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Field Parameters 11/6/02
Again, this address holds some words for you. What follows is a recent post to Rich, whom you met - another vast delightful canyon in my wilderness of heart. I thought you'd like it, and hope it serves to update you on what is (and isn't, sigh...) changing in my own hyper-beality. Share with MG if you like.
Your jet girl
Date: Wed, 06 Nov 2002 08:31:14 -0800 To: Richard Glauber Subject: Field Parameters
You know, sometimes we don't know what stays and what goes...
I hope it's ok that I continue to write to you for awhile. I'm thinking that I'll like that - or rather, I'll be able to handle that - better than the other options I seem to have ended up with: to hang, or not to hang, and all the attendant questions that accompany the dangling declination. And it's definitely a simple no-hassle no-strings way to wake up with you in the morning (coffee's on, I'm still in bed, sort of tousley, and oila! here you are...)
I've got this nagging little bit in my head as I wake today that suggests my all-or-nothin-at-all approach with respect to you *is* probably taking care of me, but it's also repeating a pattern and, at this particular juncture of my glorious spiritual road trip, pattern repetition is highly suspect right now.
I'm not questioning the value of holding onto my dream of a life partner, for I've made that an axiom that I'm not going to re-examine for its negative result until I've successfully tested it for its positive - meaning, I'm pretty certain that having no dream/no dude is lower on the list of interesting realities than dream dude, and I've got plenty of negative baseline information for that hypothesis; I'm out to find a positive set of results and THEN I'll do the comparison, and decide whether or not to toss out the axiom.
But, until then, while the axiom holds, my manner of exploring the axioms (life with a partner is very worth living, and other bedtime stories I tell myself) is *always* up for cross-examination, and the conclusion I seem to have stuck myself with YOU - nope, nada, can't handle it, can't see him, blah, blah - is boring ME this morning, and nagging at me like a bad lipstick color.
So what to do? The yo-yo thing (do we? don't we? will we? won't we?) can be illuminating, since just the presence of the yo-yo effect keeps the internal alarm bells ringing, with that you-don't-have-it-figured-out-yet-Cynthia claxon honking in the background. But it's also frustrating, and I'm easily frustrated, and spoiled about getting my way - my own arrested petulant teen within could probably use a spanking now and then.
I think I've figured a way around her for the time being, buying us some time and all that. I'm reminded of that bit that Neal Cassady wrote, per Kesey:
"...course, I realized the best thing in ALL these short time bits, especially under my present mood, is running commentary. So while he's fiddling and thinking, covering by writing and so on, you're changing his judgement at one thirtieth of a second! In that changing of judgment there's no imposition. He's still the boss..."
So there's this part of me that drives this incarnational bus, and feels like its her job to drive, and jokes about being mapless but has a vague sketch of the possible territory in her pocket, and she isn't turning loose of the wheel at the moment. As one of the passengers both interested in the driver's happy evolution and mindful of *some* collective destination (let's all get there together, no matter where "there" turns out to be), I'm feeling a need to keep the driver going but I'm NOT interested in this circling movement she's engaged in, driving around and around the platform in the name of movement, if you know what I mean.
Not that she's doing that, but she says it's getting time to go - all on board - we're bookin soon - wrap it up... I'm thinking: "Wait a minute. There's this guy on the platform and I *really* like him and we're making a choice here and is this on-the-road thing what you really want?..." and she's saying "Look, we've been here before. You *always* meet someone at the station and if you had your way we'd just sit here on the platform and watch all the busses go by and by and by. You're delighted by everyone. You love men the way Barlow and Rich love women, and the three of you could just hang out on the bench all day and never get anywhere."
And I'm still thinking "Yeah, and... your point is?"
So she lets me have it: "You're always finding the novelty in exceptional people and you think I'm stuffy and don't get that. But I do. And you think I'm stuck in the moving-on mode, and too focused on the scheduled destination to notice the wonders along the way. You're probably right. I do miss a few. But we've been on the road for a very long time. We've hung at a LOT of stations over the years - probably packed in enough roadside attractions for a hundred very lively ladies' dance cards (since YOU lost count of our lovers before we were 19) - and face it, girl, the sights are somewhat the same. No offense, and maybe we should look at the choices, but I'll save that for another time."
