Monday, February 09, 2009

Tangles

I now meditate daily at 4:30am, which often helps me with clarity and focus during the day. Today is not one of those days.

Lately I have been losing track of time and space. A friend of mine commented that she could see how you could lose track of time, but didn’t know how one loses track of space. I don’t either. I just know that this is how I feel. I’ve had the urge over the last couple of months to start emptying space—getting rid of all the extras in my house that I don’t use, the things that sit gathering dust. I’m not acquiring too many new things, not even books these days. So, I don’t know where my space is going. Maybe it’s the old “nature abhors a vacuum “ syndrome.

The distance between events gets shorter, days fly by, and I walk into my home and feel more confined. It’s as though everything is in a great constriction. There are long strings between places and events, and as things constrict, it’s as if the strings get tangled and knotted up. Following this rather complicated metaphor—I wonder if it’s easier to try to unknot the tangles, or just cut everything loose. On the other hand, maybe there’s nothing wrong with things being tangled.

In the last week or so I started to re-read the stories I posted to bbfiction. I’m not happy with all of them, I see places where connections are weak, where some extra attention to detail would be beneficial, or places where I don’t think the words really convey the story. This is one of the problems of not having an editor—I just put them out there in workspace as I finish them, though they’re never quite finished. Never mind the fact that we are never fully satisfied with our creative output, anyway.

I did notice a running theme as I re-read these stories. They’re all about relationships, not only between partners, but also between family members—father and son, brother and brother, stepparents--and there’s always a warped quality to the relationship. I’m not a huge fan of Sigmund Freud, but I am fascinated by the whole Oedipal/Electra complex in action. It seems absurd, but it happens. I’m also interested in the Shiva/Shakti dynamic—the dual sexuality of all individuals, and how that is mangled in the face of social roles. Really, all of the stories are about being mangled in some fashion, about situations that start as fairly straightforward occurrences, but somehow get messy along the way—tangled, if you will. Certainly they are a mangling of the Oedipal/Electra complex. And they are very sexual in nature. Maybe I’m more Freudian than I admit. As an additional point—many of my characters try to rigidly control what is not in their control, and the results usually aren’t good.

Naturally, as I can’t resist trying to connect dots, I did sense an association between the tangled-ness of the stories and their characters and my own sense of tangled-ness these days. If I take the hilltop perspective of the situation, I’m reminded of the function of tricksters in society, particularly in religious or spiritual life. Tricksters don’t follow rules, they turn things upside down, and are meant to show us that our interpretations of everything through our senses are no more than a distortion of Reality. Whenever we think we’ve arrived at the “truth” of something, an event happens that shows us that in spite of all of our good empirical analysis, we are wrong, or at least there is an exception that leaves us scratching our heads.

But, as I’ve said before, life does not happen in nice, neat straight lines. It’s messy. All this does is underscore that point. I hate the fact that life is messy. I would like to be able to plan and execute with some predictability, to always be in control of my environment. On the other hand, life isn’t terribly interesting without some messiness. Messiness also increases possibilities. Literally anything is possible. I think I prefer that to the alternative.

1 comment:

Lilla said...

I like messy things. :) sometimes I wonder if we're even meant to find "truth," or is it the journey that we are meant to pursue instead. good stuff brig.