NOTES FROM DECEMBER-JANUARY
people in the future will have books or e-files of their text conversations and e-mails similar in idea to a compiled book of letters today
a collective of individuals is what we desire
so much hidden beneath our outer appearance and it’s terrifying what lies there
humans as food for other species as a strange, unfathomable idea; esp. since assumption of human centrality posited (mostly) by christian faiths assumes otherwise as these ideologies inhabit and inform to a greater extent our basic and underlying assumptions and expectations since we learn what we should assume and expect from day one
if you are a dad and you are looking at yr children what do you think about when you do
seeing cars i think are my friends’ cars all the time
elk’s lodges’ humming w/ christmas gatherings, hurrying around cleveland in cars that aren’t mine
paucity of snow and cold as damaging / obfuscating to my understanding of this time of year; feel spacey dreamy not real but okay
a mass w/o the smearing of individuality is what we desire; this smearing / loss why communistic things usually fail
i would be standing before a river, think, you
children w/ both parents last names as new thing / style (to me)
if i go through some miraculous thing w/ you, we will be closer
if i share enough time w/ you, go to places w/ you, we will be closer
feeling of being unable to break through something, go for it fully, despite a complete desire for it
both/and thought as preferred to either/or thought
all we will never know, my mother’s stories and processes, a stranger’s heart, how the lives around us have unfolded or not
all yr life you may try to keep things from going away from you
what does it mean to live somewhere and nowhere, to be able to be alive anywhere, to be aware of the world and not
i love many people
there’s nothing to get
THE SNOW, THE COLD
December is a month of transformation for me. January too. They mean snow. They mean cold. They signify the incipience of the ending of the circle that is a year. Again, we have ridden the circumference of its course. I try to measure what the accumulation of events in the context of a year mean, what they stand for and constitute and the scale breaks, the ruler snaps.
Last January (2011) I was sitting in Buckeye Donuts in Columbus, Ohio and overheard a man tell another man that he wasn’t sure if he was going to make it through the winter. Both men had conventional winter hats on and were blowing breath into hands recently relinquished of their gloves. The man who was listening at first assured the man who was speaking first that, indeed, they would make it through the winter—with some beer and football and a little getting-together, yes—they would make it through. For whatever reason, his words stayed with me that day. Out of every conversation you overhear most get sent to (what I like to believe is) the equivalent of a trash can or external hard drive for a computer—recoverable, but (probably, eventually, inevitably) forgotten. Not like yeah, man, we got it bad. Winter… And not that I find savior-like warmth in beer and football. Far from it. But there is something to be said about the snow, the cold.
We cold-snow-blessed Midwesterners of a certain latitude get something that those non-snow-cold-blessed don’t. An endurance. A promise. Some combination of sadness/fatalism amalgamated with joy/carefully-calculated will. We have to get through something. There are distinct obstacles to our days. We use moments of time to tie a scarf, shovel a sidewalk, pull on gloves, or blow breath in our hands—moments that we might otherwise use doing other things. We take time. That’s what December directs me to reflect on. Time. We slow down. What we assume about traveling through our days gets deconstructed. We follow our breath and feel warmth so much more fully.
In our hibernation of sorts we have dreams that tell us who we will be when it’s time to wake up. And we do wake up—in March or April or May—changed inexorably, punctuated by the seasons of the Midwest.