floyd sprints donuts in the snowfresh park, thrill-rides frosty-bearded through spun fluff glittering with streetlight– halts with purpose, centrifuges inward, makes his humble contribution to our joint venture, and back to racing corkscrews through a serendipity of white– plunges sugarcoated upstairs, melting into steam heat, carves tracery circles through lamplight into a throw rug sliding finish.
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.