Spring Forward – Saving Daylight


Taken with a feeling of grandeur: a premonitory greatness arising with convergence.  There are uncertainty principles and the bafflings of mathematics as one ranges across scales.  Relationships over time and fictional emissions, philosophies, transpositions of experience…and sometimes, somehow, they inextricably and irreducibly link up, reciprocally foster…and generate moments of novelty.  Perhaps this is indicated with the term emergence.  There is music, too, and emotion.

A sense of sense.  Of universal process in which one plays a micro-part, participation.  For the time – being and becoming seem joined.  There may be love, generation, sometimes even intuition of revelation.  Simply processes – ongoing self-organization – of “selves,” and smaller and larger collective, complex, and dynamic systems.

Something like “meaning,” I suggest.  Nobody gets what I mean.

Which represents entropy.  Things falling apart even as they arise, conjoin…together.

Things I do not mind.  Emergence / entropy … it’s all dynamic – which is what I’m thankful for in the now.  “Alive” perhaps we’d call it, un-“dead,” – a state I’m thrilled to avoid.


Of course there’s a “Her,” and a “Them,” or “they,” – my spouse/partner/girlfriend/significance-of-Other … and the offspring numbering 1-4 – the “matterings that matter” in me… my hand and body, pen and paper, & the complicated processes between that emit some strange result.

Physics tells me “strange attractors” (at that relational scale), I suppose it’s literature’s “muse,” romance’s “one,” the what-fors and what-nots equaling “It,” equaling “unknown,” equaling “that to which things tend.”  Optimization, in a sense (if only a fantastical one).

Depending on the color of the glasses.  What hole is peered through, by whom, from what angle.  Perspective.  Outlook.  Relation.  Some mean free path I’m on.  Perhaps now a ‘we.’

“I” feels uncomfortable, unnatural.  The idea there might be a group-of-me consoles.  If only one (other, more).  If only a “you — too?!”

i'm_nobody_who_are_you2– Emily Dickinson

something like that.

Dancing like cancer survivors…

At least grateful we’re experiencing

That’s a sort of Spring-Forward, is it not?




Thanks to all of you I have become aware of – for creating, expressing and sharing your thoughts, ideas and works – giving me the opportunity to engage.


And thanks to those of you who take the time and consideration to engage my thoughts, ideas and works – giving things a life beyond my small circumference.

SWARM: “Fly on… right through” … or, “Differentiation + Linkage = Integration”


To write beautiful.

I knew where I was, momentarily.

The paradox: making awareness an habit.

By definition a habit, meditative or otherwise, becomes somewhat “automatic” and therefore something other than “awareness” or novel or differentiated… and yet…

Taking in the good… being lived

“Implicitly, and more fundamentally, this practice means a relaxed opening into the love – in a very very broad sense – that is the actual nature of everything. Moment by moment, the world and the mind reliably carry you along. This isn’t airy-fairy, it’s real. Our physical selves are woven in the tapestry of materiality, whose particles and energies never fail. The supplies – the light and air, the furniture and flowers – that are present this instant are here, available, whatever the future may hold. So too is the caring and goodwill that others have for you, and the momentum of your own accomplishments, and the healthy workings of your body. Meanwhile, your mind goes on being, while dependably weaving this thought, this sound, this moment of consciousness.

It’s hard to sustain a felt knowing of this nature of everything. The brain evolved to keep our ancestors afraid to keep them alive. But if you look, and look again, you can see directly that right now, and in every now you’re alive, you’re cradled by the world and the mind like a child carried to bed by her mother. This cradling is a kind of love, and when you trust it enough to soften and fall back into it, there’s an untangling of the knots of fear and separation. Then comes both an undoing of the craving that drives suffering and harm, and a freeing and fueling love living through you and as you out into the world.

Imagine a single day in which you were often – not continuously, not perfectly – lived by love. When I try this myself, the events of the day don’t change much -but my experience of them, and their effects, improve dramatically. Consider this as a practice for a day, a week – or the year altogether.

More widely, imagine a world in which many people, enough people – known and unknown, the low and the mighty – were lived by love. As our world teeters on the edge of a sword – and could tip either into realistic prosperity, justice, and peace, or into growing resource wars, despotism, or fundamentalism – it seems to me that it’s not just possible for a critical mass of human hearts to be lived by love. It’s necessary.


