A Letter in Employ

I am performing a task for my employer.  I am writing a professional letter.  I am letting you know that I labor.  I am here to be useful, and used.  I submit.  My actions indicate that I accept structure and system as representative of survival.  I will do what you ask.  I recognize organization as power.  In fact, any kind of organizing indicates a position of imaginative power and control.  To differentiate, to specify, to label, name, assign – all are a fiat of power and authority or authorship – a claiming of superiority over things named, situated, recognized.  Supposedly if I comply dutifully – bow and behave in ways that signify structure as something larger (or more important) than me – I will have internet access, some food, air-conditioning, coverings, a car, and someplace to live (in certain mountainous areas, none of these are beneficial).  “Teamwork” is misnomer.

My philosophy is simple:

  • The mind or brain is an intermittent trickle of the rivers of the body which are hardly discernible in the waves of the world.
  • “I” am No one, Nowhere, which is to say Everyone, right Here. A poet wrote of presenting his face as a smashed window baring open sky – I thought that was me – No one Nowhere = Everyone right Here (whenever/wherever that happens to be).
  • Experience is what happens. What happens is what is.  If criticized as “for us” (whichever ‘experiencer’) I ask – what else could it be?
  • Knowing limits. If “for-this” is all my experience can be, then those are my limits.  Once I sense my limits I can attempt to challenge, question, and extend them, for alternate experiencing.
  • Ideas/Thoughts/Concepts/Theories [abstractions/imaginings] (like structure, perception, systems, organization, self, number, truth, etc.) are compelling because the limits of their effects are unknown to us. Ideas (ideologies) allow us to ‘experience’ power and control and compliance of the world around us (apparently), even though the dripping-trickle-stream-river-ocean of our limited participation in world flows always and is unalterably changing and miniscule.  Bodies die.  Each every/no-one where/when-ever.
  • The propensity or lust for belief – in ‘observation,’ ‘experiment,’ ‘objectivity,’ ‘analysis,’ ‘deduction,’ ‘ideas,’ numbers or language or effects of imagined power and control (technicity) – are wishes against the body, against dying, against limitation, against what happens, anyway.
  • Thoughts and effects do not make experience longer.
  • Experience is living, is limited.
  • Living is the extremely limited experience of dying.

Admitting or confessing that I exist to meet needs, that this is my employment, may be a Credo of Little Import.  A submission of insignificance in accepting others’ systems, structures, and arbitrary claims to power.  Compliance.  Resignation.  Complaisance.  Dependence. [Co-dependence – opting out of experience/living exits the submission-religion].

My voice dribbles, a hardly perceptible microorganism in the ocean of world.  My experience a parenthetical waving particle.  My living its effective dying.

In a beginning that never began, the ending already comes.

World is an intermittent trickle of the rivers of living, barely and scarcely discerned.

We are Here Now, how would we like our fleet experiencing of dying to be?

Scrambling… Scattering Notes

note in a bottle

Scattered experience.  Over the past 90 days my life has been characterized by necessities.  Scrambling to find sustainable work, scrambling to keep up with coursework.  Scrambling to assist as best I can in the psychological health and stability of my family, children.  Scrambling to keep my head above water in grief, loss, confusion, self-care and healing.

In these currents – their exhaustion, their novelty, their large and compounded emotions of helplessness, anger, frustration, anguish and fear, their realms of bewilderment – my last ditch scramble has been to note, feel, soak and pay attention to as much as I can, filling notebooks full of journalings, lists, to-dos, scenarios, something like prayers or wishes, something like tomes of notes intended for bottles and no one / anyone.  My best last chance seemed to be to try to MAP things – maintain access to whole regions of variant experience, conflicts, desperations and strengths, plans and disappointments, resumes and rejections, therapy appointments and dependents-events, multiple employment schedules and deadlines, and so on…SCRAMBLING…but at least with some scattered semblance of shapes and places and events…

Locations on the Map of Meaning

Recently reading through Joshua Cohen’s Four New Messages, I encountered a story in which the story is being drafted simultaneous to the story being the story of the difficulty of its drafting, messages to mother or father about how stuck and stunted the process of managing multiple lives (or roles), composing fiction, processing life, and maintaining the presence of mind to embody created worlds and encountered worlds...living.

Cohen - Four New Messages

It is curious to me that the intention of “Opening the Hand” : (“All of this is to say that I plan a series of posts that will be intensely personal, self-revelant, my own way of reaching toward my experience, my being, and selecting language with which to mark it down – for re-memory, re-cognition, observation, reception, attention, account.  These are journal entries, frankly.  They are what I have to write.  I am calling them “Mapping the Meaning.”  Since I know very few of you personally, in your whole presence, I expect confession, inquiry, and its self-circular expression to genuinely interest or benefit very few of you.  For me, it is writing with an open hand“).  should end up resulting in the very scrambled scatter that, indeed, my current lived experience is.  Where I had hoped constructing, reflecting, composing and attending might result in some fabricating shape – some possibly effective mapping that might help me feel a “place” or “terrain” in which I am existing – provide a possible view of a larger whole.

