Fractal Saturday October 22, 2011Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, The Odd, Toulouse Street, Writing.
A. A violent order is a disorder; and
B. A great disorder is an order. These
Two things are one. (Pages of illustrations.)
— Wallace Stevens, Connoisseur of Chaos
Saturday mornings are I think an indicator of what mornings in my immediate future shall look like. It’s not a holiday, although there was no alarm set for this morning. I rise up at a reasonable hour, make coffee and have a cigarette, then find myself on the computer, doing the daily chores of Odd Words, making sure I haven’t missed something, copying shortened versions of the blog listings to the Facebook page, then even more abbreviated ones over to the Twitter account. A productive and satisfying start to the day.
Then, with the computer in my lap, I start to read. I avoid scrolling down Facebook or Google+ or checking the local newspaper’s website, all the distractions and chatter. Instead I find myself doing a weekly check of the literary blogs (something I was doing daily the last time my job was coasting down toward its end and my workload started to fade away).
Somewhere along this timeline, about the second cup of coffee and cigarette, something starts to happen: notes or bookmarks are made or entire sections of items pasted into notes for saving, one link leading to another not quite at random but in the intent of Rimbaud’s systematized disorganization of all the senses, a connection of hyperlinks like the less well understood networks of the brain, and suddenly: the last blog post, the discovery of another window into a subject I care much about on a blog I used to check daily but have let lapse like many things these last few weeks, perhaps a reminder from the universe not to lose focus; the completely spontaneous decision to forward it to my daughter’s teacher of last year whom I blogged about before, a connection re-established with someone I would love to argue the point with; in that search an old flash-length story found and some minor revisions made, considering if it’s submissible or requires more work, a tightening of the transition from the first part to the second; story filed away for later I consider someone’s reaction to the poem I wrote night before last and read to an audience of two yesterday. “The last section saved it” he said, but I had no time to stay and discuss what he thought of it so I pull it up, re-reading but making no revisions (I think it done, he thinks it deficient, must get another opinion or just trust myself); finally, writing: putting this idea down before it is gone, partly a note to myself toward how to conduct a portion of my program of self-re-education commencing in just over a week, partly a piece of the narrative in still life, the set pieces of the blog accumulating toward some picture of who I am becoming, another vain and probably unnecessary peek into the workings of my mind (which I doubt you have followed this far down the rabbit hole but even if there are only a few of you not among my close friends then I am moving forward, on toward something as yet undefined and wonderful).
Someone suggested the Vicodin I was taking after my surgery was keeping me up nights because I am ADHD, and that my brain chemistry was working in reverse, the way amphetamines are given to calm the ADHD mind. I prefer not to think in terms of chemistry, but of alchemy. If we do not admit of the possibility of order in the apparently random then we do not discover the mathematical laws governing fractals, those glistening snail trials suggesting the possibility of something like God.
We performed an exercise in the writing seminar offered at NOCCA for parents by one of the creative writing teachers she called “automatic writing” which has nothing to do with Madame Blavatsky but is an established technique of writing teachers: just start writing and do not stop until the time is up, no pausing to rethink or revise but the instructor throws out writing prompts and toward the end, a warning that time is almost up. These Saturday morning exercises are a similar experience, just letting the coffee seep into the brain and the brain seep through the labyrinthine Internet, yesterday’s experiences, the half-dozen things you are in the middle of reading and letting it all flow one into the next, noting the connections like blazes on a trail, until the brain finally begins to settle into typing some one thing: first this, then either the story or the poem revision later).
Out of this experience: ideas and insights exploding like stars and seeding the cosmos with the dust of possibility, the building blocks of future stars, their planets, the first stirrings of life (more coffee please), a half billion years collapsed into half a pot and perhaps three cigarettes of time until the emergence of a mindful creature capable of purposeful words and then, dear Watson, the game is afoot.