Confusion : Fusion-with

azure-liminal-sky

The light is good.  I’m confused.

What “good”?  “Good” for what, and in relation to?  Diffuse, azure atmosphere of oncoming dusk.  Chilly, not cold.  Nearly pleasant, yet crisp enough for shiver and grip.  Unsteady, trembling grasp of pen, a striving for control mated to its lack.

Hardly daylight.  Liminal.

I would like to express.  What I do not know, perhaps am even unable to.

This is why I approach a page – blank, blind, lined, empty – in “good” light and confusion.

Fusion-with, what?  Chemistry, alchemy, biosphere, organism, complexity, surround.  Others’ emotions, experience.  Possibilities not actualized, each swarming potential of vocabulary, gesture, signification – line, sign, mark, motion – converging formulation, conveying contrivance / re-cognition. What is not, hovering about each “is.”  To write.  To write (only) this.  When…

Once begun.  Light, terms, cursive.  Blue Bic ball-pointed pen.  Moleskine substitution and human and language and in- and ex- perience and some =, some theorized equation of functions and results.

January 29, 2017.  Nathan Wayne Filbert.  5:44 pm according to a Centrally Standardized Timepiece, an Apple product, arranged amidst pages from many centuries and sources, composed music sounding from the last, temperatures…”actualities”?…amid vast, incomputable com-possibilities.

If Nathan had not been “this one,” had not begun with a “T” or a “T + h + e” in this light, in this almost comfortable, discomfiting condition, in this notebook, with this pen and its ink at this time on this bastardized quality of paper, among such circumstances and scenarios, amid these relations as a father, a student, librarian, scholar, male – of this certain (arbitrarily standardized mandatory and countable) age, intimately (accordingly – to strata not set by either) coupled to- caring for-, concerned with-, worried by-, wishing for-, happy about-, and so on…

this word or letter at this time in this space with these extremely idiosyncratic and unlikely determinate positions and scenes in a surround incrementally rare and unreckonably accidental…

“The light is good.  I am confused” leading itself its own very peculiar particular wave way toward each next and next co-dependent with innumerable constituents and counterparts yet occurring here, now, 5:54 pm CST in Wichita, Kansas in United (are they?) States of America (wha-? why? how? when?) 2017 (by what calendar and whose and wherefore?) at an intersection outside of a centuries-old and decrepit “house” it calls “home” (why? wherefore? from whence toward and…?)…

Indeterminate.  Indecipherable.  Unreasonable and incalculable.  Not accountable or even conceivable…but IS (apparently).  Simply IS, what is written, at this time, in this place, by this organism, of these relations, in this surround, at this moment, occasion, “actuality”…

…as it happens… as if

“The light is good.  I am confused.”

Displaying FullSizeRender.jpg

Wink of I

I close one eye as a hint or signal.  Almost-gesture of complicity, alliance.  Miniscule nod of knowingness.  Nearly clandestine.  We are accomplice.

Subtlety.  In the colors of sunsets are moments.  Light in trees, precipitation, breeze and wind.  Occasions, occurrences.  A brush, a jolt, a catch, or slip.  Just there, just then, just whom.

Sum of an enormous fund of letters, sounds, marks, and inferences composing a confused and compossible khora of language actuated haphazardly in discourse, and conversation, a dated letter, an exclamation or response… one might say the signsea winks or glimmers.  A squinch or sparkle  of potential affinities and conflicts, affiliations and consorts.  Then gone.  A breath.  A…

Glance.  A glimpse shuttered quickly, asymmetrically.  What does it mean?  Something.  Something of nothing.  Like accident, collision, like misreckoning, mistake.  Like harmony, accord, or intercourse.

“in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, as a trumpet sound… the dead shall be raised, and we shall be changed”…(I Cor 15:52, changed).

Happenings, emergence, inceptions, conceptions, decisions, decease…moments, blinks, glints, such tiny gestures…

…and all shall be changed.

Picture, if you can, if you will, a spill of sonority, funneled through lung, through throat, whirling the mouth cavity, battened by teeth, and leaving the lips as a word… now whispering air as  smoky exhalation… mingling and woven in the voice of another… such breaths, these terms, these inscriptions… how they collide and collude, coalesce and caress, commingle and pass on…

Moments, instants, mishaps or miracles…and all shall be changed…or so it is written, supposed, and declared…

In the Wink of an I, there is difference.

for Jean Lee

On Being Other

On Being Other

(after Heidegger, on Holderlin)

 

Broken off from origin: gods, family, homeland.