Jumbled Language

It hasn’t worked out that way.  As I’ve delved into depths of my history, experience, perceptions as cracked open by the recent grief, loss and confusion; as I’ve purposed more presentness with my children and family and friends; as I’ve filled my days with job searches – statements of my identity, skills, education and worth; as I’ve learned new labor and institutions and expectations; as I’ve rewritten survivable budgets, forged opportunities to keep some semblance of self-care about what I want to be about (art, literature, learning, meaning); as I’ve sought to stay fit, attend to my body; as I’ve filled pockets of moments with music and writings that nurture or comfort me… things have NOT found any design… but are scrambled, scattered, disparate, paradoxical, bewildering.  For the notebooks of language I have emitted during these months… there is hardly a snippet that makes literary sense, is bloggable, expresses.  Thus the erratic entries, the confusing sentiments, the uncertainty and unknowing…

For now… here are the texts I’m hanging on…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Hopefully something will form… for now, scattered blurbs and reports, survival and bewilderment… SCRAMBLING…

photo 2-001

Subject to Change

Mail carrier logo

I am become a Rural Carrier Associate for the U.S. Postal Service.

I pursued employment with the USPS thinking it might provide some security of longevity, tradition (over 200 years of continuous service, public benefit, innovation and survival), government benefits and programs…a service and income that might meet the needs my children and I have developed for something like stability and sustenance.

I was wrong about most of those things.

I’m almost guaranteed one day of work a week (or whenever the regular carrier is unable to work) – no benefits, guaranteed abuse and damage to our one essential family vehicle, grave limitations on supplemental work (not supposed to seek employment with anyone that is a client of USPS – in other words, anyone that purchases postage – greatly delimiting the options / NOR taking any work between the hours of 6 AM and 6 PM when I might be needed to fill in) – and, a grand service NOT supported or secured by the US Government since 1970 (no tax dollars toward USPS!).

On the other hand.  It clearly satisfies core ethics and values I have carried through my entire life and its pursuits –  Meaning.  Relationships.  Communication.  Tangible Information.  The Betweens:

Music.  Poetry.  Religion.  Philosophy.  Psychology.  Bookselling (bibliotherapy).  Marriages.  Research and reference.  Parenting.  Writing.  Anthropology.  Semiotics.  Neuroscience.  Embodiment.  Systems Theory.  Language.  Ekphrasis.  Communications.  Information Science…

what (it seems) has fueled them all has been a passion, fascination, curiosity and intense desire to search into, understand, sense

HOW HUMAN BEINGS MAKE AND SHARE MEANING

            NOW:  I’m a tangible link in the chain.  A node or circuit in the web of transmission.

 

Divorce summons, a lover’s plaint, news of a long-lost classmate or childhood friend, money for a meal, Christmas gifts for grandchildren, links between parents and children, carrier of bills and obligations that alter our lives – invitations to weddings, announcements of deaths, retirements, coupons and births, biological specimens and literary manuscripts, art works, seeds, music, books, clothes and toys…

from here to there, there to here

how often I have rushed to the mailbox,

how often I have posted letters,

how often the holding of a living personal document has made a difference in my life…

 

These are what I think of as I dig through bins, collocate numbers, sort and file, casing mail, and rattle and drag my way through any weather, mood or condition to securely, confidentially and certainly deliver the mail…

In a great meanwhile…

…after three years working from home like a dream – researching, academics, creative writing and art-making; love with a tremendous spouse, and a generous and flexible availability to my amazing children…

it is now turning into months of spouse-lessness, unemployment, harried by survival efforts, sustenance, hours upon hours of therapy, grief, anger, puzzlement, bewilderment, and wonder…

CHANGE

A sustained period of invaluable interactions and dad-ness will be swallowed up bouncing wash-boarded gravelly roads placing packages and envelopes in sturdy boxes of farms.  Fighting for moments with children, opportunities to claim that I am here for them.  To study.  To write.  To read or rest or be…to grocery and launder, housekeep, to play.

Relocating yet again a sense of home.

            For our part – four kiddos, their mothers (and their partner/spouses) and I (and mine) – we have survived, adapted, adjusted and altered much in the past two decades.  Time/little time, retail/academia/schlepping/poverty/art – proven resilient, pliable, innovative, possible – committed or interdependent on one another and have formed and become, ached and angered, wept and worried, laughed and lost, suffered and rejoiced and survived and thrived…

continued…(“I can’t go on.  I’ll go on.”)

and we’re a pretty wonderful, remarkable, heart-stopping, difficult bunch!

 

A biological, literate, artistic, psychological, cultural, spiritual, relational, musical, playful, emotional, terrified, successful, wounded, smart, creative, clinical, authentic, unusual, “awkward,” bunch of “weirdies” (kids’ favorite terms)

and I hope and I trust

SURE OF ONE ANOTHER

…ever subject to change…

but together.

USPS logo