Category Archives: reverie

nothing is moving

held upright, cradled
by great slabs of air like the walls
of an aquarium

a clear cold spring that
arises from the core seeing
equally through eyes

on the back as well
as the front of the head
the code has finally been

cracked rather there
never really was a code
a scaffolding full

of birds singing
like a house afire or an
empty firehouse full

of smoke actually
nothing is moving more like
something bright and

slippery sloshing
up against the boundaries
of the everyday

like seeing through
innumerable eyes
actually no thing

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don’t know

i have no idea. i
haven’t a clue what to make

of things. haven’t the
foggiest. i am unclear

on the nature and
disposition of the

boundaries. it’s a
complete mystery. i

barely knew him. truth
to tell, i barely recognize

even my own hand.
i have no idea how

it happened. never knew
what hit me. i’m drawing

a blank here. lately
the order and duration

of events completely
elude me and the

messages i’m receiving
utterly defy translation.


texture

father’s day, and i’m sitting in the kitchen waiting for my bread to rise while the grrlz play outside on the sidewalk and the sun shines through the many skylights that pierce the roof of our little cave making pools of light. the bread is sitting on the table in front of me looking promising.

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i heard a deeply moving Dharma talk by the late Darlene Cohen at Tassajara a few years ago where she argued passionately for “the textured life” – a life that she saw as an alternative to both post-modern, late-capitalist consumerism and anti-modernist fundamentalism. briefly, she urged us to engage and invigorate the network of relationships – the “entanglement” as Ian Hodder would have it – by making things for each other and for ourselves.

lately, it seems, i’ve been doing a lot of that. i do the lion’s share of the cooking for our family including making all of our bread and most of our yogurt. i build and fix bikes for myself and others. there is an increasing amount of sewing and other forms of domestic production to be done. and, not surprisingly, it does add texture. and why not? whether we like it or not, we’re inextricably entangled in this vast network of relationships that extends throughout space and time. why not really dig in and feel the texture of the fabric?

ok, i’m done now.

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how we got here

it seems likely that most parents would say this but around here we get up pretty early. the cats get hungry, the grrrlz roll out of bed all tousled and fresh-faced, and often hungry as well. even on weekends it’s impossible to stay in bed much after 7. then, there’s the inevitable milling around, cooperation, competition and interaction. the grrlz gravitate towards the various iDevices that we seem to have accumulated. they play, they kibitz, sometimes they fight. the daily rounds of domestic production and subsequent cleanup begin anew.

so how did we get here, anyway?

in his excellent book “Catalhoyuk The Leopard’s Tale”, Ian Hodder, who directs the dig and related research at the ancient site in central Turkey identifies, “an underlying process… of material and social entanglement,” stretching way back into the Paleolithic and states that this process is played out “through infinitesimal moves in daily life and daily processes.” he goes on to suggest that this same process drove, for example, the development of sedentism in modern humans and led directly to the development of agriculture. and, it doesn’t take too much reflection to note that we’re still on the same track. what is the Internet, after all – that Wonder of Modern Technology on which i’m soon hoping to post there ramblings – but an artifact of our mutual entanglement with things and with each other? of course, not everyone on the planet lives in the post-modern, late-capitalist world that middle-class inhabitants of San Francisco enjoy, and even some of my near neighbors would probably replace the verb “enjoy” in the previous clause with something closer to “endure”. nonetheless, it’s easy to see that we’re all in this together, working out the consequences of… what exactly? this curious collision between the cognitive requirement that we self-represent as separate entities and our ever-elaborating mutual entanglements with each other and with the things we create together – the dynamic tension between individuality and interdependence. this is it, The Human Condition, and as as Mr. Hodder tells us, we got here one itty-bitty step at a time.

there really has to be a descriptive term for the kind of process that delivered us to this point. “gradual” doesn’t actually capture it, since there are clearly periods where things seem to happen awfully fast – look at the agricultural revolution, for example, or the much later industrial one. nor do terms like “punctuated equilibrium” work since they make it seem like there’s not much going on in between the punctuation marks. given that i haven’t been able to find something that really captures the flavor of it, i’ve invented one – tectonic. tectonic process operate through the accumulation of “infinitesimal moves” that unexpectedly cascade into breathtaking shifts. it’s how mountains walk

we got here tectonically.