Early switched direction – turning back, against, since.

No belonging.  No church, no community of mortals.

Reliant on the peaks and the abyssal.

No lasting love, but efforts toward convention –

when giving up –

even offspring, domesticity,

varietous employment,

almost friends.

No lasting commerce, always in-between,

feeling resistance and restraint,

constraints of discipline and need,

of longings, love, and lust.

Searching Other

fueled by others – across the times –

creators of the peaks and their abysses.

Oscillation.

Not yet rational, it commences –

undone in the unknowing, uncertain constant flow

generates turbulence toward an opening

or a gap, some kind of fold –

“run up hard against the unsayable.”

the closing line is a quotation from Heidegger’s

lectures on Holderlin’s poems “Germania” & “The Rhine”

Laramie, still

Teton-Range

Marc hasn’t approached such things in a very long time, having left ranches for cities decades ago.  He’s never perceived his father this way – a sodden, curled lump, a heavy heap of human – laying not far from a dissolving and evaporating campsite.  Still.

Alias ponders “still as stasis or persistence or both/and?” in his notebook in his study.  “Most often I use ‘still’ with some indication of both – stubborn, persistent, continual, unmoving – obstacles.”

Son standing over his father.  Father, fallen, humped, underfoot of son.  A stubborn statue, status, state.  Something resilient, resolute, apparently ineradicable and permanent – as far as permanence goes.

“Sons stumped by their fathers.  Fathers blocking their sons.” Alias wrote as Lucy re-entered their provisional home (what “home” is not?).

Laramie lay still, sopping, weighing more than any many should, it seemed to Marc.  Now fathering the labor of his unfortunate offspring, hovering over it/him like a bent tree, not quite as strong, but still stuck and rooted.

“The child is father to the man…still,” Alias jotted, telling Lucy that he’s stuck in the awful muddling middle of things, still wanting several things to be possible at once, believing they ought appropriately have right to be – including (but not limited to) both of their happinesses and satisfaction… fulfillments… but unable to see quite how, and for some strange reason thinking acutely of Laramie, wondering about him today – where he is and how – and all of their good, promising, talented grown children, and why they all increasingly feel alone, distant, farther from one another with age, in spite or in direct conflict with his feeling of the relative, mandatory, even necessary import and significance of these very few – very few consistent, momentous, continual and crucial relations – one another, their some sort of shared offspring or circumstanced charges, numbered friends, one another… handful of humans they ‘trust’ ‘still’ – and the vagaried ambiguity of all of these terms.

Marc stares:  his father: a persistent stasis: there, still.  His mother.  What now?  Himself?  His wife, sister, the children?  And there… here… Laramie Paul Backstagger… still.  Present.  Here.  Present.  Still.

Lucy, in annoyed concern – Alias inebriated, anxious, composing, fantastical, undone – suggests they simply call Anna or Marc, Maribel or Laramie his own self, and check in if he’s so concerned, so (“apparently”) troubled and unsettled about them.  But Alias, of course, of matter-of-course, of persistent stubborn stasis, replies, sighing: “Whatever.  I’m overwhelmed.  Over-reacting, under-developed, undone… Forget about it.  Sorry.  How was your walk – your outsiding?”

Marc prods the body with his boot.  His father weighs too much.  Too heavy.  Too absent.  Too still.  Sensei had startled his mother Maribel, returning to the ranch stables alone.  Who startled his sister Anna, startling Marc via telephone, still.  And now here, miles from anywhere, hating, prodding, regretting, wishing this sodden, sullen lump of heavy matter wasn’t his lifeless father, Laramie, his mother’s errant husband, his sister’s rugged hero, the persistent stasis of his dad.

