Carolyn at the Lake

Date: Sat, 28 Jun 1997 20:46:18 -0400 (EDT)
To: clburke@carolyn.org
From: Robert Neel 
Subject: Carolyn at the Lake

>hypertext is about surprising connections

"Convention" says one should wait & watch these things-- but they never say for how long. This month has been long enough-- your June 27 & 28th journal entries are powerful enough to loosen my fingers.

I printed them and carried them down to the lake with me this afternoon. After cooling from my 4-mile daily sweat-fest ritual on the park roads, I sat at a concrete table under cover from the sun and spread the pages and opened my journal and scribbled awhile; opened my laptop, began mining. There is a welcome breeze to temper the day's inferno and it carries the scents of hot oak and cedar, wildflower and wild grass, and the watery cool green of the lake, too. Now and then a crow calls, a cardinal pipes, a swift chuckles.

Forgive me, please Carolyn...

>Imagine saying things
>and the person you are with
>trying to add or change what you are saying.
............Because I did.

I played a "cut-up" with your words. A dangerous pastime, digging for bones. And to try for no-change, no-addition? High-wire act, to be sure!

But it was because I was touched.

>I lie here
>scream at anyone who reaches out
............ And since it was you who reached, who shall scream?

>I don't know if it comes across
>I cannot speak very well.
>Can I express myself through this clumsy medium of words at all?
............I think you handle this clumsy medium deeply, voluptuously. But I had to read, chew & digest for a while. Perhaps everything is circling too quickly for what is trying to be said? Speed, essence, gist-- all grey and flavorless. This you know already. Sometimes we have to "swim in the words" to find what is trying to be said. Rough cloth, but whole.

>Today I've been canceled.
>Where is the screaming to take place[?]
............Where, indeed? Summarizing the 27th.

>perfection.
>detachment.
>no acceptance.
>I exude these things to my own detriment.
............I am sorry and sad for this. Have I seen this before in your writings? There is a time (convention!) for these things-- although perfection would seem to be uncontrollable. And there are things one should never accept-- especially unearned blame.

>No more does anyone tell me
>I can do anything I want.
>They all know better.
............This is a terrible assumption, Carolyn, considering what I have read about your past & business here.

>I guess I do too.
............This last bit is even worse. (and maybe it is all a fib, a tantrum-- read on.)

>the weight will never be held by anyone.
>I die and must be alone.
>I'd rather not live.
............And this last is positively scary. This makes me lean into the words, bump into the screen.

>What would be good to be alive for?
>Something I enjoy.
>Someone I love.
>Plans that sparkle.
............And here my concern was unfounded! Hurrah!
And you have something very fresh here: "Plans that sparkle" How I know this one! Thank you for reminding me. I cheered aloud (truly!) when I read this. Especially when I removed the past tense. It becomes now. Is that Now still you?

>I've changed myself so much since then
............I've never heard this said, this way, with so much personal authority and presence. Most will said they've "changed." This is good and it is puzzling. And this next snip is why. Very well, and uniquely, said...
>there is no fault only mindless cause.
>I respect fault as responsibility for action.
>I hate mindless causings.
............This is a soul-statement, don't you know?

And this was very good, too:

>Getting away from [what] doesn't make any sense
>is really what that was about.
............I hope you don't consider this a flaw. It is normal human behavior. At least if we are being whole and honest. The senseless is the mindless. And, for a human, the mindless is death. See our search for pattern? It is when keeping the pattern itself become the purpose that death begins.

And here is the core of this all. I salute you.

>I am who I am
>blazenly acting
>without a clue.

>I end up in terrific places.

>they I assume I have balls.

>in some sense
>without fear
>I must.

............I laughed, Carolyn. I cheer you. (I remind myself, softly, you are human, too-- a finite resource-- and maybe I squint a bit.)

When I saw this next I agreed. So many are blown-about...

>My daily life has a dictator - me.
But when I saw this next and then put them together, the cooling breeze chilled...
>I guess I'm still pretty angry and horrified about my life.

You've been writing and displaying here so long. I've not taken the time to read it all. I am certain I've not read such a brutal statement here or in other journals.

It begs me stop and render aid.
I guess that is what this is.
I haven't the slightest idea what sort of aid is necessary-- no bleeding, no bones poking out. You are breathing and making sensible signs. You are sleeping and waking.

Is this touch of a "clumsy medium" enough?
Thank you, Carolyn. For this-- the words touching & reminding me. Keep writing.

I look up from the table at the pink flower-flecked meadow stretching down to the waterline. Out in the channel, a few boats cruise slowly by. In the shallows, an egret hunts her supper. I think a dinner of grilled zucchini and grill-steamed rice, with cool tabbouleh & fresh greens sounds so fine. Right here in the park. Maybe sneak some wine in, too.
How long since the last quiet sunset, taken in solitude?

Robert
Grapevine TX USA


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