The essence of this practice is a yielding into all that lives you. This is a paradigm shift from the typical top-down, subtly contracted, moving-out-from-a-unified-center-of-view-and-action way of operating . . . to a relaxed receptive abiding, feeling supported by the ocean of causes creating each momentary wave of awareness. Then on this basis, there is an encouraging of love in all its forms to flow through you. The suggestions that follow are different ways to do this, and you can also find your own.

Soften and open in the heart. Notice that you are alright right now: listen to your body telling your brain that you are basically OK. Feel the fullness that is already here, all the perceptions and thoughts and feelings pop-pop-popping in this moment of consciousness. Feel the buoying currents of nature and life, waves of gifts from over 3 billion years of evolution on our blue and green pebble. Look around and see objects, including your own hands and body, and consider the unfailing generosity of the material realm, blossoming for over 12 billion years from a seed of light.

Be aware of the warmth and good will from others toward you. Sense your connecting to others, how you are supported by a net of relationships. They don’t have to be perfect. Some people do care about you. You are almost certainly loved.

Feel carried by consciousness, the effortless knowing of perception and thought. When stress, worry, pressure, or pain appear in the mind, see that the fabric of this suffering – the underlying operating of the mind – is itself fine, is always already fine.

Again and again making this little but profound shift, this giving over to the carrying cradling of mind and matter, you can afford to let your own love flow freely. Bring this down to earth: if you lived from love in your first encounter with another person today, how would you be, what would you do, how would you speak? What would a week, a year, be like in which you lived by love? How about trying this? Who knows, if enough people share in this practice, the world could become a much better place.”

– Rick Hanson, Just One Thing-

swarm_188-189_low - Felzmann








Mayhem.  Chaos.  Disregulation.  Con-fusion.

Brokenness.  Openness.  Wounds.  Seeping.

Connecting.  Contaminating.  Communicating.  Constructing.


In other words:  fly on… ride through.   Take note, make it a habit to take note.  Attend, automatically attend.  Love, freely, openly, love.


There is so very much good happening.  Arriving, passing through, departing… HAPPENING.

Don’t forget.  Don’t ignore.

Beauty.  Hands.  Hair.  Voices.  Language.  Gestures.  Meanings.



Fly on.

Ride through.

Notice (differentiate, conceive, perceive, attend)

Link (conjoin, participate, connect, find similarity, solidarity)

Integrate (make meaning, story, intention, purpose, gratitude)

Novelty                                       Similacrum                                  Meaning

I have felt overwhelmed by meanings.  Flooded with good.  Surprised by kindness.  Taken off guard (guards unnecessary) by humans.  How much good there is — children discovering, struggling; coyotes chasing cars; peacocks squawking; handshakes and smiles; innovations and ideas; hopes and dreams; sounds and shapes; disappointments and losses; grief and gratitude; desire and refusal; romance and death…


a body materially exchanging, interacting, interoperating with all the materials that surround it

a consciousness, awareness alert to emotion, interpretation, possibilities and limitations

a being responsive to other being


Felzmann - Swarmin the midst of

and with


and because of








-all images – Lukas Felzmann, Swarm; music – Coldplay, Ghost Stories

Ramblings…10,000 Words

First of all, let me apologize for not being very consistent or active here the past week or two.  And then apologize for the following length (somehow I felt it was okay, given the silence caused by entanglements of necessity and sustenance)…

            If I were a mountain.  This was my first thought, while reflecting on you, me, our children, planets and plants, birth, death, brains and bodies and societies of persons, nations, sciences and myths, plus at least 10,000 other things.  The effort to consider everything – a total picture – my limited whole with as many details as possible.  As if meanings were stars and knowledge all the darkness around them.

Taking time.  If I conjure everything I know – time-saving habits and fixes, sundry scientific theories, the feel of my children’s hair, the path of a bee, each lip that’s found its way against mine, every person, voice, place I remember in part, pancake recipes, varieties of soil I’ve walked over, tasted, smelled, languages living and dead…don’t worry, I won’t list 10,000 things and their changing nuances…

What is common for me, when not immediately struggling to make ends meet up, are these attempts at collocating and corroborating my experiences and knowledge to date…and it inevitably leads to profound sensations of brevity and minisculity (?).

