For (every?) New Year

Greetings all.  I realize something now.  I realize (today), I realize, sitting in the sun of a Winter in Kansas, on my porch, in a rocker, alone, a side-effect, a remnant, remainder, myself… I realize that I have long dreamt of leaving some legacy, of making some mark, of contributing to the world – the natural world – the world as made up of plants, animals, landscapes, elements, humans… the world dizzied with combinations of atoms and molecules… and yet… and yet… I realize it was all about love – all about being realized by being loved, and realizing meaning in loving – NOT leaving a literary legacy, NOT producing interesting and intriguing offspring, NOT making art or language or objects that would outlast me – NO, no, no…  Simply recognizing that I exist, existed, am existing in the world of another, and that the world exists, existed, will exist for me – by my affection and attention to its nuances, details, and differences – its specificity of my attention, attraction and resolve:  LOVE.

I found this entry in an old journal, a blue oversized Moleskine soft-covered journal, and found (years later) that it still seemed to speak for me… but as I typed and edited it I realized that it has been outdone, realized, accomplished, in the FACT of BEING LOVED and BEING ENABLED TO LOVE… and so all the hopes remain, all the purposes and visions, all the projected communications and connections… but in a context rearranged, reapportioned, reinvented – that of MEANING derived from LOVING and being LOVED.  Thanks to my vibrant partner and accomplice, inspiration and reward – for taking the grave gravity of production and transforming it into action… the pinched acuity of competition and accomplishment into offshoot, accumulation and extraneous luxury – that the hopes, dreams and ideas / ideals of a human existence might be translated into freedom, grace, and potential benefit or gift – possibility rather than necessity; offering rather than identity; potentiality rather than desperation – a giving in distinction from a grasping : so I might still possess similar hoping without the fear and trembling, without a sense of pointlessness, without a perception of failure.  LOVING – intricate maneuvers of helping and healing, intimate operations of interaction and reciprocation, finely detailed activities of acceptance and reception – the sigh, the breath, the pulse of BEING… change me.  Change and change and change me.  As a parent, a man, a partner, a person.  Thank you dear love – a wonder, a woman, an incredible human – a person: full and becoming, so generous, so tender, so affirmative and kind, so rich and creative, inventive and becoming, so new – I love you.  The world is different now.  Its meaning, its point, its aim, its occasion.

This old and rediscovered writing has distinct meaning… because you, and life, and love, and… an evolving and differentiated “I.”

Jacobsen - thought series

I am using the blue notebook with a blue pen to complement.  Why?  Because you asked.  You said “everyone wants to know.”

In other words, if it’s going to count for what matters, it has got to be specific and special – set apart, somehow more final, more complete.  I’ll use it for the whole – for photos, drawings and more – all the blue notebook in blue ink – for you.  Because apparently, “everyone wants to know.”

Mom and dad ask in their roundabout, passive-regressive surreptitiously accusatory way, as is their fashion – kindly and quiet, ever with a look of care and concern, yet secretly shouting their “what is wrong with you!?” “What is wrong with US, that you…” and on and on and blah blah blah…

My memory isn’t like that the first five years of life…that I pretend to remember.  But all is mostly smells and sounds and light from there.  Trees and grass and dirt, how brightness gleamed and glanced and filtered through, with times of wind and rain.

Not that you care… I’m fairly certain that’s not what is being asked for, not by you, by my sibling, children, or lifetime of “friends” and “family” – whoever, wherever they’ve become.

You’re the livewire – and perhaps the children – perhaps they will want to know, at some point, perhaps not.  Perhaps everyone’s already figured my story – diagnosed and prescribed me.  Perhaps.

Be that as it may, I’ve thought long and hard, reviewing what I thought I knew, how I felt I felt, what it seems I’ve seen, and so on, and decided, for you, for you, really, and maybe a little of a bit for myself (curiously) and a percentage for my kids should they ever seek to know or wonder, or have need of psychological freedom, or give a shit about who or why… I decided to use this damned blue notebook with matching pen and try to learn just what I think about it all, mostly because, as you put it, “everyone wants to know” – (and WHO might this “everyone” be?).

Should I start with the hands, the head, or the heart?  I suppose the limbs and loins will come into play as well – god knows the guts and the goiter.

I remember an opening.  A time I was touched, in the rain, and my suddenly skin, my obvious self-enclosure – as opening, margin, and veil – a fabric of me, and a screen.

I wanted to make a difference, you see.  Make something, I don’t know, construct an element everyone could hold on to.  Take in hand, heart and head.  Keep or repeat as needed.  Something like that.  I knew I wouldn’t last, none of this, none of anything.  “The center cannot hold” sort of deal.

