Know: the power that embodies passing states of energy, matter and connection, or particular skills, within the bodies, from which they can be drawn again, ever replenished anew, never exhaustible, like water from a well or light from the sun. A man who knows (“is in the know”) how to graft trees, fletch arrows, add sums or make music out of a pipe or a strung instrument, for example, is the act of grafting, fletching, adding or making music. He gives himself to them, embodies them, makes use of them or passes them on, and is not diminished by his knowing. The “know” has only passed through him, although he now represents it completely. “Knowing” is a particularly physical form of immaterial presence and memory. When a man or woman “knows” another person, it is the soul and presence of the person that is known and which “knowing” can release from generality. In societies built around the set relations of words in language codified in books, “knowing” is the nature of embodiment that poetry releases from the “seeing,” understanding or witness of words, or the kiss which can turn friends into lovers. It is what does not need to be explained; one stands for it already. In the presence of the known, one is the known. Explanation only diminishes this authority. As a side note, knowing is a form of wholeness that retains the ability to become more complete: a judge knows the law, but can always know it more deeply; a jury makes the law, and then knows it as well; a thief breaks it, whether he knows it or not. His is a transgression against knowing. He has poisoned the trust and unity that is the nature of “knowing” in human relations and which makes people one.


I Know the Sun

Easter Morning in the Fljótsdalur, Ísland

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