A Welcome Message

from Bayo

Once, we supposed that by burrowing into the world, and taking things apart, we would eventually arrive at pure essences, at unbequeathed virgins hidden behind thick layered harems of dust, grime and exactitude. At the heart of the matter. When we ‘arrived’ there, it wasn’t a holy calmness we found: in the material world, the electron touched herself in perverse sensuality – neither here nor there, frolicking with virtualities, teasing the impossible, mocking our gaze; in the intellectual world, we surveyed the ancient ruins of Reason, overrun by visiting hordes from less austere realms; in the moral world, where we supposed ‘love’ to be the resolute bedrock for all things, we noticed a queer undergrowth, a flourishing carnality of considerations. Mere chaos.

In other words, we are finding that the heart of the matter is not a simple creed, stable ground, conquering Truth, or an exalted state. And that there is nothing ‘pure’ or finished about the world. The heart knows something we don’t – and this is that one and one often equals less; that life cannot be computed in terms of ends and purposes; that the idea that our lives are a lone feverish hunt for happiness is a conspiratorial compromise and, as such, what we all want and long for is not given or uncontested; and that behind the curtains, when the neon lights flicker out and our masks come off, when the candle-stained scripts rest exhausted from all the handling, our most astonishing fear is ourselves – strange, perverse, wild, indeterminate, and powerful. If we touched the heart of the matter, it wouldn’t be satisfaction we will feel. When the saints go marching in, it isn’t eternal rest they will find. Nothing is still or settled. The heart of the matter is a gasp, a bleeding cut, a haptic involution, a self-touching encounter, an event horizon that takes us in and belches us out in stranger versions of where we first began.tranquility

In a world where intentionality, agency, causality, learning and memory can no longer be safely ensconced away in the fleshy caverns of human be-ing – and at a time when modern civilization, our cherished binaries, our institutions, and our cultural lexicons are unfurling at their seams, grappling with resolute impasses and spinning black holes – I offer these dances with the preposterous. This website. This very material yearning for a world more at peace than the stories of infinite growth allow; a world more alive than can be accommodated in the anorexic confines of Newtonian imagination; a world more just than the exhausted binaries and tired clashes between ‘good’ and ‘evil’; a world where ‘I’ am home with Lali. With our daughter, Alethea. With the preposterous.

Welcome.

Adebayo Akomolafe

Poet. Philosopher. Psychologist. Professor. Passionate about the Preposterous.

Recent Works

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Worshipping Lali

The Hero’s Journey Revisited

In his 1949 tome “The Hero with a Thousand Faces”, Joseph Campbell synthesizes his outrageously influential mythic model of the ‘Hero’s Journey’: a complex, multi-stage narrative progression that begins with an ordinary person called into an adventure, being aided by a wiser elder, crossing a threshold (a point of no return), facing a series of …Continue Reading >>>

A Festival of Fairies

This morning (August 11, 2020), seguing from a discussion about diatoms, Ije and I told Alethea about “Aurora Borealis”. Mangling the name for the Earth’s magical display of northern lights as she pronounced it, she asked: “What’s that?” We paused briefly then told her it is where fairies congregate to talk about stuff, to exchange …Continue Reading >>>

The world will never be clean enough

Through the imprisoned archetypal figure of Baldur, I continue to find a useful way to think and talk about “whiteness”, which is in my perspective a planetary vocation that enlists bodies – organic, technological and conceptual – in the proliferation of a paradigm of “safety”, “escape”, or “purity”. If you don’t know the story, Baldur …Continue Reading >>>

When clarity befuddles

If you know where you are going, if you are clear on the destination and how to get there, it may be that your clarity has fooled you into thinking you have traversed worlds when you have merely substituted familiarity and intelligibility for the uncomfortable yet transformative potential of bewilderment. Bayo Akomolafe

Nagasaki

Today, like 3 days before in 1945 Hiroshima, marks the 75th anniversary of the American deployment and detonation of the “Fat Man” nuclear bomb over the city of Nagasaki. Those apocalyptic moments, in the thick of a ferocious World War, mirror our ongoing struggles to defeat a stealthier enemy in the middle of a pandemic. …Continue Reading >>>

Falling might very well be flying – without the tyranny of coordinates.
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