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.

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Existence is the Cusp – A Journal Entry

cursive journaling

It’s December, and I’m writing outside, lucky by so many counts.

  • It’s December, and 45°
  • My partner in love and life instills health and wellness in me
  • I’m writing
  • James is serving me coffee, ice water and double greyhounds enabling me to work without interruption

I’m in what you might call a “Cusp Area.”

The present is always a liminal space.  I am a few days away from completing a Master’s degree in Library & Information Management, and months away from embarking on a PhD in Media & Communication coupled to the Arts at a University in Switzerland.

I work very part-time (10-20 hours / week) for the United States Postal Service, attend regular psychotherapy sessions, parent 4 children, read and write as much as I can, cook and clean a LOT, and spend as much time as I can with my beloved (a brilliant, gorgeous, amazing, resourceful, intelligent and creative human).

I rest very little.

We (my immediate family) will not survive January on my income (sans school loans).  Cusp.

Change is imminent, and yet NEVER is NOT.

Every day relationships morph.  What could be termed “stability” in life must be radically redefined to have any resemblance or “fit” to reality – which is always, ALWAYS in enormous, factually ubiquitous, tremendous FLUX.

There is something like “similarity” – of persons, circumstances, situations, emotions, experiences… which we occasionally tag “familiar” or “repetition,” (providing a modicum of regularity, “consistency,” “normativity”) but none of it, EVER!! – is “identical,” “same,” “repeated.”  Not even ourselves, one “moment” to the next (i.e. in spans of cursive time – what seems utterly continuous is still difference – otherwise could not be noticed).

I am writing this in cursive in attempts toward continuities of form and content.  And yet there is vast uniqueness with each stroke.  “Distance,” difference, change.

I delight in working in language – a symbology for expressing experience – a fabric, social set and structure – a shared and flexibly rule-bound medium.

Possessing or harboring…containing vast incommunicable DIFFERENCES – between ethnicities, cultures, geographies, genders, contents, shapes, habits, practices, processes…REALITIES.  And yet useable.  Useful.

I am writing outside in December, in Kansas, in the United States of America, in cursive, in English, in black ball-point ink, in a ruled soft-covered notebook, in 2014, in attempts partially to think, to recount, to visualize, to express, to extend, to discover, remember, critique, perceive, view… understand a curious unstoppable flow –

The Experience of Being a Living Organism

with billions of particularities – both structures and substance, arrangement and order, experience and resources, habits, capacities, learning, abilities, perceptions, interpretations, emotions…

THIS kind, type, genus, species, instance, sort, occurrence, happening of this one/many, living (active, interactive, interacting, linked, dependent, individual, functioning) THING.

Differently now and now and NOW.

I cannot curtail difference.  I can hypothesize similarities.  I have agency, but an energy and forcefulness utterly dependent and constrained by countless systems, substances, processes and constituents.

I have a kind of power – corralled by everything within and around me.  I am at the mercy of – the support and boundary of – all else + the combinatory elements and activities of WHAT I exist of and the rest of existings.

I do not fool myself into thinking I am a cause or blame, and yet I am utterly response – able / – ible.  “My” interactions and interactivities, are mine / “me” / THIS.

THIS & THAT, Yin/Yang, Individual/Environment, “self”/”other”, – difference without discontinuity, ever in exchange: molecularly, actively, REALLY, and wholly.

cusp area

EXISTENCE IS THE CUSP.

I love while / as / if / because / in spite of (or in contradistinction to) I am loved.

I move with / against / into / around / while / within / because of / in distinction from, possible movements, contents, and affordances / constraints of everything about / within / around me.

I “exist” (stand-out) because I am, in a swarm, a sea, of existences, existings.

I have no other chances to be…

…outside of my surrounds.

I am.  Within a lifeworld.  Without which – I am not.

And still, “I am.”  Singular / plural.  Similar across space-time, an appearance and occurrence of similarity marked by difference.

The safest expression (for one seeking at “truths” or reliable, testable regularities) is:

WE ARE

or

IT IS.

We, the living.

architectural animal

I thank you.

Difficulties & Pronouncements

What happens when I avoid “required texts”…

Windwriter - Parke-Harrison

Difficulties & Pronouncements

For this is what I do.

When facing difficulties, Harlan makes pronouncements.  Conundrums = hypotheses.  “Yes, I love you, consistently,” he might say, but does not think, for Harlan does not think, he behaves, that is, he acts habitually.

Sometimes I think I am a writer.

For instance, Harlan might be confused or confounded by the behavior of others, particularly those with whom he shares his life, interacts with daily, corresponds.  He might find himself baffled, able to find no explanation or solution for a “problem” – (situation in which he does not know what to do) – and therefore announce that which he considers a “reality.”  E.g. – when happening upon his children bickering and unable to agree on peaceable courses of action, he might state: “it is common for people to consider the ‘ways they do things’ as the “correct” ways TO DO things…but when such consideration involves more than one family, group or person, there is often conflict, i.e. – ‘what should be done?’”  Thereby solving nothing, nor finding any resolution, only offering up his own feelings of helplessness as a catalyst.

