Sunday, June 12, 2011

Like a Walking Meditation Without the Walk: Travel Day 1

On the television this morning, auto racing (delayed for rain in Montreal) & motorcycle racing. Engines whine. The tracks are circles we cannot trace. The man who taught us to make fish hooks has his students draw. Unless you see the form in your mind, you cannot make the makau, he says. Ernesto Pujol walks toward me at the gallery cafe; I know him from his videos, photographs, I know him from his walking. I heard about you from a hotel clerk in Lawrence, Kansas, I say. That was his student in Utah. (The link is an orphan.) I do not say that I love Albert Pujols, that his slump is over, that he shaved, that he too walks a lot.

A mode of art that is not power, but offers us a model. When I watch you walk, I see feet, legs, knees, hands, narrow sideburns. Robes make it harder to see the legs, the knees, though they make the body whole. Anne says when we die, she likes to think we become one with ourselves. Without the seams. Unseamly. Unseemly blog, you carry me forward to your own end. Shall I grieve for you, too? This odd & backwards walk, like memory but without the memory. (They hand out flash drives like candy these days.)

Mode, model, make. My Versa followed by a white hearse yesterday. Pick-up truck whose license read "Viet 67." Combat plates.

The epiphany for me is in the first 10 minutes or so about meeting form with formlessness as the way to neutralize violence.
I cannot say that death is a form, but it is not violence now. Is the meeting of. Dogen: "to accept a body and give up a body is an act of generosity." To speak of death is not violence. To write the blog is not violence. To walk is to meet formlessness with two feet, awkward prosody.

The man who taught Radhika to play the nose flute was Percy Kipapa's uncle.

"She floats," the soccer moms say. "Did you see that?!" Radhika jukes & feints & leaves another girl stuck on the gym's wooden floor. Kicks from mid-court, over the keeper's head, into the net. But when she tried to make a $100 bill out of a $1, only a repeated swish of air. How can she know the court so well, when she thinks Kalihi is Hawai`i Kai? You know your way by turning the opposite from my mother, Radhika. Glint in your eye.

Floakers. There are characters in Embassytown who sound out a language, but cannot speak it. They say it to each other as a French speaker speaks English to another Frenchman who speaks English in return. The way we stuttered French on the buses, children staring at us with dilated eyes. But when they speak to a native, none understands sound as meaning. It's a mother tongue that cannot be transferred. She is your only mother, the one who is dying like a language, steady distress of verbs & nouns breaking into pieces. But this is not violence. Is mending. Words falling petalwards into color, fabric--out of lamination and into air. Lamentation, air.

Paul writes to say he'll publish Memory Cards. His father was in hospice for four 1/2 years. No typo where none intended. Deck of cards. House of cards. Even in board games, my mother refused to gamble or borrow money. Would not mortgage Boardwalk, would not collect $200, would not obey the little yellow cards.

Sina is meeting me at the airport with the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Translated so many times, there's more than one page on amazon. It's Thurman, the one whose daughter acts. That's the one to read. On the plane. Honolulu to Somewhere, Somewhere to Dallas, Dallas to Washington, DC. Your car will be in Baltimore on Thursday. Synchronicities happen, but not through priceline. I want a fucking person on the goddamn phone.

Martha is "the same." She has not eaten today. It took three tries to get a voice on Country Lane. This voice is more soft than usual. She's having a hard time swallowing. See you tomorrow. Thank you for taking care of her.

When see you tomorrow is an act of faith. When an act of faith is an entirely present thing. Like the row of raindrops under the dark brown rail on the lanai. When an act of faith is not simile, or simulacrum. Fulcrum. Fullness. Air


With deep thanks to Norman Fischer & Caroline Sinavaiana, whose words are appropriate(d) here.

1 comment:

Sina said...

Very beautiful, Susan, all of it. Thank you.

"...steady distress of verbs & nouns breaking into pieces. But this is not violence. Is mending. Words falling petalwards into color, fabric--out of lamination and into air. Lamentation, air."

Sounds to me like formless holding form.

Keep up the good work! love, Sina