On the bird’s retina the world is starkly outlined. The immense height gives her perspective: everything seems to have a place, a direction, a predictability. Nevertheless, though she sees everything, everything escapes her all the same. She will never know what swarms and writhes underfoot. She looks, discerns, yet never approaches. For ages humans have longed after the bird’s flight, and for ages philosophers have sought the higher by escaping the lower. Yet the philosopher has misjudged, and in the thin, still air, lost his grip. The philosopher-bird does not fly; he flutters.
The time has come for the philosopher to land somewhere; time for her to take off her wings and burrow, wormlike, into the caked earth below. The worm, soft and hermaphroditic, tastes the distinctions that the bird only sees. She devours them, opens them, spits them back out and, under the surface and within the skin, she slithers through. She digs holes in the exterior, enters ruthlessly. This year you will not confront the predator, but the prey. Forget the raven – the worm is the true philosopher!
The worm makes its way where there is none yet. She stalks about the unknown, seeking to nourish her yet unfilled insides. No scrap or offal is too filthy for consumption; no thought too gruesome for absorption; no path too narrow for her to slither through its cracks. In the unbridled and unkempt earth she finds a home. Until one day she gets lost. A child’s hand digs her up, places her on the kitchen table in a strange house. The house is earthless, grubless, nigh unnavigable: she can’t find a way out, cannot find even a single opening in the laminate to wriggle through. What now? Now that she has been driven from her habitat? Now that she looks at the world through a double glazed window? Will she ever escape this cage?
But the worm is greedy. There is no boundary she has not yet crossed, and long ago, she used to writhe every single day with her intestine-like body through detritus in the hummus of lost meanings. Why should this paltry house be able to constrain her? She imbibes all that she sees and hears and smells and feels, and in her long, lithe body something begins to stir. She realizes that the world is pregnant with meanings; like weeping babes they are thrown. Yet as with all other things, a fate of decay awaits them too. Nothing remains upright forever, and even the walls of this house will eventually tear. Anfracted as the worm is in her aporia, she writhes between the rigid oppositions of the dwelling. There, near the hinges of the back door, she squeezes out, through the garden path, into the earth. One last time, she comes across the garden wall. Through dark and hidden tunnels she arrives at the other end, but she leaves a trace of her passage. Is she outside or in?
Furtively yet obstinately it imposes itself on her: the experience of obscuration, of dilution, of disintegration; of a collapse of what was once segregated by a wafer-thin line. The worm decomposes, sheds her cumbersome skin so that it may make way for the outside world to come crashing in. But will she truly reconcile with her new environment? Will she be receptive enough to take in her intruder? Or will inside and out in the end remain entrapped within the walls of her skin? On April 13th her naked wriggling will be probed.