I’ve kept notebooks about nothing in particular for years now. I rarely read them. Tonight, I’ve made a small indulgent return to the archives – which I’ve made for nobody in particular. Here’s something that I found.
It flows out of my fingertips, this river. It bubbles and whirls and it doesn’t hesitate at obstructions. It knows nothing of stone; soft in its fury. And then, twenty miles down stream, it all cascades into the whirring turbines. My river, stolen by the brazen intervention of a dam. Contained only momentarily, but robbed of its rightfully gentle decline into brackish sea waters.
How flows it? Asks the river. Without knowing which language might reveal my response, all I can do is spin on the shores. I’ve pulled up a canoe here, on the banks of the slowly filling placid lake. I have given nothing of myself to this diminishingly shallow pool. I can no longer see the bottom. But, like Burroughs, I might imagine that there is a creature, translucent, who prowls along these wooded shores. It can smell and taste more than it can see or hear. The creature, invested in touch, cannot tell me anything of its past or of its future. But in that touch, reluctant or otherwise, it reveals to me an entirely sedimented present. What boundary between us? I am enveloped here, into this skin, and without knowing where I end I cannot possibly pull myself apart from it.
He makes me something to eat, but I barely eat it. I am morose and it is beautiful outside. I am smoking and drinking coffee and feeling badly for myself because I am overcome with his beauty. His is a quiet and calm beauty. I want him to teach me peace. I want him to teach me simplicity. I am yearning and I cannot stop myself from revealing the reality that I want him. Sedimented in my touch, every layer of my present, are the traces of an imagined enfolding. My words turn themselves into coded expressions of the deepening care that I feel for him. I am melted into a version of myself which does not discern differences between emotion and thought, which does not lend itself easily to letting go, which cannot figure out how to be washed over by the reality of a respectful limitation. It is too difficult for me to imagine that I would not know how to feel differently. I cannot feel differently because, as the sanguine flow spells itself in splattered waves of fluid, I lay there, receiving it. I am not in a position. I am not propped up. I am naked. I am naked. I am naked.
What have I wrought.