because I haven’t posted anything in quite awhile, and because I have been writing, but because nothing has seemed publicly interesting or worthy. And yet, some representative scrap-examples of the past couple months….
It happens to be quiet here, sunny and cool after a damp, cloudy day, nearing dusk, studying suicide(s) and languaging. Thinking of my children and loves, family, my own strange trajectory, feeling flabby and less than optimally healthy, but not quite hopeless or dead. The world has a certain, conspicuous fullness, after all.
We experience time without believing in it. And it’s complicated to know what we believe. I do not understand facts (so-called). Events. Places. Persons. Everything seems more motile than we think. And finite, and brief, ephemeral. Liquid, as it were.
I never encounter the same child, parent, lover, or friend. Not “my” yard, home, car, path. Even the rocks and books are changed, even the words and numbers. We are never still.
Given Two Hours: A Potential Entry
or, My failures are easy to find.
or, I was never good at math (that includes geometry).
Kafka said: “Life is merely terrible…one or two hours for writing is not enough… ten hours would be perfect, but since perfection cannot be achieved one must at least come as close to it as possible, and not give a thought to sparing oneself…”
So, 10 minutes then, maybe half an hour, before inevitable intrusions or interruption: children calling “Dad!,” “I love you!,” “I need…,” or the coffee or vodka run out, or bladder, or laundry needs switching or a stranger waves or a parent calls or…
Also the bills need paid.
And now I’m tired.
Given two hours, and only 32 books to read today, and a fresh, blank, lined notebook… perhaps I should write in pencil today – what did I have in me so burning to get at, out, smoldering and smoking in there as if about to blow… and a limited window… and an urge, a compulsion really [“what kid!?!…yeah, that’s fine, go ahead” What? the phone rang? Why say that to me? The oven ding’d? What!? So what!? What? Why?]…where was I?
Oh yes, Beckett: having nothing to write and desperately compelled to… in pencil? No, too easy, too impermanent, erasable – which is why I can’t use these electric jobbies tapping at vanishing light – if a keystroke makes it disappear why choose a key at all? No necessary difference, hardly any time or effort involved in devolution – what ‘correction’? What where to correct? Pen will serve fine, pen and paper, various inky colors, the muscles of my hand forcing lines into letters to words to phrases, perhaps meanings (from somewhere into otherwheres – ‘meanings’): the ache, the minutes, the struggle, the thoughts… writing. “Ten hours would be perfect…” given that “there is nothing to express, nothing with which to express, nothing from which to express, together with the obligation to express…”
Well maybe not so many nothings, there is language after all (the little I know, and that always changing, unsteady, ambiguously loaded with history, culture, and a billion other author-ities… and billions yet to come upon any reading or hearing)…so maybe so many nothings after all…certainly the “from which” and the “is.”
Nevertheless, given two hours… (“ten would be perfect…”) maybe something will come of all the nothing confused in the effort and exercise, the obligation and chaos and chance of tangling with language indelibly, in pen, on paper, of matter. Something to live with, on, against, work at, anyway.
The surprised way she says “I love you!” for instance. Variable emphases, nearly uptoned into question, almost astonishingly emitted, as if amazed at admitting some sound-noun, naming an unknown representation – what evokes or revokes as experienced. “Wah!? I love you?!” “Wha-?! I love you??” “Wait!? I love you?!” etc… varietous befuddlement presenting…nothing?! Who knows. But she says it, and with all the madness of disbelief and unbelieving wonder. For what is there to believe? Does anyone know?
Given two hours, perhaps will get somewhere. I learned about it from language, and anything I’ve heard about it has come round that way as well. Needless to say. Yet each occasion, each her or him and subsequent emittance or pronouncement, promise or claim of expression, is never the same, nor often even that similar… “love” seems to have no stable referent, and yet apparently it is rife in the world, like violence or lying, or hate.
I’m trying to ‘think about it”… with the assistance of shaping something of material trace and difficult erasure.
“I love you!?!”
