Cabin Reflections

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“Penelope remembers having read that of all the liquids and fluids produced by the human body – sweat, semen, vaginal fluid, saliva – tears are the only one without any trace of DNA… Impossible to identify someone from their tears, we’re all identical when we weep despite the many different reasons we have for weeping, something like that.  Unlike unhappiness, tears don’t set us apart, they make us the same.”

Rodrigo Fresan, “The Invented Part”

Last week I spent with my four offspring at a cabin on the Pikes Peak Massif in Colorado.  Mostly I register grief and loss in my experience of living… but interestingly enough, the first entry of my vacation journal begins with the simple sentence “I’m happy.”  Unqualified, that’s it – myself + my offspring + a rich world reeking of “no service” and untellable beauty… “I’m happy.”  Here are some notes I made throughout the week:

Simple things innerheard during cabin stay:

The stars: “We can’t tell the difference: between light or dark, death or what remains.”

The streams: “Where have we come from, where are we going? / Where we have come from, where we are going.”

Growing things (grass, moss, wildflowers, mushrooms, wild berries, etc…): “Not yet, not yet.  Who knows?”

The rocks, the boulders: “Once upon a time.  Now.”

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The mountain(s): “Maybe.  May Be.”

The cabin:  “Us.  Here.  We.  With.  Hold.”

Phrases of my children:

  • “It’s good to live this way once in awhile.”
  • “Why do we leave here, ever?  I never want to.  What is have to?”
  • “Dad, everything here is your ‘favorite‘.

And me:

  • “Nothing is like this.  Nothing… Belonging, I belong.  Time changes, it’s different here.  As if there isn’t.  THIS PLACE IS ‘BEAUTY’ TO ME.  THIS PLACE IS WORTH MY LIFE.”
  • on climbing: “I’m a dad: we ALL make it, or none of us really do.”
  • on love: “If I say ‘I love you’ – please don’t hear it as worship, as inordinate.  In love we see the ‘too much‘ of the other – that which is always beyond our own reach, the ‘too much’ in each of us we struggle with, and seem to be unable to assimilate or observe in mirrors of our own.  Perhaps this is one of the reasons the conundrum we call ‘love’ exists?

Addresses to my children and loved ones:

  • To T: “Always beware of logic – our fabricated things.  What we may wish toward but doesn’t make matter.”
  • To A: “Recall.  There are differences.  Beware.  There are openings for more life.”
  • To I: “You have it.  You carry your own water.  Your own dreams.  Your own beginnings.”
  • To O: “Heroes also may shrink you, diminish, contain.  You are deeply your own.”
  • To H: “Never mind.  I am not the one who can conquer it in you.  I believe someone will.”
  • To ?: “I love you.  Like literature: the possible of life.  Impossible.”

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Thank you mountains, rocks, growing things, streams….

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The Last Wolf: or, “I showed you the darkness in the beginning”

I remember that I am falling

That I am the reason

And that my words are the garment of what I shall never be

Like the tucked sleeve of a one-armed boy

– W.S. Merwin, “When You Go Away”

Time keeps accumulating on my inability to write, to find time to write, to process living with language.  Simply to keep this space alive, I am posting a journal-like entry so as not to give up.

Recent weeks have been dominated by readings of Doug Rice, Laurie Sheck, Jon Fosse, Georges Bataille, Larry Levis, Maurice Blanchot, Samuel Beckett, Franco Berardi, Robert Bringhurst, Jeremy Fernando, Elfriede Jelinek and others…

What a traversal, passage, the past couple of months have been…

…like following the draw of the moon through dire straits

in dark, tumultuous seas…

…a feeling that everything is at its limit (Bataille, l’extreme) – EXPERIENCE.

  • pressured work projects, needs, deadlines, demands
  • endless and constant family logistics, accidents, needs
  • relentless parenting, relating, service to others
  • throngs of people and groups
  • lack of friends, lovers, supportive presences
  • fear, health, danger, exhaustion
  • failure
  • loss of partner
  • inexistence of calm or solitude
  • imposed travels
  • absence of sleep and rest
  • indulgence in desire and harm
  • minimal process
  • poor eating or nourishment
  • tension, strain
  • depression
  • lack (wellness) & excess (pressure)

…a teetering balance…

Mind you, this is how it feels in me, not how it is.

