Monday, December 5, 2016

In the Garden

Where did it all begin? How did it begin and with what words may I tell you?

These words are thoughts which are like ants along a trail. The scurry and bump into one another, but they have some sense of purpose it seems. The whole of them, when viewed from outside appear to be one organism. Entailed within this metaphor, mapped on it by pheromonal equivalencies and the randominium of axonic connectivity, is the will for structure.

But does that desire actually think? Who thought of that first? Why?

Consider the concept of Unity. I am not sure I believe in "unity" as existing outside of mind, but within that garden, it certainly maintains a beloved throne, usually at the center of our temples' concentric mandalic rings. Grand concepts always seem to move toward Unity as their ultimate goal, again, like so many ladders to other floors, being thrown aside.

Does a concept actually move? Again, I am being literal to make a point. Growth is a metaphor I can actually handle because when I go to sleep, the ground cover is one size, one volume. The next day it has spread. More intrusive. More invasive. Ideas do this as well, but usually they must have some sort of soil to grow in. That soil is language. It covers a lot of ground.

Ants, gardens, ground cover: one may find all of these ideas together. Fortunately, they are actual objects, things, perhaps even beings depending on your definition of that word, but I will leave that for elsewhere.

Generalizations are something else. A principle of sufficient reason and recognized patterns that our minds craft and what is there beyond that? Will. Desire. Potency. I glean these from the different things I see, but I am always making them up. The only thing I am not making up are these words. True, I am arranging them, but that is no more different than a house. A carpenter built it, but tree are wood: they grow. We have simply forgotten that. Perhaps because we do not climb in them anymore.

This all raises questions—questions about whether the doxographer is trying to explain the explainer. The difference always seems to be: confusing why with how. There are people who need explanations because they must explain much themselves. Why suggests causality, and time. How can work anywhen. What does it all mean? Do the ants in the garden somehow know differently in their mass because the angels converse with them?

Perhaps. I'll think about it.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

A small event

Know that in this bleak afternoon, when the monsters gather in their pride and the world goes forever beyond the horizon: at the crossroads of here—where all of us seem to be—for a moment you lift the mask we all must wear in this place.

And you allow the shadow of your smile to fall upon the Earth and make a solace, a refuge from the light, a subjunctive somewhere for remembrance, a small event of beauty.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Straight to my arms

December. That means Seattle is reaching its apogee of rain, dark and gray. I sit in the café and listen to the music they are playing here. It's Astral Weeks.

Van Morrison is perfect for this weather. Especially the melancholy of "Madame George" and "Cypress Avenue." But it's another song that resurrects the lost time.

I remember.

I remember lying there after sex and you are caressing my forehead, brushing my hair back from my face. It was summer and the air felt more like apricots, honey and forever.

"Were you ever a ballerina?" You asked me.
"Is it because of this song?"
"Yeah, but it's your legs, your body. You're beautiful, Ada. You look like a ballerina."
"No…" and I couldn't say anymore, but in the light of that late morning in August, I danced in your arms.

Now, I think it is so strange that there can be such moments of love in my life—even then, when I could not love you every moment of the day. Nor you me. I cannot blame us. We did not know ourselves and that sorrow upstages ordinary regret at such moments.

It did not last. We know this. I do not even know where you really are.

If the World is Will and Representation, which is that day? Which is Astral Weeks?

Still, my heels click and clack.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Happy Holidays

Change, whether one embraces it or fears is a function of our minds. One day a tree is green.  The next it is getting yellow, then red. Finally it is naked. My hair seems to get grayer and a friend of mine whom I have known since she was a child mentioned: "Tinder hasn't been that bad for me lately." Things I like either give me indigestion or are destroyed by developers.

The seasons are our most powerful reminder of mutability.

Where I live it rarely snows, so that marker of Winter is no great sign. Furthermore, I have seen ferocious snows at the end of November, but few in the middle of the coldest months: i.e. January and February. And by the end of February the cherry blossoms are beginning their stubborn announcements of beauty. So what am I to make of that?

But I still think of snow around the Holidays. It is cultural because the Country I grew up in worships it like a God. It is personal because...

