Reading back over my numerous post I feel somewhat put off by my own writing

It stinks.

Sure, I can write but so can a four year old.

I push against the walls that holds me back but what I lack is to be gifted because there are those gifted few whom write their ass off, performing feats seemingly impossible. If you are a writer, then more than likely you are a reader. Reading came first for me and by extension the act itself fomented  a seedling thought that I too could tell my story. How often in my drunking youth did I hear rambunctious people say man I could write a novel about my life? (nurse one more round) if only I could write; hey you are a writer you write it for me (next round is on me).

There are many ways to approach writing. One must begin with intent. Of late, I have two occasions to report via writing that were related to simply stating the facts and letting the facts speak for themselves. And I was pleased with the results because both pieces were fueled by a desire to explain my position. By there nature they were serious because both could cause grave consequences and in the end both prove to leap me forward, set me ahead by their ability to express my facts, to report things as I had seen it. To do so has taken years diddling with pen and paper much like in my youth it was enough to stick my dick in a woman now their are advantages learned by viewing love making as reciprocal. Writing is an exchange. Where we meet our muse.

Much the same way as in lovemaking with writing we evolve a style. Much like that latter sentence that might have raised an eyebrow or two, I try not censor what pops into my writing sphere. Not to say that I simply free flow, though there’s that aspect but also there has evolved this editor that self-corrects, keeps tabs on how far afield a sentence may lead and if too far, then that sentence is cut.

We bloggers, those millions whom would like to write but really lack any true talent, have found a place to write within a community. Now there are those who blog whom don’t give a flip about writing. For them, they can show their photos or if they do write they can blog about what they are passionate about. Now some bloggers are just better than others which I have no way of accounting for other than when I look at what numbers they gather to their blogs and I think damn I’did something wrong with how I pushed publish because it seems there would be more variety of humans tapping into my world. But ultimately the fault lies with me. I lack insight. Or maybe writing is a lot like achieving zen. You can not arrive there intellectually. Its  by grace.

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It’s by forgetting that you want to write. Makes me think of the idea of painting bamboo, first you spend years studying bamboo, then you forget bamboo, then you paint bamboo.

Ultimately blogging for me is about writing about nothing much like Seinfeld was a show about nothing. But writing has to be directional, there has to be a bent. It has to be of a piece; it can be otherwise but only if otherwise is of a piece.

Let’s turn now to my new Peter Matthiessen’s book Far Tortuga. For me, he is a writer’s writer. His craft makes writing accessible for people whom love writing for writing sake. But maybe more than that is that his primary focus is nature, things of the plant world and the animal kingdom and the shape and flow of the landscape, these things he tunes us into which I like because that’s where I want to find more strength as a writer. What better subject than nature? It’s really foundational to any good story. The setting, the context our characters move through. You have to decide are you an urban writer? Is knowing the streets important to your story. Or would you rather have your fictitious people walking through a glade of grass. But absent your people, how does it feel when you walk through a glade of grass, what are your impressions, what do you see?

See, I want to make a leap wherein I truly am for a moment an eagle soaring against a blazing sun and my silhouette for a moment is whited out as it passes across the sun. Today, while sitting zazen I will be transported on the wings of an eagle.

The quai at Georgetown.

Shade trees, a small waterfront of green and pink pastels. Soft air of sunrise.

Cock crow.

Three walking figures and a dog.

Each sentence that follows after the quai at Georgetown moves us into this Matthiessen world. It makes me think of writing exercise that says begin with one brick, let your description begin there by describing it and by degrees move outwards so that in the end we see the building. I always fail miserably at such exercise because to write is to believe that you have something say. You can’t practice. But maybe you can. I do like that drawing exercise that has you not taking your eye off of what you are drawing, say a tree and to let your hand move across the paper without having recourse to seeing where your drawing is going. This exercise teaches you to draw what you see, not what you think a tree should look like.

Damn it all to hell. I don’t like it that I have to struggle. I feel like I have spent enough years apprenticing myself. Damn it boy I want to write. Damn it Jim, I am just a doctor. Nurse another round for the house and I think I love you…

 

If you live long enough you will have multiple chances to study the same subject from an entirely altered point of view

If time does anything, it alters.

Time is but displaced objects. A thing that put us aside, not to be found again. And the passage of time is one of distortion.

