attention – defined (08.12.16)

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simone weil, quoted below from waiting on god (originally published as l’attente de dieu, la colombe, paris 1950) . . .

attention consists of suspending our thought, leaving it detached, empty & ready to be penetrated by the object.  it means holding in our minds, within reach of this thought, but on a lower level & not in contact with it, the diverse knowledge we have acquired [of] which we are forced to make use.  our thought should be in relation to all particular & already formulated thoughts, as a man on a mountain who, as he looks forward, sees also below him, without actually looking at them, a great many forests & plains.  above all, our thought should be empty, waiting, not seeking anything, but ready to receive in its naked truth the object which is to penetrate it.  all wrong translations, all absurdities in geometry problems, all clumsiness of style & all faulty connection of ideas . . . all such things are due to the fact that thought has seized some idea too hastily & being thus prematurely blocked, is not open to truth.  the cause is always that we have wanted to be too active; we have wanted to carry out a search . . . ”

this singular definition of a rather pedestrian word (from the introduction no less) has me speechless . . . i am going to sit with this for a while (& of course finish the book simone weil: an anthology / edited by sian miles / published grove press, ny, 1986)

more reflection(s) . . . 

last week i spent six days in a tech booth in a place with which i used to be intimately familiar working with someone that influenced how i saw light in the world & truthfully, a human being i admired then (& still do admire)

spending that much time in a place i basically once called home, my daughters came there when they were younger doing homework mingling with the staff i think my youngest once even emptied the trash at some point

i remember setting up the video projector once when i had them to play lion king in the theater – it was an amazing moment . . . hakuna mattata playing through the sound system both of them watching this movie in an empty theater running around all of us dancing on the stage

that memory combined with copious others – talking through a long lunch with jennifer tipton about scroller colors & how they should be arranged & why they must contain a variety of colors from all vendors (at the time); impressing brian macdevitt with my obsession programming skills & chatting earnestly about a career as a programmer; meeting michael stiller; meeting internationally renown designers of all types & learning; buying one sheet of gel from every manufacturer, cutting them up & putting them into a light, turning that gelled light on & just looking at color in a blank black space; going through each diffusion & frost learning exactly what it did; conversing with don holder about purchasing moving lights for a performance venue; dropping by a co-worker’s second job just to say hello; shaping the career path(s) of intern(s); making connections then that would not last . . . beginning & ending a kind of life that i no longer have & may actually have lost the desire to maintain . . . so much

dominoes !!

andrea woods & company !!

ellis wood !!

a cage of blue light !!

spice lunch deliveries

the blue bomber

that laugh that would rise from one cubicle & fill the office air

that fresh tracks show with a college associate – the kind review in the times . . . so many memories

cake

strange to be sitting now in barclay’s center preparing for an event that i would have never imagined myself capable of doing then – looking back over a career that has literally taken me all over the planet – through every aspect of my field (events, plays, dances, weddings, mitzvahs, film, presidential debates & fundraisers, designing lighting systems for churches & schools, the olympics, hell – even designing one moving light per shoe for an event for converse . . . wide wide wide experiences – each with their own worth

but that place on west nineteenth street between seventh & eighth in chelsea – that place in many ways was / is “home” . . . it was difficult being there . . . looking at that stage, standing in that spot where he said i let him down, or that spot where she said, something else must be done, or that time i called the blackout 90sec too soon & she was dancing in the dark, or that time i couldn’t find my daughter & she was sleeping under my desk, or that time we all went up to the roof & watched manhattan be manhattan & talked for hours – or, or, or . . . so many – too many

those memories – the way they resurfacced the way they were tangible had a weight had a smell had validity shocked me . . . i remembered crying in the staff stairwell when my uncle died . . . i remember bringing up that black couch . . . i remember a chain gang of employees chucking lights down three stories & her saying, i pushed three children out of my vagina this is nothing! . . . the strength of echoes overwhelmed me . . . is still resonating

it may have awakened a desire to design lighting in that field again – opened my heart a little – softened me in a way i have not been softened since the seperation & eventual divorce; since i climbed down into the cave with my own self-pity, regret, self-doubt & destructive patterns making my own personal gollum, burning bridges – almost all of them (even internal ones between parts of my self i once cherished)

i am not sure what will come from this experience of returning “home” but i do know that i am grateful for it . . .

