I, of course, had these grandiose plans.
I was going to launch into some kind of philosophical discourse using the introduction of Disowning Knowledge in Six Plays of Shakespeare by Stanley Cavell. My dear readers, I'm revisiting this book, but more particularly its introduction, for myself and a friend who consequently wouldn't mind talking about such stuff.
Well, time and space and circumstances of this week have prevented me from really revisiting and reevaluating Cavell in the way that I would like. In any case, I thought that after rereading Cavell's introduction I might have something pointed to say about the concept of acknowledgment.
I still may, of course, but that will have to come a bit later than today--like perhaps after the weekend.
In any case, I would still like to briefly address acknowledgment as I would like to understand it for this moment in this point in my life. Or, if I am to be more honest, I would like to pose some questions about acknowledgment, particularly in relationships.
A dear friend of mine has suffered the demise of a relationship that was quite significant. And the one wish of that friend was to have the partner in the relationship say something (hopefully affirmative) about the importance of the time spent together, the shared emotion, the intimacy, the friendship.
There was a desire for some kind of recognition of what had happened between the pair. The desire to know that at least one part of the relationship was a good thing, a great thing even.
There is, I further suppose, the desire to know that all the time and the feeling was not a waste.
There is this need hear the words "you meant something to me," or "I acknowledge what you did to make my life what it is (not necessarily better ; not necessarily worse) and this, will stay with me for the duration."
I no doubt think that this desire for acknowledgment is certainly a complicated one. We want to hear that for the limited time we were with a person or in charge of something, or helping someone, we did everything that we could have to keep things as they were intended at the time.
But I think that our desire for acknowledgment (or at least my own desire for it at times) stems from this inability to understand the larger universe and our place in it after something is no longer true that we believed to be true (even though we as scholars are taught to be supportive of and questioning of the multiple truths in the universe).
What's odd is that when we finally receive those words that we most want(ed) to hear (or come to terms with the fact that we will never hear them at all), things still aren't quite right. After you're kicked out of the band and the rest of them lived the dream that you had together, they apologize to you now that it's all over, by publicly acknowledging your contribution and importance. Does it make you feel better? Perhaps. Perhaps not.
My central question of his very incoherent post is this: Why doesn't acknowledgment always make people feel better?