Why do objects appear outside our bodies?
My imagination is caught by Linda Bierd’s poems – the intersection of art and science and religion – and I feel an expansion, a gathering of ideas, propelling me into new streams of inquiry. And with it that feeling of fear and reluctance – that it will overwhelm me with the adrenaline rush of it, draw me away from what I have been working on, seduce me, distract me. How to tell what is real and fertile ground from the illusion of procrastination and fear. The fear that I will never understand enough of it to make it source for my words. That I will never be able to stand far enough back to see the entire elephant.
Tea at the Japanese Tea Garden – what I see. Each gate is different – reminders of mindfulness – every stone, every tree, every patch of grass, gate, bridge, building placed with a consciousness of relationship, juxtaposition, conversation between objects and viewer. The bridges with their uneven surfaces reminding the crosser to be conscious, be aware.
Each gate is different – each entrance and exit unique. Not just a gateway to something else, but an object, a destination, in and of itself.
Some gates are ornate, some simple, some for ceremony, some for the quotidian.
I am drawn to patterns today, repetitions of form. Rows of benches, the weathering of a wooden bench on which I sit to write (even the repetition of sound from the helicopter which hangs overhead – the percussive thrum of the blades beating against the air – we only become aware of air when it pushes against something – our skin, a bell, helicopter blades).
Doing. Doing. Doing. All day today. Getting the reading series listed in calendar listings, dealing with Pay Pal so that we can AT LAST let people pay for tickets in advance (what a concept!) And can you tell me why “Get me a fucking human being NOW!” does not immediately result in a response by an automated phone system? You’d think they’d have heard it enough by now to recognize it.
Thinking in terms of endings – last act, climax to end – what happens? Where’s the energy?
Jo ha ku – the scatter narrowing down, then pushing into a new jo.
At the school board meeting – looking for dramatic structure, is there any potential there? Agenda and minutes and formal business – clash of personalities (watching the new elementary principal throw EVERYONE under the bus within five minutes of her first time speaking to the board – cool – “I sent it to her, but she lost it.”) How this might spin out in another few months of this kind of attitude – where it would wear on people. Thinking – rancorous meeting, touching on ideas of what we teach and why. Thinking conflicts between evolution and creationism (going back to Linda Bierd’s poems) – what would be the images? The opposing forces?
Watching Krapp’s Last Tape in Alice’s class – rising action, increasing tension between the voice on the tape and Krapp’s reactions (realizing, there’s more than one character on stage in this play). Rises to the climax of him finding the image of Bianca on the boat – suddenly, all action stops, a moment of suspended motion, speech – everything stops. All tension narrows down to this pinpoint of light shining on a tiny scratch on her thigh and “Gooseberries” “Let me in.”
Structure – tension created in Krapp’s reactions to the earlier self, tension between what was and what is. The desk and piles of detritus, the locked drawers and bananas filed away. The moments where Krapp disappears off-stage. All these are in service to the idea of memory.
The thing about ambiguity or abstraction is that it is not the absence of information. It’s the essence, implication, subtext, suggestion, shadow of information. It demands more specificity and concreteness than something presented literally.
Oh, so not sure I’m doing this assignment right. Somewhere between intention and execution is the play I really meant to write.
The climax equals transformation. That’s what I keep reminding myself. It is the realization, understanding, that makes something happen that means nothing will be the same again.