A Sort of Onomatopoeia

To be taken away

When I went out
In the Spring meadows
To gather violets
I enjoyed myself
So much that I stayed all night.

translated by Kenneth Rexroth in One Hundred Poems from the Japanese
There is a visual delight that is as subtle as the flavouring of violets in sugar or in liqueur: all those consonants that hang below the line like the stems of flowers ... p g j y

Visible if you chose to linger...

And so for day 2118

Enough to Live Inside

An example from painting applicable to poetry.

There’s a legend about a Chinese painter who was asked by the emperor to paint a landscape so pristine that the emperor can enter it. He didn’t do a good job, so the emperor was preparing to assassinate him. But because it was his painting, legend goes, he stepped inside and vanished, saving himself. I always loved that little allegory as an artist. Even when it is not enough for others, if it is enough for you, you can live inside it.
Ocean Vong interviewed by Zoë Hitzig at Prac Crit

And so for day 2117

Terms - Plucked and Gathered

DWR trawling through John Williams's Augustus recorded these on a slip

The image is particularly haunting because it communicates with a certain eloquence a certain lack of facility with language — a palpable tension.

And so for day 2116

Hollinghurst on White: figurative exuberance

Alan Hollinghurst writing in The Guardian on Edmund White's novel, A Boy’s Own Story

Anyone who reads A Boy’s Own Story will be struck by the contrast between a plain, brisk, clear-eyed language in which any boy’s story might be told, and the luxuriance of its similes, which open up beyond the mundane world a shimmer of secret reference and private value. Even when White writes of suppressing his urges, the metaphor he uses, of a candle snuffed out, multiplies with an unsuppressible life of its own – “a candle, two candles, a row of 20, until the lens pulled back to reveal an entire votive stand exhaling a hundred thin lines of smoke as a terraced offering before the shrine”. These unfurling images seem to translate libido into style, the unstoppable expressions of a hidden life. Adolescent experience is both intense and incommunicable; being so much discovery it also seems, to the accustomed adult eye, disproportionate: “it’s the particular curse of adolescence that its events are never adequate to the feelings they inspire, that no unadorned retelling of those events can suggest the feelings”. A kind of figurative exuberance (which will never be lost from White’s writing, and remains one of its pleasures) is therefore especially marked in this book, where it not only gives body to adolescent reverie and conjecture, but subtly recreates the frame of reference of a receptive child whose sense of the world comes through reading and music as much as through direct experience.
Such a vital and key phrase : translate libido into style.

And so for day 2115

Trails of Structure and Tales of Self

First the indication of a long sweep in the reading:

The Stubborn Structure: Essays on Criticism and Society (London: Methuen, 1970). Fyre was rightly known for his long attention span and would not mind, I hope, that in shaping this quotation I have taken one sentence from page 3 of his book and the other from page 82.
Next the selection:
the knowledge of most worth, whatever it may be, is not something one has: it is something one is . . . The end of criticism and teaching, in any case, is not an aesthetic but an ethical and participating end: for it, ultimately, works of literature are not things to be contemplated but powers to be absorbed.
Robert Bringhurst. What Is Reading for? (Cary Graphic Arts Press: Rochester, New York).

And so for day 2114

Enduring Virtues

If I may, a mapping (inspired by the virtuous and public work of Kathleen Fitzgerald in Generous Thinking) and inspired by some thoughts on the cardinal and digital virtues . . . a foray into the Christian virtues of faith, hope and charity.

Faith is about bringing the best of the past to the listening situation (we trust there is some value in what has gone on before, it's a belief that grounds our commitment) and hope is about taking the best from the listening situation and projecting it into the future (we expect that good will follow). Caritas (charity or love) is being mindful of the power dynamics in each listening situation. Care is of the present.

Faith and hope belong to the world of affect. Care is of the intellect. It requires judgment and assessment. It weighs. It is the judicious application of critique.