I ought not begin there.  They’re all wound up together like knots – the head looking down, arms wrapped around, concealing and revealing the heart, the guts, the loins and moving limbs.  I can’t take a one without other, thinking and feeling about it, my actions, ideas, and sensations all.

Perhaps I’ll pretend.  (Just what you’ve all loved so well about me – to discover pretense – how I’ve molded myself to imagined desires).  I’ll pretend I’m an aged man seated on a stiff wooden chair, children / grandchildren gathered all about me – a specimen or model – something to be taken apart and examined.  I lift off my shirt and my body is read – questions asked – we all get somewhere in this way.

jacobsen - thought series1

Let’s see – here – along the shoulder – a self-portrait by Egon Schiele (self-tormented asylum brother) and a snake that is eating its tail.  “Le Ouroborous,” I  hack out – “don’t you know it?”  Sign of doctors, ingenuity, medicine and art – creation, destruction intertwined round and round.  Self-devouring while birthing its form as it alters.  The mastication and regurgitation of “I.”

A young one might say “what’s that? – the curlicues and elaborate spiel?”  Garcia Lorca I’d sigh.  Yes.  The grand leaping bugger of light.  He’s yellow and lemons, crickets and birds!  You know the stuff that sends you!  Portal moments of sight or song and ‘wham!’  all the crap pelted into your brain and body get shaken and stirred together like surrealist still life.  Incongruity making sense.  Opposites attracting, no, better – look at your aging mother and I – a juxtaposed spectrum, paradox and carnival!

They say that you wanted to know.

Yes there’s Kafka, Blanchot, Cixous and Lispector.  Jabes and Beckett now seeped in my veins.  Dostoevsky, Bakhtin, Rilke.  Gods and angels, drink and demons all carved in the skin of their names.  Nietzsche and ridiculous happiness.  Wittgenstein and the torment of words, of meanings, of none.  I’d be a working inscription, at surface.

The corridors – head, heart and hands.

Are you sure anyone wanted to know?

The sounds of piano?  Coaxing the keys in steady patterns – mimicking rain; or poems – yes, we forget Giacometti’s “Man Falling” – a perpetual stumble on the back of my hand, hoping neither knew what the other was up to.  But they did and they do – I see that now – all parts of same body, stretched with same skin.  Poems as stripped-down sculptures, some essential chants or song – just a gaze or a wisp of caress.  Droppings of blood.  Miracles that something remains after we’re through with our twisting and grasping.

Is this what you wanted?  Does it explain – anything?  I doubt it.  Hardly think so.

Read on.

Here at the ribs.  The cracked and the lumpen.  There was a time.  Times I thought maybe risking and danger – a reach at euphoria – some panicking life – might make one feel much more alive.  How do you think you all got here?  Desperate plungings into the unknown, oh dear ones, like mad scientists messing around in the lab!  The edges of cliffs, clinging to limbs, insecure at wits’ ends, going for broke.

And break we did.

But just look at you fertile seedlings, good eggs.  I never meant to be rough with you all.  To risk what is fragile in you.  Ribs, here – cave and cage for the heart.

I can still breathe you.  Charred and chortled, this was one great pleasure – to know I was breathing, in-spired.  I know you all despised it, and it caused me to smell stale and rotting, but the rush of smoke down this pipe here into the bellows of slimy flesh…that let me know I was taking it in, not an automaton or senseless machine – no, I was hearing, seeing, tasting, smelling – BEING – I could feel it in my ashen lungs.  Sometimes it hurt.  What we ingest.  But it really goes in and visibly comes out – everything – for good or ill.  I needed to know it tangibly.

Why? you ask, why?

Look at the cranium stooped and weighed down.  That sucker was a burden of liquid fire.  All curled over like that the entirety of my life – looking in, at, in.  What’s there?  How does it work?  For “whom”?  When?  Is there even a why?  Examining, dreaming, recording and imagining – listen – say it back, say it forth, combine and copulate, shake it and stir – use that heavy weight, whirr whirr chrrr and whirr.  Profile the shape of some jagged question mark, dotted where the heart must be.

And look at it now, nearly buried into the chest.  It happens.  Weather-systems, signsponge, it all will run its course.  It once was aimed upwards and outwards, into fantasies, hopes and abstractions, and for years I kept it aimed straight ahead – horizontal, seeking directions – but slowly and surely its drug down toward the heart, pulsing muscle, plug for the cords.  Everything up and away, everything out there or behind, it’s all happening here – in the mix, filtering through, circulating the circuitry of head, heart and hands – latching up or breaking down in the system.

