Arche-reading: a metaphysics of absence?

I attempt to (re)read Of Grammatology, and reread my own first reading along the way. 

Today’s Reading: Of Grammatology, pp. 11-65

The “unmotivatedness” of the sign requires a synthesis in which the completely other is announced as such—without any simplicity, any identity, any resemblance or continuity—within what is not it.... But the movement of the trace is necessarily occulted, it produces itself as self-occultation. When the other announces itself as such, it presents itself in the dissimulation of itself. This formulation is not theological, as one might believe somewhat hastily. The “theological” is a determined moment in the total movement of the trace. (46)

It’s at this point, at what I might apologetically call the metaphysics of deconstruction, that I always used to tune out. It’s easy to see why: this stuff still strikes me as at once harder to grasp and less original than Derrida’s more practical, technical moments (i.e., deconstructive reading as a kind of ideology critique, displacing the binaries, etc.). I was never willing to accept Derrida’s (it seemed to me) pessimistic and conservative insistence that we would need to continue operating inside the philosophical models we had deconstructed. I believed, on some level, that this was a generational question, a point where Derrida and his contemporaries had laid a groundwork that younger people like me would be able to go beyond.

Yet now I can see that my attempt to apply Derrida as if passages like this just never happened resulted in a sort of “strong reading” that was as much impoverished as it was liberated. It reduced Derridean reading to a kind of guerilla materialism, when what may be most uniquely powerful in his thinking is a certain unapologetic Platonism, a willingness to reintroduce the noumenal in the form of an abstraction.

Articulating the living upon the nonliving in general, origin of all repetition, origin of ideality, the trace is not more ideal than real, not more intelligible than sensible, not more a transparent signification than an opaque energy and no concept of metaphysics can describe it. And as it is a fortiori anterior to the distinction between regions of sensibility, anterior to sound as much as to light, is there a sense in establishing a natural hierarchy between the sound-imprint, for example, and the visual (graphic) imprint? The graphic image is not seen; and the acoustic image is not heard. The difference between the full unities of the voice remains unheard. And, the difference in the body of the inscription is also invisible. (65)

I honestly still struggle to get my head around passages like this—but where before I probably would’ve ignored them and just kept throwing rocks at whatever could be tarred as a metaphysics of presence, now I feel strangely teased and tantalized by them; as if this is the thing I missed, the place where all the secrets that would make this a transformative philosophy, one I could reclaim and use even now, are hiding. I’d certainly welcome any helpful glosses.