Thanks to all of you I have become aware of – for creating, expressing and sharing your thoughts, ideas and works – giving me the opportunity to engage.


And thanks to those of you who take the time and consideration to engage my thoughts, ideas and works – giving things a life beyond my small circumference.

Spilling the Marbles

Spilling the Marbles

Which got me thinking (a process I’d describe as internal), about how we find things out when we act.

My wife was talking (a process I’d call external), about what occurs for her when she journals (with a physical pen or pencil on physical paper).  Which she described as “internal processing,” (an activity I’d designate externalizing), whereby she mysteriously splits herself into observer and subject at once, providing case-notes or records of the interaction.  (Did I listen well?).  The arm a kind of thread-of-self arcing out to the needle of a writing instrument, jittering and inscribing its EKG-like “reading” onto the blank pages and looping back in for more.  The self as inkwell?

My body hitched at this.  Read: torso clinched and weather vane set spinning in grey matter.  Like I might if someone told me “god told me to…”, or that they were “inspired by the Muse,” or “carried away by the spirit” and whatnot.  A reaction remote from wife’s account – so what was happening for me?  In other words, am I re-enacting her activity presently?

There’s the thinking part, surely.  And then there’s the intention to find something out – observation, attention, inquiry – “why did I cinch up at that depiction?”, “what felt ‘off’ to me in that account (as related to my own experience)?”, “what was I ‘feeling’”?

I felt uncomfortable, that’s what.  Squirmy, antsy, bothered.  Was that chemically induced, like overall mood-disorder stuff, or related to her message?  I thought about this, and now I’m writing about thinking about it – what’s the difference?

It leaves traces?  It does.  And so?

I’m making something of it?  I suppose.  Why?  How?  And – ?

Why?  Hmmmm.  It comforts me to write.  Like organizing marbles on a tabletop.  It diverts my attention.

To the marbles.

Ah, yes.  That’s it, exactly.

That is to say (in this case silently with tangible markings), the reason I am unable to identify with my wife’s remarks about writing about thinking about her “self,” is that I get distracted.  In my head, it’s a swirl of sounds and concepts, images and sensation-symbols or impulses infiltrating and becoming one another like smoke strands in an overturned glass.  But transforming to paper it becomes language, marbles, metaphors.

            Some whispering gap of translation.  I wouldn’t have thought marbles on a tabletop or envisioned smoke swirling in an upside-down glass – what would be the point?  Do I need to describe myself to myself?  Could I even?  Deceive myself so?  But through a medium – a thick, loamy, granular medium like language – that’s cause for intention, apparatus of selection and choice, opportunities outside the body, drawn from the big wide world.  That’s external, that’s INTERACTION with a history, a culture, and a society of humans that gave rise to its agreements and standards, components and flavors and rules.

Jolting out through the arm via muscle controllers and a mechanical tool, I’m participant far outside my finite organism – in contents and structures, systems and meanings way beyond my doing or the thinks I might think.  The threads that I sew, the fabric I stitch in, the stylus, ink and letters I write are not mine – the pen, paper, leaves, spark, or smoke emitted into the clear crystal container all already exist, given or available, as it were, to me.

It’s hard to find the part I play in the process, or how the words relate to me – more like the words relate me – render me relatable – if I’m able to finagle myself to their categories and nuances.

So it is (for me) as if the movement to write is spilling the marbles – turning me out of myself into a world where language matters – discursive, discussive, dialogically or to some expressive purpose – catching at these rolling targets and corralling them toward some organizational assemblage (that, I suppose, being my part in the meaningful game).  I pick the red one and set it there, not there.  Or prefer the one with the chip in it next to the tiger’s eye, and so forth.  (There’s no accounting for taste – is that “style”?  (Really!?)).

So “what have I written?” I think, and I’m sure I don’t know, but thanks for the language and time, it’s a process – and now you have the bagful of marbles…

Happy Thanksgiving!!

The Graces

as in “unexpected blessing,” or surprising gifts.

Words that Flow like Water

has nominated me for another Lovely Blog award!

Surprising, I suspect, because I oft don’t find my own voice “lovely.”

I am very thankful some find it so, or something about the overall content here.


(rules of the game attached to the logo)

1.  My real name is not Nathaniel.

2.  My favorite authors/artists are embedded in my flesh.

3.  I am pursuing a vocation in Information Sciences.

4.  I am drawn to large white rectangles.

5.  I don’t believe in “spiritual.”

6.  I enjoy laughter.

7.  I deeply desire to travel in Russia, Nepal and Portugal.

For the nominees I’d like to pass the award along to (bon chance!) I will post the list that proved exorbitantly long for the rules last week, as follows:

in the library with a lead pipe

Words that Flow Like Water
The Language we Speak

art unraveling
Appropriately Frayed
Ute Schatzmuller
Madison Woods (for keeping us all busy and honest)

A Philosopher’s Take
Careful for Isa 
The Artsy Forager
Writing with Water
Anton Jarrod
Photography of Nia
and, of course, my beloved (even if time doesn’t allow, I read whatever arrives :))
Life in Relation to Art

simplified structure of entailment (Gordon Pask)


This hot-potato-pass-it-on-pay-it-forward-style awarding-via-nomination generosity at wordpress feels good.  I like the way it expands our little readership coteries and introduces each of us stumbling on others of us who have stumbled upon others of us to one another…

Most kindly and recently Sixpuns nominate-awarded me for the Versatile Blogger Award – a valuable title I indeed hope is true of my brain and work at least from time to time…this one looks like this:

The rules of this one are – * thank the person who nominated you / *include a link to their blog as common courtesy (that’s a quote) / *pick 15 other bloggers who are excellent that you’ve recently discovered or read devotedly / *and tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.  I’ve done 3 out of 4, here are my 15 nominees for excellence and versatility in blogging:

(in no particular order, but selected for versatility and excellence)

Sam of the Ten Thousand Things (the name is indicative)

Unwanted Advice


Literary Man (again)

Adventures in American Writing

the language we speak


Brainsnorts inc


Very Small Kitchen

Literature Salon


Unbound Boxes Limping Gods


The Coevas

Thank you all for your variety of work and interests and prompting them forward in us!

Fathers Day 2012

Fathers Day 2012

(for Tristan, Aidan, Ida and Oliver)


I would use the word “foundational”

but it’s much much more than that.

“The child is father to the man”

in so very many ways.


Fundament comes closer

expanding in us a sense

of ever-expanding edges

of universe and galaxies

within which everything that is,



But, personally, it’s larger,

and deeper, and wider

and exponentially more important


these children that father me

to fatherhood.

Giving me these things they’ve made

of me.


I look at them.

I long for them.

I love them.

and I marvel.


I come from this! I sing

these four amazing

and tremendous beings

making me their father,


shaping me as man,

a human,

a relationship

after all.


I’m not much of one for ‘truth’

but will say ‘this I believe.’


N Filbert 2012