» » Sometimes when I write [ not often ] I find myself out there .. waay out there .. in some remote galaxy .. following something that is hard to describe. More like a feeling, or an impulse. Maybe an urge. Or an intuition.
Embracing Duality (Whatever that Might Mean)
Hard to put your finger on it. (Which is part of what makes it so cool.)
Like I'm riding it. Like I'm feeding off its energy.
And the feeling that comes at the end of these experiences is something like » "How did I get here? Where is here? Where am I? How did I get here?"
You are downright disoriented.
And the unspoken implication here is that you are losing your mind .. because crazy people are famous for talking about things that make no sense.
I have already written about the fine line .. between genius and insanity.
And I do not mind telling you, my friend, that when you are there .. exploring that line .. it is not difficult to step over every now-n-then. [ Oops." ]
People slip up all the time, no? Is not that part of the very definition of being human?
And chief among these opaque phrases is probably » embracing duality.
» Sensing Resistance
And there is a part of me that does not want to write this .. on this topic. I sense resistance .. tho I am not sure why.
Perhaps because I prefer to write about stuff that I know about.
In my old days, resistance itself was enough of a reason to write on a particular topic. But after chemo and radiation and having genetically-engineered smallpox-based biohazards pumped right into my veins, I must, by necessity, be more discriminating.
The artist just wants to create their art .. and not have to talk about doing it. Cuz giving voice to, giving expression to your creatives juices .. is where its at for the artist .. in turning nothing into something. Creating a thing out of thin air.
Which reminds me of my entry on Dostoevsky .. how I was feeling like I wasnt ready .. to write that entry. But I knew that this was the time to write .. ready or not. (And really, how can you ever be prepared to write about Dostoevsky?)
» Confronting Bullshit Ideas and Knowing Things that You Can't Possibly Know
» You Write or You Die
"Oh, that's simple .. you either get it down on paper .. or you jump off a bridge."
And his response spoke to me because it resonated with my own experience ..
.. which is a feeling similar to a gradually increasing constipation ..
.. until you feel like you're ready to jump off a bridge.
It is no fun .. let me tell you. You are miserable. (I could go on and on about this misery.)
Likewise, the feeling that comes from writing .. is one of taking a nice, satisfying crap. You know what I'm talking about, dawg .. you know the feeling. [ Did you notice that I wrote all thru cancer treatment? ]
And this urge of which I spoke, it doesnt seem to care that you might have been diagnosed with cancer, or that you are going thru cancer treatment. Or that you might be in a physically weakened state. Or that you might feel like hammered dog krap. No, sir. You still need to write.
Compare Bukowski's quote with what Amos the prophet wrote and see if you can see how the following sentence might resonate with them » "You write or you die."
» You Won't Believe This, But I'm Gonna Tell You Anyway
[[ Mindy, you cant just say that Cormac is your favorite novelist. Rather you must say WHY he is your favorite.
And WHICH of his novels is most beloved. (Any why.)
And what it is about his writing and his stories that most speaks to you .. and why you feel this might be.
So I'll be watching for a revision to your page.
It can be difficult for me to read Cormac because he writes so well, so amazingly well .. downright poetic .. that I keep going, "Oh my God. Look at that! And that!"
I always mark up my books when I read them .. with dots and stars and exclamation points and underlines and circles and side notes ..
.. and none of my novels, none of my books, are marked up like Cormac's are. (If that tells you anything.)
Particularly, it was this quote that got me thinking. I mean, I am not trying to think about that.
Yet the thought returns. Again and again. Each time more pronounced than the last. (Yeah, just like when you need to take a healthy crap.)
So naturally .. I find myself returning to when I wrote that same line myself. And that was when I was talking about » embracing duality.
» Two Years to the Day
Oh .. I just googled the phrase "embracing duality" .. and searched my site .. and the first time I used that phrase was exactly two years ago (.. to the day).
The voice in my head is saying, "Dude, you really knew that today was the 2-year anniversary .. that's why you had the urge to write. You just didnt know that you knew. Probably because of the chemo."
Oh, I see what happened .. it was two years ago (to the day) that I first used the term 'embracing duality' .. but it was 18 months ago [ March, 2014 ] when I realized that the photo of the woman's butt was something to be embraced (.. with or without the yin-yang tattoo there).
And the reason that I didnt think readers would believe me .. is because I couldnt believe it myself .. that I had missed that aspect of the image.
» Much Reflection on Duality and What It Means to Embrace It
Anyway, the good news is that I know a lot more now about duality and what it means to embrace it.
I no longer feel like I'm talking shit.
I now have an answer (.. for the voice in my head).