What was it you wanted to know?  Limbs and loins, head and heart, I’m acknowledging and exposing, affording view – I’m aware description does not explain a thing – the wonderful views of science still unable to explain…

The waste gets processed below, legs running away now knobby and stiff.  But there, clinging in its corner like a core – my erratic, agitated, beating beast.  Entire web of inexplicable drives and energy, fears and misery, desires and dread – my heart.  Does this explain it?  Does this explain anything?  What anyone wanted to know?

Gasping there like the mouth of a landed fish, pulsing purplish like an aroused member – my heart.  If I poke and coax it, tear at it or wring it onto this blue notebook in blued blood – will it explain?

Here, whomever, look.  Here it lies, cheats, and steals.  Here it gives and it aches and breaks.  Here it prolongs and stops itself short.  Pulpy mass of living meat – humana – the am therefore am.  Take it, read it, test it – heal it if you wish or can.  I’m open.

Is this what you wanted?

What everyone wanted to know?

Black Blizzard

IN THE MIDST

Moments: The reality of accrual and depletion, growth and diminishment

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“It is of the essence of life that it does not begin here or end there, or connect a point of origin with a final destination, but rather that it keeps on going, finding a way through the myriad things that form, persist and break up in its currents.”

Tim Ingold – Being Alive: Essays on knowledge, movement and description

            In the reading journal I keep, I record what I read each day in entries numbered according to my years.  For instance, today is Day 364 of 43.  Each day counts UP the days I have lived, simultaneously counting DOWN the days I have left.

If our weight in the world is conspired via our capacity for object-making, “perception,” – how we collate and identify active collective of particles, lending them shape and color, space and duration – in effect: “organize them according to our own purposes and facilities” – co-creating manageable entities with which we might interact and navigate life “sensibly” (body-minded)

then the “lightness” of vitality/movement/being comes from the constant (relatively frenetic) buzz and action of the unseen particles composing and constituting the scales we are able to perceive and conceive.

Does this sound workable?  I trust that I am a hive of vibrating, exchanging, bounding, colliding and connecting atoms/molecules/whatever, and that to certain interlinked bundles of material interactivities this can appear, be sensed, perceived, interacted with, as an apparently distinct “organism/being/organization of activities” constructing (or being constructed/perceived AS) almost a form, a differance, an “object.”

And likewise, and vice-versa.

Particles, drilled down or zoomed out in their interactivities and motion form ever-varying “wholes” (temporarily composed perceptible forms or variable entities).  Thus poets and scientists, thus Ovid and religions, philosophers…HUMANS…METAPHOR.  Taking various realities for another and one another, or, ALWAYS – in relation to.

Crossing and dipping, perceiving/conceiving, we are able to invent scenarios and subjects, conduits and concretions, whereby we are also able to communicate, invent, share, cognize imaginative possibilities for our temporary coagulates (or “life-forms,” ever active and morphing).  The tinier particles simply continue their trajectories and behaviors while their collaborated forms appear to be “born” (or formulated, occurring) and die (or dissolve, dismember, separate to join in other alignments, reactions and compounds).

Thinking is a lucky pleasure of our particular combo-formulations, as love, emotion, felt embodiment, enmindedness, entanglements…

I am grateful for all of it: lovely purposeful accidents to sense, perceive, grow, change, become, decease, connect and disconnect…attach and release…combine and unravel.

IN THE MIDST of which…and this is where the trembling, shifting, unstable, particularly and elaborately conditioned partial perception “I” initially chose (in languaging) to begin…”in the midst of…”

but then I realized that MIDST might beggar a belief-explanation (theory) as to what I was beginning in the midst of…ALWAYS…this strange living process…and so I diverted through the above contingent caveat.

i.e. EVERYTHING DEPENDS.  On context, formulations, occasions, circumstances, surroundings, kind, type, species, conditions composing NOW.

There is some longevity to “sticking together” (successfully? Symbiotically? Interactively linked or bonded for some formal survivable persistence) but it’s all quite temporary (the place-time from which an opinion is held or conceived, promulgated…changes slightly with each moment, more in an hour, a day, each “year,” each…occurrence).

To say: all is active and contingent.  I.e. DEPENDS – on multitudes of very specific things, unseen tiny things, enormous systemic things, situations, arrangements being…”the case.”

A Hal Hartley film or a novel by Dostoevsky, the face of my child or the sound waves of song; the body and voice of my beloved…won’t have any “effect” “meaning” “sense” when my particles realign and this particular arrangement is “dead,” “decayed,” “reorganized.”