I miss everything that is/was good

…fail better…

There is a certain uncertain sorrow to things

(presence of melancholia, moon-draw)

Georges Bataille’s certainties:

  • WE ARE NOT EVERYTHING
  • WE WILL DIE

THE UNKNOWN                   THE UNSOLVABLE                       THE POSSIBLE

darkness                                              levity

Lynda Barry & the “Underground Skateboard” – how we draw from others work what we need to survive

Lemony Snicket & the autographing instruction that I should “read something else”

FAMILY

immersion (doom, closure)                                 held in levity

conscious moderation

– 1st Tarot reading –

(processual journey mythical)

Jacob recommends Homer – The Odyssey

doubling                                letting go – holding together                    The Devil/The Chariot

dark surfaces / surfaces of darkness (The Fool)

The Moon (dark journey) crossed by the Queen of Swords (wounding love)

THE UNKNOWN                       THE UNSOLVABLE                       THE POSSIBLE 

-Summer

Temperance

The King of Wands – leaders, pole vaulters, utilizing tension toward propulsion

leap over?  through?  on?

The Fool

Pas sage – not wisdom                                                      FRAUGHT JOURNEY

– Odyssey –

BATAILLE: “nothing is final…”

– “what is not there, which, once it is seen, often in literature, tells us what is” (Fosse)

Inner Experience

“the suffering of the disintoxicated” (Bataille)

The Human:

  • challenging everything (of putting everything into question) – Bataille
  • always a breakdown of systems that will not be restored – Sheck

“Experience reveals nothing and cannot found belief nor set out from it” – Bataille

“The hand moves forward, the tragedy begins” – Bataille

“no one grieves with you for what you are unable to say”

“life itself…always swerves away from my mouth”

– Elfriede Jelinek –

“how I’m owned by that which will not answer” – Sheck

“What you are will be spelled by whatever

lies trapped in your hand” – Robert Bringhurst

– emptiness is also empty –

“what is the part of us… feels…unnamed…

…i must live at some distance from convinced” – Sheck

 

“When I say you to what isn’t there – I mean me” (Larry Levis)

“you won’t find me in me” (Jelinek)

Experience eludes understanding ( Bataille)

– nor can I compute the possible (Sheck)

This too

is just one

more opinion

to move through

(Bringhurst)

FIRST AND FOREMOST YOU WRITE (Fosse)

“From an abandoned myth

(I write to you)” (D. Rice)

wanting them to mean nothing –

– and suggest everything (L Levis)

 

INTENTION:

  • hold open the imagination of possibility
  • “do not go gentle into that good night”
  • Moderation.  Extreme limit.
  • Contra-digitalia.  First and foremost write.
  • Be-Read

 

 

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.”

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Already Alone – Norway, October, 2016

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Wittgenstein’s Cabin – Skjolden, Norway

ALREADY ALONE

Norway, October, 2016

 

Far from.

As near as I can be, as near as I can tell, I am far.

Far from.  And already alone.

So long I dreamt this cabin, this hovel, this cave.

Some safety, a distance – ‘solitary’ space.

*

Who ever would I be – were I alone?

What am I – alone?

Where is one – alone?

*

Silence quickly transforms into noise.  One’s ‘self.’

Alone.

These window cubes, cut from concrete.

These thick and stony walls.

Such noisy fire.

*

I am far.

Far from.

So very long – already alone.

And yet I’ve just arrived again.

*

It is cold.

Often, always, winter.

Sheer, spare, space.

Hardened, austere, edges, boundaries, shapes.

We are separated.  Blocked.  Reaching…

I am.  Here.  Alone.

Always.

Already.

Alone.

*

But not really quite.

Not really quite – all one.

Alone, never seems to actually equal – all-one.

Even though it’s used as stand-in.

Words.

*

I write.

Here in this far-removed, distance-sequestered solitude.

I AM.

Yet I only AM…

…in relation to.

I am not, not ever, NEVER ‘ALL-ONE,’ ‘AL-ONE,’

‘I’ am all-ways, al-ways, IN-RELATION-TO

in order…to BE…even ONE.  Even singular

demands plurality.

And so forth, and so on…

*

I…am UN-ABLE to ‘BE’ without an-Other, another,

TO-BE-IN-RELATION-TO –

a note, a chord, a color…

a line, a shape, a term…

some weather

*

‘Language’ as we’ve come to consider, think, imagine…it…

‘simplified’: NOT ONE BIT W/O THE OTHER.

