HEART is whom speaking is for. You know this. It does not require commentary. “I turned away [detourné] from philosophy when it became impossible to discover in Kant any human weakness, any authentic accent of melancholy [tristesse].”[i] The sigh’s sound is the sign of the heart’s turning. The sorrowing heart’s hearing of this sound is the sigh’s speaking. I.e., heart turns by attending to its sigh and makes (fa) sigh talk by hearing it as saying, by letting it be heard as the heart’s own voice, at once most intimately for itself and totally exposed.[ii] This close but not closed circuit, whereby the from (del) revolves perfectly into the to (Al), returns language to breath/spirit by releasing love from the body—a self-restorative movement also called listening to your heart, the neither audible nor inaudible exercise of remembering, recording one’s ancient, deeper will. “Not of to-day, is my love for Thy musky tress; / Long time ‘tis, since that with this cup, like the new moon, intoxicated I was.”[iii] Such a sighing one is a whispering tetragrammaton, something on the way to becoming YHWH (I am who I am): “That’s what I am, after all, at bottom and from the start . . . [one] who not for nothing once told himself: ‘Become what you are!’”[iv] Precisely what Beatrice makes Dante do in Eden after her eyes overcome him: “Men che dramma / di sangue m’è rimaso che non tremi: / conosco i segni de l’antica fiamma.”[v] Which shows something of the subtle intersection between sighing, confession, and sorrow: how love is a painful secret opening in oneself from and towards another, a word wounding from within that allows you really to speak, to tell all, as if for the first time, even before and beyond there being anything to say: “And taking him aside from the multitude privately, he put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue; and looking up to heaven, he sighed, and said to him, ‘Eph’phatha,’ that is, ‘Be opened.’ And his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly” (Mark 7:33-5).
[i] E. M. Cioran, A Short History of Decay, trans. Richard Howard (New York: Arcade, 1949), 47. Dante’s likewise turns/is turned away weeping from the itinerarium mentis of “il dilettoso monte” (Inferno 1.77) [the delectable mountain], corresponding to the unfinishable philosophical project of the Convivio: “‘A te convien tenere altro vïaggio,’ / rispuose, poi che lagrimar mi vide, / ‘se vuo’ camper d’esto loco selvaggio” (Inferno 1.91-3).
[ii] For a footnote, imagine here a long posthumous essay by a philosopher on the subject of the sigh beginning I sigh. For whom is a sigh? with this as epigraph: “And surely I am not giving myself a report. It may be a sigh; but it need not” (Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, trans. G. E. M. Anscombe [New York: Macmillan, 1958], I.585).
[iii] Hafiz, Divan, 397.2.
[iv] Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, “The Honey Sacrifice,” 192.
[v] Purgatorio, 30.48 [Not a drop of blood is left in me that does not tremble: I know the tokens of the ancient flame].