Activity is a curious thing.

Although we experience “age,” “knowledge,” “experience,” as a kind of “growth” or accretion, it isn’t very long at all in our formulating as a human before we become profoundly aware that our “growth” is an indicator of cessation, “progress” a sign of our undoing…dismantling, shifting, and changing.

This central comprehension of human systems – paradoxical tension, momentary accretion/diminishment – likely fuels much of the emotion, trauma, passion, energy, delight, grief, disturbances and elations of our particular species instinctual cognitively embodied behaviors.

Angst, joy, terror, hope – perhaps all of these reside in this mysterious yin-yang of coming together / coming apart AT ONCE and ALWAYS.  Each addition is a removal, each connection another breakage, each revelation a forgetting.  Each next accrues a last and never.

NOW – the pivot point of addition/subtraction – for human living.

I crave, delight, wonder, rejoice, and find my survival with each NEXT while grieving, losing, aching, suffering, and ceasing with each movement as well.

There is no choice in the matter (that I can see) – it happens.  Everything we do effects and disaffects inherently.

Rising indeed IS falling.  Growing IS diminishing.  Living truly IS dying, while our dying is yet living for something else…Reciprocal, ongoing, continuous realignments.  Any departure is a novel thing joined.

And thus, simply process, simply going-on.  Not “us” but it.  Not you, I, we, but the particles and universal systems, arrangements.

And we, in the midst.

Perhaps.  That’s how I’m thinking it today.

As I count up and down the days.

ouroboros

Invisible Man Chronicles, cont’d

Click HERE for parts 1 and 2

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III.

 

            Rattling bones, deep-falling diaphragm – through continuous sightings and encounters with “H” (“her”) these consistently occur – even over hours, days, and months.

            I might say that what characterizes our particular version of intimacy are curiosity and wonder and the ecstasy of discovery and finding – imbuing apparently abandoned spaces with vitality and imagination.

 

            A week later was a potluck for the visiting artist.  Small-talking with “her” in the kitchen – I felt inadequate to be occupying her time and “let her go” to mingle with the many I was certain were desirous of her indomitable and imaginative company.  I spoke with her partner, the farm-inhabiting-best-friend-artist-lady, and H sidled in.  There was much laughter (their minds are contagious and entertaining – as if the structures of adulthood and professional culture never quite ‘took’ or corralled possibilities)…around “her” my breath dissipates.  We’d both been hired as rural mail carrier associates with joint training to occur the week following; both commissioned to respond to this artist’s intimately relational performance work; both in love with abandoned places and their loss and decay – both committed to discovering lost or overlooked things. 

            There we were.

            I in poverty. 

            Day one of training sat us next to one another, her length and beauty, doodles and read-alouds from the training manual enthralling.  I worked to breathe and lived through my peripheral perception – registering her movements, hair, wrist, knee, hands, mouth pronouncing acronyms, quirky nervous habits, footwear, scent and clothing…

            She suggested (did she?) lunch together.  I’m quite certain that converged through a clumsy stumbling and fragmented semblance of conversation.  I had planned only banana and peanut butter on my budget – yet each day we went – for that amazing hour – somewhere I’d never been before in a city I’d spent over three decades in and around.  An abandoned hotel, a nature trail, small chain restaurants, of which one, perhaps, constituted a first “date,” as, after placing our orders, she removed to the restroom and I was left to pay the bill!  (Delightful things like that).

 

            Blessings.  I was gaining practice in “soaking in the good” – a strategy instructed through my therapy, and H was much better than I ever imagined, a remarkable alchemy of behaviors and body parts – co-constituting an unknown ‘ideal’ to my mind, sensations, experience and history.  I was dumbstruck, amazed, bewildered, befuddled – in other words – alive and in hope.

 

            I’d been asking her coterie of creator-friends to visit my home for fire or food or an art-making party – to no response or avail.  Everyone taking a read.  She agreed, then doubted, then declared she thought she might appear via an internet message.  Thus she arrived, of a Sunday afternoon in April, to my home.

             We parlayed and exchanged – art, family, friends, lives, plans, hopes, strategies, likes and dislikes, ideas and tears, meanings and lies and other truths.  I ached toward her – finding romance and desire and a periscope of loving peeking out, looking round, checking for safety.  It isn’t safe.  It’s unlikely, bizarre, fantastical : sixteen years between us and four marriages – her blossoming while I fade to grey, her popping with –larity, my struggling for place.  She asked me to sit next to her.

