Scrambling… Scattering Notes

note in a bottle

Scattered experience.  Over the past 90 days my life has been characterized by necessities.  Scrambling to find sustainable work, scrambling to keep up with coursework.  Scrambling to assist as best I can in the psychological health and stability of my family, children.  Scrambling to keep my head above water in grief, loss, confusion, self-care and healing.

In these currents – their exhaustion, their novelty, their large and compounded emotions of helplessness, anger, frustration, anguish and fear, their realms of bewilderment – my last ditch scramble has been to note, feel, soak and pay attention to as much as I can, filling notebooks full of journalings, lists, to-dos, scenarios, something like prayers or wishes, something like tomes of notes intended for bottles and no one / anyone.  My best last chance seemed to be to try to MAP things – maintain access to whole regions of variant experience, conflicts, desperations and strengths, plans and disappointments, resumes and rejections, therapy appointments and dependents-events, multiple employment schedules and deadlines, and so on…SCRAMBLING…but at least with some scattered semblance of shapes and places and events…

Locations on the Map of Meaning

Recently reading through Joshua Cohen’s Four New Messages, I encountered a story in which the story is being drafted simultaneous to the story being the story of the difficulty of its drafting, messages to mother or father about how stuck and stunted the process of managing multiple lives (or roles), composing fiction, processing life, and maintaining the presence of mind to embody created worlds and encountered worlds...living.

Cohen - Four New Messages

It is curious to me that the intention of “Opening the Hand” : (“All of this is to say that I plan a series of posts that will be intensely personal, self-revelant, my own way of reaching toward my experience, my being, and selecting language with which to mark it down – for re-memory, re-cognition, observation, reception, attention, account.  These are journal entries, frankly.  They are what I have to write.  I am calling them “Mapping the Meaning.”  Since I know very few of you personally, in your whole presence, I expect confession, inquiry, and its self-circular expression to genuinely interest or benefit very few of you.  For me, it is writing with an open hand“).  should end up resulting in the very scrambled scatter that, indeed, my current lived experience is.  Where I had hoped constructing, reflecting, composing and attending might result in some fabricating shape – some possibly effective mapping that might help me feel a “place” or “terrain” in which I am existing – provide a possible view of a larger whole.

Jumbled Language

It hasn’t worked out that way.  As I’ve delved into depths of my history, experience, perceptions as cracked open by the recent grief, loss and confusion; as I’ve purposed more presentness with my children and family and friends; as I’ve filled my days with job searches – statements of my identity, skills, education and worth; as I’ve learned new labor and institutions and expectations; as I’ve rewritten survivable budgets, forged opportunities to keep some semblance of self-care about what I want to be about (art, literature, learning, meaning); as I’ve sought to stay fit, attend to my body; as I’ve filled pockets of moments with music and writings that nurture or comfort me… things have NOT found any design… but are scrambled, scattered, disparate, paradoxical, bewildering.  For the notebooks of language I have emitted during these months… there is hardly a snippet that makes literary sense, is bloggable, expresses.  Thus the erratic entries, the confusing sentiments, the uncertainty and unknowing…

For now… here are the texts I’m hanging on…

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Hopefully something will form… for now, scattered blurbs and reports, survival and bewilderment… SCRAMBLING…

photo 2-001

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7 thoughts on “Scrambling… Scattering Notes

  1. JLA

    “But I look down at the stream, blue shards
    Tumbling in the furrow. My days are seas,
    Terrible at the fringes: turbulent vermilion,
    You say, painting the underside of heaven,

    Then, oriole!, and over tidal solitudes
    The blue-gold dome rings like something told.”

    -P. W.

    L’chaim, and to the unscrambling….

  2. That is indeed what I find happening! Being very present to where I am. There are such benefits to the realities uncovered when one HAS to be where one is and figure out HOW to be there! AND a stress of just HOW much is RIGHT HERE NOW!

  3. nannus

    Everybody is different and what is good for me is not necessarily good for you, but maybe you should read less. Give it a break. Instead of permanently putting in new stuff, let if settle down, let the waters clear (once the immediate problems of where the money is going to come from have been solved). Maybe a shape does not form because you constantly perturb it by putting in the next book. What about not reading a single book for 3 to 6 months. I am not sure you would survive such a diet, maybe it would make the crisis worse, I don’t know, but maybe after an initial phase of withdrawal symptoms, your mind would settle down into a state of calm and something will start to form.
    Or maybe, try reading B. Alan Wallace: “The Attention Revolution” (a textbook on meditation I don’t find too bad).

  4. I don’t quite know what to say! Your message was stunning and intriguing all at once! I don’t think I’ve ever considered not reading! I am going to try – considering it! Very intriguing to me. Thank you. Without writing (seems to be ‘how the thoughts settle down’ for me) I get quite disregulated and morose, constipated and rotten… but without literary input I don’t know. I feel I’d go void, but were I to feel stable enough I might try to cut back! Very interesting thought. I almost cringe to say how I want to check out your book recommendation! 🙂

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

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