Writing Ontologically? – the shit thickens

“It is the slowness of the art of writing, in its mechanical execution, that for years now has at times repelled and discouraged me: the wasted time of a writer throwing words on the page.

Julien Gracq – Reading Writing

for Jean Lee @ Jean Lee’s World, with apologies

I really “mean” it when I say that I don’t know what I am writing, and that the REAL WHY is because I want to write, and am able, and that I honestly have no character, event, or idea in mind or body as I apply this mediatory marking instrument (ball-point-pen) between whatever-myself-is and this-blank-lined-paper.

I truly might be WASTING LIVING TIME.

OR…might be recording something useful…providing traces…leaving marks of process…like masturbation, cooking, politics, or work – HOW LIVING TIME IS “WASTED.”

Who knows?  The scientists?  Or neurobiologists?  The philosophers or anthropologists?  Historians?  Pastors?  Sociologists?  CEOs?  Artists?  Who determines (evaluates and judges) what is “waste” from what is “significant”/”important”?  Do humans?  Does Time?

For what it’s worth, I have an ellipsis of minutes I am not (apparently) needed by children, pets, work, or world…and so I have taken up a writing tool and am drawing letters in collectives called words onto an empty section of a blank lined notebook.

Is this valuable?  Don’t we wonder or ask this regarding every action and breath?  From holding a child, to exercise; fixing plumbing to sleeping?  Laundry.  School.  DOES THIS MATTER?!?  And, if it might, to WHOM or WHAT…why?

I cannot imagine to whom it might matter that I am stumbling out sentences with nothing in mind other than WRITING, TO-BE-WRITING – excepting my insignificant eperiencing of “self” that WANTS TO BE WRITING – in any case.  Therefore, I AM writing.

All those who seem to depend on me for their well-being, survival (or SENSE of same) also SEEM to be surviving and existing at relative comfort.  Those who purchase (shamefully) my “LIFE.TIME” via employment – have proffered the day off as a normative weekend practice.  For the time being, apparently NOTHING has immediate NEED of me, so I am left to determine what to do with “TIME.”

(my LIFE).

And because I overhear myself continuously complaining, desiring, wishing and bemoaning that I ‘never have time’ to write – I AM WRITING.  Because.

As far as I can tell, I am writing nothing (of worth) because, as much as I desire to write, I actually don’t know WHAT to write, or for WHOM, or WHAT – and so i am just WRITING because.  Serving no one, not even myself, yet perhaps.  Perhaps, because the WANT or URGE “to write” as a writer…is NOT to WRITE SOMETHING (as far as I can surmise – albeit I also regularly wish I were writing something ‘great’ or ‘evental,’ etc…) but truly is simply to be IN THE ACT OF…WRITING, which I AM, and therefore I cannot know what good any of it does beyond being what I wish I were doing…becoming ACTUAL.

Wishes come true: I AM WRITING.

To no point of purpose but the fulfillment of desire: I AM DOING WHAT I WANT TO BE DOING: I AM WRITING.  And it does feel good, and part of it (I think) feels good because I am unable to discover a path, direction, or ‘way’ for it to feel good FOR.

In conclusion: I AM WRITING

and this is: WHAT I WANTED TO BE.

Mission.  Accomplished.

(to/for whomever wherever whatever)


I, Artifact, Anyone

Mt Hood

I and the Anyone Artefact.


Given the miniscularity and brevity…and, say, the import or apparent heft – foils of mountain, sea, sky, and other incremental gravities or scale-altering engagements…

…what boils down in my insignificant, barely mappable blip of a space-form “life-span”?


What do I want?  (Mountain. Man. Collective of actionable atoms.)


Or how about in another form:   I, mountain, atom, want to write, am writing,

leaving record (partly), making record (partly), finding record (partly),

recording (partly), imagining (partly), learning (partly), playing (partly),

wondering (partly), thinking (partly), providing (manufacturing) company (partly),

because I can and it makes living-through delightful, meaningful, poignant, aware, alert…


Simply…I accounted for happiness recently as reading, writing and forms of companionship, because reading and writing (inseparable companions, or perhaps two aspects utterly meshed and merged, inextricably joined) – experiencing them seems to me to be enhanced when compatibly shared, mutually valued, reciprocated and informed.


I want to write.  I want what I write to provide sustenance for my self and children and home.  I want to write whatever I have it in me to make out of language, not what people ask me to write or pay me to write or suggest that I write.



There is a grand, iconic, snow-capped mountain – Kilimanjaro, Hood, Vesuvius – symmetrical-seeming mounds of earth that simply and irreducibly and undeniably say – silently and continuously – “I AM HERE.”


Part One:

I exist.  I mark.  I testify to and quarry that existence in my way.  I artefact.


[Write well.  Parent well.  Perhaps partner.]


