Writing

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This is the path I take every day.  I get lost.  And name it “home.”

I am not a good father.

I am not a good son.

Nor…a good lover.

I do not know what it means to be a human.

I do not know if what I do is what is called ‘thinking.’

I assume (PRE-sume) I’m a-live.

This is what I do.  Again and again and again… (ad infinitum)…

I try, errr, perhaps… I am.

 

She said.

 

I was working.

 

Things happen.

 

Perhaps.

 

Every day.

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Meaning

…still seems

to occupy us

as an open question

 

who (yet) knows

what language means?

 

I love/d you.

What more is wanted

ever?

 

With all of its not

mattering, like changing

seasons, world

 

going on.  A hawk

(or owl) shrieks

‘beauty’

 

We ask again

at the canyon,

the peak, the abyss,

 

And I say simply

‘You are beautiful,

Thank you…

 

therefore I love you.’

 

Nothing meaning

but some report,

some expression –

 

Elementary assignment:

This is why I’m alive.

Possessives and plurals,

the mysteries remain.

http://www.schirn-peace.org/en/post/marcus-steinweg-notizen-zur-liebe/

Credo

I’m afraid to write.  It’s so dangerous.  Anyone who’s tried, knows.  The danger of stirring up hidden things – and the world is not on the surface, it’s hidden in its roots submerged in the depths of the sea.  In order to write I must place myself in the void.  In this void is where I exist intuitively.  But it’s a terribly dangerous void: it’s where I wring out blood.  I’m a writer who fears the snares of words: the words I say hide others – which?  maybe I’ll say them.  Writing is a stone cast down a deep well.

Do I write or not?…A light and gentle meditation on the nothing…

Does “writing” exist in and of itself?  No. It is merely the reflection of a thing that questions.  I work with the unexpected.  I write the way I do without knowing how and why – it’s the fate of my voice.  The timbre of my voice is me.  Writing is a query.  It’s this: ?

I write for nothing and for no one…I don’t make literature: I simply live in the passing of time.  The act of writing is the inevitable result of my being alive…

I feel as though I’m still not writing…My problem is the fear of going mad.  I have to control myself…And so I’ll leave a page blank or the rest of the book – I’ll come back when I can.

Clarice Lispector, Breath of Life 

Badlands #1

I didn’t come back.  Something stayed on in the far.  Apart from the wires and the noise, “connections” and net-works.  Somewhere away.  No mistaking it was I who drove home, unlocked doors, and arrived.  I who functioned and served as a placeholder.  Yet I’d stayed in the cold and remote, the far reaches.  Away.  I haven’t returned, though something sure did – no one noticed but me.

It’s alright, there is room.  Space to breathe and to think, space to listen.  Apace like beyond or forgotten, the lost, misremembered – like that I was left or retained.  On I wandered, as wondered; I pondered and roamed, but I did not come back, that I know, not this time – too much risk without safety to “be here.”  I don’t want to – not here – no where, no now, no sure thing – not “that.”  I’d like to be other, undone, in the wild, separate, immersed, and another.  Not me.  Not this.  Not here.  Not now.

So I stayed and I didn’t come back.  No one noticed.  Alone, I began to combine and consider.  Correspond and co-question the side of the world the world was on.  Difference side, or an other, not a me or an ours or an us.  Just a world.  I renamed there, all one, even while I returned and took care of.  I escaped.  Not me, only them, not I, just the others, who cares? – perhaps no one, not me and not them and not elsewise.  I am gone.  Gone unnoticed.  It’s okay, for who cares?  As long as I’m holding my place, and fulfilling – a father, a worker, a lover, a friend – no one cares if I never came back from the forest and sky or the wind and the cold.  The dark places.  No one knows, no one cares, nor do I, just I know, that is all, that I didn’t.  Return.  Rejoin or sync up.  No, not I.  I’ve stayed far even while it’s my body or figure that fills up the places and manners I was.  I am not.  And it’s fine, doesn’t matter, why would it?

I blink with the breeze o’er the road.  Lodged in swift crannies and caves, dropped in canyons, and spread through the clouds.  Now I’m rain, it’s okay, now it’s snow, no one knows, no one cares, reconsidered: as long as someone is caring for them (or apparent) no one cares where the person has gone – that including – the spaces the person has gone – no one knows neither cares, nowhere for nothing – simply not – sweetened absence – of care or concern – just a void, a caesura, an erasure, amiss, like palimpsest or scrimshaw or paste, and a cut.

I am cut.  Paste anything there.  They won’t notice, not them or there or any thing or one.  There’s no matter, no wave, energy or particle, there is nothing – that’s any and every for them – what they need, that is all, what they need.  What they want.  I’m not here, for

I didn’t come back, from the cold, the remote, and the silence, the spaces, the less.  It’s okay, no one noted, but me, for I functioned, appeared, held a place – however emptied – of me.  It’s okay.  I am cut.  Paste anything here.

I have not returned.  No one knows this (but you now, and I – keep a secret).  It’s an absence I will not reveal.

There is wind.

There is no one.