            The sides of our arms.  Legs.  Eventually fingers becoming entangled.  We talked staring straight ahead, caught in some astronaut training module machine, no gravity, no reference, dizzied and desirous, disbelieving and desirous, frightened and desirous, with just the right amount of belonging and estrangement, novelty to craft courage and excitement throughout our neural nets.

             We concocted funnel cakes of cinnamon and sugar, mustard, jalapenos and sausage.  They flopped and sickened, we laughed and she left.  I think perhaps we loved, even then, that day.  She left behind a bevy of hands from a book she created, by extraction.  Our hands were open, our minds and hearts, a letting-go, with patterns and a freeing, a dance: in common, in Kansas, in history, in hope, in commitments, in fears and neuroses.

             Letting-go.

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Naming Influences: In Retrospect

Naming the Influence : In Retrospect

.

Things designed to grow

often get away from us

 .

One look at my yard

or my children

would evidence why

this might be of concern

to me

 .

disease and debt,

dust and doubt,

all maintain this quality;

 .

It’s not a bad thing really –

imagination, desire,

patience and hope

are also items that accrue

over time and with attention

 .

It’s the sort of thing one,

well, simply notices:

that desire and decay

operate on similar terms

 .

both of which catch us unaware.

 .

“They feed they lion”

it’s been said

and I know

what it means

(at least in part)

 .

what we emphasize

while naming our influence

is suspect at least –

 .

“side-swiped” we declaim,

“should have known”

or “could have seen coming”

of this, that and other

ever going, growing,

right along, alongside,

 .

perhaps unseen,

perhaps simply ignored

(and that prior to perception)

 .

all our –isms, habits, beliefs

in their cumulative gentle violence

 .

what our mouths spray

our lives belie

 .

in retrospect.

Lessons Learning in Metaphors

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HERE.  Abandoned places fall apart.  Decay to exposure.  We, bereft.  We, grieving.  In the absence of care… Upkeep.  Keeping up.  Often when significant change occurs, we do not bother “keeping up.”  Rather things, people, places, seem to hold on as long as possible to what is familial / familiar / to what seems known, as long as they can.  Perhaps this marks some difference between survival and thriving.  Maintenance versus development.  Preservation versus advance.  Enclosing versus opening.

But time.  Molecules move and shake around; synapses shift, come undone, frackle, rewire…adjust.  Adapt.  There are new conditions.  The movement of beings, of the world, continuously alters our context, alters ourselves.  When they left, or something seemed lost, other inhabitants, presences, qualities, realities fill the perceptive interoperable surround…some constraints are increased, some loosened, restraints, license, “competition”:  wind, rodents, weather, routine… The primary structuring relationships morph.  Continually.

Now wife.  Now wife and children.  Now certain finances.  Now no finances.  Now surety, stability, now uncertainty, hazard, CHANGE.  CHANGE (never not occurring) ALWAYS EQUALS OPPORTUNITY (for living things), ALWAYS EQUALS DIFFERENCE.

Now no wife.  Now children.  Now no job.  Now scrapping for sustenance.  Now certain friendships.  Now the absence of certain friends.

Now different care.

What will the winds do?  The rain, the sun, the heat, the ice?  Critters?  What new sounds will my structure make – interactions – given the changes in conditions, in surround?  WHAT ARE WE NOW?  The same.  Structurally – a form made for interaction, a part of the world, interlocked and interwoven, a bundle of functions and processes, intentions and conditions – exposed by happening in a world.

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“Things fall apart, the center cannot hold”

(Great!  How else…life?)

And how beautiful the potencies of change.  How messy.  How easy to attribute – “good” “bad” “difficult” “help” “harm” “ease”…

But is what’s happening to the homestead, the barn now – in lieu of human use and care – less easy?  Less beautiful?  Does not every context surrounding and composing a structure of forms – both help and harm of a sort?

Would it be false to say this erosion, this abandonment to other interests and types of care, this shifting of primary interactions, reciprocating attachments, looks like loss?  With all that light pouring through?  All the redolent air and wheezing whistling and rattle?  Has the new (ever-altering) context of comings-and-goings helped or harmed this structure…or, perhaps mostly…BOTH?  Just like the previous and every future one?

We.  I.  You.  Crafted ever-so-intricately in contexts we are unable to adequately identify (comprehensively) or evaluate – for they ARE the context that is co-creating (in-forming) our identifications and evaluations.  We interpret – according to the context we are enmeshed in/with.

CHANGE CONTEXT – CHANGE PERCEPTION, INTERPRETATION, IDENTIFICATIONS, EVALUATIONS…change even what we look for…

A breaking, a leaving, an abandonment, some loss…(simply, really, change) – do they not equal a kind of damage, a kind of harm, so full of openings, exposure, new perspectives granted the initializing structures that we truly DO NOT KNOW what living is for?  But this? – TO LIVE?!

