April 28, 2002 (idea)
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|Letter to the hubby, in transit, scrawled on paper, train-of-thought style - if you're curious.|
I watched on the map as our plane's trajectory bent southward around Columbus, passing it by. Pennsylvania remained on the right side of the screen - i imagine you somewhere there, driving, fighting sleep, heading home to work. We descended past a spectacular ocean sunset above the clouds into a night-wrapped Cincinnati. Looks like the winds & the rains say i'll be bunking it in the airport chapel tonight - so, surprise, i beat you to Ohio & i'll be staying (but not for long).
. - - ' ' ' - - .Leave it to clampe to make magic out of something half-joking and completely ad-hoc. I'm baffled and bewildered when i try to classify the creature we've created - some strange analogue to community, no longer the writing experiment and playground i was so charmed with. I've contemplated quitting as the content i have to offer slips closer to the low end of our mediocre - generalists are useful in the first stages of a knowledge project, but easily exposed as hacks later on! yet somehow - some of my strongest relationships in the last few years have been directly attributable to E2 + the unique brilliancies of its people. Can we be a diaspora if we were never really together? Who knows, but within our kaleidoscopic variety, there does seem to be a noderness that we can call on as one calls on family, close or distant. Even if it's totally invented or imagined, it's real and its effects can be seen.
Granted, we walk into gatherings looking for friends + similarities + wonderful people. If we walked into the street, perhaps, every day with these expectations, we would be besieged by friends & the multicolored gifts of selves. A local community might develop? But this is not the issue. The issue at hand is that we've chosen our people, they are scattered, we are everywhere, and everywhere full of longing and love. Sometimes great respect develops, or awe - sometimes jovial familiarity (though these are not exclusive). We have had our crises, affairs, feuds and marriages.
Now i'm no theologian nor great believer in the institution of marriage (as spiritual, social, or legal phenomenon). However, as an anthropology student, i am a great believer in the power of ritual & symbolism & groupness. This event, however tossed off, however full of satire, was witnessed to. Though not man & wife in any traditional sense of the word (that i'm aware of!) - we are something. I intend to wear (or carry somehow, until i can make it fit) yr ring and know that i will (as ever, really) do anything i can for you - but now our people know it too. And i think, i think, that brings them closer to each other as well, in some intangible way.
What for? Well, i can't say. Have you read Vonnegut's Slapstick? His final president of the U.S., while ineffectual in every other way, gives the ever-lonely American people the gift of family by assigning everyone a new middle name - so every Daffodil-12 might find home + help wherever he goes - just find another Daffodil-12.
I do not doubt that each of us is lonely. More people i know than seems possible are depressed, are trapped, are collapsing into themselves or bearing up under unbelievable burdens of heartache or weariness. We've stopped short of assigning ourselves new legal names (otherwise imagine how quickly we'd be pinpointed as cranks and cultists!)* but it must be something other than the booze that brings us far, on the brinks of our selves, our sleeplessness, our social ability, and makes us fall in love with the idea of this family & with each other.
Don't you go telling me i got the short end of this deal. Though i don't know if this means i will see you more, it means you know i wish i could. You are unlike anyone i know, an infinite-cracker gem (who needs karats?). While it's true that this could be said of several noders, other prized friends, i think we have an understanding. Though we don't really write anymore (so my explanation of the site flies out the window), we're still a part of all this and each other. Huzzah.
` - - . . . - - 'Tomorrow - i'll be cramped from sleeping on a pew. I'll take the MAX train home from the airport, walk into the house, drop my things. I'll be tempted to sleep, but instead i'll shower. It's all planned out.
I don't know who'll be home or if i'll have chewed the big bites of experience from this weekend enough to speak about them - perhaps i'll be elusive + taciturn. Maybe i'll be at ease + speak freely. At any rate, i'll walk off again to work.
The city is full of flowers. It may rain but it won't matter. Gardens reach over the sidewalk and i'd hug them if i could. I made new friends this weekend and they amaze me like new growth does. Contact with my old friends leaves something of itself with me, as when walking i rub my hand over the rosemary that grows into the walk.
We, when moved by great emotion, evaporate.The chapel is no longer empty.
Luckily, they've stopped talking - stranded and sleepy travellers like myself. I think i'll lie down and see what happens.
You never know until you try.
The sounds in this airport at 1 am remind me of giant living machinery. Of the imagination of the Chief in One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest - machinery, peopled by babbles & shrieks of the insane. How homey. But liminal - travelling from place to place, making themselves, dispersing themselves. This is industry of identity. This is losing onseself in the middle of the country. This is liminality and ambient noise.
This ring fits better on my thumb but i'm stubborn.