Invisible Man Chronicles – Pt. 1

The times have been odd and I’ve been at pains to record them.  Here is a series I began recently in attempts to account for my life over the past 6 months or so… for what they’re worth.  In this current apparent “season” of ongoing stress related to surviving I am culling old notebooks for substance and will begin posting as I find time to type them. \

Kansas Ruins

Invisible Man Chronicles

            Six months ago, things were different.  I found myself unable to breathe, in England, windswept and drowned out in a kind of panicked grief – a she had proficiently evacuated my life, my home, a marriage… a business, a practice… The weather was cold and drizzly – melancholy, hibernatory, reflexive.  One might say: “Winter.”  My return would be to four children, now employment, no sustenance, no inner strength, little support and a home hardly emptied of her artifacts.  She had literally flown away.

Seasons in Kansas are cyclically exemplary.  Summer – hell-hot, a dry blowing flame, readings often surpassing 100.  Winter is a subzero freeze – bitter blizzards and veils of ice – both producing post-apocalyptic land.  Autumn, as is idealized, a gradual and colorful falling away – temperatures, foliage and field – a clear and moist sarcophagus.  And Spring.  Spring is explosive – blustery, redolent – a balmy turbulence of expansion and growth.

Some have suggested that landscapes, climates and geographies form the tangible shape to our thoughts and personalities and beliefs.  It makes many kinds of sense.

When we experience loss we consider to be great, we often find it inexplicable, and it may exhibit many qualities in common with fallow fields of Kansas Winters.  Clinging to cold and dark uncannily, as if depressive states were somehow desirable.  As if persisting in sorrow might validate what grew there before.  What cannot repeat (we think) – bumper crops and windfalls – the decay of which we experience as hopelessness, helplessness,  a ruin.  Plumbing gone bad, a roof worn away, the appliances failed.  Eyesight, blood pressures and flesh.  Things fall apart, the center cannot hold – wisely penned, and yet the Seasons.

When a wheat crop fails to a Summer’s drought and burn – there is thorough discoloration and a withering.  The rusty dun of a malpracticed rain dissolved by menacing sun seems a sign of things gone wrong, things never to be the same.  And it is so.  In some various version of “now” – growth is undone, production waylaid, and a pestilent edition of dying appears to have its way.  We cherish that in our bemoaning.  Misfortunes as notches on a belt that signify toward some later date: “We survived.”  “We survive.”

Certainly not forever, but perhaps another season.  Another cycling of the clock.  We sleep and we wake, and “every day begins the same.”  Every week and month and year.

That apparently demolished – scarred and furrowed stillborn field, however, hasn’t lost capacity, only a season’s fruit, a momentary harvest.

I shackled myself to determined grief.  Treating my earth with lyme.  Still its soil didn’t die.  Flowers and grasses were never erased, only unsung and silent, covered, eventually, by a type of ashen snow – very difficult to see.

The lesson I find ever-so-hard to incorporate is that the responsibility of flourishing or dearth lies not on the soil, the weather, or farmer – wind, sun, rain or seed – not even diligence, care or quality.  Rather, its growth or despoiling depends on the entire orchestra of factors.

What blooms for a term, given other conditions, even ever-so-slightly adjusted, may miserably deteriorate, may “fail to thrive” or “take.”  Human infants, ant colonies, milo crops and butterfly paths, wildlife populations and the microscopic advance of forests all share this cosmic weather – growth and decay depend on convergence.

A determined depression, a strange and celebrated joy – can be deranged by simple sounds or gestures, weathers or tastes.

Helplessness altered towards hope by some unexpected “yes.”

I was contacted to compose a responsive work for a miniscule fee in relation to a visiting artist.  I was given employment, extremely part-time it appeared – as a rural mail carrier ‘associate’ – filling in for regular carriers days off.  And yet they were SOMEthing, a shift in the breeze, a change in barometric pressures, percentages of precipitation, doors opened with smiles.

A bonfire had been planned at a farm to forge acquaintance with the visiting artist – two weeks of work from Brooklyn, NY.  In my selected sorrow I avoided meeting people or mingling in groups, even contacting more than a handful of friends (often reaching out and then canceling in efforts to conserve energy for survival).  Yet work (survival) was serious business and necessitated uncomfortable measure.  I went to the farm and the fire, and from there began a new history.  New season.  Dying seeds split toward open…(to be continued…)


Abracadabra Cliches

“The outcome belongs to nobody,

the approach, however,

depends entirely on us.”

-Edmond Jabes-

 

The temple always crumbles,

this is not a complication.

The birds arrive from here and there, departing.

A canvas is made from canvas

composed of canvas still beyond.

 .

I’m writing words

knowing they are fashioned without meaning

until read by you or me

or still something further in,

between,

 .

making all of us disciples

and messiahs

in our gleaning expeditions

with embodied repetitions

re-membering in minds…

 .

recapitulations with their novelty

of time and place and person(hood).

 .

And our present filled by abracadabra’d clichés:

yet let’s meet there – (here) –

with wonder and amazement

and a just amount

of what’s familiar…

 .

to you and I and all of us

in now.


Revisiting “I”-dentity

01-diagram-complexity-of-place-ID1

“I”-dentity: and/or “I” is a product of the Other and the Us

 

I wouldn’t know how to tell you my story, though life knows I try and have tried (as if someone cared).

 

What is it to you?  And “I”?  Is “we”?  When the parts are estranged, differentiated – unknown and uncertain?  If the question of being is YouMe + We?

 

My approach to myself as an Other and Us.

 

Thinking in time with the seasons – their perceptible growth and decay.  Their relations.