In the context of the discussion in Generous Thinking the question arises as to the alignment of empathy with these orientations to the communication situation. Inspired by the work of Paul Bloom (see Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion for his take on the good of parenting as being outside the realm of empathy) and mindful of his discussion of "cognitive empathy," I would suggest that empathetic understanding or care involves a temporal folding: bringing into the present space both a historical sensitivity (being attuned to what people value in the past) and a teleological bent (a watchfulness of what desires propel communicative encounters). Care is not so much being open to the feelings of other people in sense of the Adam Smith's sympathy, a type of empathy which Bloom argues against (and he distinguishes this from "cognitive empathy"). Care or "cognitive empathy" is a receptivity to the fault lines between hope and faith that run through any sense of self and more so in the relations of self and other. Care understands story as story: the past (barbaric or edenic) as abandoned by progress; the apocalyptic future ushering in utopia or nightmares. Care or "cognitive empathy" would thus recognize and acknowledge affect and attempt to trace its origins and where it might lead.

1 Corinthians 13:13
And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

And so for day 2113

Culinary Layering

The eight steps in how Anna Jones puts a recipe together:

Hero Ingredient
How Shall I Cook It?
Supporting Role?
Add an Accent
Add a Flavour
Add a Herb
Add Some Crunch
Season and Finish
from a modern way to eat

It calls for a well-stocked larder and a source of fresh ingredients. And an easy hand with variety.

And so for day 2112

Meet the Wort Family

Anna Pavord in the preface to the Herbology section of Harry Potter - A History of Magic: The Book of the Exhibition (At the British Library) waxes eloquently on plant names and the very special magic contained in etymology.

She explains that plant names ending in "wort" were (as the OED says): "in combination Used in names of plants and herbs, especially those used formerly as food or medicinally, e.g. butterwort, lungwort, woundwort."

The variety of *wort names is astounding
  • Barrenwort - Epimedium, especially Epimedium alpinum
  • Lungwort - A plant of the genus Mertensia, the lungworts. Also, a boraginaceous plant of the genus Pulmonaria
  • Motherwort - A herb, Leonurus cardiaca, of the mint family, Lamiaceae
  • Mugwort - Artemisia vulgaris
  • Sneezewort - Achillea ptarmica. Goosetongue; Bastard pellitory
  • Spleenwort
  • St. John's Wort - Can refer to any species of Hypericum
Exercise your imagination, invent some new *worts
  • phonewort
  • blogwort
  • googlewort
  • txtwrt
Fun, eh?

And so for day 2111

Way to Eat - Way to Live

Anna Jones in the introduction to a modern way to eat [never capitalized throughout] makes a series of claims.

I'd like to make a few promises about the food in this book:
  • It is indulgent and delicious
  • It will make you feel good and look good
  • It will leave you feeling light yet satisfied
  • It will help you lighten your footprint on the planet
  • It is quick and easy to make and won't cost the earth
  • And it'll impress your family and friends
There is the delight in the anaphora. There is the balance. And a move from the food to the conviviality surrounding its preparation and consumption.

A feast.

And so for day 2110

Empathy and the Place of Reason

I have been reading through the comment-available publication of Kathleen Fitzpatrick's Generous Thinking and have been led to observe:

Are there two empathies? Empathy of feeling and empathy of imagination. And is not reason and critique that which allows the participant in a communicative situation to ferry between the focus on the self (how do I feel?) and a focus on the other (what is the other feeling?). Inserted into this space is judgement which of course is open to inspection. Empathy invites a sort of mapping  and a consideration of the rightness of that mapping.

Such a tripartite view of empathy is rooted in a belief that all communication is mediated. It addresses Paul Bloom’s reductio ad absurdum: “The necessity of feeling exactly the same things as another person makes empathetic connection, especially with those whose life experiences and personal values may be quite different from our own, all but impossible.” Empathy actually operates in the gap, in difference, and in an awareness that the map is not the territory. It doesn’t flatten or transfer affect. It brings the mind to bear on emotion.

Comments I made before engaging with Paul Bloom, Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion.

Inspired by Fitzpatrick, I picked up Bloom's book.