Tension reigns, still.  Vitality.  Forces working upon and with forces.  Matter and space and energy and time, perhaps.  At the very least a conflicted Alias in tangled tango with his beloved antagonist Lucy, unaware, intuitive, confused and undone, while Marc is shoving his inert father, Maribel quivers, Anna waits, and Lucy huffs down the hall.  Life keeps pressing on and stopping, still.

from Archives – Family: A Fiction

wandering through my own writings, and stumbling on things that surprise me.  This seems (to me) to be some of the best writing I’ve ever done, something I can’t imagine being able to do, something I’m not sure I ever did – the bewilderments – something I can’t imagine doing again.  Thought I’d share…I wonder who/what I might be.

Family

Family: A Fiction – NW Filbert (2012?)

Interconnection and Autonomy

a personal note

I have long disliked and had an intense aversion to telephone calls.  Like televisions transmitting in shared or public spaces, they present inescapable interruption and intrusion.  One could be in thought, repose, intimacy, conversation, activity — in fact, whatever one is about when one is not on the telephone – and then suddenly must react to a demand.  A call.  But WHO is calling?  WHY?  Why now?  When my attention is demanded through interruption or intrusion, my body anticipates emergency.

Disembodied conversation shifts the burden of dialogue to the voice.  Therefore the natural indicators for “I’m thinking…” or “give me a moment,” nods, smiles, frowns or gestures that flow in face-to-face interaction, offering wholistic responses, are all pressured onto the mind and voice – forcing incessant reports and the trickiness and difficulty of translating bodily experience into language.  I require time to listen, consider, and respond.  Movement.  Silence.  Whether it’s a simple invitation, business matter, question or request – it always emerges as demand on the telephone.  Respond to this NOW.  (public or shared-space televisions – SEE this NOW).  You cannot escape, select, regulate or direct such importunities.

Global Communication Technologies, – our networks, internetworks and their myriad machines and devices – have provided some enormous benefits toward expanding our social lives outside of limited demographics and cultures, opening realms of activities and artifacts, information and resources that in any other time-period we may never have known about or encountered.  As these technologies proliferate into internets of thingsubiquitous (or pervasive / invasive) computing, and manifest the inherently linked realities of our world…simultaneously providing ambient findability (all of these terms and phrases as easily interpreted as violence or intrusion as well as opportunities or boon).

I’ve long preferred face-to-face interaction (in spare doses, they are taxing & rewarding) and textual communications (obviously, but also texting, emails, postal correspondence), because in the F2F we are offered and allowed appropriate cues to follow and respond to one another, and in textual discourse we are allowed the time and distance to craft and dictate our translations of experience, messaging intentions, and terminological tones.

Of late, however, I have noted a convergence of Call-Anxiety and Pervasive-Communications.  And am wondering about our levels of autonomy (if there even is such a thing for the human) or self-direction, any amount of governance we might preserve over our lives and activities and choices in a world populated with linked devices?

How much of our days – work time, supposedly “personal”/private time, play time, labor time, interpersonal time, family time, meal-times, chore-times, reading times, creative times, necessity times, and so on…- are steered and directed, controlled and dictated by the consistent, persistent, pervasive and invasive thoroughfare of MESSAGES from OUTSIDE?  If we consult our devices upon waking – how often are that day’s events passively designed around what we receive?  If we respond to text vibrations / updates / posts / SMS or IMs / emails – how much are they eroding self-governance and discipline or choice and instead simply ANNOUNCING (demanding?) direction and response?

How many swerves do we make in our causeways of living by our over-saturation with “friends,” our communicative reach far beyond our communities, our global information system versus our local work offices or families or few (actual) friends?  There have been plenty of studies from nearly every field of inquiry reporting that our safe or thrivable social capacities are quite limited – most studies indicate humans do best in consistent contact with 30 or less others.  Proffering sufficient opportunities to know, understand, interact and relate.  Yet any given Facebooker or tweeter or snappy-chatter may have exponentially larger engagements nearly every minute of their lives.

How different would my relationships with co-workers,  children, family, friends, BE if we weren’t including thousands of others in remote places, professional connections throughout the world, images and language and emotional reports and happenstances flooding like telephone calls and tele-visions and noise into our domains, habitats, domiciles, studies?  What might i NOT buy if it weren’t so easy?  How differently might I know books, movies, music, animals, persons – if they weren’t in virtually infinite supply?Do we preserve moments of choice and connection, safe from Call-demands or Pervasive/Invasive-communication-technologies?  Or do we simply escape or take breaks from time to time?  Going for a walk or having a dinner, camping, hiking or traveling once in a while without our devices?  What would it be like to lose them?  What would we know?  What kinds of knowing would we produce?  What sorts of makings?   What might be drawn or composed, felt or engaged, seen or heard if we were DISconnected to the hive of activity and input? How might we relate to those around us?  Where might we go?  Who might we be?