If what I have experienced, lived-through and wended into my body and brain represented stars (those sometimes recognizable flickering points of light)…

…all I have not heard of, thought, experienced, lived-through or felt

would be represented by the gargantuan dark – the endless, perhaps infinite, space.

            My 43 years.  Books I have read, courses taken, jobs held, skills learned, places inhabited and endured.  Women I’ve loved, children I’ve borne and partially raised, persons I’ve met, objects and activities engaged and observed, skies, senses, stuff.

Pretend you are space.

A space that is full, perhaps something akin to our idea of atom.  Imagine your space, of space, in space.  In other words – your little flexible dynamic space is both made of space, contained in space, occupying and participating in space and spaces and shares its participatory space(s) with 10,000…10,000,000,000,000…uncountable space-forms and forms of space…

I, atom.  Barely a point in space-time, hardly formally recognizable, and from what angle or distance?  Limited space-form through limited space-times.  A flexible, dynamic, ever-morphing relatively microscopic or enormous form-ish space-ish thingy.

An atom bounding, ricocheting, trembling and changing throughout a little universe…a variable assemblage of atom-like moments transforming in particular ways of a sort addicted to accounting for and measuring itself and its surroundings (a way of distinguishing presence in these manners of matters).

Forms and Objects 

            If I were a mountain (that is, in relation to “you”) I’d likely be quieter, perhaps slower, present and patient – you might reference or measure yourself by me (I was thinking).  I might want less.  Not have the same desires and activities formally compressed into 70-80 “years…”

And then if you were a sky full of stars or dawn, an enormous canvas of clouds and colors, ubiquitous…and there was that mountain…

So very small, so very brief:  Me.

            Couple all of that to the profound affects felt (in and on me) by other malleable collectives of atoms we refer to as “us” – plus mountains, valleys, rivers and seas, weather, events, animals, places and things: at our scale, and between ever-so-many scales, we have significant import and effect, albeit almost nothing at all viewed fractionally and/or noticeably at minimally larger scales (I suppose that could be argued…)

Anyway, we exist for ourselves primarily at our own shared scale, imagining (or inventing) other scales in order that we might examine ourselves, potentially compare or evaluate…us.

But if I were a mountain…how different would our relation be?  I imagine it this way:  You in your human scale, and me as mountain.  In rain, ages, erosion and accretion, growing trees and dropping boulders…and you, briefly, tramping across me, perhaps admiring or photographing me, resting on me, using me as a direction or a landmark – always there, there, there.  Other things, people, events, experiences of your immediate scale rise and fall, come and go, attach and detach, begin and end, flux and alter…

            You as sky to me, and I – mountain.

            This thinking – that it might help me somehow to imagine life at other scales… Perhaps this is why…







…what might we mean at another scale?  between scales?  Not simply as we are to ourselves, as we experience or live-through our brief experiences as space-forms in space-times, but from alternate frames and scalar perspectives?

Imagine…from the view of our constituent elements and systems…over large ranges of processes (“history,” “time”) or briefer ones (Mayfly, ant, daisy)…from tectonic or astronomical lenses…where we can’t even register as an entity, object or form…and by the time whatever activity we mustered – energy or noise we emitted in our being reached a distant planet or star we’d have been gone for thousands and thousands of our decades?!

As if, even at our scale, we are molecules shaking in a beaker.  Vibrating, jostling one another, coming together, splitting apart, sometimes bonding, sometimes break – but most often simply bouncing to and fro.  Jiggling.  Adapting and adjusting.

Mountain.  Sky.  Metaphors of import.

10,000 words on 10,000,000,000,000…things (or just the one)

“Ain’t it like most people?  I’m no different.

We love to talk on things we don’t know about.”

-Avett Brothers-


And then there’s this…This will destroy you

Memory + expected future = obscure present, distorted present, non?-present?

And then there’s this…

Should you be able to manage it…

11 minutes of solitude, today…

if you have nice noise-reducing headphones – even better!

if you can find a spot by the sea, by a slow-moving river,

some room in the home unlikely to be entered

a porch, in view of trees,

door shut, lying on bed…

car seat back parked remotely, inviolately…


you might be able to be immersed

for 11 minutes


with this

and allow

and for no reason pause before the 8.44 mark.


