The “Necessity” Notebook

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B4 Notebook EntryOn May the 22nd

One thought on “The “Necessity” Notebook

  1. Thank you for the Open Hand Project. It is difficult, indeed, to keep that hand open.
    You are so generous to share your drafts, your maps of meaning, your notebook of necessity.

    The blue: the archipelago and hue of it, wastrel, that particular tint of peacock blue, of my father’s ink, the signature of his originality, and where the siren of that color beckons. Thinking again of Cioran’s essay, Aren’t all alleys blind? “North Richmond Street, being blind, was a quiet street except at the hour when the Christian Brothers’ School set the boys free….” That blue. When my friends and I walked the Camino de Santiago de Compostela together, we set out, after many missteps and detours, from St. Jean Pied, into the mists shrouding the Pyrennes. We passed a group of blind people, walking the Camino with their seeing-eye dogs and white sticks and their faith, one turned ankle away from a precipice. We passed them, and came to a fork in the road. We headed on. Moments later the group of blind people called to us, white sticks waving, “You’re going the wrong way!”

    The purple cover, its embossed gold script: “Necessity,” it says, as if the cover to a storybook. What is necessity anyway? The struts and bolts of one’s nature? A friend of mine said: “I had to be brought to the brink of starvation before I learned to fast.” I learned a lot from that statement.

    The rule and its mis-. Well, we know what “the rule” means. Squares that beg to be filled. The embedded body, the embodied mind? I began “Waiting for the Paraclete” in a ruled lab book. It marked the beginning of a different kind of writing for me. It evoked growth. This from Milan Kundera seems apt: “I hate to hear the beat of my heart; it is a relentless reminder that the minutes of my life are numbered. So I have always seen something macabre in the bar lines that measure out a musical score. But the greatest masters of rhythm know how to silence that monotonous and predictable regularity, and transform their music into a little enclave of ‘time outside time.’ ”

"no sentence can be understood without a rider" - Ludwig Wittgenstein

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