Well, that’s what I’m thinking about.  Pondering.  Wondering.  Queries of value and quality and meaning.  Stress-levels, anxiety, physical wear of being “on alert,” alarm, reactive, responsive to ubiquitous “Calls.”  Demands.  Invasions.

What if we saved intrusions for emergencies?  Took time to send only specific, relational-oriented, relevant and appropriate information to one another?  Thought critically?  Reflected?  Looked, touched, listened, and managed more wholistic presence with our immediate surrounds?

I don’t know.  I’m just wondering.

[The lucky piece for us at present is that, like pulling the phone line from the wall, our technologies are remarkably easy to dismantle and turn OFF, should we CHOOSE to]

Alias Harlequin – Identities

Picasso_Harlequin sketch

“To recognize yourself in… To multiply your likenesses”

-Edmond Jabes

And what do you suppose it is to be a “Nathan Wayne Filbert” human?  To be named?  Alias Harlequin?

What do you suppose it might be like to be “Ida Sophia Lind Filbert”?  “Jada Lynette Smith”?  “Oliver Myshkin”?

“Hallie Noel Linnebur”?

“Tristan Rene Wells Filbert”?  “Simon H. Lilly”?  “Aidan Stafford”?  “Herman Melville”?  “Paul Feyerabend”?  “Rachel S. Como”?  “Paul O’Callahan”?  “Meghan Miller”?  “Jim H. Charles?”  “Warren Charles Farha”?  “Amanda Marie Lind”?  “Fernando Pessoa”?

A cow.  A particular cow – an Hereford – on a particular plot of land in Mitchell County, Kansas?

“Plato”?  “Kathy Downes”?  “Ortho Stice”?  A Welsh Corgi “Tippy”?  “Napoleon Bonaparte”?  “Charles S. Peirce”?  The clerk at the grocery store?  “Christopher Fynsk”?  That Forest Ranger?  A pet hamster “Jacques”?  “Claudius”? 

WHY SHOULD ANY ONE HUMAN BE ANY MORE INTERESTING THAN ANOTHER?

WHY SHOULD ANY ONE ORGANISM BE ANY MORE INTERESTING THAN ANOTHER?

What means: “EFFECT”?

“William Shakespeare”?  “Avital Ronell”?  “God”?  “John Wayne Gacy”?  “Helena Bonham Carter”?  “Microsoft”?  A caterpillar (be specific)?  “Mahatma Ghandi”?  A sparrow?  Molecules composing particular dust?

WHAT IS?

how are we able to ask that question?

WHAT ARE WE?

how might we be “WHOs”?

Starting local:

What might it be like – as a “Nathan Wayne Filbert” (Nobody) – to BE a “Nathan Wayne Filbert” (A body)?

I’m not sure HOW to answer that.

“Perhaps writing means overcoming all resemblances within the very heart

of resemblance, being finally like yourself, like nothing.”

  • Edmond Jabes –

i.e. How that can be answered.

– WHO or WHAT answers – ?

WHAT MIGHT IT BE LIKE…TO BE?

(qualified to ANSWER)

can ANYthing “answer”?

does “answering” imply “language”?

WHAT IS AN ANSWER?

(in relation to – ?)

What is(?) Nathan Wayne Filbert, Alias Harlequin?

IS “Nathan Wayne Filbert”?

WHAT IS?

WHAT IS IS?

(how?)

WHAT IS A QUESTION? And WHY/HOW can a question be asked?

WHAT IS IT – are our – ideas?  – To “IMAGINE”?

what are ideas?

What might it be to “conceive”?

“to generate concepts” (D&G)

framings of our world-experience

[WHY?  HOW?

WHAT FOR?]

WHAT is a “person”?  HOW?  WHY?  WHO?

Always and ever – HOW & WHY can we / do we ASK?

WHO QUESTIONS?

(WHAT)?

(HOW)?

Something begins

                                          (in/with all this)

                                                                                          it would seem

(it seems)

it seems that something begins in/with questioning

Alias Harlequin, i.e.

