Sunday, January 29, 2012

Writing in Returns

I have a theory (I have had lots of theories, and you probably have too. They reoccur from time to time) that one can write or communicate anything, anything at all, even by beginning in a completely different place from the thing you wish to communicate and returning to that place. This theory is founded on the none too radical assumptions that the act of communication is in itself meaningful, and that meaning is transmitted through direct and indirect means. The terms and variations of direct and indirect communication are many, as are the boats on the river, though perhaps not the fish of the sea, and certainly not as the grains of sand. I do not allude here to stream of consciousness writing, but to starting at a point as if at random, and proceeding by the eddies and currents of an apparently neglectfully manned craft, to arrive at a precise point on a distant shore; even one cloaked in fog. For what is writing if not a sort of landscape comprised of fits and starts, peaks and valleys outlined in black on the page, a topography at once absolute in identifying the word of the thing represented, yet utterly foreign to the eye, or to the mind of the reader who has not yet arrived?

An act, therefore, in the name of this theory: but first, I must apologize. I should be a scholar and do my research and some pure thinking on this matter so that I can point out examples of the kind if writing I mean, or present like-minded theories, etc. If I can't be bothered to carry out these sorts of duties I should at the very least take pains to write something so compelling that no one will be able to resist what I already know. But you see, I can do neither of these things. I cannot explain more than I have, and I can only write so well. My theory is a small theory. It sits in among other theories, most of which are much bigger and already have strong followings. My theory has me for its voice; and, yes, perhaps there are neighboring theories and authors with whom I should join; with whom, if I were to take the time to link arms and our fates, we might take our place with the great theories that rule this place. But, again, I must apologize and say, I am a father and husband, an inordinately simple man who finds that the most he can do is the best he can do, which is to state what he is capable of stating in the small time allotted to him, in the small space of the world in which he lives.

An act, therefore (see how I announce our departure, which should be counted in my favor or not, as the reader will, for I cannot judge for the reader or offer opinions in lieu of a general readership); as like a stone, I was turned against my will, for I had none that I would give that name, by a hand that had no author, or that wrote in no language I understood, as if seated at my leisure - call it a break in the day - under a tree past flowering; see we have our errors and our ways, but there is work to do today. Children came past who turned toward us and were suddenly transformed before our eyes into young men and women, dressed variously but speaking as if united to a common cause, when they dispersed - some into houses, other turning this way and that; along a road, perhaps, this one leading to the city. I think I told you about my life in the city. I recall how I appeared to myself, for instance in a mirror, a sideways glance at a mirror, which was all the time I had to contemplate what might become of me. But noise and lights took me away that night and for many nights, until I woke to the landscapes of both the outward and interior eye, the ship's cabin tossing too and for until I thought it would be dislodged from the ship itself, and I could imagine myself floating like that, alone in the cabin of a ship, until the sea had simply swallowed me out of boredom from the play of keeping me afloat.

But every day was like that, so I learned not to complain as one wears one shirt, not two. Form and repetition perhaps are the signals of staying; undertaken and sustained, survival is proclaimed joy - the seed bearing the fruit, the fruit providing sustenance for the body, the eye. A long journey only some of which is written down here. At the time, we were often too overcome with trails and exhaustion to note the particulars. But his journal, this pen I return to you in the condition in which it was given to me, bearing only superficially the marks of wear.

Thank you for reading this. In honor of return I will try and blog again soon.

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