“Companionship”: friendshipfellowship, closeness, togethernessamityintimacyrapport,



[wants to be a writer.  writes.  AM a writer.  wants to support existence by doing that which it wants : to write]

“the intersection of talents and joys”

[wants to parent well.  to develop thoughtful, compassionate, productive child-persons of survivable health.  parents.]


To artefact (not for longevity or endurance [perhaps partly – a kind of sustenance surely]) but to quarry the systems and processes – the multitude of unknowns to living-through.

I artefact – consciously to be present, to offer, to be worthwhile, to further matter (to participate in generation, ongoing complexity, collaboration, coordination and collocation – co-being, co-construction with world).


Write.  Parent.  Relate. (therefore) I, artifact (make ‘art’ in ‘fact’).

[take in artefacts via world – learn, adopt, adjust, adapt, extend – and artifact this process out]


These are wonderful, benign, banal, investigations.


The Simply Difficult:  WHAT AM I?  WHO AM I?  WHY?  HOW? : The Questions of Living-Through. 

(I repeatedly note that life interests me insofar as I am querying WHY people think they exist and attending to HOW …)

What are your answers to these?  (my present mobile answers provided in parentheses)

  1. WHAT are you?  (a temporary and dynamic collection of active molecules idiosyncratically coupled and formed)
  2. WHO are you?  (a fluid and alterable co-depending individuated space-form reciprocally coupled to its perceptual and perceiving, cognizable surround)
  3. WHY are you?  (a form of life…to be)
  4. HOW are you?  (idiosyncracies=personhood: the fluctuating continuum of activities and behaviors between what I contain and what contains me…the marginal substance where uniqueness exhibits)

Or… I, Mountain / You, Sky. Ocean. Flock. Field. Plain.

Metaphor:  perhaps our primary mode of learning?  Posit, compare, examine, observe, revise, pretend, fabricate, manipulate, invent: “Make-sense”=”Knowledge / Learning”


All of this to say that every object(form) at every moment is responsible for the possibilities of meaning.


We could be anyone (and will be, have been, are, plus…) individually (or ‘uniquely’ ANYone).


IN OTHER WORDS:  I want to stop whatever this is and tell you.


Want to tell you I LOVE YOU.  I am personally thankful that you exist and am convinced the entire world would be different (no matter how miniscule or brief you may be) if there were not you (seems to be the way EVERYthing – systemically – IS).  So I am thankful (good or ill) that: ARE.  IS.


Say there is/was a child.  Mountain.  Hypothesis.  Arrangement.  Beginning.  Again.  Scenario.

ARTIFACT: Chance.  Atom.  Action.  Experience.  Being.

Pretend:  Sky crashes.

Mountain melts away.

All = nada.

And then “YOU”= WHO? WHAT? WHY? HOW? (WHERE is implicit)


p.s. someone will die in someone’s arms

p.p.s.  someone will write about it, remember

p.p.p.s. someone might sing

p.p.p.p.s.  someone will represent it in paint/clay/language/dance/sound


Mountain              Sky                Ocean               Trees                 Soil



Me.  We are that we are, how we are, when we are, who.  

What has gurgled in me throughout this week, and made it somewhat difficult to post much, is that I ran into these burls.  Grief, change, adaptation, struggle – they all push us up against, or cause us to deny or flee from, these knots, these boundaries, these fabrications of how things ARE, how we’d wish they were, or could be.  In myself, these evidence as anxieties, fears, verges of hopelessness.  With the help of others – my children and their presentness, their being-into (ecstasy), being-out, unique ways of being-with – my therapist, and many other well-intentioned voices and persons who want good for me… I come to see that MOSTLY it’s ME and these burls, these knots, these imagined borders and boundaries in myself – MY IDEAS OF HOW IT WOULD BE NICE FOR THINGS TO BE, my ideas of my “self/ves,” my organismic survival instincts and ancestral tactics – that dislodge me, silence me, THAT I UTILIZE (choose or select) to withhold and diminish and undo my opportunities to be-in, be-with, be-out, be-for the rest of you – the world, my children, my work, my self/ves.

So I’ve been termiting around in these burls.  Wondering how do I undo habit, instinct, ancient patterns of stanching, stoppering, limiting a potential flow of the world and my surround and my relationships and my knowledge and my emotions and my beliefs and my feelings and my thoughts and my dreams and my fears and my anger and my sorrow and my regret and my terror and my joy – work WITH those facts… and begin to erode my selections and choices of UNDOING and LIMITING and FEARING and DIMINISHING and instead tear or leap off these quantitative scales of evaluation, these assessments, these CVs and criteria – and JOIN.  JOIN.  OFFER.  GIVE.  BRING.  SHOW UP.  BE.

CHOOSE – slowly, granularly, deliberately, carefully, wildly – to INVITE the world (as it is) THROUGH, and OFFER the world (as it is) THROUGH…




…and All.

