A Division of Subjects

Simple HouseI am looking at my wife’s face for significance.  Scrutinizing her as if MY meaning might come from there.  The eyes and motion of my children, our puppies, the touching between them.  I gaze, ravenously, melancholy, nostalgically, as if some sort of synching provided reason.

Observing, begging input for desired effect.

Words on a page in front of me.  The sounds of the heat switching on and swishing (or swooshing) through an anatomy of ducts.  Rememory.  Fashioning bodied memories forward toward anticipated satisfaction of imagined desires.

Re-membering an already unknown future.  As if to place it onto a pleasure/pain balance and put myself at risk for emotion.  As if I am wanting to feel.  Pleasure OR pain, satiation OR loss, grief or elation.  Simply.  To feel.  And to be able to tell.  To evaluate, process and produce.  Perceive, procure and proceed.

Attend, assemble and assess.  All componented in threes, a perspectival point of either/ors.

In other words – seeking options of experience through this-or-that, barely realizing the gargantuan disturbance of the field in which bi-polars conjoin – the third, the invested participant – “observer.”

I search her eyes – peering her into double bind by my own delimitations.  Reflecting the kids play and laughter – deflecting – by framing-problems that lens my limited views of want and need.

Ravenous, melancholy, natural look of desire for pleasure and dread of pain – dualizing a multi-more intricate kaleidoscope of possible probables.

The implicit intricacies + the avoidance and/or discounting of “one’s own role” (the responsibility, culpability, of our ever-presentness we ever effort to escape) – being participatory.  Being.

And what of the lens?  If I expand the prism, rotate the glass – distort, blur, focus.  How expansive, elastic, extensive are my tools?  How effectual the how I look, the what I look for, the why?

I continue examining her face, and his and his, and his and hers.  Listen for their sounds, their movements, borrowing moods from the connections I make, perceive, feel…asking now to fill out my arrival…more aware of many roles that depend on distant stories…now arising…participant…into now

as it happens, it occurs…

simple house drawings





A quick response to this week’s Friday Fictioneers prompt, a quirky, multi-faceted, and wonderfully open collective of writers from all over the globe riffing their words to an image – a weekly task I am thankful for, and company I admire.  So, from the midst of this holiday week in N. America, something:

And Yet

Mom is right.  It is hard to deny that something points a clear direction, unambiguously, and difficult to argue.  But for reasons I’m at pains to reveal or explain, I am uneasy.  Seriously, I couldn’t ask for a more definite sign – but is clarity everything?  I mean, what about signals from below?  Like how I feel?  Or that strange uninterpretable “intuitive” stuff?   Something isn’t right.  As if I were standing at an intersection without a crossroad, a highway with no exits, opened out before me, shining bright.  And yet.  I have misgivings, doubts.  Troubling the obvious. Are all exceptions exhausted?  Every option foreclosed?  Pressure is on, expectations real – I’ll be a laughing idiot to choose otherwise.  And yet.  And yet.  I have the feeling it will end in a horrible guffaw.

N Filbert 2012

Writing Exorcise?

The Textures of Other

Whatever your age when reading this, I’m asking you to remember.

It’s an experiment beggaring proof.

Find a comfortable position and setting – a favorite chair and drink, your all-time essential musical accompaniment, the woods, a mountain, a porch.  Wherever it is, whatever the surround that most allows you to relax, let go, and drift.

Don’t think, exactly, just breathe and attend.  Float or lie down.  Allow your torso to lead.  Feel your legs, your shoulders, the back of your head – sense them with your mind.

Once all of you feels reprieve, you’re under no specific pressures, these moments are free and they belong to you.  You’re not dead yet, not needed anywhere, whatever pains you feel are truly part of your reality, NOW.  Close your eyes, gently.  Hear the air traveling into your nose, and quietly, slowly, exhale.

Be soft.  Be silent.  Be held.  NOW.  Notice a finger curled on a cup, an ankle or toe moving to or fro – give them a break, let them stop awhile.  Be still.  Allow your lungs, your heart, to keep time alive.

Good.  Stay.  Just be – you – sitting/lying/leaning/standing, wherever you are, hearing what you hear, touching where you touch, smelling, feeling your mouth with your tongue… rest.

Now drift: float over, stroll, swim, whatever is easiest for you, carefully, openly, gently back into your years.  Begin here or with your earliest memories…anywhere…

What are they made of?

Colors?  Sounds?  Sights?  Faces?  Places?  all of these?  Examine on, calmly.  Are they combinatory?  An edge of a counter in a childhood kitchen, your mother’s back at sink or stove, a glinting sun through a window?  The weight of your first tiny child in your lap, your forearms and fingers cradling its downy skull?  The tumult of a raft on rapids, against boulders, rush and foam?  The excited terror of walking the steps to preschool, or path to college dorm?  Your grandfather pale in coffin?

Where do you go?  What comes?  Do you still hear earth-thudding booms of ammunition?  Wails of the bleeding faces dying?  A friend’s laughter, your own, good tears?  Slaps of fists, warmth of hugs, wet of kisses?

How many bare arms caress your naked body?  Whose?  Can you smell their skin?

First mountain-view.  First foreign city.  First flown kite.  First Christmas recalled.  A sibling.  A parent.  A pet.  Be there, each where and when, touch in.

Where are they?  Can you hear voices?  Whispers?  In moments you were celebrated – does your chest still jitter?  Play favorites.  Go for good.  Relive, as it were, whatever you consider joy.

What’s it like?

What are you viewing?  What do you “feel”?  What might it “mean”?


Stay relaxed if you can.  Walk the empty morning pasture alone.  Recall bonfires, ocean winds, swingsets, music.  Dream revisitations.

I’d love to know what you’re finding, how you are.  Take your time – these are yours.

Reach into the textures.  The moments belong.


Now hope.

And renew.

We get to.