Archive for the ‘psychedelia’ Category
4 June, 2010, Toulouse
It’s synchronicity that I decided to pick up Junky by William Burroughs today. He observes that junk actually exists both in the psychological and physical margins of society. As he puts it:
“Junk is often found adjacent to ambiguous or transitional districts: East Fourteenth near Third in New York; Poydras and St. Charles in New Orleans; San Juan Létran in Mexico City. Stores selling artificial limbs, wig-makers, dental mechanics, loft manufacturers of perfumes, pomades, essential oils. A point where dubious business enterprise touches skid row.”
In Toulouse this modern liminal space can be found near the train station (“la gare“), perhaps even more specifically on Rue Bayard. The equivalent to Burroughs’ junky district: A place marked by marginal cafés, kebab joints, weird restaurants (one called, without a trace of irony, “Chicken Food”), telephone box and internet outlets, sketchy clothing shops and off-brand supermarkets. Even sitting outside a fairly stylish kebab resto, one can witness a deal going down: cars and lorries double-parked — boxes being moved around and suspicious looking plastic packages passed back and forth. The cops circle by in their heavy vans like sharks, but don’t dare stop to feed.
Of course, one other feature of these transitional spaces are small, independently run fly-by-night hotels, one of which I am currently staying in. This one’s not bad, all things considered, and surprisingly quieter than the hotel I happened upon a week ago on Rue Taur near the Capitole and the cathedral of Saint-Sernin. Rue Bayard, I think, is not where the party happens. But it’s certainly where folks come to pick up supplies…
Words fail a full mood
Mournful horn beyond the rocks
Low sea, fog, and you
To marvel at stars
Meteors streak steady time
We travel through space!
Soundless fowl in mist
Moonlit no-thingness of life
Gulls squawk, the road hums
“…The individual must devote himself to the way with all his energy, for it is only by means of his integrity that he can go further, and his integrity alone can guarantee that his way will not turn out to be an absurd misadventure.”
From C.G. Jung, Psychology and the East, Trans. R.F.C. Hull (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1978), 20.