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?

The Last Wolf: or, “I showed you the darkness in the beginning”

I remember that I am falling

That I am the reason

And that my words are the garment of what I shall never be

Like the tucked sleeve of a one-armed boy

– W.S. Merwin, “When You Go Away”

Time keeps accumulating on my inability to write, to find time to write, to process living with language.  Simply to keep this space alive, I am posting a journal-like entry so as not to give up.

Recent weeks have been dominated by readings of Doug Rice, Laurie Sheck, Jon Fosse, Georges Bataille, Larry Levis, Maurice Blanchot, Samuel Beckett, Franco Berardi, Robert Bringhurst, Jeremy Fernando, Elfriede Jelinek and others…

What a traversal, passage, the past couple of months have been…

…like following the draw of the moon through dire straits

in dark, tumultuous seas…

…a feeling that everything is at its limit (Bataille, l’extreme) – EXPERIENCE.

  • pressured work projects, needs, deadlines, demands
  • endless and constant family logistics, accidents, needs
  • relentless parenting, relating, service to others
  • throngs of people and groups
  • lack of friends, lovers, supportive presences
  • fear, health, danger, exhaustion
  • failure
  • loss of partner
  • inexistence of calm or solitude
  • imposed travels
  • absence of sleep and rest
  • indulgence in desire and harm
  • minimal process
  • poor eating or nourishment
  • tension, strain
  • depression
  • lack (wellness) & excess (pressure)

…a teetering balance…

Mind you, this is how it feels in me, not how it is.

I miss everything that is/was good

…fail better…

There is a certain uncertain sorrow to things

(presence of melancholia, moon-draw)

Georges Bataille’s certainties:

  • WE ARE NOT EVERYTHING
  • WE WILL DIE

THE UNKNOWN                   THE UNSOLVABLE                       THE POSSIBLE

darkness                                              levity

Lynda Barry & the “Underground Skateboard” – how we draw from others work what we need to survive

Lemony Snicket & the autographing instruction that I should “read something else”

FAMILY

immersion (doom, closure)                                 held in levity

conscious moderation

– 1st Tarot reading –

(processual journey mythical)

Jacob recommends Homer – The Odyssey

doubling                                letting go – holding together                    The Devil/The Chariot

dark surfaces / surfaces of darkness (The Fool)

The Moon (dark journey) crossed by the Queen of Swords (wounding love)

THE UNKNOWN                       THE UNSOLVABLE                       THE POSSIBLE 

-Summer

Temperance

The King of Wands – leaders, pole vaulters, utilizing tension toward propulsion

leap over?  through?  on?

The Fool

Pas sage – not wisdom                                                      FRAUGHT JOURNEY

– Odyssey –

BATAILLE: “nothing is final…”

– “what is not there, which, once it is seen, often in literature, tells us what is” (Fosse)

Inner Experience

“the suffering of the disintoxicated” (Bataille)

The Human:

  • challenging everything (of putting everything into question) – Bataille
  • always a breakdown of systems that will not be restored – Sheck

“Experience reveals nothing and cannot found belief nor set out from it” – Bataille

“The hand moves forward, the tragedy begins” – Bataille

“no one grieves with you for what you are unable to say”

“life itself…always swerves away from my mouth”

– Elfriede Jelinek –

“how I’m owned by that which will not answer” – Sheck

“What you are will be spelled by whatever

lies trapped in your hand” – Robert Bringhurst

– emptiness is also empty –

“what is the part of us… feels…unnamed…

…i must live at some distance from convinced” – Sheck

 

“When I say you to what isn’t there – I mean me” (Larry Levis)

“you won’t find me in me” (Jelinek)

Experience eludes understanding ( Bataille)

– nor can I compute the possible (Sheck)

This too

is just one

more opinion

to move through

(Bringhurst)

FIRST AND FOREMOST YOU WRITE (Fosse)

“From an abandoned myth

(I write to you)” (D. Rice)

wanting them to mean nothing –

– and suggest everything (L Levis)

 

INTENTION:

  • hold open the imagination of possibility
  • “do not go gentle into that good night”
  • Moderation.  Extreme limit.
  • Contra-digitalia.  First and foremost write.
  • Be-Read

 

 

Confusion : Fusion-with

azure-liminal-sky

The light is good.  I’m confused.

