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

Thursday, March 13, 2014

New Pathways of the Mind

 In Russian it is called rasputitsa...
In Vermont there is a season called mud season. I bet it exists in other places too, but in Vermont it really gets the respect of being its own time, when the sap flows and the snow melts. Normally it is in March. The dirt roads get really hard to drive on, you slip and slide out of pot holes. You try to stay in the less deep ones but fall back into those most used ones. You get stuck sometimes.

This came to mind as I was thinking of the pathways of the mind, which are habits really, the way we let ourselves be led down familiar paths of belief and consternation. The mind does not like change, though apparently it is always capable of it, you just need to keep reading, keep moving, making new connections between neurons, giving birth to new ideas. The Vermont road in spring is an apt metaphor for the striving, shedding, growing mind.

Remember the old pathways of the mind:
Roads, I wish they hadn't been mine,
well-rutted, pitted, full of mud,
I trode them to dark places,
when you were mine, I practiced thinking you weren't.

Those roads, I see them now grown over
with weeds, and I remember their appeal.
Did I feel brave? I liked the danger I suppose,
or maybe had too much time, was lazy;
I did not take my own hand to lead myself away.

Now I can. I won't take that road today.
But you aren't here to lead me astray,
the mind says, won't take the blame
for twisting fate to castigate your name.
I'm tired and I remember the gifts.

What if? All the love I wanted to give you,
did I drag it down that lane? Did I leave it there,
to rot, hot in the sun? I wish there was a path not yet begun
for us to wander, find in shade a glade in which to love. 

I wrote this poem today in an emotional spurt inspired by an exchange of words. It is an emotional day, where one feeling is passing like another in the sky. Another apt metaphor for the ever-changing mind. I cried reading about mud season in Vermont because I miss the beauty that is there. I laughed because I didn't like the style of what I was reading. I was angry, I stopped, I reread again. I liked it or I didn't like it, I judged it, I accepted it. I watched all this go by. Observation, perhaps that is wherein new pathways lie.  

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