Being chosen for print has always been an object of my desire. I have always wanted to have my work accepted, appreciated, and loved. But what is this driving force that keeps me sharing my words rather than locking them in my armoire to be discovered upon my death like Emily Dickinson?
Jacques Lacan coined the phrase ‘objet petit a’. What he meant to accomplish was noble in my opinion: was to put a neat bow around the emotion surrounding an unattainable object of desire. Was to give humanity a phrase in which we could communicate and relate to one another through our unique shrouds of longing.
I particularly love the use of small. tiny. petite: ‘objet petit a’. Because it feels small, doesn’t it? Even though it inspires our bigger calls to action
Would you call it an echo? Or perhaps just a ringing? Picture a soft Doppler Effect: a subtle vibration that flows in waves, a pattern that we can follow until the next soundwave disrupts the flow changing our driving direction towards something new and more colorful? Hubble might have said so had he not had so many more important realities to tackle.
Is it to pine for an unspecified, and perhaps abstract moment in the future? A greatness? Or maybe to long for it to rectify the regrets that haunt our past without consequences of regression? A reunion?
It is a ghost that hasn’t passed away yet haunting us, speaking through code upon a ouija board and we simply will not say good bye? Maybe it did die and we’re arrested in the denial stage.
In my time postulating how to put this phrase, ‘objet petit a’ into poetry I have come to some conclusion as to what it means to me, currently, or in the past, as to you are most definitely reading it as it was in mine:
Imagine a mote, a spec of dust, neglected maybe, inside of us that we cannot pinpoint, something too small to see without a microscope. Yet it is powerful. The quantum quandary that allows for the tiniest pieces to hold the greatest potential force. An atomic explosion resulting from hadron collision. A Big Bang. An accelerated particle in all of us that was dormant for far too long.
It’s not missing, I think, even though we search for it, chase it, dream on it. No, I believe this ‘objet petit a’ takes on the abstract shape of an unfillable void. a pocket with an endless hole. While one small spec may light its dark tiny spaces for a while, its insatiable longing pulls us towards the next object of our human appetites.
And it makes us great. It makes us better. It makes humanity, when working towards a cohesive goal more whole. I am proud to be a part of something that made the world more beautiful and kind, even if it is not my final destination…