On deadness, and sirens

There’s something dead inside me. Along with a powerful urge to live.

It could be my mother, who died when I was young. Maybe I carry her deadness with me in a desperate attempt to be with her again/still. Or maybe I carry a guilt that manifests as a feeling of deadness. I can’t really tell. I don’t know that I could, in truth, know. Whatever it is resists symbolization, resists depiction in anything as concrete, as discrete, as words.

It’s more like a visceral, irreducibly bodily phenomenon.

Which may be why my impulse in its presence is itself bodily. Not just bodily. Genital.

Not just genital. It seems somehow all about touch. Ironically, tragically, it’s exclusively bodily, this phenomenon. I’ve spilled hundreds of thousands of words – here and elsewhere – trying to make sense, trying to make meaning of the way my body responds to the traumas it survived. I never will. I know that.

Like so many of us, I carry the fantasy of liberation, of salvation: if I succeed at describing my experience, my feelings, my memories, my hungers, my pain, I tell myself, the fact of my success will, magically, result in freedom.

I know this is a fantasy.

More than a fantasy. A seductive, siren-like force, beckoning me always forward. Destructively, cruelly, because it promises something impossible. But kindly, because even if the path doesn’t lead to Nirvana, the path itself has virtue, has rewards.

So forward I go.

Question: why are sirens the opposite of Sirens?

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