The Family of Fiction – 6

The story to now…

Family 1

and part the sixth…


“I propose description as a method of invention and of composition.  Description…is phenomenal rather than epiphenomenal, original, with a marked tendency toward effecting isolation and displacement, that is toward objectifying all that’s described and making it strange…Description then is apprehension, ‘the act or power of perceiving or comprehending’ and a motivating anticipatory anxiety, expectant knowledge…the very writing down seems to constitute the act of discovering it…but also and problematically an act of interpreting it.”

-Lyn Hejinian-


What is “normal” or “traditional,” what forms remain (for long) in a universe of chaos ever emerging and expending?  Convergences, then.  Bloodline here, bloodline there, cross it through and pull it taut.  Cultural collage.

The parents lead the way, though not as masters, more experiments – of brother linked to sister linked to brother step toward brothers veined by half with sister same as brother.  Not personal or by choice until fixed in the same installation.  Could be called art, called family.

Other halves and steps by three with partners of their own yet bleeding half their blood.  Where are they?  A sitcom cast of lesbians and addicts, the wealthy and the poor, the liberal, constrained.  Kaleidoscoping styles and beliefs – “it takes a village” – and they’ve settled one.

Working well enough – a jalopy needing constant tinkers.  It most assuredly breaks down.  Imagine society.  Or the size of it, extended.  How many grandparents can a child acquire?  Its fine for rituals like births and holidays – multiplying spoils – but where does one belong?  With whom?  Family-by-affinity?  Reunions become a game of pick-up-sticks or jacks and marbles (except with persons).  Arbitrary circles depending on usable space.

The family tree she drew for therapy’s a forest.  Cottonwoods and pines, baobab, bonsai.  An oak thrown in for measure, and barely identified shrubs.  What base is there to touch?

Parliament versus monarchy, troubling the court of appeals.  With manager-types and generals, gurus, debaters and clowns.  Stir in deconstruction and some faith for emotive stew.  It’s a kinky chain of command, yet all are bound by it.  Children vying a vote.

And if infected by the peacemaker-pleaser-gene, the torsion becomes a complicated interpretive dance.  A surplus of baggage with all the due fees.  A lot to saddle on young.

They’re resilient.  Navigating democracy and other octagonal squares -awkward parallelograms – never quite losing site of Atlantis.  Lost kingdom, utopian, buried deep under vast emotional sea, at times nearly glimpsing a spire.  At least some strange stirring.  Dreams of a large enough house.  Solving nonsymmetrical fusion equations.  These children are smart.

If an artist paints the picture she performs mixed-media collage with inks and clay and dozens of paints, incorporates cloth and wire and found objects with hopes enough resin or wax will contain it.  Hold it all fast.  And still let everything – everyone – be seen.   The composer creates an erratic symphony – arrhythmic with regular dissonance, whelming moments dramatic with harmony and occasional measures of quiet resolutions.  The scientist keeps figuring on emergent chaos, open-ended systems like weather and complexly variable algorithms.  Author writes it down and edits, erases as much as inscribes, constantly losing track.

Each makes their own scribbled lines, overlaid.  Its sketchy and messy and thick.  Kids jumping ropes, fingering string figures, string theory, Spiderman-webs.  It gets made.