What “good”?  “Good” for what, and in relation to?  Diffuse, azure atmosphere of oncoming dusk.  Chilly, not cold.  Nearly pleasant, yet crisp enough for shiver and grip.  Unsteady, trembling grasp of pen, a striving for control mated to its lack.

Hardly daylight.  Liminal.

I would like to express.  What I do not know, perhaps am even unable to.

This is why I approach a page – blank, blind, lined, empty – in “good” light and confusion.

Fusion-with, what?  Chemistry, alchemy, biosphere, organism, complexity, surround.  Others’ emotions, experience.  Possibilities not actualized, each swarming potential of vocabulary, gesture, signification – line, sign, mark, motion – converging formulation, conveying contrivance / re-cognition. What is not, hovering about each “is.”  To write.  To write (only) this.  When…

Once begun.  Light, terms, cursive.  Blue Bic ball-pointed pen.  Moleskine substitution and human and language and in- and ex- perience and some =, some theorized equation of functions and results.

January 29, 2017.  Nathan Wayne Filbert.  5:44 pm according to a Centrally Standardized Timepiece, an Apple product, arranged amidst pages from many centuries and sources, composed music sounding from the last, temperatures…”actualities”?…amid vast, incomputable com-possibilities.

If Nathan had not been “this one,” had not begun with a “T” or a “T + h + e” in this light, in this almost comfortable, discomfiting condition, in this notebook, with this pen and its ink at this time on this bastardized quality of paper, among such circumstances and scenarios, amid these relations as a father, a student, librarian, scholar, male – of this certain (arbitrarily standardized mandatory and countable) age, intimately (accordingly – to strata not set by either) coupled to- caring for-, concerned with-, worried by-, wishing for-, happy about-, and so on…

this word or letter at this time in this space with these extremely idiosyncratic and unlikely determinate positions and scenes in a surround incrementally rare and unreckonably accidental…

“The light is good.  I am confused” leading itself its own very peculiar particular wave way toward each next and next co-dependent with innumerable constituents and counterparts yet occurring here, now, 5:54 pm CST in Wichita, Kansas in United (are they?) States of America (wha-? why? how? when?) 2017 (by what calendar and whose and wherefore?) at an intersection outside of a centuries-old and decrepit “house” it calls “home” (why? wherefore? from whence toward and…?)…

Indeterminate.  Indecipherable.  Unreasonable and incalculable.  Not accountable or even conceivable…but IS (apparently).  Simply IS, what is written, at this time, in this place, by this organism, of these relations, in this surround, at this moment, occasion, “actuality”…

…as it happens… as if

“The light is good.  I am confused.”

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Meaning-Making in Living Systems, or, 15,000 Things

subatomic

is a phrase and a theory I have queried, contemplated, spelunked and pursued for the past few decades of my “living.”  Since (apparently) before I can remember, I’ve been addicted to a kind of figuring-out – some offspring of “understanding,” any concept / idea / or belief-faith – that might elucidate to me my (experienced) compulsion to “meaning” or “significance” – to matter as matter-in-relation.

I’ve encountered many gurus (preachers, priests, philosophers, psychologists, scientists, mathematicians and artists, farmers and engineers, poets = “people”) along the way who have sent, directed, swerved, commanded, troubled, commended, interrogated, suggested and questioned this impulse of mine.  From sarcasm to scholarship I’ve been told I will not find that which I seek.  Or recommended resolutions that don’t withstand my particular scrutiny and skepticism.

It is sunny and light, Spring-y and gentle in Kansas today.  I took my lunch, after a walk, at a table among trees.  Birds were active, dogs ambling by, flowers in bloom, and a breeze.

For the most part I “eat” cause I’ve believed that otherwise I would fail (as a being) and die.  I like to enjoy food, but most often it’s presumed “preparation” falls to me, and therefore becomes a complication of time I would prefer not to.

So I sat and I drank (so much easier).  Water & coffee & other things to my pleasure.  And “pondered,” I guess – what I do, when (apparently) no one requires immediate need of me.

I was alone, in a way.

And thinking of “meaning-making,” and “knowledge,” “belief” and “desire” – human shit.  (It’s what I do – that compulsion).

