"For it always happened that when I awoke like this, and my mind struggled in an unsuccessful attempt to discover where I was, everything revolved around me through the darkness: things, places, years.”
-- MP, Swann’s Way
A short while ago, during a medical test meant to induce syncope (a medical term for fainting), I did just that—floating for some moments in an unnamable state, a time during which none of the senses seemed to operate. Someone calling my name brought me back, but not fully. I opened my eyes and could make no sense of what was before me. I could not even form the question, “where am I?” but rather asked myself, “what is this?” I closed my eyes again. How does language locate us? Trigger, malaise, prodrome, syncope: words with beautiful sounds for stages in the process of dropping in and out of consciousness.