7:49 AM – Pug-dog attacked the landscapers with his voice. And he lunged the edges of his lease, pulling and pouncing at them as if their weed-wackers and mowers offended the comfortable decor of his pooping stall. I still do not understand what he intently searches for in the grass, nose buried deep, before choosing a spot to squat. A fresh spot? An unused spot? A spot to cover with his own offenses? I’ve stood in those lines of port-a-potties at concerts, and I never would have thought for a moment to pass on a possibility. Sadly, even though he plops trough in the open on the side of the road and then scratches the ground a few feet away, I think he may be more sophisticated than I am in our doings. God bless him. God bless that pug-dog.
“Red, white, blue is in the sky / Summer’s in the air and baby / Heaven’s in your eyes / I’m your National Anthem.” – Lana Del Rey
I have no idea where I’m about to go with any of this. My fingers just need to fly.
Admittedly, I’ve avoided this thing for a few weeks now. Feels good to unplug occasionally – and I’m not even that plugged. But for the morning 500, for that initial
literary yoga stretch, I’ve spent my words and scribbles through pens, in letters, slowly pressing forward without any one button to hold down in deletion of entire lines. It feels good to slow down.
Ironically enough, slowing down often speeds up the mind. Does slowing down give it room to expand? To widen? To stretch? Perhaps this was the entire idea behind a Sabbath. Slow it down and allow the roots to swim.
Yesterday, sitting at a table with a coffee in my hand and Lana Del Rey in my earholes, I wrote to a friend that LDR was my greatest new discovery.
I would confess to crimes I never committed if it meant hearing Lana Del Rey sing my miranda rights.
That’s a fine thing to be said of someone.
And you slow down hearing the expanding cylindrical crested waves of your various ripples moving outward. What was even their center? What was even their inspiration? And you look back to where they spill up, cresting over, and you take the time to wonder how that sucker even started. What fell there? What was I doing at that time? Who walked through the door? And then you remember, and suddenly the waters are alive with a whole new splatter of splashes.
Imagine that these brackets right here – [ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ] – represented a single attention span, and every one of those dots represented, by either single digits or exponential notations, the number of thoughts or visions or entertainments or prayers or pages or songs or pleasantries that could be contained in that single attention span before the brain tapped out. Imagine that certain forces, such as sleep and caffeine and music and good beer and weed and phobias and air density, affected the size of that attention span, expanding it (hopefully) and limiting it (perhaps also hopefully, depending), it would be a feat of personal psychology to learn how to sense the edges of those brackets, to make them concrete, to put handles on them so they might be pushed and pulled like an accordion, making the music of reading and poems and stories and meditations.
I’m not sure the goal is to stretch the brackets so that they move from this:
[ . . . . ]
[ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ]
That might be one of the lies of modern education: that expanding the ability to sit still, to gaze thoughtfully, to engage singularly is the goal. So screw your kid if they can’t read more than three pages! So screw your genius if they prefer knocking down the blocks and starting again rather than seeing this one castle all the way through! So screw me if I prefer my iPod on shuffle rather than my Mahler on full symphony!
Maybe the goal is not expansion as much as combination, layering, so that it moves into this:
[ . . . . [ . . . [ . . . . . . [ . . ] . . [ . . .] . . . . . . . . . . ] . . . ] . . . . ]
Or something like that. I do like the way that looks. I like that idea of layering attention spans, which would require expansion as well.
I listened to an interview with Lana Del Rey last night, and the interviewer asked her why she chose her specific styles of video quality. He pointed out that she was born in 1986 but her video choices and styles reflected video from the 1950s and 1960s. And Lana Del Rey said, “I just liked the way it looks.” And the interviewer dug for greater significance, for metaphorical layers and meanings, and even though Lana Del Rey did talk about colors and textures and the matching of visual to sonic emotions, she just kept coming back to preference. She likes what she likes. But she did tell the interviewer that she appreciated his deeper reading of her videos, and she encouraged him to read as deeply as he wanted and to get back to her.
I like drawing thoughts with brackets. Maybe brackets will be to my writing what footnotes were to David Foster Wallace. He doesn’t own the monopoly on in-text symbols [just the overuse of them].