Music Video for Lucretius
I asked you whether you'd ever really looked at the land or the sky and felt with certainty that you are a part of nature. You didn't answer and instead you went away and came back with photographs. They were images of empty landscapes, images without people in them, images full of nature. The spaces were vast and totally ambiguous, but there was still something in them that I recognized.
I asked you where they were taken and you replied that they hadn't been taken yet. You told me that we have a different kind of memory for things that we can never bring to mind. You called them immemories and said that they move through the other memories in our minds and leave an impression on them. Despite never having had any real experience of them, we are still able to recognize the traces they leave. In the recollection of actual events or the projection of imagination we come across traces of things we haven't ever seen but are familiar with somehow. They are beyond memory and yet somehow they infiltrate it.
When you had finished talking I was asleep and then it was total darkness. I couldn't see anything around me but knew for certain that I was in the midst of those landscapes. I told myself that there shouldn't be any terror when the mind is in darkness because it has it's own light, the same light by which we are able to see in dreams. I wondered what would've happened if there hadn't ever been any light - what kinds of images we would project in dreams. Through recollection I brought to mind the photographs you had shown me. There was comfort in that recognition, absolute uncertainty can have regions that contain familiar forms. You'd helped me in coming to recognize them. We had cracked something open with our complicity.
When I woke you were no longer there and I wondered if you ever had been. I had to decide whether you were imagined and it made me feel like a child. I was only ever able to comprehend mathematics when it was illustrated with forms and metaphors. Other people require only symbols and formulas to make sense of equations - I eventually learned to fabricate sets of imagery and impose narratives to the same effect.
Lucretius, the Roman philosopher, made deductions using poetry. For example, he observed the abundance of improvements to things in the world, all of them witnessed in just his short lifetime: improvements to the sails of ships, weapons, musical instruments. If the universe is eternal, he thought, and the world has always existed, then the same improvements should have been made a million times over - we should be living in a 'finished' world, but we are not. Therefore - he deduced - the world has not always existed.