The library catalogue I consulted gave an abstract of Bloom's book based on the paratext (the dust jacket):
"We often think of our capacity to experience the suffering of others as the ultimate source of goodness. Many of our wisest policy-makers, activists, scientists, and philosophers agree that the only problem with empathy is that we don't have enough of it. Nothing could be farther from the truth, argues Yale researcher Paul Bloom. In [this book], Bloom [posits that] empathy [is] one of the leading motivators of inequality and immorality in society. Far from helping us to improve the lives of others, empathy is a capricious and irrational emotion that appeals to our narrow prejudices"--Dust jacket flap.
Within the book, the case is made in a less outlandish fashion (see page 35). For one, Bloom has a highly focused target: "I've been focusing here on empathy in the Adam Smith sense, of feeling what others feel and, in particular, feeling their pain." This reminder comes after a paragraph outlining the argument and the marshalling of examples:
The issues here go beyond policy. I'll argue that what really matters for kindness in our everyday interactions is not empathy but capacities such as self-control and intelligence and a more diffuse compassion. Indeed, those who are high in empathy can be too caught up in the suffering of other people. If you absorb the suffering of others, then you're less able to help them in the long run because achieving long-term goals often requires inflicting short-term pain. Any good parent, for instance, often has to make a child do something, or stop doing something, in a way that causes the child immediate unhappiness but is better for him or her in the future. Do your homework, eat your vegetables, go to bed at a reasonable hour, sit still for this vaccination, go to the dentist. Making children suffer temporarily for their own good is made possible by love, intelligence, and compassion, but yet again, it can be impeded by empathy.
How odd to arrive in the same place; one of us using a bulldozer and the other tweezers.

And so for day 2109

Self as Experiment

Plethora leads ...

It was inevitable that these new versions of nature would complicate traditional moralities. Conflict, chance, survival, reproduction, the family, sexual satisfaction and death were newly minted words in these stories, quickly shedding some of their more familiar associations. Darwin and Freud had produced scientific and quasi-scientific redescriptions of nature as continual flux. There was no longer such a thing as a relatively fixed and consistent person — a person with a recognizable identity — confronting a potentially predictable world, but rather two turbulences enmeshed with each other. If through increasingly sophisticated scientific experiments a new nature was emerging, the new nature was revealing that lives themselves were more like experiments than anything else.
Adam Phillips. Darwin's Worms: On Life Stories and Death Stories

And so for day 2108

Random Pairing

Seduced by its alliteration on the sound of "s" we here lay down the last line of "Sherbourne Morning" by Pier Giorgio Di Cicco in The Tough Romance

sun above them spins halos for angels gone beserk
Coupling this selection with a plucking from Camille Paglia Break, Blow, Burn, selected in a sort of Sortes Vergilianae fashion we come upon her comments on William Blake's London:
Wandering through London's hell, Blake follows the model of Dante as poet-quester cataloguing the horrors of the Inferno. A visitor to the storied British capital in 1793 would have seen a grand, expanding city in economic boom. But the poet, with telepathic hearing and merciless X-ray eyes, homes in on the suffering, dislocation, and hidden spiritual costs of rapid social transformation. The Industrial Revolution, which began in England in the 1770s and would spread globally over the next two centuries, profoundly altered community, personal identity, and basic values in ways we are still sorting out.
Muddling through the themes of angels and Dante, we learn that Di Cicco published a book under the title The Dark Side of Angels and that critics note
There is a marked difference between Di Cicco's early personal poems, which deal with ethnic identity, social conflict and family relationships, and his later poems about philosophical questions, spiritual ideas and broader global problems.

But those questions, we see, are there from the beginning in a kind of Blakean fashion (thanks to the uncanny juxtaposition with Paglia).

you want to get rid of these
little harpies

you want to confess they aren't yours
take the one called song
the way it turns everything you say
into gold
take the one called love
the way it brings out the best in you

get rid of them
there is the real you, ugly and taloned
with eyes like an angel
ready to eat the world
for the first time

from in The Tough Romance
Of course "aquila" translates as "eagle". And "paglia" as "straw". And hence our Rumplestiltskin moment. A rough romance.

And so for day 2107

Play: Wonder, Delight, Choice

Like being open to randomness...