*** As I was contesting people’s behaviors and language recently in my home, my unanticipated fortune of something like a life-partner offered the response “there are 15,000 things it could be.”  Which struck hold and has become something of a cliché in short order in our home.  Imponderables, indefinables, indescribabilities.  For any action any thing might perform – there are nigh infinite possible “reasons” (most likely irrational) – these courses are taken.  “Personal knowledge” is not something we have.  Systems do what they do – what is done is what’s done – and the likelihood of our assessments being correct is near null.*** [that’s all an aside]

I can be critical.

And quite gracious and kind.

“Depending.”

On what?

15,000 things.

I am rambling.  And have decided to do so.  Readers, you must know, I don’t write because I have something to say.  (15,000 things).  I have drives to express (inexplicably) – and most often what I write is precisely a declaration of what I don’t know.

“The more we know, the more exposed we are to our ignorance, and the more we know to ask”

– Marcelo Gleiser, The Island of Knowledge

Well that’s a positivist view.

When I write, I expose all my ignorance.  Compose hunches and urges, fascinations and fears.  Ache to pull my ineffables toward tongues.  Talking’s the same.  I don’t know what I’m saying – just hoping experience finds text.  Immaterial materializing.  We might get “something to work with.”  I don’t understand any of it.

Sitting then, in the sweet Kansas day, 20/30 years of my life gained a traction.  “Meaning-making,” to make meaning, was obscuring infinite unknowns.  Underlying such a contention – that meaning is made – swum its absence = there’s no meaning “there.”

“Person-hood” aptly decreed – “person” a “hood” that we wear.  “Person-ality” – some ability we possess to appear as in situations.  “Meaning” – a something we might craft to suit our unaccountable occurrences.  I don’t mean anything, significance is made.  If I’m lucky the people around me choose to do so with my existence.  Otherwise it’s matter of course.  We’re Matter…of course.  But who knows?  Also the problem of “knowledge” – the only “knowledge” we have is our own and some idiosyncratic communal bastardization of what our Species has MADE.

Not quite nihilism.  Just meaninglessness.

I like the idea of “meaning-making” – finding it in the relation of atoms, of stars, of humans and beasts.  Of dreams and delusions, of science.  I like “knowledge” – created cultural artifacts and residue, flotsam & jetsam, structures and practical theories.  AND it would seem it obscures what surrounds.  For every academic discipline that drills its way into a world we experience (as humans) and stacks up hypotheses and –pedias…there’s still the wide world there from every other perspective and experience – the ant, paramecium, subatomic particle, sky.  Your spouse or your child, parent or friend, or the foreign, the stranger, the Other, the “them.”

Myopia.  Perception.  The experience of meaning.  Attribution of significance.  What matters in matter to ME.  IF matter – for even matter’s a human contribution to what seems to be.

Perhaps it comes down to particularized –“hoods” and “-abilities” – “each one’s” momentary personhood and personality – whether experience is an occasion to “make meaning” or glide on in its unnecessary meaninglessness.  I don’t know.

What remains is my deranged and crazy compulsion – my “hood” I guess, and ability.

So many words come to mind.

Ouroboros, or Autophagia

Ouroboros

I often feel that I’m dying.  Killing myself with disease. Killing myself via the activities of my “mind.”  Killing myself with alcohol.  Killing myself by over-extension, -exertion, lack of self-regard.    Worry.  Anxiety.  Perfectionism.  Wishes.  Desires.  Dying from the absence of sex (and yet orgasm is also a breathless ‘little death’).  Dying from lack of joy.  Dying of disuse, depletion, or disregard.  Dying of my own engulfing life.

Which only emphasizes the insistent FACT.  One thing we know, perhaps the ONLY certainty we’ve understood in the thousands or millions or billions of years we’ve been species-al (spec-ial) and aware of such information…is that we are dying.  Constantly.  Continuously.  Unstoppably.  Irrefutably and inescapably.  Inevitably.

Whether we do it to ourselves – amplify or expedite its course – or are at the mercies and whims of some enormous cosmic complex entanglement; whether our cells turn against “us,” or we turn our “selves” against our cells; excruciating or peaceful, ecstatic or terrifying – WE DIE.  ARE DYING.  WILL DIE.

For some, this undeniable evidence and unstoppable knowledge instigates a kind of “dead-already” worldview or perspective…a nihilism for some.  A not-ness.  A foregoing of LIVING, a preemptive attack, or some strange passion of alignment with the TRUTH – some subversion of the FACT (at the same time true, and as certain) – that a DYING thing MUST be LIVING.