– the one whom this effects, the one on whom this has effect, the one (same? No!) affected by him or her, by whom and it.  By this.  This.  That.  By Other, others, and therefore, Alias again, patchworked and quilted, becoming, undoing, altering.  Alias.

“Presumably most writers have many more ideas than they are able to act on”

– Ivan Vladislovic, The Loss Library

Alias Harlequin – identities – is as is affected, effects, effected with/by.

Alias, i.e. as effected by “Hallie Noel Linnebur”; as effected (generated?  Co-composed-with-) “Pauline Margaret Kresin Filbert”; the St Bernard “Zorro”; a specific train on a particular journey at a particular time; that mountain in that moment; Dec. 16, 1997 – a flu; and so on…

Alias – as situated in moments – e.g. “each one.”  Harlequin – the human surname quilted with environment (micro-to-macro) in concourse.  “Alias” as the “name in shreds” – the fragmentary and provisional, pragmatically specifiable address.

Ambiguous and fluid (like “river” itself – capable of designation but inconsistently contained) transient yet locatable, in form…perhaps.  Yet no.  “Alias” perhaps the medium (in-between) of morphing form and varying substance – what nothing also is (is not).

Name/term/signal/sign (“Alias”) as related to HNL, Dr. K, Dostoevsky, rustled grass, these sounds, this space-time and its company (surround) and then again, these again (but never “again”) – designating “NOWs”.  Perhaps.  It depends.

What or Who, How “Alias Harlequin” ALWAYS depends on a totality of other dependencies, as it were (or is?)  “As such.”

Alias Harlequin, representative?  Not that can of worms.  AND the “thing” itself? (network of momentary dependencies-in-relation)?

What might we call (it/him/etc.) then?  And what would “calling” be/do – how?

WHO questions?

This Alias Harlequin.

“I am already so much the inscription of a divergence…What I was, if that could be described, was a whirlwind of tensions…”

Helene Cixous

“A word is binding and at the same time breaks our bonds.
To which of them shall I, one day, owe my freedom?”

“To one only.  Your name in shreds.”

-Edmond Jabes, Book of Resemblances

 

Harlequin piecing it together

the_seated_harlequin_1923
The Seated Harlequin 1923 Painting by Pablo Picasso

The Harlequin can’t remember.  Harlequin patchworks a quilt.

  • RR 1 Box ?? Clearwater, Kansas
  • ???? Independence – Wichita, Kansas
  • Jerusalem, ISRAEL (dorms)
  • ??? Ash – Hays, Kansas
  • 2505 Cardinal Drive – Wichita, Kansas
  • Penndel (Langhorne?), Pennsylvania (apartment complex)
  • 5711(?) N. Athenian – Wichita, Kansas
  • Glen Elder, Kansas
  • Heidelberg, GDR
  • Somewhere near Orme & Edgemoor – Wichita, Kansas
  • Portland, Oregon
  • Sellwood, Oregon (duplex)
  • 11?? Willow Drive – Wichita, Kansas
  • 508 N. Belmont – Wichita, Kansas (son & daughter born)
  • ???? (house) – Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • ???? Cornell – Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • L—– Switzerland
  • Alt—- UK
  • 1151(?) Hermitage – Grand Rapids, Michigan (son born)
  • 350(?) S. Clifton – Wichita, Kansas (son born)
  • New Hope, Pennsylvania
  • 3028 E 2nd N – Wichita, Kansas

In no particular order.  Revisits.  Can’t remember much.  Side streets, neighborhoods – nothing is familiar.  More apt to recall where friends or lovers lived than “self.”  Makes a list:

-Baxtrom – Welch – Kremenak – Kruse – Evans – Lathrop – Keil – Allen – Erickson – Welch – Rose – Martha – Neel/Franklin – Krieger – Fall – Bond – Franz – Jones – Hartig – Russell – Griffin – O’Callahan – Farha – Goldbarth – Coleman – Harder – Reffner – calls them “foundational relations” – friends and lovers slewn together.

