Snippet from yesterday…
I practice stone heart during the dental session, attempting to leave my body, go to the higher plane. I have a little bit of a cold, and they use one of the latex dam things to isolate the area, so 3/4 of the way in I need to clear my throat, and the zingers are just lighting me up, can’t swallow right, feels like I’m on the verge of choking. A Law & Order type show is on the background, they’re talking about domestic terrorists. Neon blue steel heart seems to fail. I can’t get my mind to wholly forget what’s occurring, can’t let the moment pass. Then it does, it always does, and in reflection I realize it did work. It’s not to be free from the zingers that signifies you have acquired steel consciousness, it’s to feel the zingers and remain a step behind/beside the experiencer of the moment.
1:12PM Mom and kids on the way to meet up with friends at the park discovered this bug and its recently shed Second Skin, on the front wheel of the tricycle. They deemed it cool enough to come back in and get Dad out of the writing lab to see. I appreciated that. Excitedly I asked for Brit’s phone, snapped a few picture of the thing, laying on the concrete in my pajamas. She called it a locust, but I don’t know if that’s right or not.
Spent the morning, editing that recently posted chapter of Interludes, and Arms in Ankeny draft 7. Editing brings out the scattered, attention jumping vibe in the lab, but I am going with it, not fighting it, celebrating it. I like this sort of editing. Reading for a few pages, go do something else unrelated, come back rewrite/edit some more. Same thing with those heavy bag sessions, think I’m going to get a few rounds of that in today, maybe four or five instead my usual three.
I got little more than a hundred pages left on Patrick Rothfuff’s The Name of the Wind. I’m enjoying this book a lot. Reading Epic Fantasy like this makes me think how magical story-telling, writing is. The escape, time suck quality of reading. What is a Fairy-Tale? What are fairies? You should look into that.
This is when you’re story is done, when it can capture the reader’s attention and transports them to your world. I believe this phenomena applies to quality Non-Fiction as well. We should escape ourselves and the obvious external world, and enter the realm of the piece. This is what we mean by Voice. You assume the writer/narrator’s voice and thought pattern when you read. Here we think of advice that if you want to write well, you have to read well. It’s like learning to walk, you see others do it, you give it a shot yourself, you fall down, you try again.
Also sporadically reading John Man’s Ninja 1000 Years of the Shadow Warrior. Introduced to term, Shugendo, which is a name for this ancient Japanese folklore. Going to investigate that some more today independently. I think it’s interesting coming off of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, that in this ancestral Japanese system that people are given names/titles with active tense in them, for example “Idumo the Brave, otherwise known as Many-Clouds-Rising” (17). I’m intrigued and endeared to this way of speaking/thinking.
I have studied the concept some, not sure exactly where, but what intrigues me is this clear difference in ancient speakers use of the active, and modern/English use of the past tense. For us, history is fixed, binary, on and off, you are this or that, forever, end of time. Versus, you are Clouds-Passing-on-a-Summer-Day, Rains-in-Autumn, He-Who-Dances-With Spirits.
It’s not about the poetry though. It’s about the mind itself, the world itself. What sort of people think like this, and what sort of people think like that. What do the differences mean, and how can we account for them?
I played a little poetry, past tense/active tense with my kid’s names. On the surface they are fixed, like my oldest Chay Robert McMulin. But with a little play and etymology, Chay Robert, reversed and explored, is King Bright Fame of the Place of the Fairy Folk. My heart has always known the active principal. That there was no real reason to buy into all these simple dichotomies, binaries, but that paradox abounds, there are limits and no limits, skin and second skins.
I’m going to go back to editing, reading, punching the bag. Hope you found some Art today, and maybe a little loving, a soft, warm body, resting against you peacefully, wind through an open window, setting sun on a worn back porch. Get your words friends. 2:07PM