What = Now


“to change patterns…expose the wounds…”

– Charlie Kaufman – 

1.  Truth is…truth was…truth is… 

And this was the daily game of Reality-Telling…two truths with at least one lie.  A morning-midday-evening list-assembling of continuous is-was-ises.  Spilled coffee, set aright, sopped with towel.  Triples.  Thing – thing – relation.  So many relations revising so many “things.”  Complicating, co-creating, is-was-is.

“Change is never lossless,” it was written.  Once comforted by the is of experience – that no matter the grief or anguish, no matter the disaster or rift, the poverty or destruction – experience kept accruing.  “Experience is additive even in reduction.”  Even deletion adds to experience.  Isn’t it nice to know that regardless of what or who or how – for every living thing – at least something accumulates?  Grows richer, more varied, expands?

But how calculate that every addition is reductive?  That the raw fact of everything adding up = losing?  At least this is one way of working the figures.  An instant added is an instant taken away.  “The Lord giveth…”

The very momentariness, unquantifiability of what happens seems to attest to this.  Two precisely equal processes, or hands.  The one inviting and offering, delivering; the other letting-go, sweeping aside, and waving goodbye.  Moment in, moment past.  Experience added, one less experience to have.

Life as a riverbank – new deposits and constant erosion.

            The truth is: experience

            The truth was: experience brought exactly what it took away

            The truth is: experience

(therefore): NOW =

            And thus it is known that living is equal to dying and “He who would save his life will lose it” is just a simple fact.  Dying is equal to living.  It all happens in the same instant.  One step further = one step nearer to something else.

Sometimes people smile when they’re together.  Sometimes they don’t.  And sometimes other things happen.

On Change, Perception and the Idea of Maturity

John Armstrong’s The Conditions of Love is obviously far from through with me, and I with it.  My encounter with this writing has challenged me in so many ways.  Principally, I think, in querying my bases of knowledge in neuroscience, literature, philosophy, psychology and art – and struggling what is known (or supposed, or observed) in these disciplines toward our lived experience of love, of loss, of change, of survival.  Our brains, our stories, our bodies are all so very highly attuned to patterns in our world, perception, experience…how does that work itself out in our lives of loving and losing, changing and adapting?  What is difficult, what is beautiful in such behavior and practice?  What do domain-specific, developed human disciplines offer us in our mind/body organismic goings-on?

Maturity - John Armstrong

Enormous changes…you could say…REQUIRE all sorts of perspectival changes.

If only, simply, to adapt to the new WORLDS initiated by the universe-altering adjustments that major life changes (positive, negative, or, usually, BOTH) introduce:  couplings and separations / relocations / employment, vocation, education / grief, loss, birth, reduction, addition / success and failure and so on…

Our experiential/perceptual “worlds” have been aptly described and ascribed as Umwelten (see also – Paul Bains, Primacy of Semiosis).  In drastically simplified form: the concept that we are (each sort of organism) evolved in such a way as to perceive and engage with that in our environments that pertains to our survival and flourishing, our continuance of existence.  Those elements or that structuring and interacting with what we select out of our replete environments and surroundings – including ourselves – constitutes our Umwelt – our little “life-world” – species-specific bubble of “reality” (what is real to us, for us).

The sorts of change(s) that provoke potential for maturity tend (I think) to be changes that evince larger (or larger-scaled) patterns of experience and events (although all the minute alterations ever occurring – to the attentive and aware – also constitute mature adaptations for the human – the meditator recognizes the flux in each moment and works to adapt to this flux with openness and acceptance) – in other words, such things as by their very occurrence create/disrupt/introduce significant and substantial structural alterations – profoundly unavoidable – changes to the content AND context of the individual organisms perceptual/experiential SURROUND.

Changes (like those listed above) that, if NOT adapted or adjusted to, evidence a socially recognizable UNreality – a person clearly maladapted to the realities of their situations.  An example would be CHANGE or DIE; ADAPT or FAIL in some socially undeniable sense.

ADAPTING – in a “to-obvious-Umwelt-alteration-sense” is what I comprehend as an instance of maturity (a la Armstrong).