*

NOT ONE BIT W/O THE OTHER

*

My youngest son (10 years old) has heard

a strange, elaborate, convoluted and contested myth/story/fiction/fantasy (hypothesis)

about the “Origin of the World”

involving particles, waves, heat, light, sub-sub-sub quantum symbols & movement –

all sorts of scientific (& notably human) inventions

from Professor(s) AZIFF…

“as if”

these might declare, or describe, inscribe or explain

SOMEthing, ANYthing

about…EXISTENCE…EXISTING… (EX-is-tence, EX-is-ting…’out of’)

*

I heard stories as well (as-if)

that A god (or many) breathed, touched, loved, crashed

SOMEthings, ANYthings into be-ing…

that there ‘likely’ (or MAY HAVE BEEN – according to human conjure)

a “Big Bang”

another Big Daddy of heat…of particles…of waves…of sub-stance…of light…

or MORE,

or LESS

*

Wavesparticlessomethinginmotionimplosionsexplosions WORDS

InthebeginningasfarasWE’reconcernedwastheWORDlogossymbolmarksign

SOMEthingOTHER-thanwhatIS-AZIFF-asifperhaps

[how might it be ANYthing other than ANYone’s guess, among us, pray tell?  WHO or WHAT might qualify – among US – as arbiters or judges, experts or prophets – and by what measures or standards (or WHOSE?) as each of us species-specifically WE?]

inotherWORDSinod,bow,listen…WHOtellsthestorythatMOSTaccordswithME?

andsoitgoes…WORDS

*

and it alters – it changes – the stories – generation to generation

depending on the rulers, the beliefs, the ‘logics,’ the ‘sciences,’ the ‘mathematics,’

the tools, the techniques…

and it alters…from season to season…

depending on the ‘outlook’ or ‘prognosis,’ ‘fellow-feeling’ or ‘concern,’ – survival needs

Some call Physics, others Philosophy, some Religion, others S.T.E.M. or art or politic or publicsocialpolicy…some Business (nearly all)…das capital

Each and every DIFFERENT time

a ‘this is how it is,’ a ‘this is what we know’

i.e., a ‘THIS WE BELIEVE.”

*

Our creedal species.

And I…

I say…

Some say…

“No Matter,”

“No Substance,”

“No Essence”

…”WHATEVER.”

*

Always a begin – always a play of language (nigh-universal) and power (universal).  PERHAPS –

And so it goes (or so ‘I’ imagine…or ‘so it seems’ to – ‘ME’) and so forth, and so on…

…the playing field remaining species-equal betwixt athlete and artist, philosopher, scientist, politician and doctor, worker and ruler and indigent intelligent…so far as ‘I’ can tell of it…

*

HERE NOW I.  NOWHERE ME.  Language – experience – meaning – species: HUMAN.

“All the Same?”

Equalists all, at fundament.

Inequalists all, at experience.

Thus: equations.actions.creations.obstructions.thoughts.languages.behaviors.codes.might.

“Might”…a PERHAPS…a possibility…a WE (species-specifically): DON’T KNOW.

*

It is thus I invent and inscribe.

Posit.

Create.

Detract.  Distract.  Distrust.  Conjure.  Conspire.

Attempt a BE-come…becoming…convergence.

Attempting to BE.

And another is able to write “Why the World does not Exist”

And another “Being and Time” and still more “Being and Nothingness” and still more

all kinds of SOMEthings and SOMEones and ANY’s…

with their WORDS.

and mine, and ours, and we

*

I write.

Far from.

As near as I can be, as near as I can tell, I am far.

Far from.  And already alone.

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Everything Trying

Peter-Trevelyan-10_incompleteness

Kurt Godel’s Incompleteness Theorems

Everything Trying: Practical Philosophy

I’ve been thinking a lot this weekend about a kind of “credo,” or some sort of explicatory description regarding foundational experiencing that informs my perspective on being / world / living.  I.e., what have I experienced in 45 years of surviving as a human organism – as a bookseller, musician, philosopher, father, academic librarian, various conventional-cultural-relationally-roled son / spouse / sibling / friend / coworker / writer; student of multiple disciplines – that comes so close to a similarity or repetition, a near-consistency, that it evinces as near as I can imagine to a belief or pattern, a compiling evidence or seeming-steadiness, structuring a framework for my perception and navigation of being a living thing.

As a bookseller, librarian, and philosopher (“professionally” for nearly two decades) – I find I operate with a kind of conviction (yet to be foiled) – that ANYthing ANYone can concoct or intuit as a query, theory, illusion or idea, dream / hope / fantasy or wondering, can be uncovered pre-existing SOMEwhere in the recorded history of homo sapiens.  I interpret this as indicating boundaries and borders of our specific kind of organism – albeit changing, adapting, extending and diminishing over and throughout time – limits or inherent finitude to our capacities, contextual whelmings, procedural experiencings of being human kind.

