In my efforts to ground and attend to my experience and express it with honesty (see Opening the Hand) I have developed a map of locations – realms of the process that have risen as prominent regions within the difficulty, effort, grief, growth and procession of engaging dramatic change… You can view it here: Locations on the Map of Meaning.
To view the text for each mode, simply hover over the nodes title, click or press the + button or the down arrows beneath each location title to see full content. Some nodes lead to further nodes or you can use the buttons along the bottom of the screen. Repeating my former disclaimer…
“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.”
…and wonderings about language as a tool and an abstract medium. Wondering if in the endless bewilderment of experience – of living – rife with woundings and joys – we move to shared media, providing communally devised realms in which to re-vision, simultaneously creating new life, wherewith and wherein to investigate and inquire, to dig and dig and…
Language as constructed or agreed-upon and functional (tool) medium.
Then there’s this full of resonances and also contributing to the reflections – required text of a current course:
…and I quote:
“As the reader gropes the stacks – lifting books and testing their heft, appraising the fall of letterforms on the title page, scrutinizing marks left by other readers – the more elusive knowledge itself becomes. All that remains unknown seems to beckon from among the covers, between the lines. In the library, the reader is wakened from the dream of communion with a single book, startled into a recognition of the word’s materiality by the sheer number of bound volumes; by the sound of pages turning, covers rubbing; by the rank smell of books gathered together in vast numbers…the physicality of the book is strongest in libraries, where the accumulated weight of written words seems to exert a gravity all its own.”
“So the library is a body, too, the pages of books pressed together like organs in the darkness…[in libraries] I can fool myself that the universe is composed of infinite variations of a single element – the book – that I, too, am made of books, like the person in Giuseppe Arcimboldo‘s painting The Librarian“
“…a person made of books; his is not a single book but a whole library”
“I have the distinct impression that the millions of volumes may indeed contain the entirety of human experience: that they make not a model for but a model of the universe.”
“…texts, fabrics to be shredded and woven together in new combinations and patterns…”
“everything in the world exists to end up in a book” (Stephane Mallarme)
“With their leaves of fiber, their inks of copperas and soot, and their words – books are an amalgam of [Roger Bacon‘s] three classes of substance capable of magic: the herbal, the mineral, and the verbal”
“For any question, the library offers no hope of a definitive answer…unlimited and cyclical”
“Together they tell us stories that they could not tell alone”
“In many places, the volumes are thick with dust, pocked with the holes left by insects,
which are almost as hungry for books as I“
-all quotes except where noted – Matthew Battles Library: An Unquiet History
And somehow I can’t help but think the interface and interstice of languaging matter in this way – a way that provides comfort and the slightest skin of distance from the raw inside of skin – inseparable recursions – but mediated immediately – kind of like magic; a LOT like alchemy; always experience – but less abrasive or intrusive than “direct.” Perhaps paint, light, cameras and brushes, clay, etc – any art that borrows matter outside the body – similarly provides a soluble, gentled, media through which to live forward…
…in other words…are our preferences for embodiment a part of what define us as artists in the societal mesh? The media through which we most naturally express or experience or embody indicative? Textuality as embodiment for the writer; clay, stone, marble, etc. for the sculptor; movement for the dancer; oil, pigment, brush, etc. for the painter; lines for the draughtsman and so on…
Greetings readers. I have spent the past few days to-and-froing from my son in the hospital undergoing a corrective surgery related to pectus carinatum, and full-family summer and researching the pros and cons of PDA (patron- or demand-driven acquisitions). I am very happy to say that after a nearly 5-hour surgery, in which we allowed “experts” to cut our son’s chest nipple to nipple, lay back the muscle, chip-scrape “excise” the cartilage out of his ribcage, crack his sternum, reshape him and insert a flexible metal bar…he is recovering smashingly, already walking about, playing card-games, and humorously retorting. This is the first “major” operation, injury, break, accident or otherwise that has occurred to my genetic offspring, and, although I’ve endured much trauma with the injuries and surgeries of my spouse, I was unsure what to anticipate going through in allowing invasive slicings and breakings to my precious son’s body.
Needless to say, it is affective.
At night I slept as if in a dark void.
I felt shamefully unattentive to my other children, lacking energy and focus.
I let deadline stressors and ongoing responsibilities take their places in my tissues and veins, deep recesses of my cortex, and let my eyes drift repeatedly into mid-point aether.
I don’t know.
Something like this went on in my son.
it was pretty foggy in me.
So now we enter “recovery.” Realignment. Exercise. Recall. Precision. Strengthening. Focus. Effort. Rest.
and facing the stack of avoidances.
Recall looks like this (for me):
– regaining presence of mind –
“You could try to express what bliss it was in those days to be alive. Of course there were bothersome things here or there. Terrible things, if you looked too closely. There was the dreadful burden of everything that’s too much alive, all that mingles with air, earth and water in an attempt to destroy you. There was the malice of men, the voracity of beasts, and the indifference of objects. There were all the sounds and sights and smells like continual dagger-thrusts in the flesh. It wasn’t easy to live with all those things; no, no one could have said it was easy. But all the same it was funny in a way, touching and funny, a splendid adventure complete with emotion, language, consciousness, and perhaps, in some recess of the memory, a kind of nostalgia for silence and peace…Yes, what was happening to you was an unforgettable and unique adventure…”
to browse the gist of things…a little where-its-coming-from-where-its-going, start here:
otherwise, here’s the newest particles:
There being always more sides to the stories.
Building blocks of broken bones.
Families at bone-splintering nearness. Whether abusive or conditional; assertive, supportive, overindulgent or neglectful. The pressures in an atom wiggle and hum, each entity squeezed and redirected into another, without foregoing elemental ingredients.
Why drawing so close hurts so much, compounding all the bruisings.
Take seven shattered anatomies and circle them into a hug. Ouch, oof, shrieks and tears. Sounding like sport or war. Ahem. The game is designed to figure out where it’s safe to rest and heal. Together. Every press accentuates wound, but may also set the fracture.
The littered trail. Fragments, chips, and joints. Ankles, ribcage, skulls. The longer held together, dwindles the percentage unharmed. Increases deformation, reformation, and strength in the bindings. History makes the call. Families get made this way.
Alpha male’s left-side stress-fractures filigree – he brings them in close to the mama. Pain ensues globally, harder gripping cuts and tears her. Dislodging hip and rib, she wails back, threatening to come undone, wrapping and withholding fragile loins. Glass-cracked between the eyes evincing wince, he lumbers to the bottle – an anesthetic, fog-inducing ICU.
Boys pummel and cling on trampoline. Superheroes blasting at their foes, setting right the world. Divine ninja tricksters, eluding all blows, fending sacred space from viral intrusion. Morphing Jekyll into Hyde. Two-against-one turns to three-on-three, searing yelps and hollered rage compound the fractures and spread the lesions until a fuming heap of shame remains.
Emotion rivers throughout a system. Elaborate table-game of chance, every draw altering rules. And conditions. One discretion cheats them all.
Resistance (fear) and just revenge. Creating hypotheses – infinite dis-ease.
Tuck them in with tender warmth. Dabbing sores with salve. Reconnoitre, reassemble, holding court, calling assembly. The luxury is not repeating childhood, home is not a corridor of labs. Parent positioned now as doctor; infected all the same.
Blood is issue, possible transfusion, tearing tissues. Don’t ignore, curing is a share. having invented them in this inventive world, they must also be wriggled through. Calls for help, from any corner, equate a demand.