Stories and poems

"The metaphoric image of 'orphan lines' is a contrivance of the detached onlooker to whom the verbal art of continuous correspondences remains aesthetically alien. Orphan lines in poetry of pervasive parallels are a contradiction in terms, since whatever the status of a line, all its structure and functions are indissolubly interlaced with the near and distant verbal environment, and the task of linguistic analysis is to disclose the levels of this coaction. When seen from the inside of the parallelistic system, the supposed orphanhood, like any other componential status, turns into a network of multifarious compelling affinities.'
Roman JAKOBSON, "Grammatical Parallelism and its Russian Facet", Language, 42/2, 1966, pp. 399-429, p. 428-429

Friday, February 3, 2012

Moving Forward

January felt like a black hole; a sinkhole. I observe, I don't fall in. Here we were not writing, we were trying to get out of bed. We were trying to move forward.

Moving Forward

The deep parts of my life pour onward,
as if the river shores were opening out.
It seems that things are more like me now,
That I can see farther into paintings.
I feel closer to what language can't reach.
With my senses, as with birds, I climb
into the windy heaven, out of the oak,
in the ponds broken off from the sky
my falling sinks, as if standing on fishes.

In this poem by Rainer Maria Rilke, there is a feeling of falling upward which I admire. Reading down the lines, the poet falls from the sky, yet the reader moves upward, the image of standing on fish. This past month, though I felt like I was falling downwards, I also had experiences which brought me upwards, or made me feel larger in knowledge of myself, moments when I saw myself more clearly, when I grasped something I hadn't seen before. There were angels in this movement, so I wasn't alone. Moving down, I often felt lifted up. Winter stretched from white sky to white sky and I could have been above or below. The deeper parts of my life are opening, but sometimes the going is slow and painful. This poem reminds us of reversibility, when down is up, and up is down, and how there is an equilibrium to reach where there is clarity and harmony, a peaceful mind despite a constant cough and dripping nose. 

I lost my voice, but know it is a chance to feel how I speak and sing in a new way. I feel my throat.

Louise Hay links throat problems to fear of change in her book Heal the Body. I suppose I am scared of change, like most of us. I don't like it. They changed the tram lines and I wanted to complain along with the entire city. They added a preposition to my favorite bus stop and I wanted to protest the first time I heard it. I found it irritating. Then there are the larger changes I fear in my life. Letting go of the past, of loved ones. I have anxiety about what will come next which makes me unable to be in the moment and appreciate what I have. I lose productivity. I look inwards only. Looking back, looking forward, I miss what is in front of me now, which is often sweet, bittersweet in February, and makes me cry. A weepy month for saying goodbye, though I'm not even sure to what. To myself I suppose. An old version of myself I already miss. But holding on to it makes me sick, so I purge and clean, go over the reasons again, watch it drop away, far below. In the spring I'll be new again.

The Only Ever Constant Change

We choose what we will call it,
Chemicals or Sense,
Dumb Individuality,
Science or Intent,
Will or Intuition,
Helplessness or Force,
The strength is in the giving,
The subsequence of naming,
Despite the Truth of course.

A special thanks to Helen for the Rilke poem and to all my fellow fish.

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