Embracing duality means many things .. many different things. But all cool stuff. Very cool.
On the surface, embracing duality is a yin-yang thing .. which is a symbol that stands for the duality of life » good/bad, rich/poor, alive/dead .. one is defined, to a degree, by the other .. by it's opposite.
Tho there are many other dualities. Probably the most obvious one is digital technology .. which operates on a binary system » 0/1, on/off, true/false, open/close. And there are indeed many people embracing this particular duality today.
Near the top of my list is the wave/particle duality of light itself .. that arrived with the advent of quantum mechanics .. which you can credit to Einstein and Max Planck (1858-1947) for identifying.
Walter Isaacson opens his chapter titled » Light Quanta, March 1905 .. with this paragraph:
As Einstein noted to Habicht, it was the first of these 1905 papers, not the famous final one expounding a theory of relativity, that deserved the designation "revolutionary." Indeed, it may contain the most revolutionary development in the history of physics.
Its suggestion that light comes not just in waves but in tiny packets—quanta of light that were later dubbed "photons"—spirits us into strange scientific mists that are far murkier, indeed more spooky, than even the weirdest aspects of the theory of relativity.
What does it mean to embrace this particular duality? I'll save this discussion for later.
Because the system is d.e.s.i.g.n.e.d to work that way .. to trick-fuck the poor and the helpless. And everybody knows that those types of socio-economic systems are bound to experience turmoil from dissatisfied citizens.
The economic algorithm that our government uses to administer our particular flavor of a capitalist society today responds to (favors) the most wealthy .. at the expense of the rest of us. People can f.e.e.l the injustice of it .. in their bones. (The averge citizen.)
On the fleshly side of this particular duality, the yin-yang symbol reminds me of Eastern philosophy and especially Zen and the Buddha, the Enlightened One, and also yoga .. which reminds me of yoga chicks .. which I have been known to embrace from time to time.
» The Autumn Equinox and the Final (Super) Blood Moon of the Tetrad
The Farmer's Almanac says it arrives at 4:21 AM Eastern Time.
The 23rd is » Wednesday. That makes Tuesday the » last day of summer.
For most people the changing of the seasons is no big deal .. a time to put away the summer clothes and to breaK out the fall sweaters.
» The Cancer Survivor's Genuine Sense of Gratitude at the Arrival of a New Season
But for the cancer survivor the arrival of a new season represents another milestone successfully met.
There was a time when I was not sure that I would live to see the autumn of 2015 ..
.. because both my mother and my grandfather were dead within 6 months of their diagnoses.
So I find myself with a deep, genuine sense of gratitude that I never had before .. at the arrival of a new season.
And this gratitude comes despite the 3 broken teeth on my mouth. My dentist says that the radiation weakens the structure of the teeth. And these busted parts feel like rather large chunks of broken teeth missing.
And despite the numbness in my feet from the chemo. And despite the radiation scarring of my voice-box, which makes me sound like Patton addresing the troops, and which makes me not want to talk for very long.
Should I mention taste? And how you can no longer taste sweets? Probably not.
But the overriding sense post-treatment .. is that you can feel your body struggling physically .. particularly when you try to anything physical. Which is pretty much all the time that you are awake.
I could go on, but my point is that I still feel a sense of gratitude that I did not have before. Gratitude to be alive .. for the arrival of a new season. Which normally seemed like no big deal .. for so many years.
Update Sept 23 » Today is the first day of autumn .. tho it still feels very much like summer. [ 86 degrees ]
I cant seem to stop crying. wtf? Tears coming out of both eyes.
I don't really understand it. Seems beyond my ability to figure it out.
But to be honest, I dont really care. After a while, you just learn to roll with this stuff.
.. and I remember thinking how hard that sounded to do.
But during treatment, this is not difficult to do at all .. because of the last part, where he says » "Each day has enough troube of its own."
"True that," during treatment.
And the Pope is here. I was excited when he landed. And that little car .. makes a big statement.
I hope nobody sees me like this .. because I dont think I can explain it.
But it started not long after I opened her package.
.. when I checked my messages, one of which was from her, saying that a package was arriving TODAY.
She wraps everything individually and attaches the cutest little notes. And includes secret hidden goodies .. which she calls 'pirate treasure'.
It was soo hard NOT to tell her .. that the bag was coming. (I can be such a sneaky shit, sometimes.) It surprised her .. sitting there on her doorstep .. as she returned home one day.
You can bet your ass that he didnt have to wait 3 months for a biopsy.
A week from today is the 1-year anniversary of my biopsy/diagnosis .. tho the tumor (lymph gland) had swelled up back in early June.