These thoughts sprang from what I thought would be a cursory glance back at Henri Cartier-Bresson. I thought I was done with this man’s monumental life work, that his impact was no longer significant. Also, I’m more advantaged now than when I first encountered his work those years before limited to library books.

In my search today, I found that he was associated with another iconic figure that caught my attention all those years ago. It was Harry Crosby the editor of The Black Sun Press noted for publishing many modernist writers including D.H Lawrence and Ernest Hemingway, that  I remember it was from Harry that I read that any fool can find his way but only a poet can lose it. Another fact about Harry was that he had an open marriage and that Cartier-Bresson fell into an intense sexual relationship with his wife- Caresse.

At a later date, Harry took his life with another woman but not before first killing her, they had a suicide pact. Wikipedia can make for good reading. But I try to stay away because I am so easily distracted.

One such example was reading that Cartier was influenced by the Hungarian photographer Martin Munkácsi whom captures three boys running on a beach. Henri Cartier-Bresson saw that photography could fix eternity in an instant. And looking at Munkácsi, I am greatly amused and taken in by his work, especially his take on the nude form.

From the lower photo of Munkácsi work, one quickly sees that his interest combines the human form in relation to geometry. The photo could just as well be credited to Cartier.

 

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But as one looks deeper into Munkácsi, one sees a more surrealist turn of mind. And his preoccupation with the nude form is extraordinary. In some sense, Cartier was not interested in one thing but in all things. His range of subject varied from war, to the freakish, to the most common things but one thing that marked him was that he did not impose a slant. He simply clicked the aperture and exposed what he caught in an instant.

Present day, photos are still being taken, but the results are far distant from the time that these men lived or are they? Is it more that we are too accustomed to see something photographed and having seen so many photographs we have lost touch with its value? Can we value something we take for granted?

Lets take one of Munkácsi’s nudes, just one will do. But that has proven too difficult owing to my time having elapsed now into what could be termed my working hours. His work offers too many tangents, too may offshoots, too much to just take in within the scope of time left to me. Will start fresh in the morning and see what I can discovery concerning his nude forms.

 

 

We experience life and then we try to recreate this experience

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Not all of us, just some, the few who suffer to live.

At what point were you aware that things such as sunsets affected you? Maybe it occurred for me with my budding confidence years before when I purchased my first camera which was a Pentax K1000. With the ability to capture occurrences that I could frame in an instant by touching finger to button. And my marching orders came by way of reading of Henri Cartier-Bresson’s Decisive Moment and being a visual learner I poured over his photographs and felt drawn to look out for such moments.

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Chasing the sun as it was setting behind each twisting turn of an Alabama back road, there is was and before I could blink it was moving again. This suffusion of light spilling around the tree tops could only be felt as a loss because it rendered me helpless to think that nothing I could do would come close to capturing what it was that I was experiencing. My body has taught me to tune into magnificent sun sets but just as well there has been otherworldly sunrises. Having slept the night within the great halls of a fishing warehouse along the Barcelona coast line, me and my female companion were awakened by the predawn hustle of fishermen and dock workers moving about. With sleepy eyes we rolled up our blankets and moved out into the open air, neither of us prepared for what we witnessed as we took in the area that we had little note of because the night before we had been dropped off at a cafe where we shared a beer, then we walked to find a place to sleep. On all sides were trees towering around a cove, a body of water that was feed from the ocean. The sky above was silver and fluffed over with clouds that were bleeding red. But soon a new register occurred and all was washed in a yellow light that was all consuming and we spun with delight walking amid the morning workers busy attending to their boats. I did not know where to start or to begin, rendered helpless. I must have looked a fool, mouth agape grasping for my camera. Such beauty makes idiots of us all.

What started this post was me in another window trying to recapture something I found highly exhilarating, a thing that happened between me and my woman. Sex is sex, but in between times it can be more than sex. It can remind you of what sex can be, no? Once it was described to me by a woman that sex can be magical, not always but it is this magic we seek. Such magic fell against my body unannounced.

