I have the impression that our people sees its relationship with Josephine rather like this: that she, this fragile, vulnerable, somehow distinguished creature, in her opinion distinguished by her song, has been entrusted to us and that we must look after her; the reason for this is not clear to anyone, only the fact seems to be established. But what has been entrusted to one's care one does not laugh at; to do so would be a breach of duty; the utmost spite that the most spiteful amongst us can vent on Josephine is when they sometimes say: 'When we see Josephine it is no laughing matter."

As time progresses, people feel differently about Josephine and her music, thinking her pompous, thinking her lazy, and simultaneously thinking her a gift to the community. She rarely does her work, yet still gets her daily ration of food. When she injures herself barely, she works even less. No other mouse would be tolerated in the community.

Eventually, Josephine is missing; nobody can find her and everyone misses her music, her piping, and her singing. Yet, after enough time searching, she is lost, and gone forever. Their lives continue as normal.

"So perhaps we shall not miss so very much after all, while Josephine, for her part, delivered from earthly afflictions, which however to her mind are the privilege of chosen spirits, will happily lose herself in the countless throng of the heroes of our people, and soon, since we pursue no history, be accorded the heightened deliverance of being forgotten along with all her brethren."

Echopraxia as defined by as "the involuntary imitation of the movements of another person. Echopraxia is a feature of schizophrenia (especially the catatonic form), Tourette syndrome, and some other neurologic diseases. From echo + the Greek praxia meaning action".

Yes, it is perhaps a bit tongue in cheek. Half a joke and half how I really feel. This is what I do best, perhaps the only thing I am fit to do. Often, I just can't help myself. A compulsion bordering on disease. I feel stongly I have something important to give and it is the ONLY thing I have to give, but I am well aware it doesn't fill your belly, keep you dry and warm, or set your broken bones. I just hope it can stitch back together the flayed bits of your soul as the art of others has done time and time again for me.

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