 

For all the world in the sheer ice of January the wheat crop is dead… but it rises late in the Spring.

The drizzling, chill fog is burned off by the Summer.

 

I succumb to grief, and then joy, but grief will come again (and then joy…and then grief… and then)…

 

Fall and its gradual dying: discoloration, departure.  What we experience as lengthening quiet.

 

I thought it was over (this “I”), again and again.  But it always turns out it is ready to bloom and express, given certain conditions (the “I” and what blooms, as well as conditions – differing every time).

 

Not quite fallow – apparently.  The seeds and resources are there (that’s the HUMAN) – called out by consortial action.

 

So “I” is the product of the Other and the Us.  Always more than one and all their relations.  Sea, land and sky, our cells and their content-rich contexts.

 

I’ve been abandoned and resumed without loss each mysterious gain.  I’ve betrayed and discovered new friends.  We don’t remember where to categorize pain: is it “bad” is it “good” – but then simply it is just like we and the other and the us.

 

“I” dent.  I am in-formed while in-forming.  When I move, lie or make, I am changed.

 

It’s not fault of an-other, an outside, an “external,” nor “me” in my body, my space and my time, but the “we” is the cause – the “us” in relation: all is com-pound, com-plex, and co-herent (“co-here-in-it”?).  Here together we change and are changed.  And thus love.

 

And our fear.  And we forecast by memory.

 

“I” am not “I” as “I” was.  Nor like the “I” “I” will be.  Which “I” cannot predict for all its co-dependence.  Which we labeled “dis-ease” and no wonder – it makes us uneasy being out of control.

 

Yet we’re only an “I” in a context.  A context of other and us.

 

When the “other”s keep changing (be coyote or mountain, NY or SF, literature, germ, snail or partner) the “I” also shifts and adapts, becomes “else,” becomes novel, strikes a balance with all that is “us.”

 

So give credit where credit is due (or a “cause”): whatever your “I” equals a me + a you – and is describable in manifold ways – as a god or the weather, a child or a feather, and is probably always ALL AND.

 

So no “OR.”  Choice is an additive move.

 

TV news brought us the phrase “and now this.”  Exponentialed via World-Wide-Web, and most probably true (or maybe it’s real).  Connections incalculable, meshwork beyond comprehension, impossible untangling deciphers…now this and now this and now this = “I” (and “you” and “us” and “we” and “world”).

 

Terms are confusing.

 

We Are.  Con-fused beyond knowing.

 

There is no other way (then/than) To Be.

 

“I” as a product of Other and Us.

Siegel - Neurobiology of We


Where the Summer has Gone

GetOutWayJuly

WordPress peers and inspiring friends – new love, new work, busy summer offspring and the above explain my lack of involvement here.  Autumn approaches, new semesters, school year beginning, and so on.  I SO hope to be active in your company again.  I appreciate your comments and patience.  What a large thing life is.

As I catch up on your works – I am SO thankful for the talents, visions, expressions, idiosyncratic thought and emotion that each of you have found a particular and meaningful (and SIGNIFICANT in whatever medium) way to realize in this forum.  I appreciate it greatly and am truly humbled and grateful for these odd and generative connections.

thereading

image from the reading replete with lifeguard (son), hostess handing out favors (buttons, nipples), stewardess serving odd mixtures of airline snacks, a priest blessing and moving people around, a waitress and a dapper emcee, a basket of fortunes created by my daughter, and myself wandering the space reading pieces and climbing on things.

 


Naming Influences: In Retrospect

Naming the Influence : In Retrospect

.

Things designed to grow

often get away from us

 .

One look at my yard

or my children

would evidence why

this might be of concern

to me

 .

disease and debt,

dust and doubt,

all maintain this quality;

 .

It’s not a bad thing really –

imagination, desire,

patience and hope

are also items that accrue

over time and with attention

 .

It’s the sort of thing one,

well, simply notices:

that desire and decay

operate on similar terms

 .

both of which catch us unaware.

 .

“They feed they lion”

it’s been said

and I know

what it means

(at least in part)

 .

what we emphasize

while naming our influence

is suspect at least –

 .

“side-swiped” we declaim,

“should have known”

or “could have seen coming”

of this, that and other

ever going, growing,

right along, alongside,

 .

perhaps unseen,

perhaps simply ignored

(and that prior to perception)

 .

all our –isms, habits, beliefs

in their cumulative gentle violence

 .

what our mouths spray

our lives belie

 .

in retrospect.


Ever-Unprepared

It’s said that “readiness is all,”

yet the readiness required

has no subject, and its object

can be anything

which portends – what – ?

we do not know

which is the point

and is beside it

 .

Turns out that knowing

neither how nor when nor what

nor where nor why

can still be useful -

ever-unprepared is our preparing

for all we cannot fathom

 .

getting used to

every there becoming here

drawn by perception

and a yes however secret

she arrives

and I, unready

.

open eyes

and take her in

with an open-handed

readiness,

is all,

and I receive

these many things I cannot fathom

 .

into this here

where I, bewildered

and ever-unprepared

and open-handed

 .

allow her to arrive

and arrive

and arrive

in waves of all

and getting ready


ReMarking SelfAwareness

Erasure

 

If I possessed the capability of remarking, I would.  Indeed, in that term resides my life’s work.  I am a Remarker.  I attend, scrutinize, mull and vacuum the world around me for occurrences, things, and events that are “remarkable,” and then I make every attempt to re-mark them.  Sometimes I succeed, and my re-marks trigger stimuli for re-marking in others; often I fail – both in the assessment of what (in fact – in a special – species/al – sense) is remarkable, and, in my ability to effectively mark something in relationship to itself.


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