The brain can only function excellently…at its highest capacity and energy, when it is completely secure…when it is not believing, or holding onto some illusions, some concepts/beliefs/fate…some fantastic ideas. Or- the ideas of Marx, and Lenin, [krishnamurti,] and so on. Or- our own democratic ideas and holding onto them.
-taps microphone a few times- Does this thing still work??
My notebook of naturalistic notes is currently on vacation. While hanging with Mr-Baby-Consciousness and his dad earlier this week I left it over at their place. Oops. Way to go!
Yesterday St. Paul saw the most fantastic and gorgeous thunderstorm in…..ever? Was working as the sky became dark. Over the course of a few minutes we found ourselves with monsoon-style rains and water in the basement. I left a cup outside and quickly gathered an inch’s worth of water to sip on….not bad. This morning it again looks grey but not aggressively so. Maybe we’ll get lucky again. It feels pretty marvelous to wake up without issues these days- it felt like half a lifetime that these morning hours were lost to me. But to have a morning sit in a chair, by a window, with coffee & a laptop is a remarkable and redeemable form of satisfaction. The gnashing teeth of car engines continues to beat and batter the eardrums, & to yank the attention span out of the sound of silence. the sound of vehicles driving by has taken on this sickening flavor lately (as referenced in previous posts), & I notice it is most poignant when I’m at home trying to relax. Many times (this morning included) I leave a small fan on to generate some white noise but that’s both annoying and insufficient. Maybe rural living (or living on a street less busy than Selby) would resolve this bizarrely off-putting experience.
The leaves, buds, grass are all quite far along. Last time we spoke they were just erupting from their woody bedspreads but now they are out the door and off to work for the day. It would really serve me to go on another long walk down the railroad tracks – must’ve really colored in by now. 90% of the joy of those railroad walks is the solitude and that is likely much enhanced with the occlusion of road-views. I’ll find out.
The curtains are signaling a bit of a breeze – my skin waits for its touch but nothing yet. The very high squeak of a bird. A lady closes her car door across the street. I inhale through the nose, revealing yet another squeak – guess it’s me, not a bird. A massive blue truck outside – EAST METRO ENVIRONMENTAL (EME) ST. PAUL, MN. THE LOCAL ALTERNATIVE. 651-735-9159
Looks like the wind is picking up. The monkey-mind is tempted to reach its left thumb over to the apple key, & to reach the left index finger over to the T, & to open a new tab, & to type “weather” (or maybe St. Paul weather), & to determine exactly whether or not it will rain, & how much, & how likely it is that it’ll rain on my way to work, & to plan accordingly. this entire image/desire fleets through my mind, but not through my mind’s eye so much as in the quivering of my left hand. to check the weather in this way is essentially a reflex and one that occurs quickly and automatically. but what difference does it make? can’t I keep an umbrella with me either way? the desire to know is what’s at play here, or at the very least the desire to follow through on regular impulse. to rapidly open yet another browser tab is to outwardly and digitally express the death of one’s attention span. why check the weather at this moment? I’m sitting in front of a fucking window! I’ll just bring an umbrella (in order to satisfy the concern about rain) rather than jump through the hoops of a mental formulation (in order to satisfy the concern about rain maybe sorta possibly happening).
these types of mental reflexes are what gets me into trouble sometimes, especially with planning my day. it’s a quick jump to Google whenever I need directions for the bus. But where does that really get me? All of the routes I might need to take somewhere have maps. I don’t use the maps when I use google. And I can’t use Google on the bus. So very often it seems that I’m screwed with regards to weather or getting around on the bus or yada yada yada. A cell phone really didn’t help with that…when the mind satisfies the immediate impulse, and provides itself with intermittent and fleeting confirmation of various factoids, it doesn’t really grasp them. At least mine doesnt & I supposedly have a really fancy memory. How very nice it’s been to avoid that extra browser tab & simply figure it out. With the bus example that means using the maps that are on the bus and also asking someone how something is done. Getting verbal input from someone is so much more valuable and often leads to a more direct answer. In the Vision of the Cell my mind appreciates the tendency of microorganisms, enzymes, mitochondria, etc. to help one another out within the vast architecture of the interstitial fluid.
More cars. The curtains are still dancing with the breeze a bit but this time my skin feels licked – rather, the outside of my pants. A bit cool but not excessively so. I’ll wear leggings underneath my cottony pant things &
hopefully that will be sufficient I’ll assume that will be sufficient. Suddenly it begins to snow! What??? Large chunky flakes fall from the sky….oh just kidding that’s my dandruff.
