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An Amatory Moment...

Dear Reader,

Amatory intoxication bursts all our stories. When we fall in love, we are not only in a state of lyricism, metaphor, joy, but we forgo narration, allegory, moral messages. Forgotten are the sermons we carry around with us of our lives and instead we sing the song of love, complicated, exhilarating, prey to a states of divine madness. It's not that we lose boundaries, but that we lose composure, surety, safety; we forgo the stories, the novel of our lives, for the poetry of the moment. Possession of the loved one cannot exist in the motion of love's excitement. The 'I' collapses into the 'Thou.' A state of enlightenment, surely, surely, this incantation of love.

How to be there, remain there, without owning, holding?

In the unknowingness.

Forever yours,

Brenda

ps Inspired by what I read today, it all suddenly coalesqued as I poured through Kristeva's analysis of the lyricism and grace of the songs of courtly love, their idealism and joi, in the 14th c. and the movement into a verse of allegory and satire, of seduction, aggressiveness and realism in a chapter on "The Troubadours" in Tales of Love (Columbia, 1987) over a thick, rich cappuccino drizzled with honey and sprinkled with gratings of dark chocolate.


--
If there's no destination, you can't get lost.
Thyoar
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If only, before...

On a bridge, as if on the Great Wall of China, before a wide green valley and drop into a canyon of rock, the Siberian shaman standing beside me, sharp blue eyes, neck thick with middle-age, threw out the line with the sinker on the end, small metallic piece like a tiny boomerang, and caught floating flocks of ghostly men in black. They are like children's Halloween puppets, black cloth pulled over a head of cotton batten and tied, empty bodies. A group of them appear, drifting in the air. I am alone, the line and sinker in my hand. While I'd watched him throw it out and the way it looped around and back corralling the ghosts in black cloth, causing them to fall into the deep rocky canyon below, I hadn't been shown how. As I looked at the sinker in my hand, the ghosts caught a woman and took her out over the precipitous drop, hovering about her as if she were a doll, and cut her long blue-black hair and sliced the back of her white neck, a thin line of blood, and I couldn't throw the hook and line without catching her and causing her to fall into the pit with the flock in black. I woke with guilt, shame. I'm not used to warfare but I should have flung the line out, at least tried, when I had a chance. Before, before they got her...
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At 28 years of age...

I now go on a 'treasure hunts' in the packed storage unit in the basement that will be a small studio whenever I can get help clearing it out... and find, oh, things that give me pause. Like these photo-booth photos at 28 years old, the only ones from that era, found in an old journal. This one in particular haunted me for about a weekend. I'm not sure who I was, or who I thought I'd be, or what I've become, but the fire is still there, though, ::grinning:: a little wrinkled now.


 BC 28 yrs - 700px


A couple more... the last one looks rather 'Pre-Raphaelite'- something I heard a fair bit in those days. Oh, it makes me laugh to remember!


BC  28 yrs - 1 - Four

(click on photos for larger versions)
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Lacemaker

In a moment words will appear from which everything unravels.

Or begin with an explosion of lace.

Lace that is white, or whitened with the sun's steaming. Looped, twisted, braided threads, sewn with sharp needles, shaped like a cutwork of leaf veins in the sky. Finely-woven stitches, not broken or lost. Florals in white; sun-rises in white; waves in white. Spider webs of lace floating, an organic garden of cotton and linen and silk.

How many fine stitches I see everywhere.

Seams of perfect clothing, backs, shoulders, arms, waists, hips, the tight stitching of form-fitting shoes, the interlapping folds of purses. Fabric. Like skin. Woven tightly or loosely. Draped, tucked, formed, fitted. The soft velvet of the armchair in the cafe in which I sit, rounded, plush.

Colours in swathes, patterned. Different attire for different scenarios. Layers of warmth or mere covering if it's cold or hot. Whether a garment can open or close or covers in one swoop. Pieces of cloth fitted to hold the shape of the wearer. Clothes that adhere, drape, flow for sitting, walking, sleeping, dancing.

Looms and sewing machines and bobbins. Billions of miles of thread around the world. Stitching, this way of composing, holding together, covering ourselves, these metaphors, textual narratives.

What if I don't want to take a stance? What if I don't want to weave a garment out of these threads? A story out of all the stories filling my mind? If "Narratives, or more precisely plots, synthesize reality," (Snaevarr) can I exist without telling a tale of myself to you, or even to myself?

The flow of language like clothing, fashions that encase shaping how we present ourselves. Can we be naked without the speaking that stitches the world together, seam by seam, reams of bolts of cloth, patternings?