"Now, this lovely fellow with his foot in the door..." [ and here she starts in about you, so don't get upset] "...may be more than just a pretty face, but you've GOTTA start listening to these guys. Read his lips. It's a big N-O, hon. He's got a No-Way tattooed on his forehead the size of a NIKE billboard in Times Square. We're practicing respect, remember? We've got to do our part, and hear people state where they're at, and then we've got to believe them. Even if we don't want to. Even if we think they're saying something that THEY don't really mean. It's our job to proceed as if it's all true."
"Rich has told you a number of things, but some of his primaries are: He needs to be heard, he needs to be believed, he needs to be respected, he needs to be taken seriously, and the nobility of his intent needs to be accepted at face value."
Well, by now she's got me thinking, as you can imagine. And she doesn't let up, this one - no sirree, she's got a logarithmically scaled gigahertz processor on her that she keeps taking into the shop for upgrades, and I just can't track the woman (that's why she keeps driving, and I keep bumming around on the platform, picking up strays...).
I won't bore you with all the details this morning, but basically she's insisting that it's our duty to hear you fully, to believe you completely, and to let you (and us) accept the consequences of your statements. She says that navigating by portents and signs - what we do on our little reality jaunt - is hyper-dependent upon cues from others and that it's a service to US and our own journey to believe everyone whenever we have the opportunity to choose belief.
Her contention is that these truth-statements that folks like you and I assert ("I'm on my Jubilee. I can't. I don't have time. waaah ") ARE an important part of the map, the road signs we want to steer by, and that the most useful thing we can do for one another is to provisionally agree that what we say is true, and then see how it plays in Peoria.
And I've got to pay the driver her due. I DO have a habit of finding the fellows with the great smiles and the "Not Me" sandwich boards walking around these bus stops on the highway of high life. Maybe it's some sort of perverse twist in me that makes me want to test this - you know, "...are YOU sure?...really?..." I'll probably look at that more closely someday, but for now I'm just feeling she's usefully right.
Yet where does that leave me? Or us? The guys with the sandwich boards are cute enough, but the conversation IS usually pretty much the same - we kind of go on and on about the sandwich board, and eventually that's all we talk about - and meanwhile, the bus is revving up and, you know what? There's about a dozen more of me (heck, I haven't counted - probably more) on the bus that you haven't even heard from cos they can't get a word in edgewise, let alone flat on. I'm sure there's a couple of me still in the bathroom, and at least one of me in the cafe, or perhaps down by the river.
It's not like the driver has an easy time herding all of us little cat-ettes, and still everyone spends an awful lot of time waiting for me. We've got some ground to cover - miles to go before I sleep - and lots more of me is in play, at other levels that beg to be wandered. However, I do tend to be the socialite of the bunch, and sometimes I hog all the collaborative outward persona energy, and don't spread it around with the others in my crowd.
But they're starting to step up now, and are ready to be heard themselves. There's Queen Radia (a big surprise!) who's got her list of things to do, and then there's this very unexpected scientific side who manages - every math class - to hear Alder say "you know, I never thought of doing that to the equation before", and the music girl who's just getting her wires plugged in. There are more - the ghosts of futures passed, and all the unformed edge worlds of who I might become someday. Luckily, I'm sharing time with The Writer here, thanks to your love of language, and so the multi-purpose use of our (yours and my) time is not too begrudged, but I can feel their patience wearing a bit thin.
I suppose that's why I might seem to push things some. I get a limited amount of time to run this body around, gathering love nutrients and checking the environment to see if there's a fellow traveler going my/our way. Other parts of me are ready to take their turn, and they're not really big on hanging out at the station. They like it when the bus moves and we get to run our own experiments, watch the landscape change, test and prod dimensional expansiveness, and stare at stars.
So, I'm looking for ways to say "I hear you" and "I get it" and "My bus is leaving soon." There's no pressure to come with me - hell, she probably wouldn't let you on anyway. She's funny that way. But in this one, she's definitely correct: you have to demonstrate a certain requisite enthusiasm or else you don't have the internal momentum for the journey and won't even be able to stay on the bus. Passengers have to bring their own busses, and take turns driving, and then we combine engines and fuel and road histories and do mapping overlays and THAT'S how we get to the really cool places that we can't get to on our own - that's the Power of Two, and it's some pretty big mojo.
On the other hand, if you're at some station further up the road, and it just happens to be mine, and you've lost that sandwich board, she's not averse to accepting that things change.