Conceptual development, creative expression, technological or theoretical “advance” or novel efforts or elucidations, all seem to come about as recombinations, complex reformulations, convergences or collaborative emergences and collusions of ever-present conundrums.  The sphere of human being bubbles at mysteries and limits, “realities” intrinsic to our kind of existing.  We seem to design and develop varieties of “tools” with which to supposedly plumb and plunder the ever-expanding cosmos of unknowing, but also seem to be simply drilling differing holes into an amorphous void – conjuring observations and explanations, combining fanciful analyses and results – constrained and directed by our “tools” of inquiry (whether conceptual hypotheses, technological apparatus, socio-political experiments, mythico-religious imaginings, practical experiences, and so on).

We are limited beings, with (to our aspect) unlimited potential.  Over millennia, this would not seem to be the ‘case” of the world.  We are limited at every angle and turn – another being alongside many other sorts of beings and organisms, each restrained by our compositions and abilities, our frailties and affordances.

(Apparently) potentially endlessly individuated differings and nuances of activity-in-the-world / also (apparently) insuperably restricted frontiers to our possible activities-with-the-world.  Like any other species (given our “ways-of-inquiry” or “points-of-view/sensing”) we arise or arrive via incredibly (and genuinely unknown) complex processes and will likely desist and depart via incredibly (and genuinely unknown) complex processes.

Given the limitations of our kind of being – with ALL things composing our surround and withins – it would appear:

  1. There is an inherent IRREDUCIBILITY to our existing and its conditions
  2. There is an apparent INEXHAUSTIBILITY to its potential recombinations, convergences, deformations and in-formations, and
  3. These things are essentially UNSAYABLE / INEFFABLE – non-computable, sayable, expressible, conceivable – to the kinds of being we happen to occur as.

Principles we only (it seems to me) slightly comprehend – incompleteness, complexity, irreducibility, relativity, and so forth – whatever these ideas’ standing might be in relation to anything we might posit as “reality” – (only ever from our miniscule, or relatively very limited sphere-of-experiencing) – combine to intimate that:

  1. We are “of the stuff” that any/every-thing else is, and therefore (in the conjectural “scheme-of-things”) are likely to appear and vanish in similar fashion…with any consistency / repetition (or “universal”) occurring as something we might term CHANGE, and…
  2. We are faced with options on a scale of AFFIRMATION / MEANING / SIGNIFICATION or PASSIVISM / NIHILISM / SURVIVALISM / ENDURANCE in regard to our occurrence and election/selection of guiding behaviors, traditions, emotions, sensations, intentions and interpretations of existing.

Innately, as it were, we elect/select these recursions and available gamut-of-human-existing ideas, processes, habits and practices (beliefs, behaviors, relations, stances) – all funded and founded on arbitrary groundings in individuated recombinations and experiencings suited to an effort at survival, that might be characterized (scalarly) on a wave-patterned range of “living” – each variable individuating occurrence (“self”) may characterize from “more-thriving” to “more-surviving” – or roughly resembling individuated differentiations of what we might interpret as experiencings of “pleasure” or “pain” and ever-changing self-selecting imaginings of ends or goals (telos).

For some of us, the very play and experimentation of extending and investigating limits and grounds, via the widest variety of human endeavor and activities we can surmise or imagine (currently) is a sort of curious “thriving” in itself.  I would call this something along the general web of “philosophizing” – but finds its application and practice in ANY human capability.  Whether adventurers, scientists, artists, inventors, warriors, parents, killers, children or politicians – ANY human might be experimenting and investigating, attempting to extend and elucidate (for their particularized occurring) their limits and grounds… what distinguishes what we might think of as philosophy or conceptual-knowledge involves a notable self-illusion-conviction of “reflection” or “recursive inquiry” (something variously nominated “awareness,” “thought,” “wisdom,” “faith,” or “fantasy”).

With the caveat (doubling as a confession of faith) – that the “whole ball of wax” as we are able to conjecture it – is ALWAYS BECOMING – with never a moment of stasis or rest.  There is never a moment to pin down or set grounds or fundamentals on – multi-relational interactive complexities never cease BECOMING other.  So even this “credo” is in flux…and will alter without notice.  Exactly as the living…

Compulsion, I suppose…

par example: https://creativisticphilosophy.wordpress.com/2016/04/24/formalizability-in-the-english-language/

Discursive Tangles

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Increasingly I find myself filled with the desire of simply saying what I think about.  To some generative effect.

“We live.  We die.  We wish the living mattered.”

But “that’s too simple,” you say.  “Everyone knows that.”

And you’re right, again, and it’s the best that I can do.

Not that I don’t do other things, in living.  I hold jobs and work for pay (at nearly ANYthing) to keep a home, feed and educate my children, and attempt to convince them to try to try.