May as well include family – origins – surnames:

Alberts * Fishers * Kresins : Filberts * Foos’s * Deutsches

And those with whom he converged DNA: Wells / Grovers ^ Linds / Zogelmans

Or those with whom he co-habited: Lathrop – Beckman – Linnebur

Considers the places stitched in/with:

CO, CA, NY, MA, MS, VA, FL, KY (Berry), AR, OR, TN, NC, SC, AL, OK, TX, NM, UT, AZ, ID, NE, WY, MT, WA, DC, WV, ME, CT, NH, DE, PA, MI, IL, MN, NJ, NH (Hall), VT (Buechner), NV, MO, GA, KS : Switzerland, GDR, Hungary, Holland, Syria, Egypt, Italy, Mexico, UK, France, Canada, Czechoslovakia (no more), Austria, Lebanon

the co-created organisms: Tristan, Aidan, Ida, Oliver

and domesticated mammals: Cracker, Andromeda, Nicodemus, Gizmo, Zorro, Tippy, Freddy, Indigo, Scarlet, Max, Zazie – probably more…

self-selected (!?) identities:

Dostoevsky, Giacometti, Kafka, Lispector, Cixous, Blanchot, Nietzsche, Jabes, Beckett, Wm. James, CS Peirce, Lorca, Wittgenstein, Rilke, Pessoa, Schiele, DF Wallace, Kozelek, Musil, Fernandez…and those lying in wait: This Will Destroy You, Vila-Matas, Marcus…Harlequin has inscribed in his flesh.

Might be useful to make a story.

The way things are – with everything falling apart, coming undone, wearing down or out, dwindling in function – calls for such measures – i.e. fitted to new purposes, given new life, repurposed, renamed, remixed, restored.

Making lists against memory.  Visiting / revisit.  Trying.

It’s coming apart.

He’s worked long in this manner.

Something breaks or dies, goes defunct…fix it with change.

Washing machine, body parts, relationships, parents.  Tools or appliances, activities and paths… rather than forcing some obedience to its past or presence – alter the context (as large as it needs to be – micro to macro) round about it, until its usefulness is assuaged or established, regained or reconstructed.  Until it makes sense – AS-IS-NOW.

“Presently” includes all of above.  His body – losing ‘shape,’ gaining aches, kinks, and torsions; doorways and windows, paint and light fixtures; machines and vehicles grinding down – leaking, cracking, and broken; dwindling desires of his partner; increased independence and mystery of his offspring…nothing quite capable of ‘control.’  Employer threats of performance and reviews; family tensions of politicized faiths; stamina shot as both parent and friend; patient lover and male…

…all it requires a new mythology – some new scaffolding – structure and content and aim.

What story is.  What languaging is for.  Imagine – abstraction and dream.  What neuroses.  Subject and author and plot.  Continuous revision – the edit and pulp and rewind.  We cut and paste and press ‘new.’  File, document, folder, image: LIFE.

We rename.

There is story and language and code.  Writing and saying and message.  Harlequin’s not the first to say “I think by writing” and perhaps he will not be the last.  Some perspective invented, some objective fabrication, some construction of a feeling of reflection, recount.  Grappling after what is getting lost.  A dream that a ruling, an external, can be seen or encountered, manipulated and tested.  If an accounting exists, there is material (reality) AGENCY to work WITH, THROUGH and ON.

Harlequin forms words.

Yet there are none that he ‘makes’ – just borrows, revises.  Uses, shapes, and arranges.  Gives place.  Inscribes in some ancient tradition – it’s “writing” – using marking or code in conventions.  Absorbing idiosyncracies into generalities.  Depending on a community that shares such signs – can lend, agree, and interpret.  It’s fragile.  Insecure and uncertain.  There’s no meaning.  Like the earth – writing just IS.  To be taken and changed, charged and made and appropriated.  Dis-card-ed.

What was a ‘card’ but token carrying message or code?  In-formation – letters arranged.  Who knew – and why – and how?  Doesn’t matter.  Undone.  Broken and over and through.  Electronic currency now – if this you can even decipher (decode).

Letters, stories, and language.  Harlequin marks on a page – sets of signals.  The cells, the emotions, the organs – signals and signs.  Tired and old and afraid – always dying.  Since day one, always dying – fearfully.  How It Is.  He remembers and prays (in a way) – a communication with the dead – mediated – to the Beckett, the Kafka, the Dostoevsky.  David Foster Wallace, Hegel and Marx.  Maybe Nietzsche, Deleuze or Blanchot.  And the ladies: Lispector, Cixous and Dickinson.  Doesn’t matter.  For Harlequin, all a part of the same realization – it comes, it ages, it goes, and it’s gone.  Human living.  Human life.  Just what is: How It Is.

