Sunday, October 31, 2010

That Is That But Is That That?

When someone fancies oneself a poet, a blogger, a writer, it follows that one writes poems and blogs and writes, but how long can one go without engaging in those activities before he must hang up those titles;  stop espousing them when asked what one "does" or "is?" For today I believe that one is only a writer when actually writing.  Even in the milliseconds between typing words one ceases to be a writer. And by writer I mean writer, one that is presently writing, not a Writer with its connotations of a pithy blurb referencing awards and names of pets and a black & white dust jacket photo with tastefully disheveled hair and a cocky smirk masquerading as a humble grin. 

Today I like that definition because today I don't like definitions. When one is not reading, one is not a reader.  Nor, though, is one a non-reader for that is also a definition that implies an identity based on an activity. My theory is that when one is not reading, not writing,  not anythinging, then one may just as well be a nonpareil, the nihilist movie theatre candy.

Yesterday I had my boots shined at Shu-Fix on Hawley. They are fine shoe-shiners but not good spellers.

When one is not loving, one is not a lover.  Two people are not lovers if they aren't currently engaged in a Louisiana Liplock or equivalent maneuver/predicament. They are perhaps simply people, an acceptable term for when they are viewed, say,  from the observation deck of a high rise. Versus "human" when they are viewed from space or  "folks" when spotted in a swing in the yard from the porch.  If  they are crossing the street they may also be pedestrians. If they are pedestrians in Northampton, then they have perhaps the most powerful legal standing in the western world.

My sister was perhaps not portraying a pedestrian convincingly enough a few years ago when she was struck in the crosswalk in front of Thorne's Market by a woman who was apparently simulating a licensed driver. It seems that merely engaging in the activity does not guarantee that one is a representative exemplar of the activity associated with the title. The woman rolled up her windows and called her insurance company before even getting out of the car to see if my sister was okay. She was okay. A few bruises. Mind those out of state plates, you X-ing peds. They are not of our world.

Is one breathing when between breaths? Yes, we've been taught in yoga and meditation, for it is circular. The in begets the out begets the in.  See also Louisiana Liplock.

So what is one; what are we in these betweens, interims, pauses? I guess it depends on what are is and what is is and other language vs. thought experiments.  It's in this area where I suspect we're actually encountering limits in language more than limits in thinking. Thinking does not happen entirely in words, though this idea startles some. The chattering in the mind is the "sound" of language trying to either attach itself to or get out of the way of thought. Like mental musical chairs. Sometimes you'll find that that process ends up with two thats sitting next to each other. The thats were staring at each other from across the brain. I knew they'd end up together. They reminded each other of each other. So did the is couple at the beginning of the paragraph. They're probably kissing over in the right hemisphere of the brain by now. In the word kissing the is's are facing each other so draw your own conclusions. The buts rarely hook up and when they do they're filled with excuses for why things won't work out. The ifs and ands have been known to have three ways with the buts.

So what am I today? Maybe that would help me figure out what I was going to do with the last beautiful Sunday afternoon in October. I have the urge to call in sick but I'm not scheduled to work. I think I'll do it anyway.

 Photos from a recent visit to the deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park.