“ANYTIME I SEE ANYONE NAMED CAROL, I SAY – “CAR-ROLLLL””
“What do you do?” “I work on satellites.” “good for you!”
this kid is too darned adorable. I’m currently with him at his momma & poppa’s – they’re out on a date. and lucky them, because both of them are pretty swell folks. as is their little boy here – his facial expressions are so remarkably nuanced. sitting with him & constantly smiling at him, trying to make him smile back – i am instantly reminded that He Sees Through Me, and wont be irrationally tickled into a happy state. immense and subtle is his learning – amazing to watch him move, grasp, re-grasp, squeak, re-grasp, drop……like a drop of ink falling into the water. the ink (baby) & its environment (water) are not separate, but are distinct…..& adjust, mingle, altering one another reciprocally. even most contemporary language in the world of developmental psychology and developmental neuroscience is suggestive of this idea that babies are ‘learning the skills needed to be an adult,’ as if the passivity of embodiment suddenly vanishes at old age. in my experience both the adult (or the advanced adult/senior/cute old prune) and the child follow this same ink-water relationship. perhaps the adult-ink has settled more equally into the water, and is more familiar with the turnings of the water, and vice versa. but both follow the same rules, & neither is entitled to magic intentionality.
as a helpful reminder (or perhaps the very prompt) for these lines of thinking are some of the books that mom & dad have sitting around here. The Soul of an Octopus is the clear Ian-choice:
“Popular naturalist Sy Montgomery explores the emotional and physical world of the octopus, the remarkable connections it makes with people, and the vibrant community that arises around this complex, intelligent, and spirited creature. Practicing true immersion journalism, from New England aquarium tanks to the reefs of French Polynesia and the Gulf of Mexico, Montgomery befriends individual octopuses with strikingly different personalities – gentle Athena, assertive Octavia, curious Kali, and joyful Karma – who show their cleverness in myriad ways: escaping enclosures, creative trickery to get food, and jetting water to bounce balls. Montgomery also chronicles scientists’ growing appreciation of the octopus’s problem-solving as she tells a love story. By turns funny, entertaining, touching, and profound, The Soul of an Octopus reveals what octopuses can teach us about the meeting of two very different minds.”
but resting just nearby is another consciousness-themed text. Inner Engineering: A Yogi’s Guide to Joy. I would type the description of that one but it’s too long, and this baby over here is murmuring/moving in his sleep.
Be back soon
Another adventure to Minneapolis – to the best possible place – Harry Waters Juniors’ place. Fuck yes. The May Day parade was today & a party at Harry’s after. Was too sleepysluggishstoned to do much else but sleep. Had some water – toting coffee with me now. Going to find Jules @ midtown market before Harry’s. A gorgeous artery of blue, vessels of green – system circulating openly under open sky. Bridges are thrilling. I love riding the 21. Many memories of this bus – oddly enough the westward trips to MPLS jump to mind, rather clearly, but I don’t much recall taking the 21 back east. Why? Hm.
Often when Anika was on E. 19th I’d bike there – sometimes bus – sometimes Lyft. Missed her really badly for the first time last night. Not to be a werewolf about it but it seems that direct moonlight on my skin seems to stimulate a nervous response that gets me all sad and sappy, or sweet & sappy, I don’t know. In the ‘miss you’ type of way more than the ‘angry at you’ type of way. Or the moon makes me smile about the situation rather than frown. I dunno. Avoid the moonlight!!!
The 21 also reminds me of her. I’m very much a homebody- most comfortable to be in the regular certitude of my own nest. And Minneapolis is so big – formerly such a rare visit – that outings there were nerve-racking. Still are, I guess. Bus trips, busses missed, etc. On March 9th I bussed to Minneapolis to see Anika, knowing-not-knowing she would probably dump me by surprise. Getting onto the 21 – especially at night – especially in cold – reminds me of that bus trip It calls to memory that westward ride – the little yellow journal. Doodling in it. On that night I was sitting on the left side of the bus, near the front, in one of the disabled seats. I had a short green pen (one that Matthew got me, meant for drawing) and I was aimlessly scribbling numbers and wannabe equations into the journal, hardcover, from Wet Paint. Sensing tectonic plates moving, & a fault line splitting- on one half, knowing it’d work out. The other – denying that it wouldn’t. And between those landmasses – a gulf, which ripped open the next afternoon once I got home. Wow, aren’t I a little pity party today? Enough ruminating & back to the present….Shut up, hippocampus. Hello, parietal lobes.
“haha Ian I love being in public with you it’s so funny and weird”
“what’s THAT supposed to mean”
“the way you just yell up at crows and talk to them”
“i talk AT them I do not talk TO them”
“i’m serious. i talk AT them. i can’t talk to animals”
“uh huh. i’m suspicious”