An “it doesn’t matter.”  Usually tacked on with an “ultimately.”  Meaninglessness.  Pointlessness.  Purposelessness.  Something some supposed “scientist” (devoted to “objective” observable “truths”) like a psychologist, biologist or physicist; doctor or therapist or mathematician – might call “depression,” “skepticism,” “cynicism,” – when in FACT it is adherence to one of the ONLY FACTs we’ve described or descried that has held TRUE while all of our tools, technologies, expansions of knowledges and theories, inventions, medicines and so on carry on their wars against it.  A veritable CERTAINTY (indeed, perhaps the only occurrence in which a human being accords with reality).

DYING.  From there – who knows?  “At one’s own hand/operations” or “at the mercy of” environments, situations, circumstances, world… who knows?  No one.  Uncertainty.  The process of being-alive to being-dead is fraught with everything else we are able to imagine.  And almost entirely UNCERTAIN.

It happens.  Living.  Then Dead.  Each one.  Every one.  “Me,” “You,” “I’s,” “They’s,” “We’s,” “Those” and “These.”  Whatever begins…ends (in some form).  Whatever emerges, converges and devolves.  Whatever occurs…deceases.  Ceases “to Be.”

And so what do we do…what do “I” do…with this LIVING?  In full awareness of the synonymity – LIVING/DYING – why is the awareness of dying and depletion of a potency that oft outstrips its necessary , indeed indubitable counterfactual?  LIVING.  LIVING.  LIVING…

Who now, what now, where and for why?

reading dead profile

“Machines alone have realized that sleep is no longer permitted”

Machine

“machines alone have realized that sleep is no longer permitted”

– W. G. Sebald –

I haven’t slept.

Sometimes, in a dream, it feels like “it occurs to me.”

Trying to create a lesson plan for graduate students in the College of Education, I want to tell them why internet research / database searching / source evaluation seems so complex.  I take a hammer, a wrench, a tomahawk.  I bring a plow, a harness, a sewing machine.  I show a steam engine, a telegraph.  I think about them.

Hold them.  Turn them about.  Consider what you can do with them (if you know how).  Surmise what you can do with them (if you don’t know how).  Lots of things.

Humans devise stuff in concord with their environment.  Stones to stumble on, to throw, to hunt with, to pound.  Sticks to slap, clack, burn, poke.  Maybe carve.  Maybe paint.  Maybe write.

What we devise have certain rules, operations, constraints.  Remember the first time you wielded a hammer?  Learned to turn a doorknob?  Fitted a screwdriver to screw?

There’s a learning curve.  Adaptation.  Practice.  Change.

Try archery.  A piano.  Knit something.

Simple tools.  Fire.  Rock.  Wood.

Mud.  Sand.  Clay.

Try them.

So we figure out things that might be done with them.  Things to do, make, say, or think.  Certain things are more efficient.  Certain ways.  Certain hows.

We practice and experiment.  Devise.

I am 45.  Until I was in my teens, my fingers had not touched a lettered keyboard.  In high school I had a class for typing (on manual typewriters).  As a pianist I excelled.  My homework depended on the legibility of my handwriting through graduate school.  By 1993 there were computers in the “typing room.”

You don’t have to know how to write now.

I watch the pencil or pen move along lined paper.  What do I have to know in order to do this?  How can I make the marks turn out like this?  Dexterity, control, care, effort.

Handwriting

Alphabetic literacy, knowledge, craft, semantics, semiotics, grammar and so forth…

Turn the hammer in your hand.  Tighten the wrench.  Use a pushpin. Take up a fork.  Operate a knife with steak.  Raise the glass.

“Tools,” perhaps, technologies – technics and techniques – with their own sets of rules for our cognizant bodies.

Pull out your phone.  A swipe, some taps, a certain way of holding.  Understanding icons, visual literacies, kinetic craft, operational knowledge.  Know-how.  Complex.  Astounding.  Dexterous.  Intelligent.  Think of all the things you need to know to work that small device.

We devise.

And then adapt.

Diagram the innards of a personal computer, a Smartphone, a tablet, a scanner.  Imagine the adaptation required to operate that machine.

SOC

Think networked information.  Big Data.  If all our images, texts, conversations, correspondences, budgets, ledgers, laws, entertainments, plans, designs, models, experiments, applications, programs, art…(and so on) are DIGITAL / digitized… then algorithm’d and interfaced, softwared and connected… NONE OF US KNOW WHAT IS THERE.

