Bad luck negates bad luck. That is what I learned in Manitoba, three summers ago, in the marbled building. And that is what I saw today, one black cat crossing the street west, and later, one black cat waiting briefly as I unlocked my bike. It occurs to me now that they might have been the same cat. But I saw it twice. And the twice sight is what I can know determinedly, therefore anything more precise I cannot be punished for not knowing.
What does it mean to love individuals and not groups? To see the individuals within the group? To be cognizant, to be forgiving, of something that is now an inherent evil?
But we are all in groups. We are loved because of groups, we belong because we are in groups, we are kept alive by people who can act with collective effort.
Certainly, the original statement-question can be simply a reminder to see the humanity in each individual of each group. That, it is not always our fault. That, as units we are designed to be good.
I would like to prove this by saying that by doing good, we feel good. But I think it’s safer to say that we feel good when we do good and we receive good back. Goodness might be inherently a two-way feature. What good is one-way good?
And yet, we BELIEVE, we PUT FAITH IN, that the good we put in will be reciprocated. The opposite is tragedy, yes? So, does our belief of goodness rely on our belief of goodness as self-perpetuating? Because what is goodness without faith? Our faith. Our stupid, good faith.
I will say, what goodness it is to find similarities between two people. To know the unknowable. To crave whatever is on the other side, wherever is the side, if there is a side. To go from 0 to 1. Something from nothing. Is this not how our minds operate? Do we not perform miracles everyday by refusing our limited-ness?
Walking on hill grass, cutting through streets. Fast pace, steady pace, apt pace for the pace of the words, ideas, cold air, masked air. Two black cats, one black cat, two appearances, one colour. I biked home smiling.
All my life, I have emulated my life through art, but never saw art as life. I delighted in books because they brought me escape, elucidation, and comfort, but I believed in the distance, I said, not me, not really.
What I mean by art in this instance is narrative. I thought life had a distance to narrative, to all those artful and aesthetic objects I consumed. It was a relief. It was relief to read Munro—an affair, a death—and come out feeling unscathed.
But this distance seems more and more as pretence. The real distance is in the trivial differences: character names, hair colour. The template, the emotions, hyperbolic, but true in its hyperbole. And this is another type of relief, a relief that perhaps the truth is accessible.
But the relief feels short lived every time. It feels especially desperate when thinking of historical narrative, patterns. (I understand I am jumping between terms and definitions, forgive me). Do we fall into the same old narrative? And why this narrative?
Jumping again. Today I have been thinking about interdisciplinary. And it seems, to study in a genuinely interdisciplinary manner is to study in a constant state of doubt.
I will leave it there. I have been tired.
To put it quite frankly I think I am depressed again, depressive, blue, gray, however you would like to call it. I am not even sure how—sometimes I would like to question it intently, sometimes I understand the futility.
So heavy with the most searing and trivial symbolism did this new vision come to me; missed farmer’s market, a re-visiting of the old path, the weather so clearly and densely changed. And silence. An absolute silence of the mind, a silencing.
There has been gentleness too, a reaching out, a reply. But the heart is stubborn with its weighing of desire.
The best I can do is to not to deceive myself and to ease in my reproaching. Yet there is a paralysis, a heaviness in the throat, pains in the stomach. Elegy for a young man lost, doubled waves, impossible solutions.
So trusting of this temporary sun, I have been stupid. Wish me luck.
New lamp. Autumnal leaves, cyclonic.
It will be a year. It will have been a year. I remember how I had been slightly under the weather. I had biked to Shopper’s to buy Ricolas. I played it cool. The clouds played it cool. Coffee, tea, soup.
I took down half of my desk and turned it into a shelf for my plants. My plants aren’t doing so well. My asparagus fern has crisped and yellowed. The others look a bit sadder than September. Hopefully, the committee (judges?) will not ask about “indoor gardening.”
The 345 tapestry seems to want to rest on the door, and I cannot will it otherwise. It is a piece full of surprises, of bright moments, lacking dullness. I have not found anything akin to it online. I told my parents a price lower than what I actually bought it for. Ha. In general, however, my deceptions do not run very deep.