Indeed, bringing play into a central role in a school entails creating a culture that values the core tenets of play: taking risks, making mistakes, exploring new ideas, and experiencing joy.


what is emerging is a model of playful learning with indicators in three overlapping categories: delight, wonder, and choice.
from Towards a Pedagogy of Play: A Project Zero Working Paper by the Pedagogy of Play Research Team [Ben Mardell, Daniel Wilson, Jen Ryan, Katie Ertel, Mara Krechevsky and Megina Baker].

And so for day 2106

Myth Marking

A feminine figurine fighter is graces the cover of the 1992 edition

The 1994 edition is of flag and Mount Rushmore

It's the back cover that attracted by attention with its encounter with the theme of myth-making

Here transcribed
A triumph, transcending the usual pot-pourri of anthologies, and offering us an analysis of North America itself — land of mythology and contradiction.

The Faber Book of America resembles the country it celebrates: a big fat grab-bag filled with brilliance, junk, dizzying contrarieties, fast dreams and rich comforts.
Times Educational Supplement

There are black, Spanish, Chinese, Indian Americas; there are gendered and religiously divided Americas; there are Americans with and without homes. It is a great virtue of Rick's and Vance's anthology that it represents all these strands in American life without losing the thread of the country's hopeful myth about itself.

Ricks and Vance have a lively sense of the troubles that tend to accompany American virtues.
Times Literary Supplement
The Faber Book of America edited by Christopher Ricks and William L. Vance.

And so for day 2105


Some history and some speculation...

The saga of Jefferson and his favorite herb, tarragon, is a typically exasperating story of failure and futility. Jefferson likely encountered tarragon, or estragon, while in Paris as minister to France. After returning home in 1793 he wrote his French neighbor Peter Derieux that it "is little known in America." Perhaps because of tarragon's noticeable absence from the French cuisine at the President's House, Jefferson in 1805 asked J.P. Reibelt, a Swiss book dealer in New Orleans, to procure him seed. The genuine tarragon used for cooking and vinegar rarely produces seed but is easily propagated from root divisions. Jefferson never realized this, and his fervent search for the seeds is a key reason tarragon may never have been established in the garden. By 1813, after various plantings of roots, plants, and seeds, Jefferson reported tarragon in both square XVII and in the submural beds below the garden wall. These were seed-propagated plants from steamy New Orleans and were more likely what is today called Russian tarragon, an inferior sort that mimics but fails to match the sweet, liquorice-like flavor of the genuine article.
Peter J. Hatch. A Rich Spot of Earth: Thomas Jefferson's Revolutionary Garden at Monticello

And so for day 2104


Michele Leggott
Milk & Honey
"tourbillon 1"

I am arrested by a line and a reduplication of sound across meaning

almost the lobe of l'aube
a sliver of morning light comes to mind and the "lobe" becomes breast-like
almost the lobe of l'aube
or the painted nipples sucked hard
and squirting rosewater
full of pectin full of petals, the parallel
world is a mouth mapping
It reminds one of an aubade, a morning love song filled with a serene eros...

And so for day 2103

Ecce Ecco

Look here!

I was intrigued by the "half" anaphora in these opening lines by Pier Giorgio Di Cicco.

Love breaks where no light shines,
this is the dark heaven;
the real thumbnail;
the rain of sadness
Just itching to re-imagine a fulsome anaphora
this is the dark heaven;
this is the real thumbnail;
this is the rain of sadness
But later in the poem I understand the appeal of the "half" anaphora for we come upon a "full" anaphora:
this song is made up of three terrors;
one is the terror of self;
one is the terror of others,
one is the terror of having loved and missed it;
For the life of me I can't follow the punctuation at the end of the lines. It seems as capricious as the terrors — half broken as love.

The unadulterated lines are from "Ecco" in The Tough Romance.