My woman and I went for an early morning ocean swim, the sky was washed of all clouds. Against a grey sky the waves looked dark and far off. She ran ahead as I stopped midway to stretch my body in downward dog and threaded the needle on both my left and right side. Rubbing sand along my shaved head, I made those first tentative steps feeling that the water was cold and out in the deeper water I could see her jumping in and out of the water as if she were a dolphin. And this encouraged me to push out to where she was to feel what she was feeling. When  I reached her she turned into my arms and my body felt the cold pressing of her naked breast and instantaneously we fell into a kiss as the waves had there way with us. And coming up for breath with her legs wrapped around my back, I stretched her forwards which gave me a table view of her floating titties. The water this morning was extraordinarily clear and now her pink nipples have never enticed me so but it was just her nipples but her nipples in relation ship to her fair breast floating up at me and crossed over with wavelets that distorted and enhance my view at every turn. Like a school boy I wanted to enter her. Let me stick my dick in, I said; she smiled and said no, that we had tried that before and it seemed way not nice. Surrendering for the moment, I stretched her back in front of me looking down again at her floating breast. Again that school boy in me with my dick maddeningly becoming harder could not accept these terms. I asked again, let me just stick it in if just for a sec, to feel you.

As I spoke I reached to remove her bottom, she took over and I pulled her up against me and it went right in and she planted a kiss on me with a tongue that seemingly mimicked what I was feeling up inside her. What was strange about it was that my balls and up inside her my dick felt this cooling water that was way contrasted by the heat that was natural to our bodies. I seemed to have felt as if I were some sort of engine made stronger by a built-in cooling apparatus. The swelling waves were in constant motion, one moment we were under water and the next I was thrusting us up from the bottom, pushing off from the ocean floor with both feet.

Later she told me I was hitting it harder than she has ever felt before and her face was a testimony to that ocean empowered thrusting. And all that day and for days afterwards, I have been telling her how magical that was for her to offer me her naked breast like that uninvited in the ocean. What a gift sex can be when your woman offers her self like some sacrificial virgin. This morning when she was sucking my dick, my mind went for a moment to those breast seen through the prismatic affect of ocean and light and sand and sun and body against body and mind united with mind and kisses never seemingly so sweet. And my body a sex machine humping into a galaxy of non gravity inside a world floating with delight. My tongue tasting salt.

To arrive at a place removed from where you thought you had previously stood is to write

That’s if you follow my metaphor. How is it possible to be physically elsewhere when all you do is write? Let’s try again: when I write it usually starts from a place of confusion but by the end of some 500 words there pops out something that can sooth me.

We write because we don’t know nothing. We write to find words to describe our condition. I like to think I write to be expressive but writing for me has always been away to grapple with what’s bothering me. To use another metaphor, I am an oyster shell that is exposed to sand and because of the mechanics of who I am, a pearl can appear. Not to be sentimental, but this pearl of wisdom is apart from who I am. I profess to be comfortable with my existence up to the point where too much sand enters my shell.

I come by way of this knowledge at the reading again of my last post. I sat and thought I cannot add more to that conclusion, that ending sentence The body knows and the mind thinks will have to stand on its own. Look here, another metaphor as if a thought can stand on its own. What would be more precise, to say it otherwise or just to leave it alone but my nature is evolving wherein I am questioning my semantics, that branch of linguistics and logic concerned with meaning. There are a number of branches and subbranches of semantics, including formal semantics, which studies the logical aspects of meaning, such as sense, reference, implication, and logical form, lexical semantics, which studies word meanings and word relations, and conceptual semantics, which studies the cognitive structure of meaning.

And there are others who do what I am attempting better but to feel daunted at the prospect of going where others have been, and to turn tail because I feel unprepared, that the capacity of my mind has me lingering at the gate of knowledge. I feel like a beggar, better yet an imposter.

I just wrote and deleted three opening sentences that seem to cast a pall on what I am trying to convey, but even the word convey obfuscates, distracts from what it is I am really doing. I am trying to decipher truth by way of writing. Every wrote sentence must be scrutinized and must conform to what I feel is truthful;maybe this is an age old problem; maybe I am philosophical at heart but because I lack the academic background, it could appear that I am full of shit, or even bat shit crazy.

I am not so much at the service of conveying my thoughts but rather trying to find what it is that I believe about my condition.

I write a sentence, then look at it questioningly, asking after it what are you saying. Could it be that to write is to serve higher order thinking?

 

 

To write not

What you feel can hurt you, no?

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I sit zazen not to feel, but to separate myself from my thinking.

