Sunday, September 30, 2007

Chatty Sundays...

Sunday Chats, that's what I should call these 'splices-of-life' posts that seem to occur on Sundays and that I find unendurable on one level, yet seem apropos for the lifewriting of the blogosphere.

Perhaps an index is in order?

The Contents therein...

On the disc thing in thine neck...
On the Grind & Brew (a sad story), and the Saeco™ (a happier story)...
On the SuzyShier™, Malabar™, Block™ shopping expedition...
On the contents of my freezer (don't ask)...
On the slightly surreal trip down Duncan Street...
On the olde King streecar...


The back of my neck and shoulder still extremely sore, since Friday night, I think it's the stuff between the discs that's been stretched, or squashed, or bruised: let's say stressed. Sharp pain alleviated by pressing hard with my fingertips on the offending spots. Not too bad now that I'm up, but I may have to forgo my afternoon at the beach, sob! My dog pulls hard on the leash, and then there's stuff to carry since I buy nothing there. Toronto has many beaches, the water beautiful.

And my beloved coffee maker died last night - I rinsed it with the hand-held shower in the bathtub and then stupidly ran it through a cycle. It must have been wet and short-circuited. Usually I do it the other way around, run it through a rinse cycle after the de-scaler and then rinse it out 3 or 4 times in the bath, and by the next morning it's well dry and working perfectly. One of my neighbour's said he can fix anything electrical, and I wonder if I can ask him?

I'd just go and get another one (Cuisinart™ Grind & Brew with a metal thermos carafe), they have them for half price at an electrical outlet store just around the corner, but I'm short this week since I bought my daughter a lovely grey pencil-style dress and a white shirt, and a teal one at half price for myself, because I had a $5.00 off coupon that had to be used, and then I get 10% for being a member (SuzyShier™). Then I had it in my mind to purchase a long-sleeved black leotard that I could wear under jackets at work and to dance in cooler weather, so I checked out Malabar's™ (a costume and dance-supply store) website and found some in the $20. range, okay, so I rushed out at lunch, up to Queen St., caught the streetcar, got off at McCaul's, an area in which I owned a house for 20 years, many memories, all my dance gear from that store over the years, and went through racks of leotards, not finding any of the ones advertised on the NET. But there it was, black lace 3/4 sleeves, a black nylon bodice cut on an angle so that the lace covers the top of the shoulders but tapers to the underarm, gathered a little at the bust so it's not the usual round cut but more of a "v" and not too low at the back, meaning I could take my jacket off at work when I get too hot. Oh, not what I was looking for but perfect, Block™ dancewear, nice, but more, naturally, and then, well there's food in the freezer, 2 bacon-wrapped Fillet Mignon's from St. Lawrence Market, a large pork chop, one slice of spinach and feta cheese and tomato pizza, a small stuffed chicken breast, oh and 2 eggs and 2 sausages, a few veggies in the fridge drawer, 2 bags of milk, orange juice, a litre of coffee cream, that'll get me through the week, just some fruit, cheese, organic dark chocolate and my seed and nut mixture (slivered almonds, walnut bits, salted sunflower seeds and tons of flax seeds, whole and ground), I have a full 18 litre bottle of spring water, lots of dog food, it'll be fine, only now my coffee maker's gone ping. I drink a lot of coffee and am armed with a stack of studies to back up my love of this black liquid gold and am devastated, literally. My Grind & Brew! Sob! Since I de-scaled my Saeco™ espresso/cappuccino machine yesterday too, and it is finally working after 2 years of non-use, I made a huge cappuccino for breakfast. I think I'll go and get one of those cheapy carafes that you pour boiling water through to get by this week until I either get the broken Grind & Brew fixed or purchase a new one. (Is there a metaphor for my life here?:)