I don’t even have to reflect to be able to say that Synechdoche, NY – a film by Charlie Kaufman – is my favoritest made movie of my lifetime, or even of all time for my lifetime.  And as I burrow in these burls of grinding away at the resistances, the terrors, the wishes, and the ecstasies of being a human alive, stumbling across this short lecture of his has been an invaluable gift.  I do not know how to improve on it, so I let it pass THROUGH me… to you…

“Acceptance is nothing less

than the complete transformation

of what one has believed to be one’s self

and one’s reality.”

– Cheri Huber –

Research Respite

research overwhelm

In the midst of a day of feeling overwhelm faced with school projects, group projects, and individual research assignments, I woke anxious and needing voices to recall my core – the vibratory physiology of the aim of my experience – to write, creatively, freely, integrated and symbiotically brain-body-world…

I scanned my shelves for emergency care, and found it here:

Going Back, Going Forward

I hastily grabbed a notebook of primarily blank pages as I whooshed the children off for a swim.  I needed to study and make notes while they splashed about and played and require pen & paper for the process.  It turned out that the pages containing my writing dated some 15 years ago – journaling from a 4-day solo hike I had made in the Colorado mountains.  Included was this me-of-20-something’s poem:

Ars Poetica 1995

The whole notebook was nostalgic for me – my youthful vibrant concerns for solitude and justice, freedom and nature and virtue.  What struck me about this little number was how consistent (or persistent) the concerns and interests worded here have been (obviously) throughout most of my life.  Seeking purpose, expression, control – recognizing somehow that once language is entered, is invoked, everything changes.  Our purposes, searches, availabilities, capacities, expressions, knowledge, – all gets reworked and revised as we engage in the broader activity of language.

If, as John Canfield theorizes, “in language we never leave the sphere of the social” and that “language is a vague concept with unclear boundaries,” in part because it “grows as more language-games are added to the mix, and as existing ones are enriched in various ways,”  that, fundamentally “language is a set of customs in which words play a role, a set of patterned, culturally determined modes of interaction..” so that with “increasing cultural complexity come increasing complexity of our patterns of interaction” then my lifelong hunches that I’ll never get a handle on it, or master its use, or turn it explicitly to my purposes are a matter of course.

M. A. K. Halliday’s Triangle

Which is also what fascinates, compels and rewards its use.  Again, with such a limited arsenal of units – (take a look at your keyboard and consider for a moment to what gargantuan and variable use we put those 100 keys or so) – every engagement with the tool is interactive, reciprocally shaping and shaped by us, and unfailingly externalizing for our organism – the medium thrusts and immerses us into our society and culture and history and possible futures, as well as all the “thinks you can think” and more!

On the right day, then, my bewilderment in the face of language as my vocational practice gets to be an adventure of constant discovery, novelty, and learning – immersing me in some infinite-like context, warping and woofing my organism into a universe of threads…

all quotations from John Canfield’s Becoming Human: The Development of Language, Self and Self-Consciousness

Possible Presents of Fiction

If you click on this cover you will open a brief essay regarding fiction, presently.  I find it interesting, challenging, and compact.  If you have an interest in writing as discovery, as research, as emergence, as investigation and creativity, I encourage you to read it…

12 theses on fiction’s present

Tripping into a “break” with no break, or antidote – meaning? purpose?

Investigating “breaks”: antidote? meaning?

When there are assignments – yes, that’s the word – trajectories commissioning the laborious application of signs – I resemble a young school-age girl white-bloused and checkered-skirted skipping little curlicues down a sunlit autumn sidewalk.  Either in performance or avoidance of what demands to be done.  Activity testifies to play.  The weight of the backpack keeps the frolic tethered to the ground.

Geometrically you could geo-graph-ically map the carefree trail, which would end up looking quite a bit like the path of Woodstock’s flight (extended)

 [how I investigate world]

Relieved of positive burden – reputation, obligation, guilt, shame, agreement – anywise some sort of internal enforcer relating to the external world – is as if Schulz erased the yellow birdy’s gravitation.  The backpack become balloon with the force of hot air but random like helium – set free of a hand and willy-nilly flitting to loss in midwesternly wind-raked sky.

Mine is more of a breach or a gap in the hedge – squares of deconstructed sidewalk without boards.

Collapsing toward me in slow-motion imminence are towers of books and billings, due dates and mouths to feed, souls to placate or nourish…rebar extending in its warped way out of the soil behind me – projects halfway done, future commitments previously agreed, promissory plans enacted for stabilizing measures.  Even now I hear the dogs barking outside, wanting in.  But the knot of rubber and tie of string are so easily undone…like mowers accidentally thud-chopping coiled garden hose that lay mimicking the hoppity school-girl’s jaunting…and all drifts off and away, falling through space, spinning in time – neither up nor down nor to or fro – simply set free  / total loss – momentary or not: unknown –  vacuous absence – somehow unmoored.

Where I am.