September 2010

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Everywhere, acorns.

She noticed them first in our backyard where a very large oak tree extends some branches from next yard into ours. This year’s early so great wetness, perhaps, ripened acorns so they popped off in early August. Maybe we hadn’t noticed them in other years, but…

Everywhere I walked, acorns; millions and myriads underfoot, crunching, crunched, not so sharp; not so soft they wouldn’t be noticed.

Too early, I thought, for squirrels to be thinking winter, they spread out on sidewalks, dotting streets perceptibly, causing us to look up, to notice where are the oaks, interspersed with the last of the elms climbing so high to the sky and creating cityscapes of dwarfing dimensionality.

I entered the too-dark park, not able to see ahead or even much around, the clicking-crunch of acorns told me where big tree trunks surrounded the path of directness. Up the hill, a meadow of few trees, still small, no crunch on grass still soft from last week’s rains. On top, now, among more acorns, a haze-oranged full moon just risen, drew my look, deeply into its being. Overwhelming!

Standing, descending among more oak trees, dropping acorns everywhere, the crunches matched the crickets’ callings.

Ahh-h, today is another day. What day is it? Well, I don’t really know. The weather is, well, regular for this time of year.
Awake, my love.
Time to get up.
What time?
Time to get up. Another day. Who am I, you ask? That’s a silly question. I am your husband, your life’s companion.
Get up. Don’t dawdle, thinking, brooding. What’s there to think about.
Now. Get up. Another day.
What time, what day, what weather? Where are we?
Right here, right now. Time to get up. Another day. Just like the others.
Just as good… No worse.
Now the earth is growing old. We are here, observers of the days of our lives, watching. But we have seen it all; all the stories have been told, and we have heard them several times; all the births, the deaths, the goings and comings, we know them.
Living out each day. They’re all the same. Growing older, I suppose, with the earth, yearning a little to rejoin some universal imagination.
No matter now, nor any tears to shed…

The way they have constructed their sense of human nature and of the world reduces all to discourse. Everything is a kind of talk. Knowing, thus, is analyzing talk. But how to analyze? Does it matter, how? The literary critics coming from derivations of a Hegel whose science is now reduced to talk and talk about, and the what of what it is about has disappeared. The current talk is all about “immediate consciousness,” as if anyone knows what that term means, except what anyone means it to mean.

They wanted to know how reading any particular author or text enters the mentality. Enters the mentality? Huh! Not knowing clearly how to think about mentality makes their thinking and conversation more distant, more vague, more remote. They talk about significance in some pseudo-statistical sense, not sensing what numbers might indicate, or about the contexts in which they occur…or from which they derive.

They are certain that knowledge resides in discourse…they who own discourse must own knowledge. Seeing the world through the grids and veils of how the world’s texts are interpreted, they are far away — far, far away — from anyone’s experience. This probe into (the idea of) experience is justified by stating that all of life has been interpreted through the texts of antiquity; we are its descendents in spite of our selves, whether we read or not. Do they really know that? Are we all really living out a fully packaged, textual life? Why, then, ask anyone to respond to a question: when the answer is already pre-packaged, and the knowers make it all up anyway?

Schemes of meaning, schemes of being, abounding in the ideas of textual revelation, where the only sense of time, of being, of experience is character, reader, and interpreter. The cynical metaphor likens this to some sort of anti-computer which is its own opponent.

No people, no newness, no antiquity: only discourse, talk about talk about talk about…?