Ecce = Latin for "look"
Ecco = Italian for "here"

And so for day 2102

how sweetly flows that liquefaction

Michael Lavers
from The Burden of Humans in New Ohio Review

The frost tattoos its sermon on the rose,
but in a language only you can read;
Calls to mind poems by Lorna Crozier in The Garden Going On Without Us

Artichokes never
take off their clothes.
They want seduction,
melted butter, a touch
of wild garlic
It is the implied notion of stitch in the frost tattoos that puts me in mind of the clothes in the poem of the vegetable which is gathered under the title "From The Sex Lives of Vegetables". And yet there is a distance between the lightheartedness of Crozier and the pathos of Lavers whose lines continue as the subject continues to regard what is read
The frost tattoos its sermon on the rose,
but in a language only you can read;
you have to know that all things pass and perish,
and that what you’ve said is finite, but continue—
as if grand exceptions might be made—
raking the leaves, stacking the wood, hoping
the child falls asleep against your chest,
hoping the blizzard swerves, knowing the wreckage
of the present will be gathered but
not soon, and not by you, because you’re in it,
there somewhere, under the sheet of snow.
And we are out of it licking the butter-soaked artichokes reading Herrick.

And so for day 2101

The Secret to Dip and Sip

Naomi Duguid
Taste of Persia: A Cook's Travels Through Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, and Kurdistan

Occasionally an older person in Iran will dip a sugar cube into the tea and then take a bite of it. This is the story I was told to explain the practice: Sometime long ago (in the late 1800s it seems), there was a dispute between the authorities and some of the foreign (mostly English) sugar merchants about pricing. The authorities wanted the price to stay down, the merchants wanted a higher price. The authorities played hardball by having the mullahs at the mosques declare that sugar was haram, or unclean. Suddenly no one would buy sugar. This forced the merchants back to the negotiating table and eventually a deal was reached. But how to change the decree about sugar being haram? Simple: The mullahs declared that dipping sugar into tea made it clean.
Graham Plaster gives a another take on the story
This came about because in the late 1800s, the Shah of Iran gave a sugar cube concession to a Belgium monopoly which resulted in the bazaari merchants and clergy protesting and issuing a fatwa declaring the Belgian sugar cube as "haram". The royal court swiftly had another mullah issue a rebuttal fatwa declaring that because the Iranian tea was pure and "halal", all Iranians had to do was to dip the sugar cube into the tea and purify it before drinking the tea. To this very day some Iranians do this ritual, many of them not knowing why they do it.

Looks like Plaster drew upon Dariush Gilani
When the bazaari merchants protested against sugar cube concession given to Belgium a clergy gave a fatwa declaring the Belgian sugar cube as “haram”. The royal court swiftly had another mullah issue a rebuttal fatwa declaring that because the Iranian tea was pure and “halal”, all Iranians had to do was to dip the sugar cube into the tea and purify it before drinking the tea. To this very day some Iranians do this ritual, many of them not knowing why they do it.

A good story is worth copying but a note to the source would be nice. One more variation offered by Arron Merat [asked what team is he rooting for and offered tea on the basis of the response]:
"You are for Esteghlal?" one man asks me pointedly. I nod, hoping to guess right. "Then you are my friend." From under his chair he pulls out a little bag from which emerge several tiny glasses, saucers, a flask of tea and a silver dish containing jagged sugar cubes. He pops one between his front teeth as he sips his tea.

He explains that a hundred years ago a cleric issued a fatwa to boycott sugar because the Shah had permitted Belgium an official monopoly on Iran's sugar. Iranians duly followed the fatwa but deemed it highly inconvenient and were relieved when another mullah decreed that it was OK, religiously, to consume sugar with tea as long as it is not mixed in the glass but held in the mouth. Even now, almost all Iranians take their sugar this way.

Now off to put the kettle on...

And so for day 2100

The Human Element: Modern Business Managment

At the beginning of Mast Brothers Chocolate: A Family Cookbook one finds the business principles that guide their philosophy and practice. They are called "Seven Crowns" and they are:

  • Love, respect, and serve family and community
  • Master your craft
  • Make everything delicious
  • Waste nothing
  • Connect customers to the source
  • Innovate through simplicity
  • Be honest and transparent
I want to focus in particular on connecting customers to source. The Mast brothers describe this as
We are nothing without our farmers. In every way possible, we must pay tribute to them and share their work. Connect the dots.
For me, this sets the stage for blockchain technology to be used in the service of source verification. It also speaks to the need for human relations in supply chain management. No technology will suffice on its own.

