February 4, 2017 (Saturday)

by Yule Heibel on February 3, 2018

It’s 9am and the sun has been blasting its way into this room for at least an hour. Possibly longer. It’s impossibly hot without the shade pulled down. Am I really in the right space to work, or is this sort of fretting just a way of delaying things? That word, “things”… As if I can’t even identify what I want, what I think I might be striving towards. And I can’t, somehow.

During the “intention” part of today’s meditation, I spontaneously thought, “I want to work.” But – or, and – I meant “work” in the sense of “functioning,” as in, “the machine works.” Somewhere, somewhere I feel broken, and I’m not sure if it’s just the normal wear and tear over time, or if there’s a real, literally fundamental breakage there. I suspect it’s the latter, but I have no proof. It’s not like I can take a torch into the dark recesses and shine its light to illuminate the very crack upon which the rest of my life is built. Or can I? Should I be like a scientist, propose hypotheses, and then test those? Build solutions, prototypes? What would “heal” a crack, though? Does it need to heal at all, or is it enough to know it really is there, then fill it – sort of like a Japanese craftsman might mend a cracked, broken vessel with liquid gold – and admire its contributions to the life so far, work around but also with it?

When I say to myself, “I want to work,” I realize that I’ve been stalled for so long, I no longer have an accurate feeling for what “working” might be. And I don’t mean that in the sense of labor – it’s not like the house & home are falling apart, the laundry’s undone, or dinner consists of a can of unheated beans. No, I mean the fire – if the machine is an internal combustion engine, where and how is it firing? From whence its fuel? What makes it go? What drives it? For that matter, who drives it? The driver’s seat. Have I left it empty? These are circular thoughts, they don’t converge to a point, they drive (!sic) nothing forward. Only the doing would.

Yesterday I had another email from M., which I answered right away (about Adorno and Richard Spencer, who was in the news, with a link to a New Yorker article). I mentioned that I feel like I’m discombobulating myself with endless article reading, can’t even read books (not this week anyway), just too caught up in trying to catch up with commentary on all the weirdnesses around us now. But after I wrote this, I thought again about reviving my blog with a kind of Diigo links or twice-weekly post of interesting threads I’ve followed. I’m done – sort of – with posting insights to Facebook especially, but if I blogged again, I could post those to Facebook and Twitter – while keeping the content on my domain. It’s not the project I envisioned (in terms of writing that novel about [x], or other fiction, or memoir, or cultural criticisms), but it might be fecund, provide some gold for fusing the crack, or some fuel for driving the engine. Crazy as it sounds, given that I don’t have a job, it’s hard for me to find – or make, rather – the time for this stuff. This is a fault, it’s mine. I have time, and it’s up to me to prioritize its use.

Of course, no sooner had I determined to start on my (re-)blogging (re-, as in returning to, as opposed to abandoning), start on it that very moment, that A. called and we were talking for over an hour. So, yes, family intervenes – and it’s not a bad thing because I don’t have random friends calling on my time. But it reinforces the idea that I need to …work.

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