And then there’s the dynamo of desire.  Urges and drives, lusts and obsessions simply to have someone who will allow me to be close to them – to touch them and smell, listen and taste, copulate and serve and talk back and forth.  I don’t expect them to love me.  I’ve long given up being wanted or desired.  Can’t imagine I’ve ever considered myself necessary to someone or something.  For connection – to world, to literature and art, to thoughts and conversations, to knowledge and nature.

“No matter,” He says, “Try again.  Fail again.  Fail better,” He says.

I cannot.  Oh I try.  I try.  I try again.  But never imagine proximity of others not involving pity, and my failure seem ever further from their marks.  Not better.  I’m 45 now!  Or 80!  No matter.

No matter, indeed.

No matter, at all.  Perhaps.  I know this, that, some other stuff.  No matter. So I crave and wish and hope.  Failing further, and worse, never better.

Long hours of days pleasing others (or trying).  No matter.  Family and employers, students and friends.  No matter.  Perhaps?

But to say something simply.  How that?  I feel caught in a tangle of discourses.  What language to say in?  What field?  How to be heard, perhaps evaluated, to “count” or to “matter.”  I read something years ago by Nathalie Sarraute comparing the dreams or demands of Dostoevsky and Kafka to be recognized…no, acknowledged  (“From Dostoevsky to Kafka” in The Age of Suspicion). To matter.  Appear.  Have a voice.

Said simply:

“We live.  We die.  We wish the living mattered.”

Selah.

Meaning-Making in Living Systems, or, 15,000 Things

subatomic

is a phrase and a theory I have queried, contemplated, spelunked and pursued for the past few decades of my “living.”  Since (apparently) before I can remember, I’ve been addicted to a kind of figuring-out – some offspring of “understanding,” any concept / idea / or belief-faith – that might elucidate to me my (experienced) compulsion to “meaning” or “significance” – to matter as matter-in-relation.

I’ve encountered many gurus (preachers, priests, philosophers, psychologists, scientists, mathematicians and artists, farmers and engineers, poets = “people”) along the way who have sent, directed, swerved, commanded, troubled, commended, interrogated, suggested and questioned this impulse of mine.  From sarcasm to scholarship I’ve been told I will not find that which I seek.  Or recommended resolutions that don’t withstand my particular scrutiny and skepticism.

It is sunny and light, Spring-y and gentle in Kansas today.  I took my lunch, after a walk, at a table among trees.  Birds were active, dogs ambling by, flowers in bloom, and a breeze.

For the most part I “eat” cause I’ve believed that otherwise I would fail (as a being) and die.  I like to enjoy food, but most often it’s presumed “preparation” falls to me, and therefore becomes a complication of time I would prefer not to.

So I sat and I drank (so much easier).  Water & coffee & other things to my pleasure.  And “pondered,” I guess – what I do, when (apparently) no one requires immediate need of me.

I was alone, in a way.

And thinking of “meaning-making,” and “knowledge,” “belief” and “desire” – human shit.  (It’s what I do – that compulsion).

*** As I was contesting people’s behaviors and language recently in my home, my unanticipated fortune of something like a life-partner offered the response “there are 15,000 things it could be.”  Which struck hold and has become something of a cliché in short order in our home.  Imponderables, indefinables, indescribabilities.  For any action any thing might perform – there are nigh infinite possible “reasons” (most likely irrational) – these courses are taken.  “Personal knowledge” is not something we have.  Systems do what they do – what is done is what’s done – and the likelihood of our assessments being correct is near null.*** [that’s all an aside]

I can be critical.

And quite gracious and kind.

“Depending.”

On what?

15,000 things.

I am rambling.  And have decided to do so.  Readers, you must know, I don’t write because I have something to say.  (15,000 things).  I have drives to express (inexplicably) – and most often what I write is precisely a declaration of what I don’t know.

“The more we know, the more exposed we are to our ignorance, and the more we know to ask”

– Marcelo Gleiser, The Island of Knowledge

Well that’s a positivist view.

When I write, I expose all my ignorance.  Compose hunches and urges, fascinations and fears.  Ache to pull my ineffables toward tongues.  Talking’s the same.  I don’t know what I’m saying – just hoping experience finds text.  Immaterial materializing.  We might get “something to work with.”  I don’t understand any of it.

Sitting then, in the sweet Kansas day, 20/30 years of my life gained a traction.  “Meaning-making,” to make meaning, was obscuring infinite unknowns.  Underlying such a contention – that meaning is made – swum its absence = there’s no meaning “there.”