The journey back to work from Malabar's was a little surreal. I had 20 minutes, and waited at least 5 and no sign of the Queen streetcar, so hurried down Duncan to King St. where the streetcars run more frequently. Firstly I stepped over the outstretched legs of a man sleeping upright on a concrete tree planter, his legs entirely taking up the sidewalk, his head against the spit of a tree, and then was stopped en-route by filming-in-progress. All pedestrians had to wait while a scene was being shot, a guy sitting on a director's chair on the other side, tons of huge lights all over the street, the great gray concrete blocks of the buildings are emblazoned on my mind, you could see the actor's make-up from where we were standing, mouthing the words of the script, which we were too far away to hear, and we couldn't slip by on the opposite side of the street due to the effect of shadow on the lights. I was impatiently waiting, and then a bright red fire engine roared up the street into the lights and sirened on and they stopped the shoot and let us through. Why I rush I don't know. At King the traffic was heavy, meaning faster to walk than take a streetcar, but I was tired, so waited, and arrived on time. I'm usually so frantic about time that I get back to work after only 50 or 55 minutes, and I'm not paid for the hour that is lunchtime, so I should have lots of time saved up, but it doesn't work that way, and who cares about such trivialities anyhow.

Why have I taken to posting such chatty things on Sundays? Splices of life, the ongoing daily stream. Often I come by and take them back down.

Forgive me, dear reader.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Voicings

Voicings
A recording (2:49min):

Voicings:Hi-speed, cable
Voicings:Dial-up



voices, buzzing paths on the expanse we walk through, the dark, hoverings in the distance like our hidden thoughts, climbing the insides of our minds, echo chambers, repetitions, stress points, gasps, retreats, revolving around and around, circling,

spinach and feta cheese and pink salmon, sanpellegrino limonata, juices, absorbing, digesting, flowing to all cells, hollow drums, rain sticks beating on the inside, slipped discs, swollen tissue, torn hearts healing,

voices, fragments of conversations, hearing pathways, following lines of letters, words randomly interspersed, little collections of refuse, humming things, what's being said and what's being thought at variance, then laughter,

a music, endless conversations in all minds in all buildings, streets, films, televisions, computers, books, magazines and newspapers, sitting absorbing lying, string-theories of words accompany the activities of the world, thought flying through the words, fleshed words, graced words, like balls flying far beyond the baseball bats in the floodlit diamonds, and racing running billowing in the green grass blue sky up into outer space,

billions of constant conversations, without stopping, the telling, others, ourselves, reams, naked skin of words making love, a love of words, conceptualizations, significations, words that are concrete, actual, sensual, rolling, synaesthetic experiences, how our tongues love to form sweet angry hot explanatory seductive smart gossipy sophisticated kind compassionate judgmental searing truthful words just for speaking, writing, dreaming,

and when yours and my words meet, from my lips to your ears, from your lips to my ears, in the air trance entrance where ringing cymbals grow ever more sweet crystal singing sounds ethereal and divine where utterance who cares what we say ecstatic light levitating through space our tongues interlinking the whispering our longing our souls on fire our hearts speaking,

___________
I was describing the speaking I was listening to, oh ok partially, it was an inspiration, on Canada Live - With Patti Schmidt and then The Signal - With Pat Carrabré.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Language That Carries Us

Language that carries us.

These words emerge like a refrain. Of what carries us in its stories. We shape ourselves through it. It's not like any natural processes, yet it is. More than a reference system. Living. An amorphous alphabet living through us. The grammar of our minds. Velocities and productions. Marks that remain, moving on. How can you use it to fathom what is? How can language describe itself?

Language that carries us.

At one time I wanted to collect theories and embody them. I never developed a mistrust of concepts. Yet the theories and approaches I once knew are like ocean foam, appearing and disappearing on the vast water. Traceries, all that's left. Without understanding how fully immersed we are. Can a watery mirror reveal itself to itself? Or only reflect?

Language that carries us.

It has no weight, language. It doesn't exist unless there are those who understand its signs and references and grammars, its codes and systems, the whole referential ocean of letters that language buoys. What floats to the surface is my sentence: sentences that play with grammar and meaning. They aren't even me; I am quite different, sitting in the library in the depths of the city writing in my mermaid colours.