“It is hard to seize what is” -Laurie Sheck

On a Personal Note

Prologue:  I do not know what I am about to write.

saas-fee

Saas-Fee, Switzerland.

In less than one week I will be in Saas-Fee, Switzerland in the midst of a thousand novel things.  I am going as a participant in the European Graduate School’s PhD in Philosophy, Art & Critical Thought program, studying with 15 or so others, guided by Simon Critchley, Giorgio Agamben, Christopher Fynsk, Boris Groys, and Luc Tuymans, et. al.

For weeks now, any spare moment has loomed like this:

7.25.15

working my way through the bulk of Agamben’s corpus, Heidegger, Hegel, Kojeve, Derrida, Brecht, Benjamin, Nietzsche, Deleuze & Guattari, Spinoza, and columns of secondary literature.  I do not know what to expect.  I expect small seminars of conversation and dialogue, led by persons tattooed on my arms – persons I “assume”? “understand”? are paid to think – employment I would SO love to land – to experience & think, inquire & think, research & think, & report.  Perhaps?  So we’ll gather for 6 to 9 hours a day (or more) – discuss principal thoughts/texts/events of human thought-about human thought-about human being-experience…and…?

Walk in the mountains – Nietzsche claimed his thoughts would only be possible up here.  Sleep.  Read.  Think.  I really don’t know.

It’s been the first time in my life (I can remember) in which the hours of reading I’ve poured into this have actually eventuated in headaches.  Distinguishing terminologies and concepts.  Following trails of thought.  Engaging them.  Responding to them.  Add to the above William James, A.N. Whitehead, Eugene Gendlin, Mikhail Bakhtin, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Steven Shaviro, Brian Massumi, Gilbert Simondon – my own favorite philosophical corpus – to construct conversations, critiques, and alternate points of view through.  To think-through-with.  And still with thousands of pages to go.

EGS

Here the classrooms and buildings.  Mountains and trees.  Novel, novel, novel.  The minds I’ll encounter.  Novel.  From all over the world, perspectives, perceptions, reflections, opinions, resources, references, practices, habits…novel.

And mostly (always?) I still simply want to write.

As my mindbody gestates and swells with new jargon and lingo, concepts and theories, voices and styles, there are many moments of cluster, confusion, conjoining and merger.  Thoughts disarrayed.  Set loose from their sources and synapted to knots and knobs of my own kernels of thought & experience.  A pregnant field.  A chaos.  I will need to walk.  Need to sleep.  i lose my bearings.

Language.   Other moments it feels everyone is considering the same things in different voices.  The same ‘truths’ in variant language-games.  The same purposes.  Not always.  But those hunting and haunting human experience – with that strange zeal and compulsion, near-desperation of finding-something-out, making-sensequesting meaningful presence…from diverse times and cultures, languages and histories, feelings and vocabularies…

I sense similarities, ties.  Tangles and diversions.

“the chief error in philosophy is overstatement”

-Alfred North Whitehead-

WATCH YOUR LANGUAGE

is what I have written at the beginning of my notebook for the journey.  What are you talking about & how? written just underneath.  Wittgenstein.  Whitehead.  Bakhtin.  James.  What we experience together alters everything we bring.  When we dialogue occasions occur, events happen.  When we encounter and meet.  Interaction.  Action and process take place, differentiated, by Other.  

From another pile: Knausgaard, Mary Ruefle, William Bronk, Wallace Stevens.  Ivan Vladislavic, Ben Marcus, David Foster Wallace, Joshua Cohen.  In my readings – Valery, Rilke, Holderlin.  Blanchot, Kafka, Beckett.

Voices.  Styles.  Experiences.  Occasions.

Interpretations.  Experiences.  Thoughts.  Language.

EGS crest

What I expect is that “something is doing.”  Activity is going-on.  We/I will be being-with and being-in.  There will be convergence, dissonance, emergence and change.

It will be a variant “me” coming “home.”

http://panocam.skiline.cc/saas-fee/laengfluh

(live webcam of area)

To the mountains then.  To think.  To learn.  To live.  To be-with and be-in.

To become.

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

Losing

Ash grey little body only upright heart beating face to endlessness.  Old love new love as in the blessed days unhappiness will reign again.  Earth sand same grey as the air sky ruins body fine ash grey sand.  Light refuge sheer white blank planes all gone from mind.  Flatness endless little body only upright same grey all sides earth sky body ruins.  Face to white calm touch close eye calm long last all gone from mind.  One step more one alone all alone in the sand no hold he will make it.

– Samuel Beckett, Lessness

Distractedly riffling through old notebooks stacked, shelved and scattered about my working space, some dating to 1991. 

For most of my life I’ve desired to be a writer.

Nearly all of my life I’ve been writing.

Reading.  Writing.  Reading.  Writing.  Reading.  Writing.  Thinking.

Once out of the home, off on my own, out in the world,

the marginalia and doodles, notes in the headers and footers,

grew redundant with desire…

…desire for language to do some certain things,

…desire to be a certain sort of sayer, singer:

to write the ambiguities.

Repeatedly:  to be a writer of “the grey,” “the foggy,” the layered and the liminal.  Experience thickly translucent, ambivalent, inconclusive and unclear.  That light in which even our shadows go unseen.