The machines to which we dump, turn-over, DEVISE, inform, enTRUST – the artifacts of our living – because it is too much – no ONE (person or institution) catalogs, lists, calculates, organizes, arranges, assigns – THE MACHINES MUST DO IT BECAUSE OF THE SCALE and PACE…

NOBODY KNOWS WHAT IS THERE

Stacked algorithms and protocols select relevancy and value; similarity and related; significance and import; primacy and rank.  We operate.  And barely.  How do we guess the coding of its imputing?  How do we wrangle the keywords?  Information coming from anywhere at anytime into any port…what are the techniques, dexterity, knowledge, grammars, semantics, decoding, crafts – analytics?? – (at least as complex as the machine we diagrammed – times powers of 10 for all the machines involved!!) in order to locate our NEED; QUALITY; ESSENTIAL…?

In other words – we turn over.  We devise these concords of things – and revise ourselves according to them.

Internet_map_1024.jpg

Internet map

You’re guess may be as good as mine.  What is in there, where it is, and how to access it.  We use a Smartphone for many more things (at once) than a hammer or pen – while we and it are being used by systems larger than any of us altogether.

Systems of devised systems – we have no hope of controlling.  NONE of us.  Nor all of us.  We are entangled: mutually dependent – and subordinate.  We DON’T KNOW.  We DON’T KNOW.  We don’t know.  We’re IN the weather completely.

This is rough, when you also have a propensity, passion, or interest to know.  Subordinating oneself to a system is hard with a developed desire for autonomy, freedom, liberty.  As far as I know, at the mercy of was not a Sapient evolutionary goal.  Yet here we are.

How shall we adapt to these devices?

How shall we then live?

To 2016

I am uncertain why I am sharing this, it comes from a personal email response to a friend, but as I was writing it, things that were coming up resonated profoundly in me.  Composition just does this for me.  I suppose I want it on public record for my own remembering.  That I learn things about me, that change is possible, that decay is transformative.  Okay then I am posting a personal reflection for myself – to declare it more widely in lieu of a personal social group.

chrysalis

“leaning upon nothing because nothing offers support”

-Maurice Blanchot-

The following is a response to a scholarly conversation regarding philosophy, science, cognition and so on…entirely out of place or sync, but seemed a personal confession on the passage of time and what it reveals…

Greetings —-.  It is good to hear from you.  I’ve been inundated per usual with family activities – good and tiring – and disorienting to my habits of reflection to some extent.  Feeling a bit bewildered re: semester start-up and the madness it brings, and yes, missing ANY considered interaction and dialogue.  I feel lucky to have encountered you.

Wee, random breaks and work-from-home days incite my nostalgia and bodily recall of creating creative work in language.  I ache for it.  Loss of its regularity is a depletion that changes me.  But then I read, “the process of transformation consists almost entirely of decay” from a book about butterflies.  And “we have not much language to appreciate this phase of decay, this withdrawal, this era of ending that must precede beginning” from a commentary on it by Rebecca Solnit, a fine book – A Field Guide to Getting Lost that I like to read while traveling.

I suppose as the library is closed and our work quiet and insect-like on research, curriculum, and admin reports back here…my sociality turns to the work of being open and refusing stress in interacting with my beautiful children.  Which clicks onward into the ever-insistent questioning I face regarding whether there are adult relationships that can be predominately nourishing or reciprocally intimate.  Do we offer one another boon?  Any of us?  Our interactions have consistently done so, and I am very thankful to you for that.  So much conversation wears on me with the subterfuge and maneuvering to get anywhere near meaningful discourse.  I suppose I am tired, and perhaps in a strain of melancholy.  The wishing I could sit back with a drink and listen to intelligent talk without necessity of defense or critical acumen.  Just enjoying that we can.  Imagine and inform one another as humans.  I want this to mean something for me.  To mean I go about things variantly, shy from exhaustion and welcoming to possibilities.  From where does this determination to endure come from?  To “make the most of” idle repartee, body language, archaeology of behaviorisms and attitudes, – supplying too much (or inordinately) in order to learn in situations.  I dream of the luxury of perception and interpretation without analysis.  Reception.  Or where analysis co-creates itself.  Mutuality.  Enjoyment versus labor.  Or an effortless labor to enjoy.  Ahem.  Off-track and losing…

All this, I suppose, to apologize for my lack of acumen in the dear and full emails you and —- have provided…and probably an explanation of my messages of links rather than thought.  Others’ works as hopefully substantial stand-ins for my intellectual lack or confusion.  I do not know where the path is at present.  Just spinning in a lot of literature and activity.  Confession.

