Now that I'm out of grad school, I have these flashes of understanding about a lot of what I learned and read there, these zaps that feel intimate and personal and real.
Today it is naming. How the word for the thing turns the thing into itself. Without the word, the thing might exist, but unspoken, unwritten, unrecorded--it remains a non-entity. It is the tree falling in the forest without anyone seeing or hearing it.
Which makes silence a kind of faith. And language, if we feel like drawing a binary, a kind of science.
Language can be a disorder. An enabler. Say what you will about how talking heals, but I think many times, it can cripple.
I can go about my day, doing. I can do the odd little things I do. I can behave the way I behave, unspeakingly. And I can believe, unthinkingly, that all is well, in my being, in my world. Or I can, I don't know, scamper to the top of one of my piles and start naming what I see and do. Naming the animals in my care, these creatures of my mind. I discover, in saying the words, that I am "obsessive," "wasteful," "vain," "neurotic," that even my neuroses have neuroses. And now I am a steward, officially, of these postures and conditions, and all the other ones they bring to bear, that wait their turn to be announced, made real.
Because once they are real, they demand things. They demand to be validated, again and again. Patterns form. And what seems to be inevitable might actually be avoidable, if I shut up for two seconds.
Silence can be the good kind of murder, I guess is what I'm getting at.
Last night we went to a summer solstice party in an other-worldly beautiful garden. It was so beautiful I had to keep looking down at my mosquito-bitten ankles, to give myself little breaks from the beauty. At one point I glimpsed Beatrice--dirty from playing in the dirt, watermelon running down her chin--and felt like I understood something, or remembered something, about pleasure, and childhood, and innocence, and nature. I would like to understand and remember it all the time, but there are all of these buttons and screens, buttons and screens that I've given myself to willingly, that I can't denigrate, that I love.
I think I used to be obsessed with paradox and contradiction, and now, not so much. There should be something, a word, that means 'the end of paradox' but not the resolution of it. What is that word? Transcendence? Death?
I mean, I hate to sound like a broken record, but maybe the word is love. The love that contains everything.
I don't know. I've been around. Eating things. Walking. Working. Reading. Exchanging wits with Beatrice, who is an avid talker now. About things she likes she says "it's my favorite thing I ever saw" or "it's my favorite thing I ever eaten." She knows a lot of letters and plays with them on the refrigerator, asks for help making words. She also knows a lot of songs and invents a fair amount, too. She likes the Jeopardy theme song. We watch it together, many nights. There are so many things I could tell you about her.
It's been summertime here in Georgia. This house keeps out the heat very nicely. This house and I had a rough start, but we're good together now. I walk around it and think of where things should go, things I save my money to buy. I make some guacamole in the kitchen and admire how it looks in the bowl when I put it on the table. I sit on the front stoop late at night and look at the stars and the silhouette the dogwood tree makes and I feel all sorts of feelings.
I will try to blog more. I like it in here. It's like a room.
Last night my husband said "everything is always so great at first, and then it turns to shit." We were talking about Hulu. But it's the same progression everywhere. Anticipation, a moment or two of intense pleasure, pleasure waning, pleasure dropping below expectation level, pleasure fading into a fine point of light, pleasure vaporized, a big calcified void in its place, all of that pleasure still ringing hot in your ears, its memory now some kind of aspiration, some archetype of pleasure against which everything will fall short.
In high school you learn that every "good" short story "must" dwell at least in part in desire. What a character wants becomes the driving force of the narrative, how s/he tries to get it arises in conflict. What a nifty formula.
I'm driven by the things I want. When I think about the Theravadan monks who rove in the forests, or beg on the streets for alms, possessing nothing, wanting nothing beyond the most meager means of survival--but there it is. The monks desire survival. Which requires a kind of surrender. If death is a kind of freedom, then it would stand, if my years of reading the existentialists serve me, that life is an oppression, a tiny cell. But we don't, most of us, want to die. We want life and freedom. We want.
My mother says "forget yourself." She has been saying this to me my whole life. "Don't be self-conscious." Before a performance. Before having a picture taken. I used to think it meant merely, don't act in that weird frozen way that unsettles a room. But at its most profound level, it means to die unto yourself. To annihilate your perception of yourself, and your perception of how others perceive you. To be absent the all-consuming desire that dictates how you walk, smile, eat. To forgive yourself your shame, your guilt, your hungers. To be free.
I think the necessary consequence of such freedom is sublime love.
Whereas we may all be so nice, and so appropriate, and so tit-for-tat, and yet find ourselves, when everything turns to shit, all alone. The Golden Rule has fucked us all up. It's not "be kind, so others will be more likely to be kind to you." It's just "Love." Without wanting. Without demanding, or expecting. The hardest thing to do in the world, I think, because I think to really do it, you must be part-monk. Effaced. A vessel.
The wanting must be sublimated by the doing.
Mostly I don't really want this world, I want another world.
I wish I had more to tell you. Sometimes this place squeezes me like I want to squeeze you. Puts both hands around my windpipe and says SAY IT. And I say "it?" And it says HARDER. And I say "IT"? And then we're both embarrassed and sort of back away from each other.
There is always the desire to say. But there are not always things to say. I don't really differentiate between "things worth saying" and "things." I don't know what "worth" means, mostly. I like free and I like the internet, which is the equivalent of liking dumpster diving. I just mean, things, there don't seem to be things these days that sit still long enough to exist in words, or that exist in words at all.
This is maybe the worst post ever.
I just needed to 'check in' so bad.
I want Indian food.
I don't feel like drinking but I want to be drunkish, which means I want like 1.5 shots of tequila.
If you don't like spicy food then I don't know what to say to you.
If you don't like what I cook when you come over and I cook for you, then I don't know what to say to you.
My daughter remembers everything, what foods were eaten at what rest stops and what Christmas decorations adorned which houses in the neighborhood. Sometimes she likes my cooking, sometimes she prefers straight up hot dogs, which she thinks is my cooking.
I want new dresses and shoes and a few other things strictly for me.
My mom's birthday is this weekend. I don't have any daddy issues, which is probably good news for my husband, but I have what I'm suspecting is a host of mother issues, which I guess might be bad news for Beatrice.