The rent places let the outside in in novel ways, creating coevally novel openings for the inside to emerge.  The wear co-creates other structural stresses and reliefs, new releases and new enclosures, novel shapes and textures, colors perhaps we never knew were possible to begin with.  Never a potential until the context came that facilitates and allows, enacts and enables.

Always interacting, we change.  Always changing (along with our entire surround) defines INTER-ACTION.  Barn: Enter, Action.  Always.

NOW…this…

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Experiences confoundingly rendered with these sound contexts:

Mapping the Meanings – Semiotic Territories

Guattari - emphatic umph

Semiotic Territories 

If the world were different, or its circumstances, so would he be – no use going down that avenue.  Where he’d gotten to, he’d arrived of his own doing – his own choices, interactions and responses to his surroundings – his opportunities and limitations – his very own and very shared, complex experiences.

The “way of looking at it” is always only one way of looking at it – that’s the case of it, even when viewed through “multiple perspectives” – if its delivered of a human, it’s the processing of singular machines, however plural their construction may be.

So change is curious, in that, when any element alters, the entire effect is unknown, is of incalculable scales that can only be measured in probabilities.  Probabilities, hypotheses, theories and beliefs have one tremendous thing in common: they are all of them uncertain.  You’ve heard it said (or he has) – “the only thing that doesn’t change is change itself,” no, that doesn’t sound quite right, “the only thing we know for certain is that everything’s uncertain,” no, people don’t use the word certain and its relatives that often.  “Change is truth, truth is change”?

She said: “A shared past isn’t forgotten even in change.”  That works for him, for what is memory but the continuous recording of change?

It’s grown easy to confuse himself, he thinks.

 

He notes:  “You find yourself in an encyclopedia of circumstance and then you wonder.”  He only wonders because to inquire or investigate would mean to revise the encyclopedia by looking at it – selecting, perceiving, and thereby focusing an entry to the ignorance of the rest.  A book-burning, a global apocalypse, a conflagration of reality.  Not what he wants.  So he sits and stews or simmers there.  But the limiting fact of existing at “there” annihilates great distances.  He can’t seem to avoid mass destruction.  He takes deep breaths.

 

Writing like thinking like moving – all of it creating a splintered prism of mirrors, warped and shattering windows on presence.  He loves her.  And others beside.  And himself.  And the strange fanatic gifts of the world.  People – “good,” “bad,” or otherwise – how can they not fascinate, be beautiful, in even their minimal capacities?  Where had he edited this part of himself, during?  How he loved her, benefit or ill.

 

He changes, along with everything about (or around) him.

 

Everything was changing (an enormous statement) and he along with it (the Everything).  Self, selves, other, others – why did all seem unavoidably personal?  Just what was this ‘person-ness’?  He feeds encyclopedias to flames, and entertains the questions.  Realizing that questions are the riddling workings of erasure.

 

His question swipes across its context, even when he’s asking of its context.  In other words (his words) “focus obliterates the unclear.”  And the unclear composes the context.  The too-much and more-than, some even say “Beyond.”  What’s not forgotten in the stylus of changing – our memory?  What shared past is present?  He looks at her photographs uniquely each time, each moment, each instance.  Even in-stance he’s not stable.

 

How could he hold position on a spinning globe?

He asks Siri, the plastic voice of a Global Positioning System:  “Where am I?”  Her reply obliterates the world in a profession of some arbitrary gridwork (abstract and unreal) of names and points, streets and latitudes, longitudes, disabling fabrications designed to throw him off course and locate him against the constant movement.  He remembers not to believe, that very re-membering dismembering the possibles.

 

Desiring connection – the security or perceived safety of a tightened weave, to be knotted in a tangle of threads – he spies squirrels and birds, fences and trees, a woman’s breast.  To sense substance pressed against another, as if interacting a location that might not give.  Or give precisely.  An event.

 

He can’t remember what is not being forgotten.  He wanted to, wanted to know what she didn’t forget, like a recipe or table of contents, a topographical map.  He couldn’t imagine what response she would give – what saying or writing, what sculpting or paint – as an answer.

 

He stops guessing as an act of nonviolence.  Most probably he lays down and opens his arms as a wishing and welcome.  That is his practice now: bewildered? confused? give greeting and welcome.  “Hello there, unclear and unknown, I am unable to re-cognize you or you would be known and familiar…and yet I am sensing a pattern,” he says.  A family resemblance of mystery, a remembering of is.  If no one’s written that, perhaps they should (he thinks – another act of violence).  Pronouncements.  Aphorisms.  Like paradox-bombs, parables leaving remains.