I like how the crowns interlock. And if one fails, the whole edifice topples.

And so for day 2099

Charm Bibbles Over and Over

I had seen the title many times offered by various booksellers over the years. It was Ruby Tandoh's savouring of the mean aunts that tipped me into actually reading James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl. And indeed Aunt Spiker and Aunt Sponge are as Tandoh's says "really quite funny".

Who is your favourite literary hero or heroine? Antihero or villain?

This is terrible and deeply childish, but Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker in James and the Giant Peach. They’re so cruel and awful and I kind of love them. They feed James burnt crumbs from the oven and make him run around after them all day and chop wood. They’re always bickering between themselves – you’re too thin, you’re too fat, you’re too lazy – I think they’re really quite funny. Merged together, I see something of myself in them.

Quentin Blake captures their essence

And now to the words of Dahl to see how captivating indeed is their description.
Their names were Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker, and I am sorry to say that they were both really horrible people. They were selfish and lazy and cruel, and right from the beginning they started beating poor James for almost no reason at all. They never called him by his real name, but always referred to him as "you disgusting little beast" or "you filthy nuisance" or "you miserable creature," and they certainly never gave him any toys to play with or any picture books to look at. His room was as bare as a prison cell.
All that in one paragraph. Dahl is a prose master — rhythms build inside sentences and among them and occasionally an uncommon word sparkles. Take for instance this description of the bobbing peach:
And indeed they were. A strong current and a high wind had carried the peach so quickly away from the shore that already the land was out of sight. All around them lay the vast black ocean, deep and hungry. Little waves were bibbling against the sides of the peach.
To bibble: the OED informs us is like the dabbling of ducks.

Perfect word in the perfect place and likewise the virtuoso performance of course is at play when describing a virtuoso, the Old-Green-Grasshopper:
He was using only the top of his back leg (the thigh), and he was stroking this up and down against the edge of his wing with incredible skill, sometimes slowly, sometimes fast, but always with the same easy flowing action. It was precisely the way a clever violinist would have used his bow; and the music came pouring out and filled the whole blue sky around them with magic melodies.
Apt self-description of the words on the page!

And so for day 2098

What is a Godlfish?

Pier Giorgio Di Cicco
"Aunt Margaret" from The Tough Romance
1979 rpt Guernica Editions, 1990

There was a marshy patch behind her house. When Sundays
brought the family to her rooms, I'd hunt the
puddled grass for frogs and drown them in a jar, fling them
walls, singe ants with glasses. Inside the house
I drowned the goldfish, choked the parakeets, and made
a paraphernalia of hell the size of those too big to kill.
In Shapeshifter "The Last Breath of One Such As Us", David Livingstone Clink writes a glossa based on this passage and introduces some accidentals (single for singe and godlfish for goldfish) and the lineation is off.
… I'd hunt the puddled grass for frogs
and drown them in a jar, fling them at walls,
single aunts with glasses. Inside the house
I drowned the godlfish, choked the parakeets
A trip to the library to check against the 1979 edition by McClelland and Stewart. The lineation is closer to Clink's quotation.
There was a marshy patch behind her house. When Sundays
brought the family to her rooms, I'd hunt the
puddled grass for frogs and drown them in a jar, fling them at
walls, singe ants with glasses. Inside the house
I drowned the goldfish, choked the parakeets, and made
a paraphernalia of hell the size of those too big to kill
Almost made a transcription error of my own. Reading "puddle grass" for "puddled grass". Such is the power of shapeshifting letters...

Believe Your Own Press, 2004

And so for day 2097

Bundle Magic

I have thought about the similarities of carrying a bundle and having ready-at-hand a smartphone. Both are portable and both offer access to a phenomenological experience that lifts one out of the now into a future-to-be-built-on-the-past. As Beth Cuthand says about bundles

And where he walks, his bundle walks
humming softly old sounds in new time.

     Closing lines of "His Bundle" in Voices in the Waterfall (Lazara Press, 1989)
The affinities came to mind again in reading this piece from the Globe & Mail.

