Thank you for your kindness, dear Charles.
At the end of the day, this journal and blog is really, as much as anything, about practicing to write well. I love words, though that sounds cliché to my ear, there really is a certain poetry that creates a quality of feeling in my bones.
Indeed, my first audience, you dear Charles, you are my audience because your tolerances for cliché and what you call “academia or corporate, both enemies of art and truth” seem to be those that I only today aspire to. The reply you shared today to offer some critique for my stumbling into those dangerous strings of adjective and ambiguity, was like freshwater coming forth on the trailside.
Not surprisingly, my posts have begun to grow long, I won’t look, but probably bloated with adjectives, codewords, and ambiguous scenario… I am enjoying this work and had reached a fullness. Your care has allowed me to exhale, thank you.
I long for short sentences. Clear, crisp descriptions of something useful to the eye or to the ear, or better still to the heart.
Father Thomas Keating had said “God’s first language is silence, everything else is just a poor translation.” As much as I may love words, I love even better the silence they seek to convey.
I pray that these words will whittle me away until there is nothing left of adjective code, only raw clear poetry reverberating the awful stillness of eternity.
Today was very long. I thought I had rested, but still the alarm felt nagging as it drug me towards the light. Moving from the bed to the study, really the whole journey of the day, was easy and quick and I’ve been here at my desk nearly without interruption for 11 hours.
I’ve completed the Sunday ritual of reflecting on tasks, to do lists, and intention. I’ve read a handful of articles accumulated over the week. I’ve corresponded by phone, by text, by email, with all those precious souls with whom I am fortunate to commune. I busied myself with tasks, organizing references to lawyers and other advocates in preparation for the Monday surge towards a more robust preparation for… For what?
Really very practical things. Medi-Cal estate planning, planning for the possible eventuality of selling this house, establishing a clear path to provide for the possible outcome of moving to long-term residential care, managing to meet the care resources I have for continuity in the interim. All of this is just a list, in total, it does not constitute something I long for, only something I am obliged to by a sense of integrity and concern.
It feels as though a package, but I am at least reluctant to give it a name. It is a certain kind of monolith, and facing it has brought me to myself in new ways. Little by little, I discover the greater depth of my own latent possibility and opportunity to let go of confusion and simply express that silence that is the beauty I know in my heart. I’m laughing inside now Charles, I’m going to leave that last sentence intact, though I’m sure you are shaking your head, insisting – “what on earth could that possibly mean?”
You are right, I’ll do better.
After working on the monolith, I received a note from Eric who had started to organize a gofundme campaign on my behalf. Pictures, he said. We need pictures. This is a pain point for me.
I have many, many thousands of pictures. Some perhaps even those he has identified as just what we are looking for. As the years have gone by, they have become less and less organized. Eric’s request landed right in that soft spot. It was only just an hour, and I managed to cull a handful. It’s not pretty. My gripe is simply that in order to organize photos for a project, I’m having to make duplicate digital files (yet again.)
This morning as Greg was getting me out of bed, we struck on the question – “what if we just stopped having wars, and left all those resources spent on weapons, munitions and the structures of war, in the ground.?”
Now I find a silly little echo of that early morning question at the other end of my day.
How many fewer hard drives would we need in the world if we just got rid of all of the duplicate digital files lying around?
I think I must be feeling the weight of 11 hours. I will write again tomorrow Charles. I will do better. 🙂 Thank you for your patience, and your guidance, and for this sentence:
“English is a mixture of languages so we have a wide choice of words, whether to fuck or to copulate is a choice facing the writer at every turn.”
May we all make good choices. 🙏🏼
God gets to know things, we just get to ask questions…