quite

& i want to thank pws for the opportunity to return – he said, doing this show renewed him & it may, in deed. have renewed me

thank you – i did not know i needed it . . . did not know i had a “home” that i lost . . . did not know i could “return”

bored at the board / reflecting . . . 

here’s what i remember . . .

i have always been a rather solitary human preferring my own company to that of others or even an other – to the great discomfort of those that sought deeper connection to me

i have always been a distance maker – i left home early (sixteen or seventeen – couch hopping from friend’s place to friend’s place – sofa to sofa – even stayed at the congress inn off of highway70 across from northwest plaza for a while – paying a weekly fee i think – to be on my own . . . on my terms (to the degree that dependent independence was independence)

i have always been alone – even the primary work i do (lighting programmer) is me behind a board – alone (oft-times talking to the board) – making something for someone else to enjoy

here’s what i remember . . . at a very young age i tired of my own mind – grew fatigued with the self imposed exile . . . make no mistake i was out & about being young but that was not what i wanted . . . i went “home” alone & was (oft-times) lonely – not solitary which is an other thing entirely

i never matured to a place of acceptance – to an appreciation of the difference & similarities bewteen solitude & loneliness

i jumped right in to what eventually became an eighteen year long relationship which produced two beautiful humans all of whom – at some point – i abandoned . . . i created the distance i am so comfortable in (i toured nationally & internationally; i went away for long periods of time to work; to just be away; so many things)

here’s what i remember – saying good-bye & not knowing hello again would be so difficult that time would shape the chasm that distance would elongate absence’s shade into shadow that age would erode scabs into scars & those scars in time would fade into just skin without an interesting story

here’s what i know . . . i am older now (never thought i’d make it to forty-six – my parents would forecast my future from early teens onward as doomed to jail – i was a pain in the ass then & that has not changed)

age for me sprinkled my hair with grey & in some places silver some places white & oddly some places red . . . plus the damned hair on my ears (argh – age)

age has also shifted my perceptions, shaped my expectations & transformed my being in an unforeseen way i am only now coming to appreciate

i will never understand the choices i made then – now . . . never

i am however exhausted from the weight of grief, mourning & regret

the hardest thing for me has been learning how to hold what should be held & release what needs to be released . . .

it is strange to have a place that seems to offer some community but is, in fact, me alone – still

there is comfort in this – however trite – here, alone i have one thing with which i started this adventure . . . writing

after all this time to discover i never knew anything at all . . . that this is just a journey & i fell (many times) en route to this moment now (holding this phone in my hands – typing with my thumbs)

strange . . .

Chris Keniston & The Veterans Party of America

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dear follower,

i strongly suggest you take some time out of your incredibly busy schedule to investigate a third party candidate for president of the united states

chris keniston, the nominee for the veterans party of america, is an extremely articulate, intelligent, & appropriately moderate candidate worth the time you’d invest investigating him

i implore you to take some time to accurately vet this particular candidate

sometimes it is in the forgotten corner off the dusty shelf where the unexpected book lays that not only informs but shifts life entirely

it is up to you to lift up that book, read & open your mind

thank you for your time

. . . two hundred thirty five . . .

so, it has been just over a year since i was gifted a kindle reader

in that time i have purchased two hundred thirty five books
some of them are bundles (game of thrones, various starwars omnibus collections, various sci-fi collections, et cetera) . . . most of them are not

i also tend to spend the majority of my free time watching shitty movies (yes, i just watched the return of jafar – for no reason)

i am finished watching for a while . . . not even the television shows i am fond of (american crime, gotham, star wars rebels, the muppets, outrageous acts of science & others)

i am going to get through this list . . . i am going to stop reading the three books i have been reading for the passed two months & start with book one (in alphabetical order)