What was lost in the scrap lace pile, discarded, worn-out, old, the remnants, unraveled in the tears and rips, bleached out by wear?

How do I hem these words so they don't fray?

Shawls of Shetland lace are knitted first in the middle and then out to the edges and is so fine it can be pulled through a wedding ring. Can we marry ourselves to words that knit us to ourselves, each other, the world?

Social customs inform the attire of any given era and shape the body, but does the weave of worsted wool or soft cotton follow the curves and hollows of the skin and shape the wearer?

Or are the words we clothe ourselves with what we hide under?

Presentation and fashion. The way I compose myself every day; every piece of writing. Gathering myself in this historical time, a product of my age.

All the stitches of the world held in syntactical rhythms of meaning, social fabrics.

Is that why we want words to unfold in comfort from us? Wave-white words wedded. Words that aren't performative; that are dream-like, real.

Unraveling, I came to this, and I can't obscure it, truth, death, the words of the lover, and she who knits, knots, tapes, crochets, sews the world into being with her openwork, the lace maker.
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Little Dancer Sketch

BrendaClewsDancer-Sketch

14.5cm x 22.5cm or 5 3/4"x 9"; india ink sketch on archival paper coated in acyrlic matte medium

How long ago did I do this little sketch? It must be months. I taped it to a small board and it's still awaiting a fast wash of paint. Since it'll only take 5 minutes to paint, perhaps it's that I have to be in the right 'zen' frame of mind to finish it?

And when is that going to happen?
Comments (3)

Burning Star

Writing stopped its ceaseless flow and I don't know why. Something occurred in my interior life that jolted me severely and I lost the imaginal figure who fired my desire to write. I'm shifting, transforming, unable to see or know what's ahead. The shock remains. I am sundered, unsure. Is it that the star came too close?

But perhaps the point is the obscurity, confusion, incomprehension. Inside this burning star where I blindly feel exploding energy without graspable form.
Comments (1)

Lacework

When I came back to writing, a simple image. Proustian, perhaps, but I shall let the lace unravel. It's taken me back to my grad school days, at the little apartment in the Annex area of Toronto I rented after the university year had begun and almost nothing was available.


I
t could begin with lace.

Lace that is white, or yellowed with the sun's steaming. Threads that are looped, twisted, braided, sewn with sharp needles, shaped like a cutwork of leaf veins in the sky. Finely-woven stitches, not broken or lost. Florals in white; sun-rises in white; waves in white. Spiderwebs of lace floating, an organic garden of cotton and linen and silk. Threads weaving the world...

That hangs over the door's casement glass.

On the hot Summer's night I pass the house that resembles the one that I remember.

The same brickwork, windows, placement on the land. Perhaps the orange lilies are descendants of the those when it was a boarding house and I lived in the kitchen become a bachelor apartment in the little room out back without insulation where I put my bed and had visions.

Upstairs the Vietnam vet who once a month shrieked for hours at the guerrillas in the napalm drenchings of his mind. He deserted what could never desert him. He became a Peeping Tom and I kept my curtains shut at night, long, deep burgundy red velvet curtains, redolent with smoke and cooking oils, that were there, perhaps, from the house's inception.


-

He only looked in the window once, at night, it was very dark, but I knew who it was. I was writing in a journal, non-stop writing that I did every spare moment. My hair was blonde and long and curly. When I lifted my knees on the couch to hold the book while I wrote there was an audible gasp -though I wore shorts- and he ran away. That was when I began keeping the long, dark velvet curtains shut, and I told a man who had lived in the house and who knew about the man who shouted at the air for hours every month or so and we agreed he was a bit crazy but harmless.

Once when I went upstairs to see the kitchen that my friend used his door was open and he was lying in the middle of his large bed without a shirt on, fat, big white belly and a fuzz of dark chest hair, tortured with memory, flashbacks, fury, the incendiary mess of the Vietnam war, a victim of Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome, and he looked very hot, it was a Summer heat-wave, and sorrowful.

The look on his face at seeing me peering at him was a surprised interruption of an unending tangle of thoughts that always occupied him. Perhaps he received a government cheque every month and paid his rent and got drunk; perhaps that was when the shouting began.

It was like he was yelling at a commando, someone who didn't do what they should have done, or didn't look after everyone as they should have, an unending invective of recrimination, scattered words, repetitive, without coherency.

The whole house shook with his shouting. It was from a place of such deep pain no-one ever called the police. Or complained to the landlord. Canada was a safe haven from the American obsession with a pointless and horrific and endless war. It's hard to imagine that he felt we were taking care of him, but in our own way we were.

Of course, in those days, the door didn't have an exquisite, expensive layer of lace, it was bare.



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