Language that carries us.

Not that language escapes the telling of it, not at all. When we utter, we are the "I" of language. Can language reflect on itself from the position of subject? Can language even be a subject? I am the speaking, or the writing, or the reading, or the thinking, therefore I am? I am that which proposes memory. I am the bank. I am the money of words. I am the currency through which we. And now I go blank. The vault is full, and spins on the ocean current.

Language that carries us.

Ponder it, carry it like a mantra, a thought, to sift through, resonate in, drift with. What is language that it can carry us? I am a system of language, an encyclopedia of possibilities, an array of alphabets, a lexicon of meanings; and you are yet more. Were our minds created as vehicles for language? Words open doors of meaning; hatches in galleons of knowledge sailing on ancient seas.

Language that carries us.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Harvest Moon...

A beautiful Harvest Moon, which I did not see due to heavy clouds, a rainy evening. But I felt the lunar power! With headphones on, in the middle of a 5km walk, I danced in an empty park, between the trees and their shadows, on wet grass, to 1930s jazz - real original Boogie Woogie, aka Albert Ammons. Delightful! Oh how I've wanted to! I don't think any stray folks looked askance. Singers sing walking, don't they? It fits that Annex park where I've seen people doing yoga, practicing martial arts, playing baseball with the kids, and chatted with dog-owners at dog gatherings since it's an off-leash park, and seen readers and meditators and people eating, drinking and talking at picnic tables or on benches. So why not a woman dancing? ::Grins:: Okay, I was dressed in black, jeans, top, all but hidden in the night. And only for a few silly moments. But, oh, alas, only I could hear the music! Like following my own piano-thumping jazz musicians to a Goblin Market...



This photo, taken a few hours ago, shows the Harvest Moon rising over rural Bolu, Turkey, by photographer Tunç Tezel.

--
To sing love,
love must first shatter us.

Hilda Doolittle

The One-Legged

The one-legged who weren't born that way; it happens.

It wasn't until later, one leg solid enough for the earth, held by gravity; the other, swinging wildly or gangrenous or amputated.

It might not be noticeable, the one-legged dance. Balance is difficult. The stunted leg in ekapadasana pose: straight out in front, swinging it behind, holding steady. This strengthens the ankle, point of pivot.

It doesn't matter which leg is atrophied; they switch, changing strengths and weaknesses daily or hourly.

Tree pose is favoured. One strong leg straight; the other bent, with the foot tucked against the groin. Stand like a flamenco; balance as long as you can.

Hopping about on one foot is not easy and very tiresome. Artificial limbs don't replace what's missing, not in this realm of riddle and metaphor.

Is it possible to re-grow bones and tendons and muscle? To bring the spastic flap of limb back to life? Or it is all denial?

The hardest is padangustasana. Tree pose, but kneeling, and on one set of toes.

It's possible; practice perfect balance on one leg. Don't move or you'll falter. It was never stable.

Despite the red flame flowers and yellow suns and pink cornucopias and dragon powers and torch blue sky and trillions of stars and mantle of earth thick with soft insects and fur and spark-lit cities and roads like snakeskins and upholding trees and brimming populations and untold connections, it's all grounded, like I said
millions of times.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Sunday Afternoon at the Beach

The beach on the first day of Autumn, the Vernal Equinox, half-way between when the earth's tilt and the sun's position reach a zenith and shift. Reminds me of John Coltrane's quote this morning in The Writer's Almanac, "When asked to describe his style, he said, "I start in the middle of a sentence and move both directions at once.""

To write like that! I watch light glossing the water, overflow of foam as the whitecaps spill near the shore and lick the sand, placid on my beach towel, caressed by clear sun, cool breeze, a seamless oneness. And we're shifting one way, to the indoors, in the months ahead. Though the yachts, white sails leaning into or away from the wind, merging and parting, lyrical white paint brushing to a tip on the blue, seem possibly like the movement in a sentence of both directions at once. But then I am looking for images in the scene to act at metaphors for the concept, aren't I? Though when you find an image, and the evocation of the intended metaphor, the language finds a corollary, a grammar that allows it.