He looks at her.

Sometimes I look at you.

Sometimes I think I am a writer.

For instance, Harlan might find himself bewildered by mixed emotions (a “difficulty” in his habit-of-being) and, instead of naming the mixed emotions and going from there, instead might pronounce – “humans are complex interfusions of emotion and reason, biology and philosophy/psychology – we aren’t yet quite sure what con-spires to activate and animate us.”  Thereby solving nothing, nor finding any resolution, only offering up his own feelings of helplessness, his own uncertainties, as a potential catalyst to reason.

Reason fails.

Reason is insufficient.

Harlan speaks to me about the insufficiency of reason:  “Say, you know how we often try to make lists of what we ought or need to do?  You know, IF we (perhaps) performed the following activities, accomplished the following feats, we might feel some sense of order in our lives, some sense that we were possessed of a direction, a purpose, a…modus operandi, and therefore felt that LIVING made a kind of SENSE?”  I nodded.  Sometimes I think I am a writer, and therefore listen carefully.

Anyway, plans are confusing because so regularly undone.

He looks at her.  They gaze.  I (also) look at you, but your eyes are closed.  Still I look, and look again, and look more (at you, wistfully – imaginatively ‘into’ you) and just am looking.  Harlan and Meribeth are actually looking AT, perhaps ‘toward’ or ‘con-spicuously’ WITH one another.  I’m just borrowing, observing, wishing, and longing-for.

Harlan says – (there is difficulty) – “isn’t she beautiful?” (a sort of backwards pronouncement – he thinks, well, not ‘thinks,’ rather ‘feels’ [or whatever] she is beautiful) – often we respond out of habitus, instinct, notion – I keep looking at you, hoping I’m, well, wishing (sometimes believing) that I’m a writer, after a fashion, of sorts, perhaps or probably…

Harlan states the obvious obscurely when faced with problematics.  Harlan is attracted to Meribeth, and Meribeth to Harlan, but such a combination of lives, of persons, of families, of children, of burdens and complexities = DIFFICULTY… and difficulty (for Harlan) stimulates the regurgitation of flimsy “absolutes” – or conventional, accepted “Truths” – therefore Harlan simply states – “I love her Nathan, god knows – or Whomever – or No one – that I desire and adore and wish for and ache in relation to that lady, Meribeth.”  I know that, I say, being acute and observant, sometimes thinking I am a writer and therefore privileged to description and awareness.

The kids cry.  The movie’s over and it’s far beyond ‘bedtime’ on the absolute clock of shoulds and woulds (for “good” parenting).  Harlan says – “Brush ‘em and orchestrate [they don’t know that word, but clearly understand what it means, unlike machines or ‘predictive text’] yourselves for nighty-night!”  Harlan looks at Meribeth – the sort-of ‘fun aunt’ or ‘older girl cousin’ or ‘delightful female guest’ the kids have been curious about this evening and attempted to entertain or woo or utilize to their own purposes THIS evening – with a kind of drunken swooning, a kind of animal desire, a kind of helpless confusion and bewilderment – and Meribeth looks back at him with a kind of “Am I all that?  Am I really distinct, different, unique-in-the-world, exceptional?” look… and the kids begrudgingly and grumblingly rumble off toward the bathroom because Harlan’s voice has a certain gruff, man-like edge to it (a growling of a different sort of desire from authority – the older ones might tick it the ‘daddy-voice’).  I notice all these things because I consider myself a ‘writer’ – a person attuned to the subtle realities of human-animalness, quirks of idiosyncratic behaviors – someone predisposed to inventing or discovering or collaging words from language into odd combinations of metaphors that might shake loose emotions related to the ways our particular species behaves (NOT thinks or reasons, or rather AND thinks and reasons) in this world – and Harlan exhibits clear, semi-drunk desire for Meribeth, and Meribeth mirrors a kind of dumb, flattered and pretend-complimentary bewilderment to Harlan’s aching want, and I jot scribbly notes into a little travel notebook with sketches of London on its cover, and people are confused and want each other [or SOMEone] and I chuckle at the ingenuity of children, and wonder at the difficulties and pronouncements that accompany the rest of us.

“It’s a boatshitload,” Harlan says.

 

 

 

Thinking with “more than”…

some more possible insight into the processes of “forming…” Through somewhere somehow recently I was alerted to the works of Eugene Gendlin – probably through the work of Mark Johnson, Andy Clark, or Don Tucker…but could be elsewise.  Embedded experience, embodied minds, enminded bodies – the whole mess of entanglement our simply being consists of.

and how that might apply to “writer’s block” or that reaching we experience when creating –

that feeling that we can feel it – know more than we’re able to articulate or organize or perform…

This article helps elucidate some of that, perhaps.  It has certainly stimulated my imagination and attention in attempting to write more than I seem to know how to….

Eugene Gendlin – Primacy of Body not Perception

“All thinking involves the bodily … to some degree.  Take for example any ordinary sentence.  In the middle of it you have an unfinished sense of how … You don’t know the end, and yet, all through it, as the sentence wends its way … “

Eugene T. Gendlin

PLEASE READ MORE TO FIND OUT!