I've got this one fellow that I met when I was 17 who fell in love with me back when *I* was wearing the sandwich board around. Every now and then, even today, we find ourselves on the same bus platform bench, and it's become quite a hoot. Sometimes I've got a husband in tow - or he's got a wife, or kids - but one of us is always in the "wet paint - do not touch" section. It's been going on so long that we just laugh at it, now, but that sort of pleasure is earned over time. You can't just manufacture it, and say it's a delightfully ironic, bittersweet coincidence when it's not, yet.
I'm going to wrap this up by bringing it around to the title of this little morning foray of pre-breakfast syllablism - "Field Parameters". Sure, I'm in a bubble, but it's a permeable membrane and there are liquid rainbows that still feed my eye. I'm not on a tight schedule, but there's a clock ticking - not because we know where we're going, or when we're supposed to take off, but because the engine's warming and sometimes my bus just starts up and heads out on its own. (I've let it leave without me once or twice, and that was weird...)
All of calculus - even the asymptotic, ever approaching the infinite - eventually employs limiting parameters, within which the inquiry is initially framed.
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=asymtotic (the misspelled google search has more interesting initial links to the word than the proper spelling - go figure...)
Novelty as it's explored in fractal geometry employs pattern - the reproduction of the self-similar - but also engages the primary tool of recursion, the function of being (literally - the Function of Being) changed by simply experiencing, and re-experiencing, the pattern, while being changed by the experience. There are field parameters in play here, with us, and I don't have them all lined out. I don't get the variables, and I've probably miscalculated some of the constants. I sense the limits, but that's about as good as it's gonna get right now, and it's always strange to keep driving in heavy fog when the instruments say you're falling but you KNOW you're not.
Sometimes I get the been-there-done-that syndrome because I've lost tabs on my personal recursion (the repetition that changes) function. My dissatisfied pronouncement of "boring" probably has more to do with my own failure to be moved by the experience than it does with the onset of ennui. I don't diss pattern outright, though I seem to be disparaging it mightily these days (probably a sign of a deeper pattern that I'm not even seeing). But I do need to remember that I have to work to make sure that the repetition of pattern remains good art.
I pull a random Keseyism off the wall to see what Ken has to add:
"Look...Reality is greater than the sum of its parts, also a damn sight holier. And the lives of such stuff as dreams are made of may be rounded with a sleep but they are not tied neatly with a red bow. Truth doesn't run on time like a commuter train, though time may run on truth. And the Scenes Gone By and the Scenes to Come flow blending together in the sea-green deep while Now spreads in circles on the surface. So don't sweat it. For focus, simply move a few inches back or forward. And once more...Look"
Gosh, I love that man. He's SO here...I wonder what it would have been like if we'd known each other?
***OK - WEIRDNESS BREAK... exactly as I write this last sentence, this query of Kesey-In-the-Air that you and MG have already heard speak through these floating bits of paper I carry around, the batch of Keseyisms falls off the wall, where they're taped and sometimes offer themselves for my perusal. So I reach down to pick them up, and one comes off in my hand, separating itself from the batch:
"...and I got to feeling like I was seeing a once-familiar but almost-forgotten man. I mean...this wasn't the old yarn-spinning, bullshitting character that had been thundering damn-near unnoticed through the house and the local bars for the last six months. Not the noisy joker of a year before either. No, I realized gradually, this is the boomer I used to follow on cruising walks twenty years before, the calm, stubborn, confident rock of a man who had taught me how to tie a bowline with one hand and how to place a dutchman block in an undercut so's the tree would fall so cunthair PERFECT that he could put a stake where he aimed for it to fall, then by god drive that stake into the ground with the trunk!"
Yep. Ken's walking with me through this forest of words, and he's teaching me how to tie a bowline with one hand, and to coil the letters out of thin air, painted with the turmoil, spin and founted gush of my mind, and drive those thoughts home like old cows at dusk...
What more can one ask of this great gallumphing bus? What better destination could there possibly be than home?
Ken's influence gets the last word here, and we'll just defer to the master and let the morning play out. As he suggests, it's likely that simple movements a few inches forward or back - the focus - are enough to embody the recursion, the change. No big jumps needed to completely shift the POV. The bus isn't pulling away yet (isn't that nice?) so I suppose we can sit and chat awhile longer.
"Now, tell me again...what's up with that sandwich board you're wearing? Is it some kind of girl magnet?"
-- Cynthia Beal firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.skymind.org
"...Style is the ultimate morality
-- Anonymous, November 06, 2002