A moment of tension
My wonderful companion always receives dinner with a touch of exceptional in the atmosphere. Menu, presentation, cleanliness of the décor, everything is carefully controlled. The ambiance, in the hours before, is electrified. The whole world, around the conductor, must play her score as she sees fit. I am part of the whole. Suddenly it seems filled with aggressiveness. Our relations are tense. I encourage her several times to relax, not to make each invitation a bachelor’s degree in gastronomy. She ignores me. I feel that I am touching a hard core. I do not insist. Insidiously I began to fear these receptions. And probably unconsciously to wish that they become rarer.
I am wrong. She’s right. Receiving is not just a food supply job. It is an oeuvre.
Work and oeuvre
Familiar as you are with Surimposium and the double look, opposing work and oeuvre does not cause you any difficulty. The work is upward, ontological. Neurological micromechanisms in action. There is no need to worry about them. They make us get up in the morning, load our day with automatic tasks, leave our imagination free when they are well established. The mind surfs on work.
The oeuvre is downward, teleological. Retro-control over the work, which directs it towards a future goal. Let it be reached and the personal identity is celebrated, strengthened. The work summons emotions, the search for pleasure. It rewards instead of just satisfying. Contrasts sought by consciousness to guide its destiny. Oeuvres are milestones, personal history a sequence of oeuvres, failures and successes. Work is the invisible fuel, as quickly forgotten as the full tank of gasoline that allowed the driver to arrive at his destination.
The work is nice and smooth. The self is diluted in the sensations of a perfectly trained organism. Consciousness splits, takes off and draws new spiritual abstractions. The oeuvre is stressful, domineering. The eye is attentive to any threat. The mind eliminates the old world and replaces it with its own.
When the oeuvre promises to be beautiful, let us be discreet. Now I show up for dinner… at the same time as the guests.