There is the body and there is the brain and in between these two functioning entities we possess a mind to make sense of what is happening to the body being directed by the brain. Then to add layers, we must speak of the heart that pumps blood maybe correlating with our passions. Not to be short sighted we must include our liver that filters out the toxins we consume.

To add another layer we come in contact with other people. At our core, these other people affect all of our organs and the body becomes altered for the good or the bad. To adopt medical terms, the affect is either benign or malignant.

If you want to find beauty, you must separate yourself from thinking that the world is a horrible place. Not to think?

OK, if you insist on thinking think this we are innocent. But what does that mean when we live in a society that states we are innocent until proven guilty. How about if we flip it and say that we are guilty until proven innocent? These are just words, but words have impact.

Maybe I am tired of being right; maybe, I am tired of being offended. Maybe I want to be innocent; what is keeping me you ask?

Some how I have accepted that I am guilty. But of what? You would have to spend some time reading Kafka.

See, the fact is I don’t know myself. Can we ever truly ever know who we are when who we are seems nebulous at best.

What keeps you awake at night; these nagging worries, these thoughts that come uninvited; they usually concern our fears. What is there to be afraid of? My fears are many and over the years that have developed into phobias. Sometimes we lack the vocabulary to explain our condition. But I will try to explain what I mean by phobias. I think some people are born to be messed with by others and other people are born not to be messed with. Though I like to think I am tough and over the years I have been involved in situations that would support that I am not to be messed with, that I can strike back.

But we know too well that to strike back is really a position of weakness. But with that said, I was for years a person who fought males whom would be willing enough to try to overstep my position.

Where ever you live, you must pass people when out and about and some of those people do not share your values. How you react or not react if they come into your space depends on your personal history. The body knows you. The mind can offer up thoughts but the body is ruled by events that have conditioned it. Of course, the mind tries to rationalize and to make sense of what is happening but the body knows what time it is and has you squiggling like a worm at the end of a hook. Back to this word phobia we understand it to be a feeling that washes over us and for that moment it seems overwhelming. And for days we can remain under its influence and we can think bad things about ourselves. It’s like the mind is at odds with the cowardice of the body, self-preservation is existential.

The body knows and the mind thinks.

To not write

What do you feel at this moment? What is your take on the last five minutes of your life? What shapes your thoughts are concerns uniquely yours.

I ask because it seems I write without grasping what is occurring; sure, I can throw out some sentences but they would be better employed if I could only use them to express what is real at this moment.

Blogging is different than say journaling in that we write to an audience much as if we were on a stage.

There was time that I did journal and wrote in hard bound books my thoughts. Nothing too significant other than that they allowed me a forum inside myself. Over the years, I did note that my script improved, it became blocked out letters that could just as well had been carved into wood so hard it seemed that I bore into the paper. Also, by way of having theses books accumulate, I fancied myself a writer the same way I fancied myself a photographer by keeping a camera in my side bag along with my journal.

Presently, I am listening to Cat Stevens. His songs have always been an inspiration. And the rise and fall of his voice, and the melodic background of his strumming attended by his meaningful lyrics. He is poised to go on tour. Once again he will enter the fray, this will be one of his many comebacks. We know that he now calls himself Yusuf and that he has adopted the faith Islam. I found this talk he gave about the beauty of Islam.

 

waiting for the barbarians

How gauche is that to be told to go to our rooms and to await the assassins. Tip toeing are we to the beat of a distant drum sounding ever so faintly. We have forgotten what it means to live and as a reminder we are told that our life is for naught, that we are expendable, that there are those whom think we are but to be squashed like an annoying bug. Or is we whom think that they can be exterminated like pest?

On a lighter note, I have finished peter matthiessen’s at play in the field of the lords. It seems the book has affected me in that I am considering a new tattoo something along the lines of something to commemorate Lewis Moon. The strange thing about me and my relationship to the books most present is that for that moment, this moment now all other authors seem not to matter. I have felt this same abiding interest in other such writers but it feels refreshing now to know that his books are seemingly endless, that with what time I have left I probably could not consume but a fourth.

I have started his snow leopard and it reminds me of the chore of journaling wherein we dictate the necessities of our existence as we toggle back and forth between the mundane and the surprisingly fresh takes on who we think we are becoming via the hand to brain toggling back and forth.

Hardship was to see that few people really responded to my last post causing me to feel disheartened, not motivated to sit. Alas, here I am.