Labor, relation, and trial.  What is being?  Labor, relation, and trial.

He succumbs.  Is succumbing.  Is tearing apart.

A story makes of it what it will.

You can have your knowledge – facts or theories, experiences and concepts – but the stories reason and resemble them.  Lend them ambiguity and occasional senses.  Possibilities.

Perchance they go together like this.  Or like that.  Or another way.  Stories.  Sanity.  Something.

Something becoming – a linked set of symbols in an ecological order.  Stories try experience on for fittings.  Until it fits.  Until it tatters, or is otherwise overused or outgrown.

Becomings and undoings.  Compositions and deletes.  All the edits (on the fly).  Survival.

And bowls of cereal are not allowed.

Ida_Cereal
found sign created by daughter

 

The Living Dead: a Reflection

“Dad, are you living or dead..ing?” son asks at dinner (aged 9).

Characteristic pause…”Well, both,” I reply.

sad skeleton

How could it be otherwise?  I’ve stayed the course, exercised my body, prepared a meal, feeling fine, alone, aware…and comes the call:  “Living or dead..ing?”  Parental response – stop.  [Why is he asking?  What is he thinking?  How is he feeling?  Bodily signs?   Follow the language – “living or dead…dead..ing…dying.”  What is called for here?]  He thinks the living dead a lot,  so I respond directly:  “Well, both, and how could it be otherwise?  I couldn’t very well be dying if I wasn’t alive, no?  And the process of dying is constructed of living, yes?  So it’s all in one moment I s’pose.”

We move on.

But I don’t.  Not so much.  It’s a good question.

It reminds me why I’m a philosopher, a poet.  Why we tend toward the same, differently.  We watch for the shared, the communal in our experience, anywhere.  We work the same queries.  In a living ruled by science, by probabilities and hypothetical cause, by vague notions of what-might-happen-next given conditions and dynamically complex systems…philosophers, poets and artists tend to seek out what’s certain – what is nevertheless the case: we feel, we think, we live, we die, a world is there – the details change with the order of the day.  Or night.  The language or discipline.  The methods or culture, practice or beliefs.  Depending on the questions.  Who’s asking and how.

We happen – become – and unhappen.

Because my dad, almost 80, evinces this.  Because I’ll be half-90 in 48 hours.  What I asked for is called Cosmic Pessimism, which says something.  I happen…vary…and stop happening that way.  How that occurs, what and who and when and why change nearly as quickly as we do.  Should I say, what we think or believe occurs?  Rationalization of experience.

Reminds me of this, of the action of writing.

I still can’t do it “live.”  Can’t inscribe it as a “post” or a “tweet” or a “message.”  I’ve got to get some static.  IN-scribe is a physical act of scratching, digging, carving in clay.  ON-scribing is more what we do – laying down ink, pounding down letters, playing with light.  Writing with materials like paper and ink relatively makes something stay put for awhile.  So we can revise.  Perhaps that’s all Rilke meant – give yourself the opportunity to edit, erase, respond to your action before you present it.  Is revision revivification?  Stay something, pause.  Apply yourself to your living and choose an occurrence.  Does this wrinkle the union of living and dying?

At work I’m struggling with teaching the methods of multi-disciplinary research.  How to template a strategy of awareness to potentially everything?  We’re living and dying and attempting to know, understand, RATIONALIZE something about that.  Literally ANYthing applies, or may nourish, correct, influence or direct that essential inquiry (and DOES!).  How does one know where to look?  How does one know how to live it?  How does one know what one needs?  To synthesize rationalizations from multiple fields and methods and practices.  To compare all the answers or theories or thoughts?  To differentiate results and observations coming from various humans and schools and materials and tools and contexts and set-ups and the myriad messiness of living/dying organisms in relations beyond our control?

“You must revise your life” (Rainer Maria Rilke).