I find myself considering those who split their tongues, two-headed snakes and other Janus-faced phenomenon, Piscean fish who swim oppositely, paradox and ambiguity, how subjects and objects can interchange through the verb, Coltrane's chords and the way his music searches, running in veering directions, adding coils and back flips, trills and a highly charged sexy line, the serpentine one, even while it swings eccentrically, starting in the middle and playing in both directions at once, and I'm not sure it even matters, the day is gorgeous, and I've been teased by delightful men my age, one of whom asked if I'd like white wine or a martini, and he'd bring it by on a tray, and others who offered a canoe ride, or even to let me take it for a spin if I liked, my laughter rolling down the beach as I said, "Ha, those waves would push me back in even as I tried to paddle out!"

It was fun, though I moved to sunbathe by the distant rocks, and now I'm home listening to Blue Train, feeling the pink heat over my body from too many of the sun's kisses.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Post-It Notes

Kindness like an orchard that, with cultivation, bears sweet succulent fruit year after year, peaches with the sun in their hearts.

Quivering, gentle, strong, we are flames in the wind, precious, too easily extinguished.

Sensitivity, oh, complex, nuanced response to the world, and fragility, what I rest my being on. Moments of feeling vulnerable, and fragile, it's exquisite, open with gentle reverence for the self.

I am passionate about honesty, and believe the truth frees you.

Laughter, silliness, mutual respect, enjoying joy in each other.

Love cannot be an illusion.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Fire Drill

On the day of the fire drill. Not the end of all beginnings,
just a final moment.

Who could say in the jangling bells what could have been?

The business-suited stomping down stairwells in hoards.
How many of us are there? Clattering.

Only I stayed away, my late lunch tied to the fire drill;
I imagined it.

Nothing's severed yet, and perhaps never. The jangling
in the centre of the world like a prearranged
fire alarm, a practice session for when the planes fly
into the buildings or when the bombs ignite.

Oh not here, never here, where we are a peaceful country.

With the inability to schedule ourselves indefinitely, due to
the indecision of death looming; we will die, but who knows
when, living our private moments not listening to the
jangling.

Outside I saw the change from the arboreal splendour of
earlier: leaves no longer gleamed, trees let them
go. Flaming, browning.

Our over-riding thoughts determine our way through.

Like steering winds in the trophosphere, that drive swirling
volcanic dust, creating an "eye" of stillness.

The phototrophism of fire.

The drill that ended us.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Sky

The sky, scrubbed this morning,
a dusting of bleach powder like clouds.

Is it possible to unravel
a counter-current of imagery?

The tightly-coiled poem,
bound and ready to spring.

Or perhaps excesses where
not everything matches?

It's harder to clean a busy sky
sunrises, sunsets, auroras, varying
storm clouds, tornadoes and hurricanes.

Poets do their best
what with the wild weather,
the scarf that wrapped their hair
lost and flying loose.

Then it clears.

One spectral colour,
polished around the shining sun,
still and fat as a blue porcelain basin.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Whistler's Nocturnes

Or Whistler's Nocturnes. I've been to The Tate, I studied art history, I'm familiar enough with American art, how did I miss these?

To say they are forerunners of abstract art is almost to do an injustice to them. As if they were just passports to. The grandiose Kantian sublime is gone in the Nocturnes; I do love Turner, but it's still there in his storms of light: the fabulous scene of such splendour or power you bow before it.

The Nocturnes, rather, are the stream of life; the Tao de Ching instead of a fire and brimstone Jehovah construction of the world. As viewers who encounter his art through these paintings, we are moved, not by our relation to the huge forces, but by the ordinary flow of events, the wash of simple paint across a canvas, the sound of a music of water that continually drifts past. It's not the dissolution of the self as the river sweeps into the ocean, but the current of everyday, swimming our way through.

