unfoldinggreenspun.com : LUSENET : Daily Tales : One Thread
Saturday, November 24, 2001 5-ish
I'm Unfolding. Unfurling. Unwrapping.
The metamorphosis is happening.
Things retained find their place.
I like my new place. It's OK. I'm surprised so far. My plants cover the apartment
----(in fact, I just remembered a wonderful plant in the greenhouse that I *must* bring back home - it's called an epiphyllum and in Japan they literally have parties around its blooming, for the blossom is so amazing - so sensuous, so fragrant, so bold - and it does its complete work of being in 30 hours! ) ----
and the fountain babbles in the corner; the musical instruments cater to my impulse, the handful of beautiful things that I like work well with gravity, generally staying in one place, and just look, well, beautiful. I'm grateful.
My favorite art's on the walls. My most meaningful art. The needlepoint my stepfather did for me one year, after the worst of the stroke had fried his interior wiring, and caused all of the sequential order in the Universe to subside beneath the barrage of living asked of a 60 year old professional man in the peak of his intense and satisfactory career. No speech. No emotional inhibitions. To care for him twenty years after our war began was a sobering karmic lesson. What an intense connection we had. So violent. How can a large man hit a tiny child so many times?
The core books are left, the ones I thought that perhaps I'd touch again over the winter - what are they? Let me look at what made it over here [...SCANS SHELF INTENTLY...] onto the shelves, the things I consider important this year...
Pound - Confucius;
Fuller - Synergetics;
Rinpoche - Tibetan book of Living;
Michener - Voice of Asia;
Steiner - the Fouth Dimension;
Collingwood - The Idea of History;
Gleick - Genius;
Adler's Great Books;
Eames - the Power of Ten;
Lindenmeyer - the Algorithmic Beauty of Plants;
Ackerman - Natural History of the Senses;
Frasier - Golden Bough;
Mary Catherine Bateson - Peripheral Vision;
MacCaulay - The Way Things Work;
Arguelles - Earth Ascending;
Kandinsky - Point and Line to Plane;
Witcher - Plant Between Sun and Earth;
Alli - Modern Shaman's Guide to Reality Selection;
Dalai Lama - Power of Compassion;
Russell - Authority and the Individual;
Inayat Khan - Music;
Gies - Cathedral, Forge and Wheel;
Tucci - Theory and Practice of the Mandala;
Bolter - Writing Space; ...
Interesting. I wonder what this says about me? Perhaps it's the chord I'm making of my mind, as in times like the one when I hold the pedal down on my keyboard, put it in "organ" mode, and begin to stack a series of notes one atop the other, till the layers are so dense that a new idea doesn't even stand out any longer, but simply rolls in the belly of the tone, and flings round the room with a pulse and pitch that are above and beyond any single note I'd ever thought to play. I suppose these books all stack their words inside me like that layered chord, and the overtone - could it be an overmind? - becomes something interesting and novel to attend to.
Playing for the overtones. Kind of like the Tuvan people - and odd to think of that, and have the book of Feinman in the list, Feinman the physicist whose stamp collecting passion led to that journey to Tuva with that guitar player from San Francisco - what was his name? Blind. He was the subject of the film "Ghengis Blues" Darn - wonderful fellow. I see him in my mind and hear his singing as I think. Throat singing with the Tuvans, and knowing that the music made more than just the sound.
My writing desk made the cut. I didn't know if it was going to survive the cull. It was touch and go there for awhile. I love its old claw feet, and it's sweet little writing board that pulls out from under the desk. It's now home to music chart writing - an unexpected turn that suits perfectly.
Oh, look at that. [...PANS ROOM CURIOUSLY...] The microscope! What do you know - it made it over here. I thought it would at least end up in storage. That's funny.
Not too much in the way of knick knacks survived. Rocks - a large number of rocks made it over here. I'm always picking up rocks. Perhaps it suggests a need for grounding. But they're always interesting rocks. They have stories.