 

As a first, he senses he understands “absolute truth” – that rage and genocide that attempts to rid the world of itself – its reality, complexity, multitudes.  Truth the large red button signed “Do Not Press!”  Depression must be a result of pressuring some truth, excluding all else?

 

Confused, he feels at home.  Mismembering, bewildered, changing with change.  Con-fused – isn’t that what he on some scale desires?  To be fused-with, part-of, belonging and participant?

He’s in motion, there is music and breath and these thoughts – all things depending on change.

 

“…no longer a subjective bubble, but rather a limitless interface through which ontological or ‘pure’ relations and ‘becomings’ easily pass…Subjectivity is constitutively open, or has a being-toward, as do all relative beings…We are semiotic, existential territories rather than brains in vats, and these territories or ecologies are not contained within our physical anatomy, nor are they known only as immanent representations.  The question becomes this: Where does your cognition or subjectivity terminate if it is a suprasubjective process and not a stable substance?  The ‘self’ becomes a sign relation or interpretant rather than an unrelated, ontological entity…What is being constantly emphasized is a kind of semiotic ontology in which relations become crucial at every level of analysis and allow for the interweaving of corporeal and incorporeal factors.  Relations are an intrinsic dimension of being, and every being becomes the active center of a web of relations with other beings…beings that are nevertheless in mobile relationships…the ‘truth of the relative’ rather than the ‘relativity of truth.”

– Paul Bains, The Primacy of Semiosis: An Ontology of Relations

ernst bloch - human

The Training

Friday Fictioneers – April 5, 2013

From Scott Vanatter with permission-Copyrigh-  Indira

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it”

Proverbs 22:6

Now I’m grown up and old I can see the effects of my “training.”  Ingrown here, stunted there, twisted and crooked aslant.  The cells in their leaning away.  Living and dead all over.  No chance of undoing.  I don’t  doubt that the core of me is reaching, but axes and ropes have wounded my way.  I did my damnedest.  Filling up leaves, sending out seeds, but the root was in the sap.  Perhaps I’ll be useful for burning.

N Filbert 2013

Charting Change

“the rare scholars who are nomads-by-choice are essential to the intellectual welfare of the settled disciplines.”

-Szolem Mandelbrot-

After 12 nomadic years of self-study, retail labor, marriages and parenting, I am now in my second semester of graduate studies in Library & Information Sciences.  As my coursework progresses and evolves toward more specified researching, the organization of my passions and values, interests and desires do as well.  Over the past year my blog manoftheword and the other blogs I participate in have primarily been creative instigations and outlets.  Places where my ongoing work in art and literature can find some audience and I can process and work through ideas and conceptions as they fumble their way toward something more finished, hopefully one day publishable, perhaps useful to others.  Most of my poetic efforts I have exposed through Spoondeep along with the work of a dear friend of mine.  The works my wife and I set out to do and continue (not nearly as often as we desire) can be witnessed at Combinatory Art in Motion, where we attempt a contemporary and relational ekphrasis as an open and intimate artistic endeavor.  

As the demands of schooling, parenting and marriage bundle and thicken, my focuses also need to sharpen and grow more efficient.  In accord with this, I have changed the title and some of the goals of keeping this blog active and vital.  The discipline of Library & Information Sciences is proving to be a wonderful practical theoretical grounding of the majority of those aspects I love most about our world:  language, art, relationships and learning, and I am focusing my investigative work in the program on semiotics, human-information-behavior, Information Retrieval systems and tools and design, and the function of language in our acquisition of knowledge and interpretation of the world and its data.  This is nothing new for me, and I have attempted and practiced many of these same methods throughout my life – reading, writing, and communicating with others.

All this to say that The Whole Hurly Burly will become a place for me to work out my creative life in language and symbols (or images) as it has been, but will probably have fewer posts and hopefully entries that are more fully developed.  Research takes time, and so many hours of reading and interpretation, and as elements arise that I can only work out for myself poetically or in imaginative prose, if they seem to have some merit or I need feedback I will post them here.  There may also be more theoretical hypotheses as I struggle to make sense of the many lines of thought rubber-band-balling my brain.  I will keep up with Friday Fictioneers so that there will be at least one fiction exercise a week and will continue to pass on crucial inspirational quotes/music/arts/ideas as they flood my desk.