Certainly Whistler had a fairly complex aesthetic regarding the autonomy of an art that is its own dynamic force driven by its own internal logic and momentum,1 but these pieces, oh, lyrical, yes.



Nocturne: Blue and Silver - Chelsea
James McNeill Whistler
1871; Oil on wood, 50.2 x 60.8 cm; Tate Gallery, London

_
1Craig Staff, in 1001 Paintings (Universe, 2006), p.450.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Ekstasis

"Carson is drawn to selves who desire immersion and disintegration into an absolute inhuman essence (in the case of Porete and Weil, the essence is God). What's intriguing about her portrayal of this sensibility is the utter absence of melancholy. She doesn't say whether loss of the self is something any of these women try to stem or evade; instead, she focuses on the paradox of someone seeking self-affirmation in an experience of dispossession and dissolution. " Decreation

I have Ann Carson's book, I'm reading it in the evenings. Hers is literary, the way she enters. Ariadne's thread, the scholar who is a poet. But ekstasis, Greek, 'going out of oneself,' 'standing beyond oneself,' it's affecting me. When I dispersed into stardust all about myself, I was losing my/self, it was fearful, this dissolution. It was like the universe pervaded my aura, the stardust in which stars are born, a sprinkling of lights throughout a faint purplish mist. And I was seeing from all points of the expandedness. Overlapping visions, a universe come inwards and the self who is the woman in this life, and some other anthropomorphic interlocution that I don't want to call god-like but was. Each dancing starpoint an eye of seeing. Seeing myself like this and seeing outwards from these vantage points. Disturbing, being shifted out of myself, and peaceful, profoundly so.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Oh, sigh, my visions...

It wasn't an unusual evening. Something to eat, orange juice, a 5km walk with my dog, a long talk by phone with my daughter, who's enjoying her new school, a little red wine, a bit of cheese before bed - had been up early doing yoga before work, so was tired. Woke in the night, not unusually. Awake for a few hours, again normal. But I was tired, mind racing hither and thither, so I sat against my Orbus-forme backrest, a fleece blanket over me, and meditated, over and over the same mantra, the one I've been silently intoning for at least 15 minutes a day since September 1994. The mantra and I know each other well and have been through a lot together. I've used it for many different purposes besides general receptivity to 'what is '- working out problems, kick-starting creativity for a project. It always works: whatever the intention, going through the medium of the mantra causes what I need to happen in my inner insights and motivations. I've used it to understand how to manifest pathways to what I might need at times too. In the middle of the night I turn to the mantra to calm me, and, when I'm tired, and it's dark, it can succeed in stilling my mind long enough for me to roll back into sleep, even an hour helps. I am grateful to this little mantra for all the ways it enables me to be as I want to be.

Only last night I experienced one of those 'mind shifts' during meditation. And I didn't enjoy it. It was like I expanded beyond my body. Like I was dispersing. I was floating in the air all about myself larger than I am. More expansive. Being blown outwards.

I thought, 'Oh, no.' And remembered the other times in my life when I had significant mystical experiences with various forms of mediation and the ways in which those experiences changed my life. In my 20s I was safely enrolled in a doctoral programme in English Literature when I had a few months of extraordinary mystical experiences of light, in dreams and in meditations; they were so powerful, I left the doctoral programme and embarked on a crazy course that never found completion. I applied to Interdisciplinary Studies and fought everyone in the department to get my thesis proposal accepted and was going to write some massive ambitious thing covering imagery of light from cave art through mythology, religion (oh, East and West, if you please), art history, literature, science, psychology, and so on. I might even have completed it, I was a workaholic who rose and began working at 8am right through to 11pm every night, 7 days a week, no social life, who cared, I was driven. But my father went into ICU for 6 months, then passed away, a brother had a break-down, and I took over looking after the family holding companies, then got married and had children. While a lot of that research and thought about light goes into my prosepoems, it was a wild goosechase triggered by mystical mediative experiences. In my 40s, after starting to learn Kundalini Yoga, begining the mediation that I have since done daily, I began to experience energy waves and other phenonemon during my private sessions. A sense of deep inner transformation once again. The upshot of that phase was that I left my marriage in 1997 and who knows what I've done since besides raise two children alone with barely any work. Never mind. Creatively I produced writing and art that I would never have done in the confines of my marriage. But was it all worth it?

