LEIMAYblog // Reflections on Borders by LEIMAY Ensemble Member Derek DiMartini

Borders are a symbol of consciousness.  Of our attempts to understand.  To draw a border is to define something, by clearly delineating it from what its not.  The first border we make comes at the moment of birth, when we divide our self from the outside world.  It is this pivotal attempt to define ourselves which then gets replicated again and again.
 
What is this impulse to create borders?  Where does it come from? In many ways we can see this impulse as the legacy of western civilization; the pursuit of physics and chemistry, the age of enlightenment, the industrialization and urbanization and colonizing of the western world.  All of this stems from a need to define. Call it the pursuit of knowledge, call it the engine of progress, but it all breaks down to the need to divide things into its smallest component: every atom, every element, every street corner.  To be able to define the borders of something is to understand it, but it is an external form of understanding.  It is understanding in the form of conquest.  Circumnavigating the globe, mapping every square foot of land, is a clear example of how drawing borders is a thirst for power and control.  
To know is to conquer is to define; power can be seen as inextricably linked then to our ability to make borders. Wisdom is an extension of that power because it allows you to implement control of situations outside yourself.
 
Despite all this, borders often make things static. Borders are maintained not by the act of creating them but in the belief that they exist. Borders without strong beliefs are malleable; they stretch, they bend, they disappear.  They resist definition.  Maintaining a border means maintaining a certain belief, which in turn limits  yourself to one perspective.  Our compulsion to believe in borders might help us better understand our catalyst for creating them.   
 
In that fateful moment when we divide our self from the outside worlds, the act of bordering  both succeeds and fails. We attempt to separate ourselves from everything else in an attempt to distinguish ourselves, and yet it still fails to give us insight into who we are. To border is to turn the subjective into objective, to strip it of its own free will. How can we do this to ourselves? We are constantly moving changing beings. Perhaps our need to control stems not from our desire to conquer but from the profound sense not knowing oneself

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