Prologue

writing instruments

Even if it’s only a prologue, it is necessary to begin.  To start with the starting itself.  Some origins are good at that: a bang, a blast, a whisper.

My starts tend to happen with fits.  Inconsistent and occasional, not inceptions, revelations, events.

Supposing it begins in a “mood” and emerges at pen.  Or simply pass by.  Aborted, forgotten.  The pen is what matters, not me.

Swerving from mood to mood, idea / experience, relation / response, passaging effect to affect to effect.  Hardly recognizable.  Yet if the pen is involved, or some other artifact-creator, symbol-maker, discretionary device, a remnant emerges, a record, a trace.

Never the mood itself, not even the experience, but some marker of it, a token or emblem, remains.

Starting with the loss then.  Beginning at the bones.

There’s a boon to that, you see.  It ceases to be important: what the where.  Beginning with the pen, it doesn’t matter.  Memory, emotion or event.  Past, presence or future.  All of those – NO MATTER.  But the instrument – the tools ready-to-hand – typewriter, pencil, keyboard or pen = matter.  Some thing happens then: it begins.

Now it’s started.  Starting with the starting also leads (you must perceive).  If the aim is the action itself, the rest does follow.  Hand leading eye, leading ink, following line, copying language, searching the words, shaping the letters, changing ideas (using different terms), evoking a thought, altering memory, writing a process: a process called “writing.”  A particular animal scraping at paper with ink.

It happens.

Begins.

Follows, outstrips, and results.  Always something greater and lesser, more-than / deprived, exactly inaccurate.

Ambiguous and real.  Using language.

“A ‘beginning’ is something other than a ‘commencement’.  A new weather pattern, for example, begins with a storm.  Its commencement, however, is the complete change of air conditions that brings it about in advance.  A beginning is the onset of something; a commencement is that from which something arises or springs forth…

…Whoever begins many things often never attains a commencement.”

–Martin Heidegger, “Holderlin’s Hymns”

Heidegger - Holderlins Hymns