Self and reality. Symbol and language. Myth and image. Memory and consciousness.
Dream and unreality: locus communis.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Moments of Mundane Chaos

My son has developed artistic eccentricities, even at the age of four. This afternoon for instance. He wants to listen to the opening track of Philip Glass’ Koyaanisqatsi on repeat—endless cycles of tones. Scaling chants.

       There is beauty in ruin. In the slow decay of abandoned tractors in fields. In the slow exposure of a partial fossil embedded in a cliff wall.
I ask him if he understands the point of the music. He rolls his eyes and sighs: Yes. At that point I do not pressure for specifics.
An open window moment: after a week of grey, the sun opened out. I took Brendan outside to help me trim back the cannas stalks from the side gardens, cutting down dead leaves and frost bitten columns. Even the milkweed fell into winter shock: pods burst open with multiple seeds and dander—the fluff drifting everywhere, surrounding the two of us in a moment of stars.
For over a week moments of mundane chaos prevented me from writing in my journal—I did manage to construct two essays, preliminarily drafts with cumbersome phrases and awkward paragraph structures. Part of me wants to rework these prose pieces before Brendan arrives home, part of me would rather nap—a weariness descends from nowhere, as if I have not slept in days.
On whim I google images of “chaos”—looking for a visual metaphor for my mindset, the feeling of being overwhelmed with tasks, responsibilities. Most of the illustrations appear following a haphazard structure and less displays of unpredictable randomness. But then, too, Carl Jung said in his Collected Works: Two Essays on Analytical Psychology, “In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order.”

I am rambling. Falling into a freewriting mode and not paying attention to the time. Another mask of procrastination. Trying to distract myself with watering the plants on the porch. Checking on the yellow jasmine on the side of the house. (Any day the emerging buds will open, in spite of the season.) Cleaning off my desk. Reading e-mails— Trying to tie back to my notebook and the phrases I used a few days ago on Twitter: There is beauty in ruin. In the slow decay of abandoned tractors in fields. In the slow exposure of a partial fossil embedded in a cliff wall.
We flew a kite over the weekend—a cheap diamond-shaped kite with nylon string; Brendan was excited, running in circles around Ricky and I, occasionally feeling the tension in the line, spending the majority of his excitement watching the arc and dip of the paper overhead as we attempted to keep it above the tree line and the houses of the neighborhood. It snagged itself on low branches once or twice, but managed to wrench off quickly, an independent entity. Anima and animus.

1 comment:

  1. They do that - our children - level us, silence us with their exasperated eye-rolling one-worders. I've lost count of the times I've asked that particular provoking question and been on the end of that look or word. They teach us so much. I wish I could remember all the lessons.
    My son's art folio was themed around 'decay'. He said he found beauty in it. It touched him deeply. And this biased mother found his paintings intensely painfully beautiful.
    I always found Heaney's ability to locate beauty in mud and decay stopped me in my tracks - caught my breath.
    As for prevarication and everydayness - ahhhh... well...his (whopping) political mistakes aside, Heidegger is the main man for me in this and his 'alltaglichkeit' (everydayness) - his fundamental ontology of 'Dasein' - reassures us that this is just what being human entails... we cannot escape 'everydayness' and in fact 'authenticity' is accessed only from within Dasein ('being there') and only when one is aware of a certain 'silence'. Out of all the writers I read you're maybe most aware of that silence - it's the same 'silence' that has you able to see the beauty in ruin or to paint a word picture of a cheap diamond-shaped kite...

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