“Person-hood” aptly decreed – “person” a “hood” that we wear.  “Person-ality” – some ability we possess to appear as in situations.  “Meaning” – a something we might craft to suit our unaccountable occurrences.  I don’t mean anything, significance is made.  If I’m lucky the people around me choose to do so with my existence.  Otherwise it’s matter of course.  We’re Matter…of course.  But who knows?  Also the problem of “knowledge” – the only “knowledge” we have is our own and some idiosyncratic communal bastardization of what our Species has MADE.

Not quite nihilism.  Just meaninglessness.

I like the idea of “meaning-making” – finding it in the relation of atoms, of stars, of humans and beasts.  Of dreams and delusions, of science.  I like “knowledge” – created cultural artifacts and residue, flotsam & jetsam, structures and practical theories.  AND it would seem it obscures what surrounds.  For every academic discipline that drills its way into a world we experience (as humans) and stacks up hypotheses and –pedias…there’s still the wide world there from every other perspective and experience – the ant, paramecium, subatomic particle, sky.  Your spouse or your child, parent or friend, or the foreign, the stranger, the Other, the “them.”

Myopia.  Perception.  The experience of meaning.  Attribution of significance.  What matters in matter to ME.  IF matter – for even matter’s a human contribution to what seems to be.

Perhaps it comes down to particularized –“hoods” and “-abilities” – “each one’s” momentary personhood and personality – whether experience is an occasion to “make meaning” or glide on in its unnecessary meaninglessness.  I don’t know.

What remains is my deranged and crazy compulsion – my “hood” I guess, and ability.

So many words come to mind.

Ouroboros, or Autophagia

Ouroboros

I often feel that I’m dying.  Killing myself with disease. Killing myself via the activities of my “mind.”  Killing myself with alcohol.  Killing myself by over-extension, -exertion, lack of self-regard.    Worry.  Anxiety.  Perfectionism.  Wishes.  Desires.  Dying from the absence of sex (and yet orgasm is also a breathless ‘little death’).  Dying from lack of joy.  Dying of disuse, depletion, or disregard.  Dying of my own engulfing life.

Which only emphasizes the insistent FACT.  One thing we know, perhaps the ONLY certainty we’ve understood in the thousands or millions or billions of years we’ve been species-al (spec-ial) and aware of such information…is that we are dying.  Constantly.  Continuously.  Unstoppably.  Irrefutably and inescapably.  Inevitably.

Whether we do it to ourselves – amplify or expedite its course – or are at the mercies and whims of some enormous cosmic complex entanglement; whether our cells turn against “us,” or we turn our “selves” against our cells; excruciating or peaceful, ecstatic or terrifying – WE DIE.  ARE DYING.  WILL DIE.

For some, this undeniable evidence and unstoppable knowledge instigates a kind of “dead-already” worldview or perspective…a nihilism for some.  A not-ness.  A foregoing of LIVING, a preemptive attack, or some strange passion of alignment with the TRUTH – some subversion of the FACT (at the same time true, and as certain) – that a DYING thing MUST be LIVING.

An “it doesn’t matter.”  Usually tacked on with an “ultimately.”  Meaninglessness.  Pointlessness.  Purposelessness.  Something some supposed “scientist” (devoted to “objective” observable “truths”) like a psychologist, biologist or physicist; doctor or therapist or mathematician – might call “depression,” “skepticism,” “cynicism,” – when in FACT it is adherence to one of the ONLY FACTs we’ve described or descried that has held TRUE while all of our tools, technologies, expansions of knowledges and theories, inventions, medicines and so on carry on their wars against it.  A veritable CERTAINTY (indeed, perhaps the only occurrence in which a human being accords with reality).

DYING.  From there – who knows?  “At one’s own hand/operations” or “at the mercy of” environments, situations, circumstances, world… who knows?  No one.  Uncertainty.  The process of being-alive to being-dead is fraught with everything else we are able to imagine.  And almost entirely UNCERTAIN.

It happens.  Living.  Then Dead.  Each one.  Every one.  “Me,” “You,” “I’s,” “They’s,” “We’s,” “Those” and “These.”  Whatever begins…ends (in some form).  Whatever emerges, converges and devolves.  Whatever occurs…deceases.  Ceases “to Be.”

And so what do we do…what do “I” do…with this LIVING?  In full awareness of the synonymity – LIVING/DYING – why is the awareness of dying and depletion of a potency that oft outstrips its necessary , indeed indubitable counterfactual?  LIVING.  LIVING.  LIVING…

Who now, what now, where and for why?

reading dead profile

Laramie & Alias Conjure in the Woods

wordless wednesday-woods-trees-long-winding-road-dirt-road

Laramie and Alias followed the tree-lined road into the woods ostensibly seeking a lost calf trapped at the stream.   Lost and trapped.  Deciduous acres.  They shuffled the gravel in silence, which evolved to branches and leaves – a crackle and whisper.