Revising your dying.  Is it possible to live moments in such a way that they outstrip the correlative dying?  To live more than die?  Once in awhile?  I think we have experiences, moments, in which we feel more alive than in others.  “Are you living or dead…ing” he asks.  Well, waking into a maze to traverse every day – cleaning and feeding and playing the roles (father, lover, employee, friend, son, writer, scholar, blogger, house-owner, house-keeper, cook, playmate, librarian, instructor, male, man, person, reader, and so on), shopping and feeding and listening and nourishing and working and running to tire – feels a bit more like “dead…ing.”  But there are moments!  Times.  “Events,” we call them (I guess).  Twistings and turnings and something like gathered occurrences, Being + Well-Being, Whitehead might say.  A more spectacular death I suppose.  Perhaps elevated experiences of living just heighten the jouissance of death?

I don’t know.

We happen – become/unbecome – and unhappen.

The marks left from that – our inscriptions, palimpsests and paths.  Veined.  Seared-in.  Scored.  In some cases, welded – some cases cancelled, erased, blotted out.  Living-dead…ing.  Vice versa?

To edit, revise, pause – is it possible?  What did he mean?  What might it mean?    Curving back doesn’t alter the time.  Going over is still going forth.  We wend and wind and whirl and reveal we are living and dying.

Rambling

Fits and Starts

How oddly and uniquely our dear bodies exhibit the effects of stress.  For some days now, exhausted and craving rest, I wake ever-so-early in a kind of sleepless sleepiness.  Wanting only to burrow in, immerse in comfort and calm, be tenderly near the one I love, instead I toss, turn, disturb and achieve none of my wishes.

Is this another emerging effect of aging?

My parents soon will celebrate 50 years of marriage – an example of what Andre Gorz describes: “If you join with someone for life in marriage, you share your lives together and you refrain from doing what might divide or damage your marriage.  Building your life together as a couple is your common project and you never finish reinforcing it, adapting it, reshaping it to fit changing situations.  We will be what we do together.” (Letter to D)  

mom and dad wedding

which means that I also approach 50.

So there’s also that – a kind of nostalgia, melancholy, joy, awareness…

I’m one to search and seek and inquire without end.

One to wonder and ponder and interrogate my experience with hopes of understanding it – but increasingly I find that apparently my being simply wants to be SO ALIVE.  Sometimes I feel that is what is happening with my waking body – that it doesn’t want to miss.  Anything.  The presence of my beloved next to me in sleep (Gorz describes what I am experiencing in that regard very well also: “how love is the mutual fascination of two individuals based precisely on what is least definable about them, least socialisable, most resistant to the roles and images of themselves that society imposes on them”), the particular quality and type of that morning time, house-sounds, obfuscated consciousness…I, one of those who have “just worn different identities on top of each other, though none of them were mine”…sometimes it feels…and that this particular kind of love slowly strips and erodes those away to the irreducible, undefinable reality of each ONE of us…

FITS & STARTS

I shoulda wrote a letter.  There are the griefs, the emotions mistrusted, the longings delta’d out, and a million wishes.  “The past is still the past : a bridge to nowhere.” And then there is SO MUCH NOW.  The children and their emerging, engrossing creating lives; my wonder/love – a thriving, amazing individual who loves me and has so much of her own; there are the animals, the leaves, the waters and the breezes.  The breaths, the touches, the thoughts.  The feel of it all.

The word/concept/term “Mashup.”

Perhaps that is what is going on in my sleepless sleepiness.  My habit of reading has always been to read 30 or more books from various fields, genres, authors, subjects, literatures in order that my mind would have to do it’s weird mysterious complexity/chaos/emergence/dynamic/creative adaptive process of making some new idiosyncratic sense of a kind of global dissonance – our inherent ability to be a Convergence Creator.  To not be caught obeying, devoting, under the sway of some authority or perception or ideology not a Mashup.  Perhaps the thickness of being alive to what is life, attempting to attend, note and notice, enthralls the entirety in a similar manner – experience is a Mashup – so many sources, so many responses, so many interactions, so many affects and effects, roles, obligations, identities, loves, fears, perceptions, interpretations…and perhaps I’m currently simply immersed in a particularly cogent nexus of complexity and chaos – the operation toward adaptive emergence and some temporary convergence being administered in clumsy and cluttery fits & starts…

Perhaps each now is realization & threshold.  And, as a friend recently pointed out…“hope is such a restless state”.

hope butterfly