 

On Rage, a poem

Rage

 

Rage

“            …that dog

barking at nothing

because every time he’s barked at nothing,

nothing’s gone wrong and why not keep it that way?”

– Bob Hicok, “One of those things we say…”

 

Blaze searing eye-corner

fierce rupture

a hazard of blades

 

we two, entangled –

emotion dug deep and flung far –

architectonic

 

like the causes of weather

complexity systems

large beyond measure

 

on any scale

insinuated within

spaces we intimately share

 

archaic wounds – a butterfly’s wing –

tempest stress to tumultuous effect

(deep dug, far flung)

 

we two, engangled

emotive amygdalas in action

safe love, a hazard of blades

 

When I speak of “Relations” – this is what I have in mind

the scales, the leaps, the constraints, affordances, limitations and opportunities of being alive…

…the modes and formats, forms and patterns, processes and movements…

the interdependencies

Jay Lemke
Jay Lemke

I can’t really add anything (currently) to this man’s work – without a doubt a hero of mine – thinking, being, creating…

if you have the interest and time…

I attest that this is brilliant…

and opens and opens and opens….

Feeling and Meaning – Jay Lemke

 

 

Being Human – Voracious, Delusional, Fantastic

I get a little weary of philosophy.  It fascinates and intrigues, has its spectacular, glittering moments of what feels like beauty and “accomplishment” – like architecture, the sciences and arts, studies human and social and hard.  But with each human activity and behavior there can be too much of a good thing.  Perhaps it’s the fantasies involved in abstraction – in the feeling of “figuring things out,” or of “making sense” – our human super-additives to experience that are also experience themselves – that I, at times, weary of.  That eminently falsifiable intuition that everything is made up.

It is extremely hard work to keep up a worldview.  Involving enormous complexities and details, layer up on layer and strand interweaving strand of biological and logical, illogical, psychological, irrational, emotional, – ologies and descriptions, manipulated perceptions and re-interpretations of interpretations reinterpreted (ad infinitum) – it takes matter and energy, and particular organisms, which grow tired.

Those same realities, capacities and activities are also extremely inspiring, enervating and exciting for organisms – the behaviors of productivity, creativity, imagination and survival – and our weird confounding capacity to think we can observe our perceptions/observations to an infinite regress, make for a very strange frenzy of energy and matter indeed.

In a possibly (?!) infinitely webbed interdependence with our surround copious possibilities of activity are available – all bewildering: chaos can be so generative.  Chaos can be so nullifying.

What might we know?

And why do we want to?

  • That we are organism within dynamic systems?  (How would we know that, from within the systems?)
  • That we are dynamic organisms alongside other dynamic forms of matter and energy?  (Sometimes seems to be our sense of it – that we might somehow step aside – wha-?!)

and…so…what!?

Alongside and within – in order to be – apparently (that is, according to OUR OWN perceptions) – however would could we exist either detached (abstracted) or without (independently, unattached).   To imagine distance, “objectivity,” without the imaginative capacities of fantasy – illusions – for example logic, mathematics, economics, philosophy, psychology – codes and symbols – DElusions in order to play the games in these forms of life we are with delusional sincerity – effectively.  And our fantastic delusions or profound poeitic creations are often effective, productive, pragmatic, dynamic and evolving – techniques and time – which would seem to imply that they also are part of being within a myriad of dynamic systems…

…one might suppose (i.e. “hypothesize”); or infer (i.e. “fantasize”)

All an immersion in symbols – languages – stipulated relations – codified behaviors –

– which is what I had set out to consider

drowning in symbols

the wonder and bewilderment of it

the sense of delusion and ecstasy

being human…

Processing Change

‘How could human behavior be described? Surely only by sketching the actions of a variety of humans, as they are all mixed up together. What determines our judgment, our concepts and reactions, is not what one man is doing now, an individual action, but the whole hurly-burly of human actions, the background against which we see any action’

– Ludwig Wittgenstein, Zettel

“CERTAIN NOVELS NOT ONLY cry out for critical interpretations but actually try to direct them . This is probably analogous to a piece of music that both demands and defines the listener’s movements , say like a waltz. Frequently, too, those novels that direct their own critical reading concern themselves thematically with what we might consider high brow or intellectual issues — stuff proper to art, engineering, antique lit., philosophy, etc. These novels carve out for themselves an interstice between flat-out fiction and a sort of weird cerebral roman à clef. When they fail, as my own first long thing did, they’re pretty dreadful. But when they succeed, as I claim David Markson’s Wittgenstein’s Mistress does , they serve the vital & vanishing function of reminding us of fiction’s limitless possibilities for reach & grasp, for making heads throb heartlike , & for sanctifying the marriages of cerebration & emotion, abstraction & lived life , transcendent truth -seeking & daily schlepping, marriages that in our happy epoch of technical occlusion & entertainment-marketing seem increasing consummatable only in the imagination”

-David Foster Wallace, The Empty Plenum-

IN THE PROCESS OF CHANGE

more soon….