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and then/quiet | 20140905


it’s been a busy three years, more or less. where does that mean we’ve left off? or more to the point, perhaps, who’s still left after the leaving off? the answer is surprising to me, at least. i’d’ve thought there would be greater entropy, because you know, entropy has accelerated as the scale tipped more firmly past the young and held steady in the middle’s middle. perhaps it’s ripe for a roll call of sorts.

in the realm of things that haven’t changed: existential directions and prioritizations (fatherhood), bicycles, looking out and in, reading, that core group of people—all still here. but i’ve added a few new found loves, late latent callings: gardens, especially flowers; dovetail joints; bicycling on unpaved surfaces; homemade food (jams, gravlax, pickles); stars; a sterner call for self-improvement. that last one takes a lifetime to still leave incomplete, i’m sorry to say to everyone who will need to suffer me in more advanced years: i don’t deserve you, but thank you. from the rock-bare bottom of my heart, thank you.

most of the quietness was intentional. i see it now with little A: stop looking. at some point it spiraled into something i wasn’t willing to follow. to be sure, every bit of any spiral was solely in my excuse for a cranial nugget; but i had to be sure that the bottom could drop out all the way—soft reset. that, and i actually, literally, ran out of excuses. every damned single one. it’s not as difficult as you might think. and it’s also not as easy for me to remedy as i might have believed. when i ran out, i was just quiet.

of course, this begs the question as to whether there were only excuses in the first place, or if the content was so thin that there were excuses being used (which then ran dry), or some other excuse as to why it ended with a post-excuse silence. i have some theories on that.

first, welchman. it’s a hard thing to be humbled. it’s harder when you’re humbled by a role model and when being there actually makes you better. but it’s just straight up useless when you’re humbled by a cock who didn’t grasp it, couldn’t write it, still can’t say it, but makes you eat it all the same. actually, that’s not humility, it’s just squeezing your abs ’til you fart and calling it a shit. it’s not, and you didn’t. so while it’s true that it’s hard to be humbled, it’s down right discouraging when an intellectual midget is yelling at you about the thinness of the air he’s breathing, and then complains that he can’t hear you because you’re just not low enough. he’s right. i’d never be that low. but it also didn’t make me better; and i suffered for it.

second, at that point of silence i realized that what i needed was to actually be silent. to listen—but not even intently inasmuch as with intention. perhaps a little less paying attention than giving attention. it’s been really, really interesting and gratifying as a result. frankly, i’m not at all done with it.

third, the glut of contribution. and it’s not as though this has been or will be solved. but content elsewhere is very high, and personal, and provoking, testifying, ethical—things i’d like to be, but also things i’d like to be surrounded by. i got to reading, soaking it in, following every little curious rabbit as far as i felt like following at any moment i was in the mood for a chase. it’s liberating, even thrilling.

and there are more reasons; i may yet get to them. but it had to stop. as i told young S, every story has a beginning and an end. every one and thing. the point is not the beginning or the ending, but the one and the thing. i’m not the first to point it out, but the narrative only exists because at the moment of its isolation it has been artificially yanked out of its actual fluid connection. in short, the beginning and end are very real for every thinker; thinking nearly makes it thus. nearly. but the thing is, and i write that in its various meanings, the moment you take the snapshot. and for the sake of this one very small thing, that snapshot moment has passed. the quiet stopped, if maybe just then.

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