<end update beginning of autumn, overwhelming emotional gratitude>
» The Vicar of Christ Himself Cometh
And he departs at 8PM on Sunday the 27th .. the night of the final blood moon of the tetrad. (I guess he wants to be back in Rome for the end of the world.)
I would be lying if I said that I wasnt interested in how the Vatican came up with their schedule. Oh to be a fly on the Vatican wall.
I found fascinating this article about what it takes to set up the city of Philadelphia for the Pope's visit.
But basically, he is operating out beyond even his pope-ness. Notice how all the other faiths are inspired .. by the man and his message.
That is no small trick, my friend.
» Embracing Duality with Cormac and Dostoevsky
Tho I would be lying if I said that there wasnt a voice trying to tell me that I am not big enough or bad enough to pull that off .. almost daring me, or even taunting me. "Dostoevsky I know, and Cormac I know, but who are you, bitch?"
One of the voices just said » "Dude, you are really amazing."
There are times, I confess .. times like now .. when I feel as tho I am not really that good of a writer .. and that a better writer is somehow writing t.h.r.u me. That has been a distinct impression .. humblingly distinct .. for long as I can remember.
I can also tell that .. after treatment, I find myself relying upon (employing) things that are less physical .. as a necessity .. as a way to compensate for my current condition there.
And I also find myself testing (experimenting) with these things that I am finding there.
In this way, my writing now, as compared to my writing before the lump swelled in neck .. and certainly before the biopsy and diagnosis .. and I wont even mention treatment .. but, compared to my writing before that .. this writing feels very different.
Because, once the physical fatigue sets in, you really have no other choice .. if you are going to write. (And you know what happens if the writer doesnt write. It's not a pretty thing.)
Embracing Duality » The White Angel / Black Angel Dream
I actually do not know (yet) what such a discussion would entail. I sense a sort of foreboding .. tho I wouldnt call it dread.
I have flirted before with the idea of discussing that dream .. tho I always left it at little more than a mention.
Since I am specifically talking about embracing duality in this entry, I dont see how I could NOT.
Perhaps this is why I sensed resistance .. in writing on this particular topic.
Because I have had things come to me before .. on this particular topic .. and they always feel weighty.
» Einstein Says that Energy and Mass are Two Different States of the Same Thing [ E=mc2 ]
Speaking of things nuclear .. I should probably mention the mass/energy duality .. since Einstein says that they are really two different states of the same thing. Difficult as that might be to conceptualize.
The first thing to point out here .. is that a little mass (somehow) translates in LOTS of energy. This is why a nuclear reactor can produce so much electrical power.
When a uranium atom in a nuclear reactor splits (fissions) into two fission fragments .. the sum of the resulting fragments weigh LESS than the original uranium atom.
I could go on and on about this topic .. because it is something that I know a lot about .. turning matter into energy. But I won't. Except to say that I have converted a decent amount of matter into energy in my nuclear days.
» Time vs Eternity
Perhaps I will return later to expound further on this very cool "illusion" .. but for now, I simply want to point out that challenge associated with living life » IN THE NOW.
For now I would suggest that you try a little meditation .. where you simply sit still and (try to) quiet your mind and just be present.
» Transcending Language
Here is another example of what I was talking about earlier .. because I can feel myself trying to » transcend language.
But to transcend language .. how would you go about doing such a thing?
Perhaps by inventing your own.
I just noticed that this page says » A written language exists only as a complement to a specific spoken language, and no natural language is purely written.
Spoken language vs written. Thought-provoking stuff.
Such as » Written language is an invention in that it must be taught to children; children will pick up spoken language by exposure without being specifically taught.
See .. the spoken language that is behind the written .. is what people are referring to when they talk about a writer developing his voice.
At first, I thought this sounded so pretentious .. but now I can see what they were talking about. It's the (seemless) conversion into written language .. of the writer's inner (spoken) voice(s).
Oh, I think I see it. The transcendence to which I was referring, or to which I was trying to refer to .. happens b.e.y.o.n.d the limitations of these letters and words and sentences .. and even beyond the representative images and photos that I use to break up my text.
Which is really just two different ways to convey information that pertains to the same topic.
» Going Beyond the Language with Kate Manne
Which reminds me of the column that I read earlier today by Kate Manne [ a professor at Cornell, which is located in Ithaca, the best college town in America .. home of David.Foster.Wallace, who dated Mary Karr, who he once tried to push out of a moving car (She probably deserved it.) ] on » Trigger Warnings .. how certain "content" can trigger a strong emotional response.
Dude, did you see that girl's credentials? Holy schmoly .. you are not worthy, my friend.
I had never even heard of trigger warnings. (When I saw the title, I thought it was an article about gun control.)