Yet over time, enduring work, assembling children, compiling experience, occasioning love and its passing by,

encountering mortality in its consistent accumulation of extraction,

my writing desire grows more active,

toward the active,

and its happening,

writing verbally,

writing living:

to write losing.

Losing in its agility and operation, its perpetuity. 

Losing as it eventuates and proceeds, universally, in each instant.

TO WRITE LIVING : LOSING

to loose losing

…perhaps to lose it…

…face to endlessness…

will he make it?

To 2015, then

“Great changes in life are always a help…”

-Fyodor Dostoevsky-

A STEP AT A TIME

Now one eye daylight

and one not

there was a lifetime

before they flew

their true colors

but I must have known

the moment I was born

the pans of the balance

swinging along with me

always two poles

with the seasons rocking

between them

.

and the familiar the unexplored

the city the country

abroad almost at home

and home never quite there

just the way it was before

.

left foot right foot

on the same way

my own way

of finding and losing

and in my own time

coming to one

love one place

day and night

as they came to me

.

but the knowing and the rain

the dream and the morning

the wind the pain

the love the burning

.

it seems you must let them come

so you can let them go

you must let them go

so you let them come

– W. S. Merwin

Tyranny of Transition

Greetings all – I wanted to apologize for the sloppy frenzy of disregulated writings I’ve been releasing with little meditation or editing of late.  “In the midst of things…” somewhere near the crossover looping of composition, storage, digestion, excretion, and growing…I’ve found it somewhat difficult to know what it is I am doing aside from what must be done.

400px-Cycles_of_Life

Feeling change,

an entering of halves and fractions

tired and ecstatic

sad and delighted

moving on and along.

Having lost and lost and lost

while ever continuing to gain,

such simple equations

of little sense

yet filled with meaning

a meager promise

and maximal joy.

Invisible Man Chronicles, continued

These consist of my attempts to account (to myself mostly) for the past 6 months of my somewhat turbulent season…

Read part 1 HERE

Kansas Ruins

 

II.

 

“Dying seeds split towards open…”

 

            “I was about to ask you to speak to me stories of how we met,” she murmured as we waited for sleep, “I never tire of them, how they change as we go, all our perspectives…”

            And we begin.

            “How was it for you when I entered that kitchen?” I ask, for what occurred in me I am still – four months later – unable to give voice to, just as I was unable then.

            What I can say is that I entered anxious, uncertain, afraid and filled with grief – but knowing I must begin somewhere, try, introduce, extend myself, my life, beyond the coil I’d created of children, survival, and pain.

             An old yellow farmhouse replete with water pump, out-buildings, repurposed windmill-like sculptures, abandoned well, mannequin-legs lined windows, rust, piles of parts, cats and kittens, bunnies and snakes.  The home of two lively artists, the wife soon to be known to me as “her” best friend.  Corn and wheat fields with their fences and rows, tall prairie grasses, birds of prey, and heat and wind is what I stepped out of my car toward this April Kansas day.

            I carried a backpack of notebooks, pens and books, a small cooler with two wrapped bratwurst, a liter of vodka and TexSun grapefruit juice cans (my armory against strangers and surprises, perhaps against myself) toward the homestead’s screened-in porch.

            Opened the door to a greeting androgynous mannequin and a doorway to the kitchen.

             I turned the latch with an apologetic and nervous smile as if to express “None of you will know me and will probably wonder why I turned up here in your home.”  The lady of the house greeted me and quickly introduced me to a workspace full of smoking hams, tossing salads, and baking grains.  At the island stood…and here I blank out.

             My torso, from lowest throat through loin-bottom, floods with feeling, with absence, with amazement and hunger.  The first sheer drop of a roller coaster.  Catching air off the road.  Losing your hold on the side of a mountain.  What seemed so certain – a mountain of absence and grief, a path of sorrow, loss and regret, misplaced footing, and fright like a life-ending fall… or life-fulfilling…

             All I remember was a brain flushed with “who IS that creature?” – large glasses, Dukes of Hazard or Wild Western clothes – a button shirt tied just under the breasts, long and limby body, mass of hair the color of ripe dusty wheat – long like the Kansas horizon.  I nodded politely to each, walked through three rooms and out the front door into air.  I had lost all my breath for that journey.

             Confused and baffled by the overthrow of my reason and will to be a severe and grieving abandoned invisible man, I set off to examine the property, to photograph remnants, to see as far as I could see and let the wind blow this internal combustion away.

             Part of me knew I’d survived.  What undid me was turning out not to be mortal.  Perhaps I maintained the resilience and adaptation of a child with a little less flexibility and imagination, but the floods and droughts had not burned me fallow.  It frightened me.

             Eventually I conversed most of the evening away with “her” young, thoughtful boyfriend, engaged the generous and open artist-in-residence and made more plans to enjoy this group of hopeful, resourceful humans… while “she” moved about like the grass and the wind, the trees bending, swaying – each too large to comprehend, each farther than the eye knew how to see.

             One learns a landscape by living in and with it over time…

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