Hold Lightly, Leave Be

 

Hold lightly, it said,

there are so many voices,

movements.

Hold lightly,

lest you repeat,

she said.

[the surfaces, and distance, beneaths]

I listened:

breezes, waves;

windiness and water;

the moon riding along,

each night so differently

the same.

 

Without repetition,

she said,

my hands open,

palms and whatever fingerprintings,

the bruising, barely,

again and again,

so differently.

 

How tides change,

or seasons:

things we’ve come to think of –

each you, each I,

each every –

quivering along

like leaves

 

through the years.

In other words:

over and over

without repeat

again, anew –

how ‘new’ requires reference

of similarity.

 

So love

hold lightly,

she said,

it says,

as wheat falls into ground

and suns set down, again,

as moons rise – (which, neither) – and

never the same.

 

Both-and

either-or

neither-nor

and so on

without repeat

within the like,

the long, the loving.

 

You come again.

I try to grip lightly –

the future never knows –

I’d like to leave it,

to gather you,

to hold…

you.  You.  You.

 

(Again, differently).

“Hold lightly”, you (she) says,

“lest you repeat

and grow tired…”

My palms are open                                                                             (to touch, to pass by)

I am trying to read,

to listen.

 

To leave be.

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This. Interesting. Day.

Interesting:  it will come, whispering in your imagination that the English interest comes from the Latin inter esse, literally “in-between-being.” – Gunnar Olsson, Abysmal

“something must have changed” – Samuel Beckett, Malone Dies

I guess I just decided to let something else happen…

I suppose I decided

insofar as we do

to let something else

become…

“This is what I’ve decided.  I see no other solution.  It is the best I can do…

…that little space of time, filled with drama, between the message received and the piteous response…

 …Of  myself I could never tell, any more than live or tell of others…”

Samuel Beckett, Malone Dies

distrusting human plans

Alias Harlequin – Identities

Picasso_Harlequin sketch

“To recognize yourself in… To multiply your likenesses”

-Edmond Jabes

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

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

“Hallie Noel Linnebur”?

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

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

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

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

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

What means: “EFFECT”?

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

WHAT IS?

how are we able to ask that question?

WHAT ARE WE?

how might we be “WHOs”?

Starting local:

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

I’m not sure HOW to answer that.

“Perhaps writing means overcoming all resemblances within the very heart

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

  • Edmond Jabes –

i.e. How that can be answered.

– WHO or WHAT answers – ?

WHAT MIGHT IT BE LIKE…TO BE?

(qualified to ANSWER)

can ANYthing “answer”?

does “answering” imply “language”?

WHAT IS AN ANSWER?

(in relation to – ?)

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

IS “Nathan Wayne Filbert”?

WHAT IS?

WHAT IS IS?

(how?)

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

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

what are ideas?

What might it be to “conceive”?

“to generate concepts” (D&G)

framings of our world-experience

[WHY?  HOW?

WHAT FOR?]

WHAT is a “person”?  HOW?  WHY?  WHO?

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

WHO QUESTIONS?

(WHAT)?

(HOW)?

Something begins

                                          (in/with all this)

                                                                                          it would seem

(it seems)

it seems that something begins in/with questioning

Alias Harlequin, i.e.

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

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

– Ivan Vladislovic, The Loss Library

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WHO questions?

This Alias Harlequin.

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

Helene Cixous

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

“To one only.  Your name in shreds.”

-Edmond Jabes, Book of Resemblances

 

Vignettes of the Hermit

Vignettes

 

He changed his clothes, wearing a color he usually would not.  And of course the day was different.  “Sameness” (from one moment to the next) is a difficult seed to piece.  Yet, he’s identifiable.

Last year, his hair was cut.  By a trusted friend, no doubt, yet it hadn’t been severed for nearly two decades.  His behavior altered, his manner of speaking and greeting.  Him.  But (to those who knew him) he was still recognizable.  Somehow.  Even if not so much to himself.

Humans are strange.  There’s the sound of rain.  Emotions.  Appearances.  Sunlight.  And many other things besides.  There is language, for instance.  And touch.  Scents.  Each tiny change – alteration/adaptation – is micro- and macro-scopic.  Is.  Effective and affective.  Not easily discounted.