So when I experienced one of those 'energy shifts' last night, differently expressed to any of the other times I've gone through a radical shift in my consciousness, I felt fear, and tried to back off. But the experience took me anyhow. I remained larger than myself for some time, like I was a nebula floating, understanding universal process from the vantage of the stars, it was beautiful, oh I'll admit it, stunning, deeply mystical and peaceful, and I did manage to fall back to sleep for a short while.

Following these visionary escapades aligns me perhaps with my 'soul journey' but it's been damn hard on my life, these mind-altering experiences that cause me to make major shifts in my direction.

From my previous experiences, I would say that there is no way if a series of mind-altering shifts are coming that it won't affect the path of my life.

And I'm not so sure that is good.

Okay, each time it has opened creative potential and greater creative expression.

But each time I've left the conventional road and slipped off into the unhewn fields where there's no security. I've followed these visions to the utmost of my ability, been true to them, let them guide me. But they have been visions which always abandon me at some point - meaning the energy which fires them and my crazy leaping about in unknown fields disperses -leaving me in a completely different locale with nothing but my day-to-day mind to cope with a life that looks less and less normal and on which no-one has ever been able to advise me.

Why do I tell this tale to you, dear reader? I suppose, if it's happening again, I ought to track it, note the mystical experiences as they occur, see where they lead. For surely they will lead off the beaten track...

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Mondrian's brush...

Or Mondrian's nearly Symbolist paintings, before the geometric Neoplasticism, their jazzy rectilinear primary colour grids for which he is famous, the ones with blue paint, that underlies the flesh in the portraits, or perhaps over it, a defining spirituality, I can't explain what it does to me, this blue of Mondrian's, let's call it a theosophical blue, and the red, perhaps hair, or dress,* or mill, or trees, strong contrasts, earthy, vital, yet the blue, its grayish tint, manifesting the moment of balance of coming into or dispersing from, assembling or disassembling, a vision of whatever we are, this world, incarnating its molecular structures, what coheres energy into form.

I see our loneliness in this blue. What is calling us away even as we maintain ourselves.

The blue is everywhere.

I'm breathing it in the air right now. My fingers are interlaced with it. I couldn't see myself before, but I can now. In an ocean of raw aquamarine, not resisting the waves. Under Mondrian's brush, who's limning my infinite edges.
Or yours.

___
*She looks like a figure from a Greek mural frieze and is the most haunting of all, even with her too-large eyes, the whites of which are that blue that is the same colour as the outline on the edge of her face and neck and lining her red hair and buried in the background's dark tones, but I can't locate her on the NET: "Portrait of a Young Woman in Red, 1908-09," Piet Mondrian, Haags Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, Netherlands.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Come, walk with me...

Exquisite imagery, but what is the emotion beneath the surface? I am reading a poem that's like cloisone, as carefully crafted, meticulous, images inlaid and enameled, fine gold lines. Like the mechanical nightingale, a beautiful jewel, yet I can't feel a heart beating, no syntactical error, or slippage, where the pulse is.

Be flagrant. Let the emotion swell beneath the surface. Words that ride over the cross-currents. Imperfect. It's not that the words slip away or are unreliable; they are approximations. No inviolable carvings in stone.

If you listen to these promiscuous words. No, I don't know where that came from. And I don't think I've ever thought of words that way. But if you consider it...

On our walk on this late Summer's scented evening.

The flowers are bright suns in the darkness of the dark green hedge, yellow spikes radiating round. Did you notice them?