Considering age and death, feeling lost and trapped – Alias.  Laramie pursuing a calf, something young.

“Sorrow is sorrow,” Alias vocalized in his head or his chest, his throat or his gut – wherever we hear ourselves.  “Aging – decay.  Watching one’s world erode.  Losing and trapped in the stream.”

Luckily alive after all of these years, Laramie felt hale and sturdy.  And the bluejays, the owls, finches and starlings.  The titmice.

Alias thought he might keep living each day “if I could think of at least one reason, event, thought or experience that justified enduring that day.”

“That’s unfortunate,” Laramie contributed, aware of Alias’ delimiting logic, “for you’re the only sanctioned arbiter in that case – fixing yourself to a very strange loop indeed.”

The trail of the calf, sunken hoofprints.  Age faltering for beauty, youth, and strength.  “someone refers to this as ‘an attachment to loss itself – a condition otherwise known as melancholy,” Alias intoned.

“For fuck’s sake Alias – is this how it’s gonna be?  The ‘apophatic’ way?  Via negativa? Only what isn’t there, what ya haven’t got – jabs at the pure potential?”

Fox, weevil, deer, cow.  “You’re only 54,” L declares.  “In a culture worshipping youth and perpetual childhood – the nubile and ageless and free – augmented and cyborg,” Alias retorts.  “Not me.”

“I told ya I choose ‘OFF’” Laramie chokes.

“I demand or command or beg of it,” he continued…”OFF.”

***************************

Alias the Conjurer

I drill and devour.

A storm, a tornado.

Construction.

Destruction.

WHO cares?

Effort.

A human with language.

HUMAN                                               LANGUAGE

Writers and speakers and singers and parents.  Wise men and theorists, children and fools.

LANGUAGE

SYMBOLOGY

DEATH (finitude) & LANGUAGE (infinite abstraction)

Grandiose and meaningless at one go

(not to overreach nor undersell).

It might matter

It might not

BEING

(we don’t know)

A bone.  A tomahawk.

Human creativity as, is, a war against death.

Fizzles & sparks.

Last ditch.                                                                                                                                                   Activity.

                                Efforts.                                                                                                                 Attempts.

LOVE

HOPE

ridiculous realities

MAINSTAYS

MAIN STAY(S)

In the main…

to stay.

ON

ON

ON

ON

To persist

Insist

Continue

                (against death)

Against death

Against death

– to act, to do, to create –

TO CONJURE.

************************************

Laramie rides.  OFF.

Alias goes further, deeper, further…on…(in)…

INSISTS                            PERSISTS                              CONSISTS

I, as human, consist as what I persist in insisting on.

= a composite “I.”

 

Alias (inside) – a writing diary

This is long, and really, perhaps, does not belong here.  Reading through notebooks to find references to Alias and Laramie in order to continue the trail or trace of them… I happened upon a set of pages that seemed like something under or inside the emergence of Alias and thought it might be interesting to some.  Or, just something to not lose to memory, but archive in this auspicious and fragile space.

Czech-Marionettes-wooden-joker-czech-marionette-puppet-3.7ac6

Do I think this is my last probable chance (at 45)?

If so

              (it’s undecided, presently)

then this would = my final

composition

                          (undecided)

What would I tell you – you few that have made the time worth being?

T, A, I, O, S, K, H, J, perhaps J.  Arvo Part, certainly Blanchot, Pessoa, Bronk, Dostoevsky, Kafka, Jabes, Cixous, Rilke, William James, Schiele, maybe MK.  Assuredly TWDY, Bach…well, too many to mention.

            Whom else?  Whom else, really?  Dad?  Mom?

In any case – the children, H – H because truly the past two years demonstrated an adult, freely-selected relationship in a way surpassing but only referenced by S, V, PJ, perhaps, no, perhaps J – what H has explored with me re: the world and life really I’d only imagined before.

Therefore – indecision (as ever).

IF the “best” experiences rise up out from the worst (often), out of ‘end(s)’ – beginnings surprise, then how can I know (as I age) if a better-yet does not exist?

It becomes a decision of ‘enough’ or not.

A personal decision.

If I can only imagine repetition with variation, and I’m already tired and starting to ‘ail’ – then the logical decision is to stop.  To peace.  To quiet.

As re: T, A, I, O (my children) – in EVERY case what lies ahead is far beyond repetition with variation – much unknown, much novel, much uncharted territory to experience.

As regards H, and adult self-selected relations of emotion/passion/intimacy – probably (seems to me) little could surpass…only possibly in elements, but – enough?

That is the question – always

Keep living?