Someday when you visit I'll tell you about the Story Stone, or the Two Set gathered side by side on the beach where the seabird died in my hand - one perfectly rectangular, one perfectly round, lying beside one another, washed on the same beach, in the same cove, by the same waves, yet worn into two completely different shapes that look, well, perfect together. Or the Family Stones - balanced, balancing, sometimes toppling with the slightest tap, sometimes enduring the most intense chaos - but always able to return to their centered family place - with a little help, since I happen to be the music that raises the stones.
I kept the right dishes. The ones I use. The ones that work, and the ones that friends made.
And finally, out of the box, the china my aunt bequeathed me when she lost her capacity to navigate in our mutual world, but before she has left it altogether - those few pieces of smoke-stained German china in the "Spring Breeze" pattern that she said always reminded her of me. I suppose it was the wind through tossing flowers that caught her mind, and perhaps she saw me as a bit like that breeze, never staying, never rooting, touching and kissing and prodding everything, and then moving on.
Perhaps like I imagine she might have wanted to be.
I'll never know her story, now. Not from her. I've lost the capacity I'm certain my elders once had of drawing the culture out from our ancestors, teasing out the stories that would help us make sense of who and how our genes have trended us to be.
I can't fault myself for not knowing to ask the questions. Raised in the 60's, I was handed a story of who I was that had nothing to do with my family, or its particular Appalachian holler idiosyncrasies, and even less to do with that old genteel Southern Mississippi/Memphis, Tennessee ripple across the face of frontier America that's pooled like a fresh and private place, and found a spring from passion for a War that hasn't been decided yet. But if you're not from the South, it's a hard thing to understand.
I missed a lot of that story, not knowing whom to talk to, or how to ask. I learn, over time, that my parents didn't ask their folks either, so perhaps I'm just assuming that once we all talked - perhaps we never did.
Perhaps we always, mostly, just kept all the stories of ourselves inside the boxes of our own minds - perhaps it was more rare than not for the stories to be told, except for in their official versions, by the story tellers. Hmm. Perhaps telling stories is a freedom today, for people who know they're sovereign. I wonder if fiction is a barometer of the freedom to invent?
I don't know, and it's one more story I'll simply have to wonder about, but it reminds me that, while I'm thinking of what could be, I have to grab what *Is*. I have to reach as well for those who Are, and not just those I wish would someday be, or be again.
I've decided not to store my life in a box. I eat off the china now.
It's raining. It's grey. I'm going to glory in this [brief/new] City Life and wander - on foot, on glorious foot, on two legs that actually do something more than cross parking lots - to Ray's for a salmonburger. I'm going to work on some charts for the gig, and then go hear a wonderful duo from Portland do the late show at Bacari's, and then toddle back off ( sans car, hooray! ) to bed, and rest up for an early morning push up the river.
It's good to feel you more strongly again. I don't know what's shifted, but something did.
PLUR. Remember PLUR
-- Anonymous, November 24, 2001
I'm thinking of you, quite fondly, and found something to share:
"...Songs are thoughts, sung out with the breath when people are moved by great forces and ordinary speech no longer suffices. Man is moved just like the ice floe sailing here and there out in the current. His thoughts are driven by a flowing force when he feels joy, when he feels sorrow. Thoughts can wash over him like a flood, making his blood come in gasps, and his heart throb. Something, like an abatement in the weather, will keep him thawed up, and then it will happen that we, who always think we are small, will feel still smaller. And we will fear to use words. But it will happen that the words we need will come of themselves. When the words we want to use shoot up of themselves -- we get a new song."
--Orpingalik, "The Netsilik Eskimos, Social Life and Spiritual Culture," Report of the Fifth Thule Expedition 1921-1924
Blessings to you, and whatever clouds you're riding upon today.
. . . . . . . .
-- Anonymous, January 23, 2002