The loss of a child or spouse or health or limb.  New employment, habitat, geography.  Freshly developed abilities, knowledge, or lost capacities or income.  New love, memory, trauma – and so on – all represent an altered human Umwelt – adaptation to the ever-changing “reality” would be an instance of maturity – while maladaptation/denial/resistance would be a kind of instantiation of insanity – dis- or mis-alignment/-integration/-accordance to the altered Umwelt/environment/world-circumstance/perceivable “reality.”

Maturity then is our relatively accurate adjustment and adaptation to – our expectations and perceptions – to the “realities” of our ALWAYS-changing life-world.

I think Armstrong is right that we have a love/hate relationship to maturity.  It is something I (we?) HATE and HOPE for – the changes in our personal and public worlds so mostly beyond our control – air quality, abandonment, accident, reward, attention, ignor-ance, and so on.  As he puts it: “maturity is not the idea but the actual reduction of expectation.  That is why we fear as well as desire maturity.”  I question whether the adaptation is always “reductive” – in some cases, where we tend to be ruled by “patterns” (our past, our available information, our individual perceptions, our nature/culture development, etc.) maturity would constitute expanding, extending and opening our perceptions to the wider, complex and dynamic possibilities of an ever-changing life-world (I think).

For myself:  I HATE it (the death and loss implied in honest, authentic reductive maturity – mapping my individuality to my actual surroundings and situations) – I often resent and resist the ongoing change – erosion and eruptions – of the world I’m embedded in.  AND I WELCOME it – the reality-check of it, the alteration, breath, fresh potentials of “new worlding” that constant change instigates and offers.

As if our “realities” were 1000 plateaus – layered, indistinct, overlapping, vague and enmeshed.  As if “reality” were only (for me) what is perceivable (to me) and a dramatically altered Umwelt STRIKES into me whole new wild conceptions of what the world might be.  Reduction / Expansion.  Every change offers this.  The death (amputation, loss, etc.) and birth (regeneration, appendices, new growth).  Every vacancy corresponds with potential and unknown occupancy and vice-versa…

Or so I’m thinking…at this moment in this circumstance…

“Questioning places us in relation with what evades every question and exceeds all power of questioning…it seems that we question more than we are able to question”

-Maurice Blanchot-

…and so it goes…

Over the Atlantic

I apologize in advance and beggar your patience regarding the length of the following post.  It is not often that I have over 10 hours straight of anonymity and limited distractions to read, study and write.  I spent yesterday and last night flying from Wichita to London for a week-long course examining over 10 specialty libraries there.  For the course I must keep a diary online, and while not about “library business” per se, this is about the journey…

de botton - heathrow

Over the Atlantic

I have no idea what time it is.  I have been airborne for perhaps four hours, having left Houston around 7:35 PM after an hour of mechanical fix-its, preceded by departure from Wichita at 3:36 PM earlier this same afternoon.  We seem to be flying fast enough that my electronics are scrambled and I haven’t worn a wristwatch since high school.  I’ve been lucky enough to have booked onto an half-full flight, allowing me the pleasure and benefit of a two-seated section all to myself.  Almost a work-cubby – two tray tables stacked with books and an empty seat for sundry supplies.

At all times I pursue readings that might deepen and expand both my abstract and subjective life – I’m certain that could be stated better – perhaps that challenge and enhance my lived experience.  Most honestly: that cause me to think, help me make sense, prompt change and give me pleasure.  Writings that move me, would be another way of saying it.  In the cabin I have arranged Focusing by Eugene Gendlin, Elegy Owed by Bob Hicok, Impenetrable Screen of Purest Sky and Wonderful Investigations by Dan Beachy-Quick, Light Everywhere – Cees Nooteboom, Buddha’s Brain and Just One Thing by Rick Hanson, Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace, A Thousand Plateaus by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, and Art as Therapy with  A Week at the Airport by Alain de Botton.  Which could be explained in so many ways.

Traveling internationally, one is limited for selection – in fact it’s by far the most difficult portion of packing – which books will I need – not knowing how the movement and context will affect me?  So I choose:

  • fresh books by authors that have earned my confidence (my top choice for this trip was Leaving the Sea by Ben Marcus –  missed in the mail by a day);
  • books that I know meet my needs on departure (many my third or fourth reading); and
  • books I long to swim in but rarely have time with the insistent daily needs and benefits of home. 