The season has turned. The red patch between my collarbones has returned, and I must be gentle to it. Many revelations will be coming soon. I must have a plan.
… Sylvia Plath, Munich Mannequins.
To enter a new realm is to enter a new void, so faultless and so limitless. Today I am thinking about narratives and what exactly we/I mean about romanticized this romanticized that, is romanticization simply not just a coherent narrative, a dramatization of suffering until it is no longer truly suffering, until it is the ‘image’ of suffering. ‘Dramatization’?
I think to myself, what can I write in four days? What can I pour my heart into? What can I extend? What can I retract? What can I forget? What can I remember? What can I write here and lay grounds to? What can I get away with?
Money and prestige are for the faint of heart.
Do you know how much I wanted to share the news with you? In darkness I paced infinitely within four walls and raised my mind to the stars, and still, could not shake the simple desire to tell you, to exclaim joy with you.
Something peculiar happened to me Thursday morning, or perhaps Wednesday morning. I had just finished filling up my three water bottles at the fountain by the Welcome Desk, a routine habit at this point. As I walked back down the hallway, inching closer to the doors of the chapel, I happened upon an old man waiting by the elevator. I automatically greeted him with a “good morning,” but then my mind stopped with a message of doubt, a bodily doubt that asked, “wait, is it actually morning?” that recalled all those virtual meetings and conferences where one always wishes a good morning, afternoon, and evening, because people are not in the same space, people chance upon different borders. I had seen the light of day, I had carefully arranged my curtains. But that morning, I knew not the real morning, so long ago it was.
Today I decided to bike along Bloor. I wanted to visit Soundscapes, which I learned the previous night was the place to be for CDs. I thought maybe they would have LÉON’s new album. I knew I’d likely buy a CD anyways. I made a quick stop by She Said Boom! first, which I realized I had already visited one night in November, which I will not speak about further, given how my chest is already tightening. They were playing loud, but cool music. I bought My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante. $10, friendly employee (it feels odd to call an old man an employee), telling me about the sparkle along the Harbourfront during his biking commute in this blessed weather. I arrived to Soundscapes and could not believe all the CDs. I looked through many sections carefully and settled on Adrianne Lenker’s songs + instrumentals. $22. Around the time I was settling but was still debating over Kate Bush’s The Kick Inside, I heard the employee (again, an old man) speaking with another old man, about how he would love to see Trump assassinated, to see his head explode on live TV, how terrible unspeakable demonic he was. I arrived at the counter, cashed out in an appropriate time.
Would be wonderful, essential, bewildering, right about now.
November, it’s November, November, oh November.
I am waiting on a letter. I am not sure if the letter will come true. I am leaving things I have yet to leave. I can still sense the wishes by the dark water. I can still touch the sleeplessness from hundreds of days ago. Has it only been several thousand hours? Oh heart. Foolish unto ever.
It’s going to be a hard winter.
Look through the almanac, look
at the coat of the caterpillar,
look in the window-well where
the cat has stockpiled mice—
field mice, a half-dozen of them,
mingled with the poplar leaves.
Where you look, the portents
bear the same burden: the lawns
will mold under the deep drifts,
the greens will thirst to death
in their dry dirt—are brown
already with a chill foresight;
look at the puffy, bundled spruce.
Look at the words of your love,
inside the envelope look,
read, believe in the weathers
she promises. If your cheeks
burn, it is not the heart’s fever
but excoriations of early snow:
the hard winter it’s going to be.
Robley Wilson, Poetry, October 1981
Weird, cool, winter-sick, warm behind the knees, silent furnace, cotton face masks, sweet candy sweet wrappers.
Bike ride at midnight. Stomach pit. Familiar foreboding. The light of art behind doubled windows. Yacht blocking eastern view. Pumpkin pie, cranberry oatmeal, sesame ball. Plastic compostable but not really fork. Polite woman running her laps. Older man playing guitar tunes and his wife/girlfriend/partner/friend listening on, beside me.
Last two days. You can do this. Last two days. Stay in this life, stay see smell.