I am uncertain why I am sharing this, it comes from a personal email response to a friend, but as I was writing it, things that were coming up resonated profoundly in me. Composition just does this for me. I suppose I want it on public record for my own remembering. That I learn things about me, that change is possible, that decay is transformative. Okay then I am posting a personal reflection for myself – to declare it more widely in lieu of a personal social group.
“leaning upon nothing because nothing offers support”
The following is a response to a scholarly conversation regarding philosophy, science, cognition and so on…entirely out of place or sync, but seemed a personal confession on the passage of time and what it reveals…
Greetings —-. It is good to hear from you. I’ve been inundated per usual with family activities – good and tiring – and disorienting to my habits of reflection to some extent. Feeling a bit bewildered re: semester start-up and the madness it brings, and yes, missing ANY considered interaction and dialogue. I feel lucky to have encountered you.
Wee, random breaks and work-from-home days incite my nostalgia and bodily recall of creating creative work in language. I ache for it. Loss of its regularity is a depletion that changes me. But then I read, “the process of transformation consists almost entirely of decay” from a book about butterflies. And “we have not much language to appreciate this phase of decay, this withdrawal, this era of ending that must precede beginning” from a commentary on it by Rebecca Solnit, a fine book – A Field Guide to Getting Lost that I like to read while traveling.
I suppose as the library is closed and our work quiet and insect-like on research, curriculum, and admin reports back here…my sociality turns to the work of being open and refusing stress in interacting with my beautiful children. Which clicks onward into the ever-insistent questioning I face regarding whether there are adult relationships that can be predominately nourishing or reciprocally intimate. Do we offer one another boon? Any of us? Our interactions have consistently done so, and I am very thankful to you for that. So much conversation wears on me with the subterfuge and maneuvering to get anywhere near meaningful discourse. I suppose I am tired, and perhaps in a strain of melancholy. The wishing I could sit back with a drink and listen to intelligent talk without necessity of defense or critical acumen. Just enjoying that we can. Imagine and inform one another as humans. I want this to mean something for me. To mean I go about things variantly, shy from exhaustion and welcoming to possibilities. From where does this determination to endure come from? To “make the most of” idle repartee, body language, archaeology of behaviorisms and attitudes, – supplying too much (or inordinately) in order to learn in situations. I dream of the luxury of perception and interpretation without analysis. Reception. Or where analysis co-creates itself. Mutuality. Enjoyment versus labor. Or an effortless labor to enjoy. Ahem. Off-track and losing…
All this, I suppose, to apologize for my lack of acumen in the dear and full emails you and —- have provided…and probably an explanation of my messages of links rather than thought. Others’ works as hopefully substantial stand-ins for my intellectual lack or confusion. I do not know where the path is at present. Just spinning in a lot of literature and activity. Confession.
Trying to view decay in a hopeful manner. The slow tears in relationality that introduce distances. From friends, to partners, to ‘self’ – the flux of it all. Many seem to have a greater capacity than I for working thematically regardless of internal/external context. More flexible beings, I suppose, less bound by circumstance and scenario. Ah well, this is no relevant response to your missals. Apologies. They enliven me – simply that thought and invention are going on around me – so please share them all as they arise – it is a great matter of hope for me to watch thought and process in others. A stay against loneliness. Thank you. As I age along, some confusions do seem to dissipate…particularly confusions of my own blindnesses. What nourishes me: intimacy (emotional, intellectual and physical), the thought and imaginative work of others, people striving to process experience on multiple levels, quiet & rest & reflection. The commerce of ideas and bodies – entangled minds and bodies – passion and gentleness and reflection. When these dissipate or decay or are absent in some strange idiosyncratic equilibrium, life is just harder for me to insist on. And how terribly crucial the activity of writing is for me in my own ability to process my experiencing. A weird alchemical embodied activity for me that seems to bring forth learning, feeling, imagination and all those characteristics I would like to take root in myself, to be me. I am better when I write. Better when I love. Better when I rest. Better with meaningful dialogue. All sounds simple and general, but revealed ever more insistently to me as my epidermis thins.
Another turn of the wheel, bellows to the desire to thrive before the end.
To 2016 then. And hope.
Something better soon.