KINDLE__CHALLENGE

that is all . . . for now (there may be a book report or two hundred thirty five) in the foreseeable future

 

pedido de desculpas

i used to have the ability to arrange words until the coagulated sound of them forged meaning . . . i lost that somewhere along the way to forty six
 
this song speaks for me from my self imposed exile from speech to serve as a predictable, characteristic apology – safely made from a distance
 
i leave it here for those i named & abandoned; those who held me then & now are strangers; for those once symbiotic now severed & for those whom our multiple collaborations have become great divides
 

the simultaneously powerful & vunerable lyrics of prince

“The Beautiful Ones”

baby, baby, baby
what’s it gonna be
baby, baby, baby
is it him or is it me?
don’t make me waste my time
don’t make me lose my mind baby

baby, baby, baby
can’t u stay with me tonight
oh baby, baby, baby
don’t my kisses please u right
U were so hard 2 find
the beautiful ones, they hurt u everytime

paint a perfect picture
bring 2 life a vision in one’s mind
the beautiful ones
always smash the picture
always everytime

if I told u baby
that I was in love with u
oh baby, baby, baby
if we got married
would that be cool?

U make me so confused
the beautiful ones
U always seem 2 lose

baby, baby,
baby, baby,
baby, baby,
baby,
what’s it gonna be baby?

do u want him?
or do u want me?
cause I want u
said I want u
tell me, babe
do u want me?
i gotta know, i gotta know
do u want me?
baby, baby, baby

listen 2 me
i may not know where I’m going (babe)
i said I may not know what I need
one thing, one thing’s 4 certain baby
i know what I want, yeah
& if it please u baby
please u, baby
i’m begging down on my knees
i want u
yes I do
baby, baby, baby, baby
i want you

yes I do

america . . . i’m trying to come to the point

again there is much talk of ku klux klan, the confederate flag, so-called “race” relations, so-called “civil rights,” et cetera

again i am bombarded with audio & video clips & memes with links to articles long outdated that re-trend (viruses have a tendency to recur)

my understanding of the ku klux klan is that its name (so-called white knights) is intended to create an historical connection to a noble idea . . . that of the good christian knight
there is a mythology that surrounds knighthood – honor, temperance, chivalry . . . the best human attributes chiseled into the immutable marble of time
at issue now is neither the ku klux klan’s connection with knighthood nor with the ku klux klan’s mythology . . . at issue is the mutability of ideology itself
my understanding of the ku klux klan is its ideology is based entirely upon a perpetual lack of “appreciation” of any notion of “other”
the mask is a conical construct of this ideology; as is the “idea” of the confederate flag; as is the visual of a cross or church burning; as are all the well-known tactics used by this american organization
none of this is new . . . >>  link  <<
my understanding of our shared experience as americans (so-called “history”) is that at every moment of any change resistance occurs . . . it is more than the fabric of our nation it is the weave
the fabric would be cultural – a trend / fashion . . . the weave is timeless it is how a thing goes together . . . it is ideology (law)
focusing on the constructs & history of an american organization that is already well documented & which we fully understand is in my opinion doing a severe injustice to james baldwin’s suggestion that we must know where have been before we can go (paraphrased)
i myself am guilty of focusing on these constructs, this shared american experience, mythology, history et cetera . . .
i wonder if there’s a way to acknowledge where we have been & what we have done without the weight of shame, guilt & rejection; without the sensation of reduction or dismissal . . .

i wonder if there’s a way to transcend the notion that inclusion must necessarily exclude & realize this is a shared american experience . . .

we all want to buy groceries with our good looks

i have more to say & one day it will be concise; it will take shape & form

right now i have a new language to learn

“i’d better get right down to the job (ginsberg, america, 01.17.1956)”

happy july fourth