Trying to view decay in a hopeful manner.  The slow tears in relationality that introduce distances.  From friends, to partners, to ‘self’ – the flux of it all.  Many seem to have a greater capacity than I for working thematically regardless of internal/external context.  More flexible beings, I suppose, less bound by circumstance and scenario.  Ah well, this is no relevant response to your missals.  Apologies.  They enliven me – simply that thought and invention are going on around me – so please share them all as they arise – it is a great matter of hope for me to watch thought and process in others.  A stay against loneliness.  Thank you.  As I age along, some confusions do seem to dissipate…particularly confusions of my own blindnesses.  What nourishes me: intimacy (emotional, intellectual and physical), the thought and imaginative work of others, people striving to process experience on multiple levels, quiet & rest & reflection.  The commerce of ideas and bodies – entangled minds and bodies – passion and gentleness and reflection.  When these dissipate or decay or are absent in some strange idiosyncratic equilibrium, life is just harder for me to insist on.  And how terribly crucial the activity of writing is for me in my own ability to process my experiencing.  A weird alchemical embodied activity for me that seems to bring forth learning, feeling, imagination and all those characteristics I would like to take root in myself, to be me.  I am better when I write.  Better when I love.  Better when I rest.  Better with meaningful dialogue.  All sounds simple and general, but revealed ever more insistently to me as my epidermis thins.

Another turn of the wheel, bellows to the desire to thrive before the end.

To 2016 then.  And hope.

Something better soon.Kockelman_Figure 9, BSTCSG

The Dual Activity of the Properties of Erosion

Having traveled 2000 miles: Wichita – to – Carlsbad, NM – to – Guadalupe Mountains Nat’l Park – to – Presidio, TX – to – Big Bend National Park – to – Wichita in the past few days, I was privy to the glories of erosion.  What it builds, what it wears away.

My 10-year-old is studying erosion in 4th grade and reminds me that the current definition is simply the movement of material.  What dwindles somewhere accretes in another…

IMG_0896

and leaves or creates (absence or presence of absence?) some glorious ruins (or productions)…

IMG_0911

In an accidental synchrony, we traveled the paths of a favorite album of mine – This Will Destroy You – This Will Destroy You, and the following clip has long moved me, perhaps as much as any music ever has…

…ever reminding me of how I’d like my living dying to go…the movements and decaying – its constructions – the thickened gradual swelling of the deep good of being alive, punctuated by weighty whiles of thriving and ecstasy, momentous significants of loss or gain, as materials move and their relations alter / evolve / generate and decompose.  Its insistence and tocking inevitability.  The (hopefully) delta-like depositing of the full lot, spreading throughout, in its end…

Here’s to our living-dying onlyness…and wishes toward beautiful erosion.

 

I-Native Writing: Attempt at a Self-Portrait

Ouroboros

Things one realizes about oneself when one is “partnered” or loved well.  That seems to be the theme for me of late.  The differences between “automatic” self-recrimination when the Other speaks of an annoyance or a threat to useful relating vs. a kind of awareness and curiosity about one’s own behaviors that opens up understanding and attention related to the same habitual practices…

For instance.  For years, the only tattoo I got that was not an author or artist’s name / signature / or self-portrait, was a whim of “…and then there’s me…”: and I had a simple Ouroboros inked into my shoulder.  The snake eating its own tail.  Sign of health, sign of destruction.  Sign of…

What’s in a “sign?”  A fundamental query ruling the bulk of my waking hours, and carried over from my sleep.

Ouroboros2

THIS NIGHT.  Reading others’ words it dawns on me…”My biography is my catalog.  But the man who was there before I decided to become a reader is missing.  I, in short, am missing.” [Vila-Matas – Dublinesque]

I, in short, am missing.  So long accustomed to defining and describing myself in relation to world, others, children, parents, education, travels, experiences, friends…roles, behaviors, actions, theories, ideas, feelings…and so on…

Each scenario, event, surround, circumstance, company : co-creating WHO / WHAT I am – with no idea what “I” might be stripped of literature, philosophy, family, knowledge, accomplishments, relationships, language, interpretations, and so on…

I had marked myself with “signs” of who I “am” for my children postmortem.  OTHERS.  Read these people, look at these artists, think about these things…and you will have some idea of who your father “was” – Nathan Filbert – a bibliography.

