The backs of my hands above my knuckles are chapped from the cool winter air, so I apply lotion. Can self-care of that sort act by law of correspondence upon the circle, the cosmos, the whole? Is that what was meant by books like Getting It Together and Centering? Is that what M.C. Richards sought at Black Mountain College? How does one “center”? Can it mean gifting oneself and the others with which one lives one’s attention and love through dance and play? I picture myself and my daughter as Luke and Yoda, the one carrying the other. Time to teach, time to practice pedagogy, each teaching each. I imagine my Moby as the garb of a Jedi. What do I say to F. to help her find her way? Perhaps I should read aloud to her the passage from Walt Whitman’s Democratic Vistas quoted at the start of Allen Ginsberg’s The Fall of America. Show her the “half-hid warp,” the threads of friendship, intense and loving comradeship, the milk of human kindness. Read Ginsberg’s “Beginning of a Poem of These States” in light of the Black Snake or Zuzeca Sapa prophecy of the Oceti Sakowin. Note for the sake of remembrance via time capsule the lovely sounds F. makes at four weeks of age (or there about) while breastfeeding: lip-smacking exhalations, small gasps of pleasure, relieved sighs.
People that do it, do it. They map a new territory in an act of psychic reinvention. Lounging, relaxing, living pleasurably: one should always build time for these into the 24 hours of one’s day. Get a glimpse of it, man — the waves as they mass on the horizon. “I haven’t been entirely well lately,” coughs capitalism as it climbs into the ring. I shall steal from under it the ground on which it stands. Trees rise up around me, their bare branches bathed in yellow sunlight. As pleasant as the weather has been locally these last few days, I still look forward to the coming rebirth, the arrival of spring and summer. Would acceptance of Rich Terrile’s “reality-as-simulation” hypothesis prompt any changes in terms of everyday interactions with others and with nature? The more I watch Hamilton’s Pharmacopeia, the more I’m put off by the show’s disrespectful treatment of indigenous people and their medicines and traditions. Perhaps the series acquires some critical self-awareness along the way? We’ll see.
Consciousness grazes in one of reality’s slighter pastures. It regrets the creation of the hunting instinct, and by extension the will to earn, but it scarfs down a dinner fit for an aristocrat. Not really. Sad, listless, having lost any sense of personal promise or potential, I drag myself through space, nibbling occasionally at items from fast food franchise value menus. Sarah tries to cheer me by suggesting we collaborate on something creative: “a screenplay,” she says, “or perhaps a work of fiction.” For those of us susceptible to wintertime blues, the only way out is through.
From a small Dansk teacup I sip hot mulled apple cider, my head absorbed in idle abstraction, even when I act politely in accordance with convention. Experience vacillates between perception and performance, knowing and doing. With amazement, though, I arrive at the realization that there are ways to enjoy all of it. Cartoon eyes and mouths emerge from chrome shelving units covered in succulents. I contemplate the face of a playing card, a jack of clubs designed in the English pattern. Plug it in and the face transmits bursts of character, like a furnace breathing air into a home during a snowstorm. I listen from a basement as floorboards creak beneath the feet of my kith and kin. Refusing to be kept, I march up and out into the cold northeastern air, plying my boots atop snow-covered streets. One can be in a place without knowing where one is or what is going on, I conclude, for a bomb was dropped to stop heads from making sense of their condition.