Defining Spaces

August 14, 2012, the first day (DAY) of rain in Kansas that I am able to recall for a very long time.  Not a passing windy thunderstorm, but a wet dripping sky holding temperatures in the 60s.  A genuine “rainy day.”

We are home.  Inhabiting a structure we have designed and filled up with ourselves, each one, and altogether.  It’s been awhile.

For days we’ve struggled to catch up: reports, bills, groceries, supplies, dust, papers, books, photographs, laundry, enrollments, business, correspondence, maintenance, rest.

Organization as definition.

Definition as form, parameter, boundary.

Defining a space (reorganization) to find or enable content.

Rearranging contents to formulate new space.

Needing the space…drawing the blanks___________…to manipulate a safety, a breathing, an empty, to allow.

In chaos I write, as if pinning down terms could needle a swarm of locusts to a board for inquiry and examination.

In emptiness I build by finding blocks to set: my lover’s eyes, my children’s sounds and bodies and play, a coffee cup, clear desk, blank paper…then Jabes, Shklovsky, Wittgenstein, Blanchot.  Wallace Stevens, Dragomoshchenko, Montale, Bakhtin.

Fencing a fallow field.

I check my pockets for seed.

I’ve been an astronaut.

I can’t remember rain.

I am what I am reported to have said.  As are those around me, if only in our heads or dreams or passion or anger or fear.

Opening an old notebook I am stunned by a page lacquered in heavy charcoals and dark pastels.  I make out in fierce giant letters “WE WILL DIE!”, then scribbled around it, hard to decipher in the noise of the marks, the names of each one in my family.

I think “so begin.”

Stop.  Locate a space.  Breathe.  Then move.

Movement is beginning.

Connectives of  meaning or purpose may follow the following of orders or order the following connections of meaning.

I begin with my body, following my fingers as they formulate form, defining the spaces with words…

“if the meaning-connexion can be set up before the order, then it can also be set up afterwords”

Ludwig Wittgenstein

each is no more or less than the words he is reported to have said”

-Richard Stamelman, of Edmond Jabes’ rabbis

Edmond Jabes

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One thought on “Defining Spaces

"A word is a bridge thrown between myself and an other - a territory shared by both" - M. Bakhtin

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