Intuitively (or habitually?) I perceive and interpret her intoned curiosity as all about me – solipsistically (intuitively, perceptually, and learned) – her astonishment must be that (of all humans) she discovers herself obscurely (the nature of the ‘love’-beast) loving “ME” (i.e. ‘you’ in the phrase) – me, the hardly lovable mishmash mess with large laundry lists of problems and unlikelihoods, aged and unattractive, mired in single-parenting, alcohol, odd literary obsessions and wildly improbable dreams and plans, thoughts and tastes… her surprise must be ALL ABOUT ME – what a wonder that such as she should find herself mystery-feeling toward this one!
But I was flummoxed as well… often when I can’t help saying the phrase of cliche’d madness, I too feel startled by the sound and urge of it: “I love you!?!” And again I devour it all as having to do with ME. (I never question HER lovability – youthful, beautiful, intelligent, copiously interesting and talented, sexy, etc.) – it seems a wonder that “I” – in my accruing age, multiple divorces, quatro children, ailing vitality, addictions, moderate learning, boring introverted and nearly solitary routines – might still find myself convinced there was no other term for this cynically skeptical ominous and overwhelming desire, this severe joy and delightful anguish I was experiencing toward this quite obviously deserving human specimen. The alarm must be that “I” might be capable whatsoever of such an unlikely happening – wherewithal in my condition, situation, state-of-being (if such it could be called). In whatever case, EGO is a whale, our largest mammal by far, even when proclaiming its undoing, inadequacy, or failure.
But she says it again, and again, and yet again, and continually wonder-full-y. As do I find myself unable to cease exclaiming the phrase – at times in return or reply, and often uncalled-for, as if there where simply nothing else for it. “It” – that untangleable knot of what we (similarly indecipherable to “love”) entitle “experience.” And again. And again. As if repeating it coincides to making it ‘the case’ – some truth, a factual reality. And we are concomitantly evolving a stress on the syllables “love” and “you.” The phrase almost trinitarian or as necessarily pointed as ancient rules for a triangle. I.e. without which (any point): NOT. That started me thinking about the other nodes and angles beyond “I,” tectonically realizing how “I” was gobbling up both “love” and “you” as if they were all synonyms of a one-lined bar (“I”) rather than thoroughly separate shifters, depending on the context of saying.
Wait – could I really be a you and would love find its way to exist in both directions of the shape? Why hadn’t I cared more about equations and Euclid as a youth – those so-called “abstract truths” that worked anytime anywhere and perhaps for any entities or numerals – “universals” as it were – independent of fallacious and fallible worlds (‘realities’)? Perhaps I should be working on a PC – a light hand of erasure and displacement, easy correction, replaceability.
What if every I is also You, and You can be I sometimes and Love either way is what swervishly links and actively ties them into phrases, shapings, and being? What if “I” is not my only or even predominant name? What if I am equally you…or many times over a You – and only rarely and sparingly and minimally an “I”? And what if Love is what invents and brings either pronoun to the clearing – crafts them perceptible – sets either up and out as ex-isting? Ex-ist – to be ‘out of’ either ‘I’ or ‘You’ or both interchangeably in the contextual relation of the ‘world’? Egad! Suddenly, math. The n or x factors – the ‘unknown-anys’ – the placeholders/integers – at any time filling an equational place worked out toward some solutions or remainders or unsolvables? And where does infinity fit? Sets? Differentials and non-linears? I was never good at math… Were you? Was I/you? Who loves?
Is it then x + y = n? Where each is a variable struggling through maddening effort toward balance, equaling? I/you + You/I = love? Interchangeable probabilities if the integers work – remainders, powers, deficits, and all? I’ll never understand, am incapable of working it out, and doubt computable laws anyway… and yet… I sense that we are variables and that love makes some surprising solutions to complex problems, no matter how simply or radically signified or symbolized.
In any case “I”‘m a “shifter” just like “You” and “love” seems to be a contextual identifier, a strange conundrum of situation that (at least momentarily) selects values for each unknown of the equation. A clearing, a possibility, probability, hypothesis. The fields where beings may appear, are called forth, identified, or occasionally ‘fit.’ What solves for Be. Here. or Now. I/You + Love. You/I.
Given two hours, and pen, and paper, something might come to matter, to be, to strive for x or render a variable triangle.