...growing up, I rarely got to the Sierra Nevada mountains in winter. We didn't have a lot of money so I didn't learn to ski unlike many of my  classmates. But sometimes I got to go with my uncle to the mountains and experienced Snow. I read about snow, but of one thing I must say, reading about snow and being in it are very different experiences! And to this day, when I step out into a snowscape for the first time in a season, I always approach it as the child I was. That is how strongly it erases this illusion of time we dwell in.

In Sacramento, in November and December it was not so much Winter as it was Fog. A dreamscape blur of gray that allowed for dragons or Anywhere But Here to be just up the once familiar street. There remains an otherworldliness to holiday lights glowing as suspended blurs during a December night. I still relish the fog here, whether it is a thick blanket over the Puget Sound or a muffling blanket on a holiday morning, many of which I am alone on by choice.

Do I get melancholy?

I am Ada Ludenow, I breathe melancholy and this time of year is no different, because we have agreed this time of year marks the change of time. Although it really hasn't. The music of this season proclaims, but it also weeps.  In Christian traditions, the Son of God is born, but consider the terror of the Coventry Carol, for it is a lullaby about widespread infanticide. Birth and Death, the dialectic progresses down from the Old Religion's holidays which Christianity usurped, but I am not thinking on such cosmic terms.

No, it is personal: How have I changed? How have we changed?

This year, the most challenging song may very well be John wishing me a "Happy Xmas, (War is over)" because he always asks 'and what have you done?' In this usage, the full ambiguity of English's 2nd person pronoun works beautifully. Does he mean me? Or all of us? I don't know which is a more harrowing question. When you are done, consider the natural negative inference regarding what you haven't done.

Go ahead and listen to the song. You don't have to be a Christian, or even a member of any of the Abrahamic faiths. The deep meaning, which is the wistful hope for humanity amongst overwhelming arguments to pessimism speaks as much as much in Zen Buddhism as for followers of Zoroaster, or those who revere Ganesh or Richard Dawkins.

While I question what I have done, I try to abide by John's wish and imagine snow.

Thursday, November 24, 2016


I'll speak a little:

I have been
I have been beaten
And killed
Yet still I am here
And therefore you are as well.

I am the river you crawled from
And I am never the same
And neither are you.

Will your body be the same
In the prison of its soul?

How much must you hate me?

Wednesday, November 9, 2016


Since mindfulness of everything,
Is the foundation of Being,
To speak the truth of one’s own being,
And to preserve the knowledge we all share
Serves all Being. 

Just as clear Law
Upholds the Nation with greater strength.
Of all the shapings of the law,
The sole source is the principle
Which helps us decide what gives

True mindfulness its victory.


Friday, October 28, 2016

A Realm

Was this once a kingdom? The traveler asked herself this question first. It may develop the character of the place in her mind, she thought. She was used to insulating the recursive nature of these thoughts, like magnetic fields holding fragile and deadly clouds of plasma. It was all she could do, and the traveler had spent the first half of her life learning how to think about her observations of the worlds in which she moved. Naturally, she also knew this last insight had only occurred relatively recently and for lack of any other milestone, she chose its appearance as a turning point in her life.

Within the Negative, she had been walking quite a ways. There was not much to see there and she often felt deprived because she could not fly through this void, or swim, or some other form of movement,  such as thousands of tube-feet springing up on the bottom of her own and carrying her along like a moving escalator in an airport.

“Still, it’s probably hard work. Starfish just make it look effortless.

The milestone of self-conscious observation and concomitant recursive knowledge appeared, but here of course she full well knew that it merely appeared over and over again in a continuum of observation so smeary and blurred with the pedestrian thoughts (she was walking, afterall) that the milestone grew closer, which was, of course, absurd. And when she considered that it was a milestone of self-consciousness that did not move, well, the paradoxical nature of the path became even more irksome.

The traveler herself was erudite and a firm believer in the power of expansive thought and logic—what this really meant was she was often rationally unsure of several distinct possibilities that were extensively thought out. That and whether she was a butterfly dreaming she was Hegel, only a woman-Hegel, here, and thefore something of a Wegel, or Fraugel, to be even more specific because the word-part of her mind was always wandering off the path to look at a rock or pun.