Can we ever kick our smartphone addiction? Jim Balsillie and Norman Doidge discuss
Privacy and mental health are inextricably linked, especially for young people. You need periods of privacy to form a self and an identity, a task not completed until at least the late teens. Having an autonomous, spontaneous self is the result of a long psychological process where you have time to "step back" from the crowd, and from your parents, to reflect. It requires time to let that self – your true feelings, your own quirky, uncurated reactions – emerge, spontaneously.
Time alone with the objects of one's bundle.

But the smartphone in their account falls short. A note of caution is sounded — one of the technologies delivered by a smartphone is a net to capture attention:
The new phones foster enmeshment with parents, and the world, and hamper individuation, the process of becoming a unique individual, because kids are overconnected. And peer groups at that age can be Lord of the Flies cruel – and often love to mercilessly hunt down, expose and denounce the eccentricities of emerging individuals.
Still, even in that enmeshment there must be uncurated moments where one uncrates history. Still.
Louis David, to you
   I transfer my bundle.
It is small and humble
   wrapping little things,
   a bone
   from the last buffalo,
   a stone
   from the Assiniboine,
   a small pipe and
   tobacco pouch
   a feather
   from the broken wing
   of one
   who flew too low.

From Beth Cuthand "He Told Me" in Voice in the Waterfall
On being tracked (and not being located)...
In Star Trek: The Original Series (TOS), communicators functioned as a plot device, stranding characters in challenging situations when they malfunctioned, were lost or stolen, or went out of range. (Otherwise, the transporter could have allowed characters to return to the ship at the first sign of trouble, ending the storyline prematurely.[1]) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communicator_(Star_Trek)
On carrying (and being carried)...
In many Indigenous cultures, bundles play an important role in health and well-being. Physical bundles (i.e. a collection of sacred items that are important to a given person, such as eagle feathers, medicines, a pipe, etc.) are often carried by Indigenous peoples attending ceremony. Similarly, some Indigenous cultures believe that when a child is born they come into the world with a spiritual bundle which holds all of the gifts the Creator gave to them. Both physical and spiritual bundles serve the purpose of helping a person to engage with creation in a healthy and balanced way.

Working with Indigenous families: An engagement bundle for child and youth mental health agencies published by Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health.
Exploring the techne analogies further one comes to appreciate the temporality of use which leads to either interrupted stories or disruptions for stories? Breaks in time to produce the privacy necessary for a strong sense of self.

And so for day 2096

Name Game Dream

A lexically-inflected oneiric moment...

I had a dream about the Indigenization of the [Ontario] civil service.

The Ministry of Education would be known as the Ministry of Human Development. And the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development would be known as the Ministry of Later Human Development (and Seniors Affairs and Long-Term Care would now fall under its purview). Cabinet Office would be known as “All My Relations”. Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation got oddly but aptly renamed “Indigenous Interfaces”.

I woke up before the changes could be ratified.
I truly grok the interfaces piece.

And so for day 2095

Lines, Designs, Reflections

Robbie Robertson "Unbound"

Oh nothing is forgotten
Only left behind
And I open the CD envelope for this production doesn't come in a jewel case.

The eye traverses the space; the mind mends the breach. So like the themes of many of the songs on the album.

Sound is Like Sweetgrass It Tr        avels in Between Worlds

The cover complicates contact by reversing the "C" and other letters — ʇɔɐʇuoɔ brought to life here by the mirror generator https://www.web2generators.com/text-related-tools/write-upside-down  

Finding a way to lost tools.

And so for day 2094


At the very beginning of her introduction, Elisabeth Andoh sets the bar high:

KANSHA means "appreciation," an expression evident in many aspects of Japanese society and daily living. In a culinary context, the word acknowledges both nature's bounty and the efforts and ingenuity of people who transform that abundance into marvellous food. In the kitchen and at table, in the supermarket and out in the gardens, fields, and waterways, kansha encourages us to prepare nutritionally sound and aesthetically satisfying meals that also avoid waste, conserve energy, and sustain our natural resources.
from Kansha: Celebrating Japan's Vegan & Vegetarian Traditions

And so for day 2093

Pity the Partitions

Juxtaposing Emily Dickinson with Jean Genet's Un chant d'amour and its famous exchange of smoke.