It has become very clear to me that I want whatever I do to be drawn up from the whole messy complex background texture and tangle of being a living human being among other humans and the larger matrices of the world – it is this untangleable complex and network of social and natural, individual and corporate, intimate and estranged, abstracted and imaginative realities that I take Wittgenstein to be referring to when he refers to it as “the whole hurly-burly” of our goings-on.  And the sinewy, grueling and challenging process of attempting to refer to our experience semantically, in language, in symbols, in sounds and shapes is the most rewarding activity I experience – and when we come close to our desire it feels in me to be what David Foster Wallace signifies “making the head throb heart-like.”  

These, then are the goals of this blog moving forward.  To engage and investigate the “whole hurly burly” and to offer it to you  in hopes it might cause your “heads to throb heart-like.”  I cannot thank you enough for whatever time you give my process and work, your kindness in engaging and insightful comments.  Here’s to development and change —

and what is currently infusing me:  Currently Reading

Conclusion to the Gift that Explodes : Final Page

Notebook7

and the typeset:

7

Taking Root, Using Your Woods

For this is how we come to woods – they come to us.  Ancient are the lineages and deep the roots of almost every wood we encounter.  Your woods, my child, though freely belonging to anyone, are also and quite absolutely, your own.  You see, we come to learn our woods through time and play, experiment and work.  Those woods you train yourself with, that you fondle and prune and water and grow – those woods will change right along with you.  With time and your own adjustments, growth and adaptations to all within and around you – these woods will shape those changes in you and you will select, alter and use each of your woods in your very own specific and particularized manner…in every moment, experience, and time.

It may not be long before one of us departs with The Leavings, and with such a season you may seek out woodless spaces for a while.  There is nothing wrong with leaving woods behind for a time.  You will invariably find yourself among thickets of woods you do not recognize, are unfamiliar, or being used in ways you had not imagined.  Remember, my dear one – this world is large and uncontained – we cannot master it – it is crowded and flush with persons and woods.  Incessantly they are changing, every moment – the woods and their peoples, and the peoples’ selection and uses of woods.  Many will offer you groves unwanted, wealds of woods you do not know, clumsy lumber for your yearning purpose.

Remember to breathe and look far, my dear, take your time and search their roots.  Nearly any wood can be partially known from its seed taking root and its clamorous growth.  Woods are formed of winds and waters, weathers and disparate soils – they are bound to have unique characteristics and histories, varieties and sources – learning these will help you find your way among them.  While hardly a simple task – its effort carries its own worth.

Then you may come to feel comfort in whatever woods construct the bosk where you are – they can speak to you, and you with them – becoming another precious person of the wood.

You have so much to offer us, as the forests of woods do you – all the many woodlands spread throughout our homelands, neighborhoods, countrysides and world – many, yes, loved child, many woodlands yet to be invented, discovered or known – and you, sweet forested one, growing now among them, taking roots, assembling branches and leaf piles and canopies, or ships with broad docks and high towers, realms and copses, barrels and fires and beds – as you learn to love and use your woods, multiply and form them – oh what wonders await us all!

Take your roots, then, gather seeds, use your woods – let them grow and shape you – plant, sprout and remake them!  All woods you engage are yours while you are in them!  So live, darling wonder, live and learn and create!  Staying open to woods – testing and investing and proclaiming them!  Even logging them for records or constructions, be certain to renew, and create!

and the final product of the little gifted notebook from my lovely daughter, sussing me through these holidays

Notebook - Ida

Lifecycling Parenthood

For those of us with children.

How different the meaning of “precious.”  Also “alive.”  What the self rearranges.

There was a time.

In the beginning, the excitement of puppies.  That generosity.  The concept of dependence revised.

A dawning recognition involving hope and helplessness – their power.  Sheer organism.  Complexity.  Alive, mobile, emerging.  What wears away, gets broken.  What heals, what hardens.  Your part in it.

The changing nature of survival, and terms like “health,” “okay,” and “wellness.”

An awareness of trajectories: expansion versus maintenance, collage versus carve, assembling as opposed to mending.  The children, the parent.

What persons are.  Attachments.  Difference.  Freedom.  Control.

The blowing snow left in their absence.  The ways they vanish, into themselves, their people, cracks in the world, airstreams and oceans.

How control rarely changes hands, nearly always remains invisible, what no one grasps.

The erratics of growth, the scale of unexpected development, of motives, of attention.

Intention and the noise inherent in communication.  The stage of sighs – their nuances.

We age.  Our eyes grow joy and sorrow, and both look like pride coupled to grief.

Randomness of adulthood.  Vagaries of time and consequence.  Learning curves like tangled thread.

Inevitable dismissal.

N Filbert 2012