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15204032-old-engraved-portrait-of-john-bigg-the-dinton-hermit-by-unidentified-author-published-on-magasin-pit

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She did not want to interact with him.  That, at least that (much) was clear.

She sat down, she closed her eyes.

She wished to stop the opportunity.  As if to say – “I am now sleeping.  You (any other) cannot reach me.”  Any (other) – even (you) – blanked out, refused, forgotten.”  “I am asleep.  Do Not Disturb (me).  I am Off Limits to you (any) you.”

He understands.  Reads sign signals.  Goes silent.  Writes on paper.

His dialogue – a wounded scraggly trail of hurt – writing.

No one (wants to) listen(s) to him: so he wails, expresses, tells, shares his story with flattened and dehydrated tree-pulp.  He draws confessions (conventional words), his family-language, blah blah blah – onto surfaces of desiccated dying.

So he might feel (an eensy-weensy tiny-whiny) a little bit that he matters.  That (i.e his feelings, experiences, being) is not ONLY shut out by closing (closed) eyes, but may (in fact) –

No, never mind.

[someone might care?]

No, never mind.

Eyes closed, shutters drawn: No.

Notebook.

Believing language makes things possible.

He (in order to survive) needs belief (otherwise – ?) that someone (one?) hears (cares?) attends (asks?)

Shaping letters onto dead matter.

Anyway.

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

9 Notebooks

In an act of rebellion and a kind of self-serving exorcism or slate-clearing (what blog is NOT an attempt at an entity’s expression, communication?), and facing the duress of weeks burdened with commitments and inescapable responsibilities…[in other words]…I intuit I am encountering a “time” (weeks / months / foreseeable futures?) that I deduce as laden – somehow preordained – for preoccupations of employment, previously established obligations – freighted with encumberances complexly negotiated…[under pressure I compose]…and so I search for a project [as is my way] that is FOR ME[?] (something autotrophic, self-cannibalizing and nourishing at once, individually comprised and contained) an insurrection and defiance honoring self [so I surmise] facing compulsion…

…and I unearth these 9 Notebooks…all aborted undertakings from the past 12 months…via which I propose to mount mutiny by posting all that seems potentially warranted in them [upon re-reading as if the first time, long forgotten]…toward little other purpose than for purging, opening, erasing – a clearinghouse of efforts – that might evolve toward some novel substitution, unforeseen modification, development, emergence…

“this is what directs him to learning – where he may encounter fragments of his own existence,

fragments that are still within the context…”

– Walter Benjamin on Franz Kafka – 

9 Notebooks

There will be stories, concepts, poems, characters, reflections, essays…and ephemeral scraps like these…

  • think feel – attune to meaning – reflect and refract
  • befriend your body, take care with your mind
  • be gentle, be open.  move fluidly, breathe
  • go alert to your dreams
  • wish more than hope, walk don’t run, run sometimes
  • be careful of rules, they’re always changing, it’s the nature of the rule, the measure, the standard
  • keep your eyes and ears open, along with heart and mind – only let things close into pleasure and pain – and that more of a wince
  • don’t be afraid of your story – write and rewrite it, edit and revise, revise, revise, and write it again

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?

Impromptu

Death.

Abundance.

Extravagant generosity of depletion.

Lust with which the world gives way.

And life.

Things.

Prominence.

.

I have entered a world

in which I am

saddened

begladdened

nostalgic

and eaten away

.

It is “Today”

this world –

the realm, the sphere, the moment:

Now.

A time that’s never,

only almost

and a just-was.

.

Each beginning

what equals

another end.

That time.

What was.

What will be.

What I remember

and predict.

.

The first day

once again;

each possibly

the last

.

It is like this –

each time –

it is the present:

that attachment

that letting go.

Incessant welcome,

and its goodbye.

FYI – in margins

Although nearly silent, or, too busy to conjure and compose, or…

I have not given up, having not ceased,

somewhere in the mix of these,

somewhere between voices…

ASPECTS OF WRITING

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