15 03 2009

although some of us do it with far less expansive metaphors than others, and i’d wager plenty of folks out there don’t even recognize the act and know they’re here among the “we,” i believe to some degree we’re all guilty, if guilt is the right term (and i don’t think it is, for the actual outcomes of these practices, although it’s the right figure of speech) of creating selves for ourselves and one another, of building fantasy lands to meet each other in, moonlit playgrounds to sit on creaking swings besides the ghosts and avatars of people we hardly know inside, whether we know their skin or don’t, to talk about the universe and spread our hands across the sky and paint it with our new-invented trails of stars.

i’ve been told by the person i hold dearest (who doubts the solidity of that characterization and wishes i wouldn’t think it, or at least that i wouldn’t say it) that i imagine his/her starry soul unjustly, that what i see when i look that way is just the playground ghost i crafted to my own desires, the spaceman spiff of his/her persona without the six-year-old, the indiana jones with the whip and the hat, not the aging archeology professor; likewise i’ve complained plenty in my day, and more, i think, now than before, although that’s a lot to do with the echoes coming down and the rifts opening, so that a lot of what i protest was before, of being pedestal-ed and crafted to look like someone, anyone, by fantasists who wanted not to be alone and so imagined me as what might suit them best without stopping to investigate the actual contents of these pages.

he/she and i had something like a fight that speckled conversations spanning the course of years over the pejorative connotations of the word “artistry,” and in the end i don’t think i won. i think the accusation stands: i don’t know who i mean, when i say the words (or, rather, who i mean is not who he/she sees self as being and thus not really who i’m talking to), and i’m inventing filaments and threads as if they wove paths one could really walk on when it’s just the waves between the satellites and those are both invisible and noncorporeal; they can’t be walked, and holding astral hands is no different than holding your own in your other-own and noting that they’re soft–moon-playgrounds leave no calluses, no matter how many hours you sway there, clutching at the thick, cold chains, trying to breathe just deep enough to slide into perfect synchronicity.

if it’s true in that case, where i’ve poured, in my version of the story, every drop of truth i’ve ever tasted, it’s just as true in all the rest, and if we’re guilty, if that’s guilt, then i should be pulling back the sky, peeking under at the peeling plaster, shoving anyone i meet there off the swing to skin dream-knees and force awakening; if we can’t be really known for weaving stories out of wires and photographs for one another, and weaving each other out of song and light to make companions for ourselves, it would only make sense to stop. and yet we send music-files and images to almost-strangers, tied in bows of trailing sentences that say the same thing every time: meet me, know me, here’s the moon.

if it isn’t guilt, what it is instead might be some uneven mixture of hopefulness and belief in the infinite and rue–we’re none of us always, or maybe even through-and-through ever the backlit, luminescent angel-selves we knew once that we could have been, the infinite believers, the story-catchers, the star-fishers, the children who leaned out of bedroom windows and discovered, half-asleep, just for a moment that we had to pretend come morning that we’d dreamed rather than remembered, that we could fly and a shadow would stick on with soap. we never really could have been; we woke up to consciousness aware of having missed that boat, but at the same time, we can still see it, if we squint at just the right diagonal. and what more tender gift can we hold out but to believe in, want to meet with, make tea for in a thermos to take out to the swingset for the dream-selves we see behind each others’ eyes, no matter how much of our own imagination we have to draw upon to see them there at all.

it takes art for me to sketch into being someone you hardly remember the outlines of yourself. there’s no other way to do it. and maybe that’s in some ways lying, selling tinted photographs and swearing they can speak, but maybe in others that’s how we’re made, and how we become beautiful, by sharing the work of our making with the other makers we encounter, by letting friends invent us, letting strangers invent themselves as friends, passing songs around to imagine that they ever fall the same way on another pair of ears. if we didn’t believe it could happen, we wouldn’t ever lay the stones down for the paths by which it could.

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14 responses

16 03 2009
donnickcottage

I miss this writing. I know you’re here to keep in touch and all that, but I miss this anyway. Your words are delicious.

16 03 2009
tyra

thank you.
a lot.
i’m working on it, which i’ve said for a long time but i’m not sure it was actually true. i think it’s true now. or at least truer, which might be as good as it gets…

16 03 2009
tyra

thank you.
a lot.
i’m working on it, which i’ve said for a long time but i’m not sure it was actually true. i think it’s true now. or at least truer, which might be as good as it gets…

16 03 2009
donnickcottage

I miss this writing. I know you’re here to keep in touch and all that, but I miss this anyway. Your words are delicious.

16 03 2009
Anonymous

Interesting and beautiful thoughts. You are, of course, right. I think, though, there is a possibility for danger/potential problems if we ignore/choose to not integrate what may be facts/important pieces of reality with what we are creating/choosing to see.

16 03 2009
tyra

there’s a danger to everything; i’d say of the two the bigger trap is thinking you know what actually constitutes “facts” and “reality” in the first place, to think you’re sure enough of those building materials to lean anything weight-bearing upon them. but don’t worry. i’m all about flexible, continual, and amorphous integration.

17 03 2009
Anonymous

You bring up an excellent point, again. Being flexible and continually integrating different perspectives might just be the key indeed.

17 03 2009
Anonymous

You bring up an excellent point, again. Being flexible and continually integrating different perspectives might just be the key indeed.

16 03 2009
tyra

there’s a danger to everything; i’d say of the two the bigger trap is thinking you know what actually constitutes “facts” and “reality” in the first place, to think you’re sure enough of those building materials to lean anything weight-bearing upon them. but don’t worry. i’m all about flexible, continual, and amorphous integration.

16 03 2009
Anonymous

Interesting and beautiful thoughts. You are, of course, right. I think, though, there is a possibility for danger/potential problems if we ignore/choose to not integrate what may be facts/important pieces of reality with what we are creating/choosing to see.

19 03 2009
pumapreysize

thank you. this seeps in through the cracks in ways the bright sunshine cannot seem to manage to do today.

20 03 2009
tyra

you’re very welcome. somehow it doesn’t surprise me at all that this musing found its way to your attention or struck a chord. we’ve beaten our heads against some of the same rocks, you and i, and probably to some of the same internal melodies.
when the sunshine’s not enough, i seek out moving water. 🙂

20 03 2009
tyra

you’re very welcome. somehow it doesn’t surprise me at all that this musing found its way to your attention or struck a chord. we’ve beaten our heads against some of the same rocks, you and i, and probably to some of the same internal melodies.
when the sunshine’s not enough, i seek out moving water. 🙂

19 03 2009
pumapreysize

thank you. this seeps in through the cracks in ways the bright sunshine cannot seem to manage to do today.

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