Whenever I’m struggling with depression, I reach for Wallace and books of wisdom – on staying present, taking steps, coping skills, the breath and body.  Reality therapy, as it were.  Poetry helps as well, with its attention to detail and sensual triggers.  Books that remind me that I’m alive, regardless of  felt experiences or circumstance.

I will finish A Week at the Airport on this flight, I’m almost there – or maybe I won’t, saving the “Arrivals” chapter for that moment in my journey.  It is the account of de Botton’s stint as writer-in-residence at London’s Heathrow Airport (my immediate destination), and in his inimitable and typical fashion – exposing those human universals embedded in the familiar, or overlooked, or hardly spoken.  What he asks from other writers, he provides (and I quote): “I was looking for the sort of books in which a genial voice expresses emotions that the reader has long felt but never before really understood; those that convey the secret, everyday things that society at large prefers to leave unsaid; those that make one feel somehow less alone and strange.”  Maybe that is my true criteria – “those that make one feel somehow less alone and strange” – for the books I end up digesting do just that.

Here are some of the portions I have highlighted:


  • “Entry into the vast space of the departures hall heralded the opportunity, characteristic in the transport nodes of the modern world, to observe people with discretion, to forget oneself in a sea of otherness and to let the imagination loose on the limitless supply of fragmentary stories provided by the eye and ear…to sense viscerally, rather than just grasp intellectually, the vastness and diversity of humanity”
  • on the parting of lovers: “We might have been ready to offer sympathy, but in actuality there were stronger reasons to want to congratulate her for having such a powerful motive to feel sad.  We should have envied her for having located someone without whom she so firmly felt she could not survive, beyond the gate let alone in a bare student bedroom in a suburb of Rio.  If she had been able to view her situation from a sufficient distance, she might have been able to recognize this as one of the high points in her life.”  – (I know this feeling and need this distance)
  • on taking ourselves with us:  “There is a painful contrast between the enormous objective projects that we set in train, at incalculable financial and environmental cost – the construction of terminals, of runways and of wide-bodied aircraft – and the subjective psychological knots that undermine their use.  How quickly all the advantages of technological civilization are wiped out by a domestic squabble.  At the beginning of human history, as we struggled to light fires and to chisel fallen trees into rudimentary canoes, who could have predicted that long after we had managed to send men to the moon and aeroplanes to Australasia, we would still have such trouble knowing how to tolerate ourselves, forgive our loved ones, and apologize for our tantrums?”
  • on unfamiliar workspaces:  “Objectively good places to work rarely end up being so; in their faultlessness, quiet and well-equipped studies have a habit of rendering the fear of failure overwhelming.  Original thoughts are like shy animals.  We sometimes have to look the other way – towards a busy street or terminal – before they run out of their burrows.” 


  • “Despite the many achievements of aeronautical engineers over the last few decades, the period before boarding an aircraft is still statistically more likely to be the prelude to a catastrophe than a quiet day in front of the television at home.  It therefore tends to raise questions about how we might best spend the last moments before our disintegration, in what frame of mind we might wish to fall back down to earth…”
  • Or, as a “Terminal Priest” expressed to him: “The thought of death should usher us towards whatever happens to matter most to us; it should lend us the courage to pursue the way of life we value in our hearts.” 

need I go on?

Yet on I fly…listening to and “Gustavo” from the new Sun Kil Moon album Benji on repeat; performing breathing exercises while silently repeating blessings on those I love to the quivering thrum of this airborne albatross; catching glimpses of “Before Midnight” on face-sized screens where perhaps mirrors should be; and reading and reading and reading and trying to conceive…

stories imagined and rejected

in which the yachtsman drowns

in a remembered winter

and exists as a poem,


but the last thought is of

her, the woman who disappeared,

who everything was about, the yachtsman, the bay,

the poet.  The air it all breathed

is the loftiest fabrication, a life

possible now it’s no longer


-from Cees Nooteboom’s poem penobscot

and worrying about “how modest and static a thing a book would always be next to the chaotic, living entity that was a terminal,” our relationships, our lives.

14 February 2014