time and again I find myself confounded and perplexed by the different places I've lived and people I've known– dreams propel me back into lost contexts and once more I find myself in thisbe's farmhouse kitchen or a cornfield in iowa snapping stagey photographs with people I seem hardly to know but whose faces are fixed forever on film. it isn't so much that I want to recapture these expended bits of lived experience, rather that something in me urges to reconcile them. I know folks who routinely and obsessively renarrate their identities to the most convincing cases possible. sheer happenstance propels me into a few minutes' encounter with a writer I once knew for all of about five minutes, and the gravitational pull of her world throws mine momentarily all off kilter– I'm suddenly wondering why don't I have a big, international writing project that I'm smack in the middle of? and then, after a bit, I'm able to shake myself like a dog shedding wet and remember that hers isn't my story. but every such momentary happenstance does seem to cast me back into questioning just how my own tale coheres. I suspect somewhat that my own struggle, much of the time, is in resisting this very compulsion to fix the story, to form it willfully into this or that shape, but rather repeatedly to draw myself back into the more direct living of it– because, so far, it does keep happening. and too much preoccupation with explaining it to myself can interfere with the immediacy of the experience. but there's a balance. between drifting and driving forward. or between two other things I can't quite name. maybe it's simply that I require the thinking vehicle of writing when I wake up from these dreams, to ease my heart, to reacquaint myself with myself, to reassure myself that I am not as dispersed and diaphanous as it sometimes, terrifyingly, feels. not that I ever forget the real, good things that ground me in the here and now– just that the panoramas that play out can, by their very variety and number, dwarf the humble, uncooked daily context I inhabit, throw it unfairly into cross-examination, onto the witness stand to fabricate some coherent narrative stitching it all, patchwork but seeming seamlessly, together. the truth is, I may never tell this story. or else maybe I already am, only most indirectly and episodically in this medium, as seems to suit my mood and general temperament. to what end I still can't name.