I plucked at our Partition
As One should pry the Walls —
Between Himself — and Horror's Twin —
Within Opposing Cells —

I almost strove to clasp his Hand,
Such Luxury — it grew —
That as Myself — could pity Him —
Perhaps he — pitied me —
It is the reciprocal emotion — so near —

And so for day 2092

Tapping Into Shaker Love of Rhyme and Rhythm

I have grown in my appreciation of the literary and artistic productions of the Shakers (not just their exquisite buildings and furniture) thanks to the Hamilton College Library, Clinton, NY


Rhymes of Animals

A correspondent of the Cincinnati Gazette writes. "I strung the following rhymes together to tickle the ears of my little boys, four and six years old. They tease their mamma to read it over and over again, and they fetch the big illustrated dictionary to have her point out the funny animals with such strange names and tell what she can about them. This fancy for rhyme and rhythm is, I suppose, a characteristic of nearly all children, and perhaps the publication of this will amuse a wider circle than my little household. The aim has been, after euphony, to have the most incongruous animals in juxtaposition."
I was sent to the source (Shaker Manifesto, July 1882) by A Peaceable Kingdon: the Shaker Abecedarious illustrated by Alice and Martin Provensen. I note some variants. The Provensens split Guinea Pig into two words and add an "s" to Xanthos. Otherwise it is the same fascinating list. Augmented by their delicate drawing which a scan doesn't do justice.

While reading the Shaker Manifesto, I notice on the page previous to the ABC in the Society Record - death announcements including the suicide of Charles Miner done in a very understanding fashion touching by its approach to mental health.


And so for day 2091

Zen of Cooking - Zazen of Eating

Ruby Tandoh invites us to be contemplative...

Waiting for a pan of water to come to the boil is a kind of therapy — being forced to slow down, chill out and be patient while you watch a shimmer of movement creep across the water, as the heat brings it to life.
And immediately knocks us for a loop into sensuality.
And that's before you've even started eating...
from the introduction to Flavour: Eat What You Love.

And so for day 2090

Être Autre

In the days I whiled away as a would-be academic, I thought about challenging the dominant position of dyads in theorizing about communication and learnt from observing the teaching situation:

Pedagogical situations are sensory. They are also interpersonal. Because they are sensory this makes even learning by oneself interpersonal. Egocentric speech is like a dialogue between the senses. In Vygotsky's and Luria's experiments, children placed in problem-solving situations that were slightly too difficult for them displayed egocentric speech. One could consider these as self-induced metadiscursive moments. The self in crisis will disassociate and one's questionning becomes the object of a question.

Storing and Sorting
Years later, I am struck by the concluding paragraphs to Karin Cope's Passionate Collaborations: Learning to Live With Gertrude Stein and her call to enter into the play of a play.
As I hope this play makes clear, I am not asking my reader to suspend his or her judgment of Stein or of me (as if such a thing were possible anyway); what I am asking is that when we look at how Stein made and revised or "forgot" certain judgments, we consider also how we do such things as well. A judgement should not be simply another name for foreclosure; a play, I hope (matched by all of its notes), opens up the space where it is not.

I will be glad if you begin to hear insistent other voices, voices you do not yet think of as your own, demanding of you, their author, an audience. If that happens then perhaps the play, or I, or Stein will have done our work.
And imagine my delight when I read this epigraph to a paper by Willard McCarty (Modelling, ontology and wild thought)
The only way you can catch yourself in the act of reflecting on yourself is by becoming another self – a self which, when it looks down on your reflecting self, will not be included in the reflection. If you want to understand yourself better, you always have to keep on the move.

Jonathan Rée, I See a Voice (1999)
As I concluded back then
The fracturable affiliable self calls for reproductive models suitable to the interactions of multi-sensate beings, models that render dyads dialectical, questionable, answerable. Narrativity understood dialectically does not merely mean making sequences or strings of events into stories but also stories into things, strung together for more stories. From such an understanding, emerge non-dyadic narratives of reproduction, narratives where a thing-born transforms itself into an event, comes to understand itself as a process.
The ever elusive event...

And so for day 2089