use-less

use-less

all day long, while the snow came down and blew along with water from lake michigan across city roadways and chris wrangled for more sleepless hours on end the phone trees and data coordination of response teamwork, I sat, good for nothing, planted to the couch, watching episodes of joss whedon’s “dollhouse” on netflix, good for perfectly nothing.

it happens sometimes like that. often in response to an overlarge event I can see no way to wrangle for my own part– usually my own event or undertaking: writing a substantive project, the eternally vexing quandary of “job” searching, outreach toward building or rebuilding social networks, broaching broad chasms of communication.

I don’t know for certain whether this instance of retreat into semi-consciousness occurred in any sort of direct response to chris’s whirlwind– but it’s true enough that I felt my own lack of concrete ability to help, apart from simply being there, listening and reflecting back on particular pieces of narrative dilemma from time to time– it was a large and necessary presence, and I sat with it.

cohabitation can be like that. we’re thrown much together in a small space, with the result that waves and currents of personal energy swirl around and against one another, showering with gusts of differing weather. from time to time I retreat under the surface of muffling waters.

lately I think much on the topic of what constitutes “use”– the various ways we select to define and judge and embody it. lately I’ve been begging for determinants, signposts, guidelines, directives– when I know well enough that real work requires its own inherent, idiosyncratic, often inexplicable drives.

I’ve done all sorts of “work” that suited anyone’s purpose but my own. together we’ve decided it’s time to attend to the lessons of fracture and facilitate a more integrative and personal approach. in which, inevitably, I’m my own worst wrassling foe, lured off in pursuit of a thousand tangential distractions I can imagine important to the process.

it’s tricky, too, wanting to eschew standard definitions and limitations of genre and medium– to play among them and be motivated by blend and grey area. typical to this type of work is a little-bit-of-this-little-bit-of-that impulse which all too easily lends itself to following narrowing deertrails into wilderness and the unanticipated formation of oxbow lakes.

but some days, some mornings in particular, I’m graced with a brilliant stunning quiet and the resonance of a single tone hit right, a luminous image or a phrase vibrant enough to pull me through, on to the the next piece in the patchwork weave.

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2 thoughts on “use-less

  1. It’s funny, I read this while sitting in front of an episode of Dollhouse, which for the last 10 days or so (during spare moments or long evenings) I have been consuming, mindlessly. I think there’s actually a need for this kind of down time. To reset or process or (ahem) wipe. And this is the time of year to crawl into hibernation. I think it’s healthy, as long as one doesn’t lose the impulse to wake up and return to the light…

    1. Dollhouse, I believe, is completely addictive– it’s the layers at which the story’s working simultaneously that make it so compelling. I’m actually now in the process of going back through and re-watching in light of the knowledge I have about various characters and plot points. So well constructed. I’ve also just gotten my sister hooked on it. ;)

      Thanks for your perspective, Kitty. My subterranean sessions tend to be a little extensive and elaborate, but the new year (both ways) brings new light. xoxo.

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