Wednesday, August 22, 2012
A little trip through Lodève. The small town at the foot of the Larzac, which like Brooklyn is as despised as it is full of color. The maudlin sous-prefecture where small moments arrive and briefly things can appear to be bright. A human town that tries it's best to forget the things that really are.
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Hank sat down and started typing : A report on my current status.
The rest of the page was blank. Hank realized that he had no status, or perhaps a bit closer to the truth was that he was just at a loss to say what that status was. Everyone has a status, everyone is somewhere, doing something, is in some definable situation. Hank knew that. Hank knew.
What was he to say if he determined status in the present, which was the question posed – current status. He could weave a decent tale about his future status, it would be mostly rosy and productive, calm and clear minded. That had always been the answer and for the most part people believed him.
Hank was, after all, neither a gay or glum man. He carried out the affair of getting through life with what a lot of folks called charm. It was the charm of a great potential. Since he was a very young boy everyone had agreed on that. Hank was full of potential. Good and interesting things would happen around him.
For Hank charm had been a survival tool. It still was, though now in his late fifty’s when Hank looked into his survival tool bag, he realized that he hadn’t invested in many others. He had been aware for some time that charm was something that dissipated with time, and for that he had become expert in future status reports. It gave hope. To everyone.
But staring at the page before him Hank had a gnawing realization that he had wondered himself into a route sans issue. That would perhaps be the nearest to the truth that he would allow himself to tell. If he was describing it like a traffic report, the current status would be bumper to bumper traffic. Hank wasn’t in Chicago on Lake Shore Drive at 11 :30 p.m. on a Tuesday night in the middle of fall with cars moving quickly and fluidly around graceful curves on the dry smooth concrete road. No, if Hank was sticking with the metaphor, he would have to say his current status was more like the pot-holed Kennedy expressway at 2 p.m. on the wendesday before thanksgiving. There was freezing rain falling and an accident at the junction ahead. Everyone is stuck, sitting behind an idling machine periodically plodding inches ahead. No one is moving anywhere.
Hank realized his current status could only be reported as ‘on hold’. He was waiting, waiting for something to happen. He had a plan and he was waiting for it to begin so that it could arrive at it’s expiration and another could take it’s place. Everything changes. Nothing had changed. Hank resisted change, pretended he could live without it.
And then… The call came. Normally he wouldn’t even have picked up the phone at that moment. That day he did. It was Her. She said she wanted to talk. He said he had to talk to her too, but he was lying, he had nothing to say. The only thing he could say to her would be to repeat that he was blocked in traffic and that she should go ahead without him.
It had been that, more or less, that she had called to say. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to wait for him, it was just that she couldn’t anymore. More or less she had said it was a question of time. If everything worked out they could meet up at an agreed upon destination point, but for the meantime, she just couldn’t wait anymore, she was going on ahead without him. Forward was the last word Hank remembered hearing, and then nothing.
Hank dropped the phone and leaned hard on the horn.
-Where the Fuck are You going ? He cursed out loud as a truck squeezed just in front of him.
The driver of the truck didn’t hear him, and neither had She. She had hung up the phone and was probably already on her way out the door. Hank meanwhile had moved nowhere. It was just at that moment that Hank saw his future. It was scrawled in the soot on the back of the dirty white truck that had just cut in front of him.
‘Breath or Die’.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
If your talking about the weather then today was a fine day. But then what day isn't that is bathed in the clear bright sun of winter. Sixty degrees, light cool breeze from the north. A day full of vast subtle colors and birds flitting about. Light sweaters and warm boots, a hat on your head if you want it. Yes a fine day today, when you are talking about the weather
Up and down the rows I go. Me, the vigneron and his wife Back and forth, back and forth. It's what I'm doing now. In the vines and in my life. Clermont and Plaissan, back and forth. Tomorrow back to Plaissan. Pack up the old kit bag. Smile, smile, smile. Back and forth, frown and smile, to and fro, laugh and cry, and along the way, all the things in between.
Order, and a lot of kilometers. The idea being that if things work out right in Plaissan, the back and forth will turn into something closer to straight forward.
Monday, December 19, 2011
Just to let you know I’ll be in for the next six months. You see the days need a bit of order. It’s what I will be doing in the vines. Cutting back the old growth. Pruning. It’s all about sap management.
It’s what I’ll be doing too. In Plaissan in a yurt. Cutting back old growth. Learning to stretch into myself. In the vines it’s what makes everything fruitful, the control of the flow of sap. Having realized that we humans are all sap too, I figured it should work for me too. Sap Managment Inc. is what I am calling myself. It’s a total self-service business.
So for the next six months I’ll be in the vines, or my cell in the big house that’s just up the hill from the yurt, cutting back. Making room to breath new breaths. One after the other, like the years in the vines.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
I was back in the vines again today. The pause after the harvest is done. The last full moon before winter is waning, the cutting back begins. I was happy to see the vigneron and his wife, and they seemed happy to see me. We exchanged the stories of our lives from the last chapter which ended several months ago. I could say it was an uneventful day, but then what day that we are alive is un-event-full.
There is a woman, I don’t know, who is going to the psychiatrist. The psychiatrist uses images in situations to get into what the patients are feeling. This doctor uses the images as a relational object, a tool that allows her to ‘work’ with the patients. In this case the patient is the woman that I was talking about, the one I don’t know.
For example, the doctor says to this woman patient - you are standing in front of a sink and the faucet is running.
The patient replies to the doctor – I pull out the plug so that the water can run out, and I clean the sink out with my hands.
The conversation goes on. How do you feel about doing that, what are you thinking when you are doing that, what does that bring up for you etc. etc. Well they get to the crux when the woman, who is the patient I don’t know, starts remembering that at 8 years old when her alcoholic father was slapping her mother around, she had taken a frying pan and whacked the father. The father quickly proceeded to pass out on the ground.
She thought she had killed her father. Imagine what would run through your head at that point. It did for the woman and she consequently pushed aside, into the shadows, those reactions for the rest of her life until that moment with the doctor. When the doctor asked her what that invoked in her now she says two words. .Culpability. Guilt. Then is silent for a long time.
It seemed hard to believe she could forget such an event. At least that’s what I thought until I tried to think about myself at 8. It was long ago but still within my lifetime. It was me - and as I realize when I remember something from a long ago time – it is me. But thinking back to 8 years old I could remember nothing. Zero, neither good or bad. Just nothing.
I know something must have happened, and if you told me something from then I would probably remember it. But randomly I could bring up nothing. I suddenly thought how the woman I don’t know could have forgotten that episode and the soaring – Culpability and Guilt. – that came within that moment. Why would you want to remember it.
That’s who we are, the events we are made of. Remembered and forgotten, they etch themselves into our brains. Like deeply embedded lines of code on a computers hard drive, if the right buttons are pushed they dictate how our program operates.
We’re complex, we have code in our brains that was written tens of thousands of years ago that’s being added to at every moment we experience. With this we make our life. We are all working on our own hard drive which is connected to a network that spans all time. Meanwhile our shadow is constantly hiding, following us, shifting shapes, insinuating itself into who we are.
It’s amazing we aren’t all screaming and wailing in the streets. That is an event itself, and it happened today. That’s why it’s hard for me to say that it was an uneventful day even though it seems all I really did today was just more immigrant labor in the vines.