My scrapbook, of late, has looked like this:
Lines. Pale blue lines. Blank paper. With lines.
Having spent most of my life in works of art, I know all about lines:
Horizontal lines suggest a feeling of rest or repose because objects parallel to the earth are at rest. Horizontal lines delineate sections which recede into space. The lines imply continuation of the picture plane to the left and right. [Elements of Art]
Please orient your screen so every line is parallel to the earth.
Do you feel rest do you feel repose?
Imagine the lines extend out of your screen, infinite continuation, left and right. Let’s walk towards the blank paper’s beginning. Or do you prefer its end?
Maybe these horizontal lines do not begin or end, but circle like latitude lines. We walk inside a column of paper, round and round. The white space, delineated, recedes.
Here I am, stuck in the middle of a cyllindrical blank-paper drum.
Hit my head, see if I thrum.
Turning the page the other way changes things a bit:
Vertical lines often communicate a sense of height because they are perpendicular to the earth, extending upwards toward the sky. Vertical lines suggest spirituality, rising beyond human reach toward the heavens. [Elements of Art]
My obelisk is a very strong vertical line rising from the earth’s horizontal plane. I’ve conveniently positioned myself between heaven and earth. I don’t want to ascend any further (like the birds) or go down to the shore. I like it right here. For now. I can see the sky and I can see the shore and the birds come into visit, bringing seeds and grasses from the out-of-doors. I open my window. The wind carries in its light arms molecules of pollen and salt.
Would you rather face heaven, earth or a the delineated white page?
Of late, I’ve shown my back to the conceptual page, and faced my little world. The kettle’s on! We’ve buns for tea! The weather is unseasonable, but the starlings will flap their wings to create a gusty breeze so phoenix can blaze pleasantly for the rest of us. The warm weather has made black swan molt. I’m collecting the downy feathers to stuff a new bed. Crow has flown north on the annual spiritual strengthening retreat, but will return on the solstice, through my new niche (remember my solstice niche?) May crow return as crow, not parrot. What celestial bodies must I implore to bring that about? I don’t know who crow listens to, so I implore crow: be black black crow, not flashy parrot. Stop asking me where I am going.
Hawk is reading Adorno. Eyeing the ethereal blue lines on the blank pages I’ve taped one-by-one to the obsidian walls, Hawk quoth thus:
In her text, the writer sets up house. Just as she trundles papers, books, pencils, documents untidily from room to room, she creates the same disorder in her thoughts. They become pieces of furniture that she sinks into, content or irritable. She strokes them affectionately, wears them out, mixes them up, re-arranges, ruins them. For a woman who no longer has a homeland, writing becomes a place to live. In it she inevitably produces, as her family once did, refuse and lumber. But now she lacks a store-room, and it is hard in any case to part from left-overs. So she pushes them along in front of her, in danger finally of filling her pages with them.
..In the end, the writer is not even allowed to live in her writing. [II.Memento, Minima Moralia: Reflections from Damaged Life]
I hope you bear well the shortening days! We’ll celebrate the turning very soon.
This is my coast my shore. The sea crashes, shapes, heaps, carries away. My coast. My shore. Here a wrecked shipman would long for fresh water and hot food. I weep salt and speak-sputter wet wood. My house is built apocalyptic on sand there is no rock here. Shifting sands. Nomad- I of miniscules, foot by foot my house moves, between dune and shore.
The jewels of my country are secreted. Secrete/secret the thick glossies that mollusk thumbs fist. Spiraled, scalloped, with fishy smells. A captain landing here would find no treasure except what the ocean will break and cleanse. My wealth is all paper on a standard of feathers and shell. I’m worth nothing without irrational faith.
Here no ships but maybe. Here no sails but maybe, too far for hawk-eye to see, one trawls, nets too knotted and tangled to sail home. Better to be a boatman in the hollowed trunk of a tree, steadying his gaze, hand to a spear. Better skim the deep waters armed with knives and spears, sharp and precise, than drag behind a powerful vessel indiscriminate nets.
Feed me. I will eat gold kernels out of my hands and sea eggs, grey yolked. No more nets, knotted and tangled, in constant need of mending, They dredge the dark living sea dusts up I will not feed on its bottoms.
Gold grain and grey yolks. Feed me things that might be born. Feed me the raw germ of wanting-to-be-born.
If a tree is cut down and paper or pencil made, and I then write with them?
If you were a tree
would you be my pencil?
my blank page?
my unblank page?
If you were a tree would you be the page preserved in an archive, its climate controlled with combustion, the burning of ferny compression we call fossil fuels?
Would you be my paper, my pencil, preserved?
A tree would prefer I crumple this page, throw pencil away.
Better yet, would I please bury both in dirt?
When I fall something shoot its pale cusp from the trunk that was me.
Come back wild moment from far before
I took up my sword call it pencil say paper or page.
Killing impulse, I took up pencil and page.
I ruined everything.