What other neighbourhood can you have a conversation with a man who owns a million dollar heritage home and a lake up North and who talks longingly of his solitary beach where his dog swims regularly and has no problems with fleas and come across a small gaggle of people surrounding a man who appears to have collapsed half on the road, half on the sidewalk? Should we call an ambulance? Mister, you're on the road, you have to move. He's in clean new jeans, a clean red t-shirt, his black back-pack tightly around his shoulders. I look closely at his chest: he's breathing, his heart beats. Where's he from? A man touches him and he yells with drunken, slurred words, Get out man, you f-cking b-st-rd.

Let's continue on our walk with my dog, who ignored the guy lying on the road, and she does swim at a beach, too, but she's been scratching and so in between her shoulder blades is anti-flea oil, Hey, don't pat her tonight!

What I most want to talk about is how life feels: in this body, with these perceptions, this mind. How my toes fit in my new brown Roots™ cotton socks in my brown leather Ecco™ walking sandals. How I carry a dog treat in a Guatemalan blue woven wool fanny pouch. How I went into a black car port and gave an old and smelly brown-furred dog who's always tied up a piece of the dog biscuit and the dear dog seemed confused and sniffed it and looked at me, and I couldn't discern what the problem was.

Or how I'm going to write honest words, not jewel-encrusted or bespeckled, even if sometimes they are lush. To share with you, and who knows how you'll receive them.

These words, which have been everywhere, Oh, Mama, everywhere. It's not my fault; I inherited them along with a glottis, and a dictionary (ahem, think biological and linguistic evolution). And how many glottises? Hardly virgin, with their geneologies and wide-spread usage, these worldy words.

What am I supposed to do? Spilling lexical wanton wiles everywhere...

Friday, September 07, 2007

Similes & Metaphors

When I use simile the 'as'/'like' is a gap the neurons fire over, so that one thing carries the energy of the other without either losing their distinctness. But the image is moving along the neuronal pathway of the poem, transferring and transforming as it goes. With simile what you started with isn't too different from what you end with, but it's been through a journey along a specific trajectory and is richer, heavier, wiser, more worldly, better able to explicate itself. Like life. I'm the same as I was half a century ago in many essential ways, though transformed in my knowledge and experience. I'm not a completely different being; I haven't become someone other than who I am.

Metaphor is a richer, complex process of leaping about, collapse into, cross-fertilization, creating a newness out of disparate parts. Metaphor doesn't work for me like the hand-holding of simile but in the relation of things to each other. The best metaphor creates strange, new, fertile relationships.

Often with metaphor I have to let the gap between what is being aligned be in the punctuation, the space between stanzas or paragraphs, and leave that as what the neurons fire over. Because it's like they leap from one highly specialized section of the mind, or a discipline of knowledge, to an entirely different one. Metaphors follow paths of intuitive logic: spark new connections, creating pathways that weren't there before, maintaining the flexibility of the language which is evolving through them. Liquid and plastic, metaphors open up new insights, ways of perceiving, create new realities for us to live.

The ability to make metaphors like the continual creation of neuronal stem cells in the hippocampus, but, then, I'm using a simile aren't I? :-)

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Pruning A Wild Creativity

Wild creativity where I continually have to prune the excesses, this seems apropos. Slicing, trimming, removing. Articles, connectives, pronouns, prepositional clauses, whatever slows down the immediacy. Sudden leaps from one image to another, something invisible hovering between that connects them, something other than a random placement on the page, that is. Honing while listening to an internal rhythm, the syncopations of an inner aesthetic, what's overdone and weedy, or too sparse, how to. Otherwise I'd overrun, a confusing conglomerate of overgrowth.

Meditate perhaps for the same reason. To hone wildly outbursting thoughts. Clarify an inner terrain. Make it livable within the self. A friend recently said that I had the busiest mind of anyone they knew and no wonder I had to meditate.

Editing oneself. Ah, so.

How about you?