Notice, also, how she says (5th paragraph) »
Criticisms of trigger warnings are often based on the idea that college is a time for intellectual growth and emotional development. In order for this to happen, students must be challenged. And they need to learn to engage rationally with ideas, arguments and views they find difficult, upsetting or even repulsive. On this count, I agree with the critics, and it is in fact the main reason that I do issue warnings.
And an easy intellectual confidence. Tho not arrogant or pretentious. Rather, quite the opposite.
» The Dog Moves to the Country (Jersey)
He just called the other day to say, "I moved .. to the country."
I said, "Dog, Jersey has no parts that you can call 'country'. Everybody knows that Jersey has only densely populated cities and toxic waste dumps."
(Jersey is the nation's most densely-populated state.)
The Dog left his dad back at the co-op, where his retired firefighter father lived with the Dog's mom .. close to the City .. on the very next floor in their hi-rise .. before she died a few months ago. (Cancer.)
"You left him?" I said.
"We told him he could come if he wants to," he said. "He likes it there. His friends are all there."
The Dog is opposite of me .. in the sense that his dad is cool, and he gets along great with his dad. Whereas it was his mom that was fucked up. "I could never live here with my mom," he said. "No way."
I am so happy for the Dog.
He called really late. It was after 10 here. So that means it was after 1AM there. And he did not sound the least bit tired.
» Dog Nostalgia in Paradise
"Dog," I said, "do you remember how you used to make like a vampire in Hawaii and stay out all night? And go to bed with the sunrise and sleep 'til 3 or 4? And then get up and do it all over again the next day?"
One time I heard him calling me from his bedroom. He was still in bed and he asked me to look out the window of our 2nd floor apt downtown Waikiki [ Ala Wai blvd ] and see, "Is my car out there in the parking space?"
I stuck my head out the window and looked down there. I pulled my head back in and said, "No."
The Dog spent the whole day looking for his car. I mean, we're in Waikiki .. how far could it be? (You can't make up this shit, folks.)
It was just starting to get dark when he came home and threw his keys on the counter and said, "I shoulda known that I left it at that new jazz club."
I said, "How did you find it, Dog?"
He said, "I just started where I started yesterday. Once I got there and had a drink, then I remembered where I went next. I went to a lot of places last night."
[ Another friend of ours got his car stolen in Hawaii. I said, "Where are they gonna take it?" ]
You hang around the Dog for a while and you quickly accumulate a sizable number of increasingly bizarre stories.
I dont know anybody who has stories like the Dog has. He lived life pedal-to-the-metal. I could never keep up with him. (Nobody could.)
One time I called his mom to try to get ahold of him and she said, "He quit his job last week [ at Arthur Anderson ] and is driving out to California with his girlfriend. He's gonna try to find another job when he gets there."
I talked to him later and he said, "I got a job in a fish market at Fisherman's Wharf. Dog, I had a degree in Engineering from an Ivy League school and these guys were throwing fish at me at 5 in the morning like I was a high school drop-out. It was the best job I ever had."
"Dog," I said. "I'm opening Google Maps right now. Give me your address. I want to see exactly where you are."
"If we went another 15 or 20 miles to Easton," he said, "which is in Pennsylvania, the property taxes would've been one tenth of what we're paying here. But 20 miles in Jersey rush-hour traffic can be an hour. And I want to spend time with the kids."
Later he told me that the first thing that the kids did when they woke up that first morning .. was to run outside and explore.
"We didnt tell them to," he said, "They just did it on their own."
He is married to this Czech girl, who is 20 years younger, who he met in NYC. Only the Dog and Donald Trump can manage to pull off something like that. (And the Dog is operating without the Donald's bank account.) They fly back to Prague for a few weeks every summer. [ Kafka (1883-1924) is from Prague. He's huge. ]
Earlier he was telling me how deer wander into his yard, so when he told me how, "Yeah, I'm standing out here on my back porch with my cock out,"
I said, "Dog, you better watch out that Bambi doesnt wander up in the dark and take a nibble."
» The Thing that Makes the Dog the Dog
Perhaps the coolest thing that the Dog does .. occurs while you are talking to him .. and you are pouring out some heart-wrenching stuff .. and right about the time that the thought passes thru your mind » "Can he possibly still be with me? Because I am soo far out there. And I am in a very difficult place right now..."
And right about then is where the Dog will chime in and make a comment .. not to interrupt your heart-felt thing .. but to let you know that he is WITH YOU .. that he feels you.
Tho his sense of humor is also one of his defining characteristics. Remind me to tell you about the way his eyes sparkle like a leprechaun plotting mischief .. whenever you say something that really tickles him.
To be continued...