Infinite Ouroboros

Hmmmm.

I AM what I am related to.  Never being able to come to the end of it…I do not know what/who I am.

I can say something of the how…which felt like a revelation on me of why the most off-handed permanent mark I requested to be inscribed into my body has come to feel most adequate / representative / apt / true?

The how is like this.  I recognize in intimacy and dialogue with a loving other (my partner) over time habits of mind: annoyances, arrogancies, logorrhea, unwise knowledge-sharing (always borrowed)…INSECURITY, self-doubt, terror, UNCERTAINTY.

In most seconds of my awakeness two things are tangled, wound, immediate, simultaneous, recursive and self-devouringly going on: WHAT AM I DOING/WHAT AM I? and WHY?

My children run in, blast a request that feels like a demand – at the kitchen counter I: what am I hearing?  What am I feeling about what I’m hearing?  Why am I feel-hearing that?  What should I do?  Why do I think ‘should’?  How should I respond?  Why do I think there’s a ‘should’-how to respond?

On the porch reading with coffee:  Why do I cross my legs?  Why do I like coffee?  What am I looking at?  Why does a squirrel catch my eye?  Why did I choose these glasses?  Why am I thinking about these things?  Is this what others think about?  What ‘should’ I be thinking about?  Why ‘should’?  How should I work?  How should I think?  Why do I think I should have a way of thinking?  Why do I think about the way that I sit?  What kind of being thinks about the way it sits when it thinks on a porch and is distracted by a squirrel?

WHAT AM I?/WHAT AM I DOING?  and WHY? leading to HOW?

What am I doing?  Looking at letters on a screen.  Why do I look at these letters on a screen?  Why does language move me, draw me, resonate?  What is resonating?  Why?  Should other things be resonating?  I enjoy looking at my love.  Am I looking in the ‘right’ way?  Why do I enjoy looking at my love?  How should I look at my love?  Why do I look at my love?  What kind of thing is drawn to gaze at his love?  What is love?  Why do we love?  How should we love / might we love?  Why do I hold books certain ways.  How do I hold them?  How might I hold them?  Why?  What kind of thing thinks about how and why and what he holds?  What was that tone?  Why that tone?  What kind of being uses that tone?

And so on.  Moment after moment.  I get a drink.  Why did I get a drink.  Why was I thirsty.  What does it mean that I was thirsty.  How should I vary what I drink to my thirst?  Why?

Rarely do I consider “Who” does these things.  It’s too far removed.  Too unknowable – beyond any what/why/how I can even begin to contemplate.

But constantly constantly constantly WHAT AM I DOING?  WHAT AM I? (in this situation, this situation, this situation) and WHY?  HOW?

tangled ouroboros

And this is how my days pass.  Finding myself moving, teaching, listening, talking, drinking, eating, loving, avoiding, forgetting, imagining, smelling, saying, wishing, regretting, ashamed, confused, uncertain, unknown…but always searching, observing, inquiring, scrutinizing…

WHAT AM I DOING?  WHAT AM I that DOes such things?  WHY am I doing them?  HOW ‘should’ I do them and where/why/what/who thinks of ‘should’?  WHY?

And finding nothing but infinite tangles, recursive spiraling production and reduction, endless context surrounding every moment that is constructed only of questions and hypotheses…

I chose a good tattoo.

Permanently self-devouring and regurgitant.

Self-Imitations of Myself. (Gordon Lish)

doubleourobors

perhaps shed light on through an-other?

“A single voice raises the clamor of being”

Gilles Deleuze

The Supposed

“God-shaped hole”?

Supermassive_black_hole

the sensation that no matter how well or how much I am loved

I can not believe I am lovable simply because I exist…

and how it seems that if I could (simply believe I was lovable),

so many difficulties might be solved, resolved, dissolved…

how many things entangled in this vacuum…

entanglement

in the mirror I note the shirt I am wearing

Bartleby Shirt

is it as simple as that?

Grrrrrrrrrrr