Sunday, May 30, 2010

May 30

Note to self: sleep more.

Friday, May 14, 2010

May 14

But then that, too, a kind of sounding, an architectonics all its own. A sort of script. A preface. & there’s the thing of it—how we surrender ourselves to experience but cannot let go the thought of the thing, the conscious presentiment, that dim intimation of structure. & so a moment in which we feel ourselves perfectly conjoined with phenomena holds its rusted anchor yet, & the wave washes it over, & still are we tethered, bank-chained, rooted in that grey-blue alluvion that we allow ourselves to consider at rest & ample for the root-room. Bed down, then, silt & shifting pebble. Bed down & begin a constellation.

Which is to say that there are no daemons but in our faiths, no rubric of order but we would draft its design in the first. No news here.

& this, too, an echo. There is in Keats’s odes a gradual unclenching of the fists, a slow & ponderous relinquishment that seems to me always somehow relevant. It is how thought works on the world, I think (or the obverse). The first odes are presentations, & then they begin an erosion & fall swiftly into deeper & deeper chasms. & the fingers clutch the cusp of reason, bend its compass, hang upon its sickled needle. We read the dissipation of that nameless faith, see that clamoring after efficacy reduce itself to the mournful dirge of the gnats over the river sallows. We see proclamation shift into question & fall into interrogation before finally reason seems to despair of itself & withdraws completely in the autumn ode. & then it is a silence ringing a try at a truth, or a human silence anyway, absent the hemming & hawing, absent completely those companionable daemons that concepts provided Keats early along. Nothing is insinuation of an alterity. Or everything is, entire. It is a stubble field, or a swallow, or the haunting smell of the cider press. & the hand withdraws, lets it be, posits a space empty of human utterance. & oddly, it is Keats at his most perfect.

Which is not to say that our utterance does not matter. It does, I think. It merely does not matter beyond ourselves, not really, not enduringly. Or if it does, it means like a ghost means, like a small flame throws heat, like a constellation can conjure a wolf, or an archer, or a bear. An imagined taste that cannot touch the tongue but sits restive in the thinking. & so we gather our faiths like tools & build worlds that we can fathom, & all the while the unfathomable, just there, just where we let our faithing cease.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

May 1

This morning a fine, almost particulate snow, a spring snow, a dust feathering the air against the blue-white whorls of cloud & sky, & the sun meantime casting the falling flakes against its rays. These kinds of mornings. The peaks of the mountains enshrouded in newfallen snow, falling still, while down at elevation the ground breathes & swells just above freezing. & where the snow has receded, the colors seem to shock even in their tired, faded hues. The vermillion at the willow’s stem. That first pallid green. The puzzled landscape.

The last few days I’ve felt a kind of tremoring incredulity at the simplest things. Words falling into line, the hand reaching from plate to mouth, the slow whir of the truck’s engine. In the minutiae this strange & bewildering ontic fact reflected: I don’t understand being at all. The heart in us, the yearning, that indefatigable longing. I don’t understand the beauty around me or my want to embrace it. I don’t understand the passage of time. I don’t understand how we are compelled to do these curious things we do, to rehearse them, to abide by their scripts. I don’t understand our faculty for ideas—their efficacy, their value. Why we are taken or overcome or possessed by some vague notion. & how we measure one against the other, as if an enduring fascination with social systems, say, is somehow more valuable than a similar regard for orioles, or television programs, or the spines of leaves. I don’t understand how so many things came to be, so many things that I employ daily. Where words took shape & crawled trembling from some old shadow. Where they adhered. & why anymore it is not widely encouraged that one invents words, or worlds entire. I am thinking of late that our reason is a flawed reason, that our logic is some thin veil to our fear, that our lives are things fully attenuated to faith. & a faith that has nothing to do with a god, but instead the trembling & heart-bright assurance that we are doing something right (& not right in the sense of good or bad, but in the sense of being not completely devoid of meaning). We measure action against sense, I imagine. Against our underlying faith in the abstract capacity of our environment to confer upon our endeavors a kind of satisfactory response. & where there is dissonance we seek some alteration. We look for balance, we can say. We call one thing by another’s name, & neither of them flesh what we feel into substance. & I understand that these systems provide us with a scaffolding, an architecture for the dailiness of our lives. I understand their necessity. But lately they impress me more with their elaborate ornamentation of malleable nonsense than with their solid & convincing inflexibility. We build the girders, after all, don’t we, & then we gawk at the rubble.

I think I’ve had this same thought all of my life. Which is why, I’m sure, this all sounds more like the ramblings of a four year-old than an adult. But maybe adult questions are tiresome just now. Maybe they sort of hover over the sheen of the world without really ever touching it. Maybe they don’t empty you out like they should, anyway. Or like I think they should. But then, what matter really? I will not care for my author-ity tomorrow, I don’t suspect. But for now, it is today yet, isn’t it. So that’s something.