Friday, December 11, 2009

Midrash and Homeostasis

Tonight I am thinking about Midrash in a different, more terrifying way. Dynamic, constantly evolving, metonymic, defiant in the face of everything that says you must stay as you are--it is in flux. It looks ahead to the future, pulling with it all of the remnants of the past that make it what it is. The product appears silly when seen in the context of the gyrations of the process. Movement makes life.

I met a woman who does nothing but dream. She responds to all of the ambiguities of her personal history by dreaming back into them and watching them take on new shapes before moving forward again, into the future. She looks into the future, builds her life and love and identity around a future plan.

A dream. It moves inside of her like a child.

It moves her right out of the present. She lives in her dreams, never allowing the reality of the present to situate her in its quicksand. She thinks it has kept her alive, and has only just now realized: maybe the product was indeed more important than the process after all. And there was this word that she kept saying: homeostasis.

I always think of this word--homeostasis--as being in direct opposition to what I envision as midrashic thinking. Homeostasis has to do with balance and stability, with maintaining a constant condition--and this keeps the body alive. Midrash, on the other hand, is never constant, except in its consistent mobility.

And so I cannot help but ask: What happens to the dreamers, with no homeostasis to keep them alive, their hearts pumping?