Stop?

If “stop,” no more.  Yes it will effect, hurt, harm, perhaps enable – the others (T, A, I, O, M, D, J, H, etc.) but I won’t be aware of that anymore.  It’s just DONE.  OVER.  SIMPLY.

If “keep going” – then demonstrating a care/concern/attention for the others’ lives – T, A, I, O, etc…) that THEIR lives are worth staying alive to see, and that – who knows?! – maybe my own life still offers more truly worth experiencing.

Perpetual conundrum, weighing lives – my own little one versus a host (however small) of others – it would seem theirs count for more than mine (alone).

Hard to say.

I guess we’ll all find out tomorrow what “I” decide.  Not ambitious to keep working just to feed and pay bills.  I have little confidence I’m capable of making something world-enhancing.  But as a parent, a friend, etc., it doesn’t feel fair to make the decision without considering their preferences as well.

I like to think I don’t like to be selfish.

I would live in the country.  Woods, preferably, mountains not too far away.  And rain, plenty and regular rain.

There would be hours in the day.  Hours for loving, hours for reading, for working, for learning, for play.  Enough hours.  Hours to think about the hours, the learning, the loving, the play, and hours to think the hours writing.

I’m aging.  Hair, beard, muscles, flesh all going long.  Mind.  Long(ing).  Time, not so.  Seems shortening, shortened, fore-shortened…by the hour.  I wish for hours.  For time.  For children, partner, places, books.  For human.

She would be there.  Close, somewhere, sometimes.  We would wander, would work, would learn, play.  Would be there, away.

The children would come.  Would visit, report, eat, learn, work, play.  Sometimes we would laugh.  Sometimes perhaps weep or cry.  Contact.

Wood would be sawed.  Water drawn.  Yes it hurts now – knees, shoulders, joints, bones.  Slowed.  Steady, almost.  Still dark but peppered, frosted with gray.  I’m aging.  Tired.  Memory almost all made up already.  Thought always seems new, possible.  Touch.  Strength.  Sound.

Hours.  Gone ever so soon.  Thought, then paper, then feeling begins (or the other ways around?), then gone.

The pen.  The paper.  Lust.  Flesh.  Language.  Learning.  Where is the time?  Too much required for each daily need.

A joker, a harlequin.  Another, another.  Another other in the midst of me.  Mottled mangle, Alias.  Running out of time.  Running down the times, the memory, the full flesh of desires, its theory and knowledge, its aspects and affects.  So very many aspects.  Hand gains speed, cursive loops thin to lines.  Skimped satisfaction.

I like it to take time – loving, learning, working, play.  But the hours grow thin.  Shortcuts, swerves, abbreviations, tastes.  Hints now.  Breezes.  Nostalgia.

Growing monument – what cannot be said – will not – the ineffable – unsayable.  Ungrasped.

How though, to here?  Piecemeal person.  Farm labor, religion, sport, education, family.  Plains, harvest, accidents.  Mountains, Mexico, Europe, lists.  Music, poetry, philosophy – earliest companions – a few pets, kaleidoscope of selves, the river, the sky.

Deaths.  But no death here (yet).  Just on, scrappy, incisive, insecure, haphazard.  Books.  Remiss without mention of books and relentless ache for books and ‘broads.’  Women and words, the headstone says.  Women, words, wisdom(?).  Nature.

To explore.  Internal, external, outward, inward bound.  Sciences and arts.  Creativity and logic.  Psychology, anthropology, complexity and chaos, nihilism.  Literature and lust.  Words and women.  Matter and mind.

I’d have quiet mostly.  No mouths to feed, no herds or pets or things to tend.  Nothing to care for.  Hours.  Hours to tend.  With mind intact, a library, papers and pens.  And lonely land, mostly cloudy, cool, drizzly, wet.  And legs to stand on, arms to haul.  Eyes to see, please keep these eyes a-seeing – yes they’ve heaps of assistance – but please not a final fail.  Not the inner darkness, nor colorless clouds.  Hearing first, before vision.  If the vision is gone – ?

Breath.  Biosemiosis.  The sign and signal of being – a body for meaning.  Complex.  Confused.  Barely contained.  Unspecified.  Though wobbling to, fro, sound, precept, percept, interpret, sense.  Hope.  Hope of vision, of sex, of knowledge, health – something, something – beyond, more, still…

Alias sighs.  Perhaps beautiful still, but soiled and tired.  Undone.  Who is this one?  Which one?  How.  Who this be?  Alias i. e. Harlequin.  Unnameable, the attempt to name, creating traces of not-these.

“man is but a patched fool”

-Shakespeare, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act IV, scene i