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07/01 Direct Link

We are living history: each breath, each sunrise, confirming the possibility of another; where security and safety rely on sameness, the verifiability of every action against what already happened, until we believe only the expected is true and reject and fear change. We re-live history in every decision, our hopes and dreams containing only what we know has happened.

Yet history is about what worked once, it cannot show the future. If the future is seen through the lens of the past, we are doomed to fail and, failing repeatedly, we’ll buckle under dread and doubt until our sanity shatters.
07/02 Direct Link
The evidence of experience #2:

 Generosity is proof of life, proof that we are alike. Without the wish or the will or the ability to be generous, we become half-human seeking only our own pleasure, only self-satisfaction, and this satisfaction diminishes the more we pander to it.

Generosity requires you to understand what is needed and wanted by other.

Those who are unable to make a gesture, who cannot contribute or reward, who cannot gift or be generous, show that they are different, that they have different values, a future different from others. They recognise they are not like you. 
07/03 Direct Link
Letters #3:
I would like to draw your attention to evidence in determining a truth. That truth is not absolute must be agreed: truth is an opinion-based stance, even perhaps an emotional one; it implies an element of certainty but can only be maintained within fixed parameters and contexts. Truth is not immutable. Scientific proofs hold to confirming negatives, but of truth, there are risks in using this exclusionary method: where there is neither evidence nor proof of the negative, we occasionally infer the ‘truthiness’ of some opinions. A sense that something might be true is often taken as truth.
07/04 Direct Link

Why is it that we are entrapped and drawn along by emotional strings, those emotional strings that closely tie us to our worst, most conservative natures; when instead we desire to be released, to rise out of the mire?

We are child-like always, hoping for the best, confronted with the worst, and yet persisting as if this will appease all and redeem us. We impose this same treadmill of despair on those around us: family members, friends, colleagues, even strangers. Anyone who steps out of this ritual of debasement and subjugation, those not like us, is punished. We stifle life.

07/05 Direct Link
Surprise and humour are wonderful resources, they tend to allay suspicion and downplay perceived risk; it is possible to have people laugh at themselves and still enjoy the joke. Surprise in humour works to offset the listener’s defences, infiltrate barriers people put around themselves. Sharing a joke – the joker and the listener who laughs – forms a bond that is immediate and irresistible. Often it is the most irrational features of a joke that make you laugh. My favourite is a one-line joke: a skeleton walked into a bar and ordered a beer and a mop. Of course, context if everything.
07/06 Direct Link

Context is everything: telling a joke to a band of wowsers and they’ll likely laugh, to a group of placard-carrying teetotallers and you have your work cut out. It takes skill to get a laugh out of a marching troupe with sore feet who have nothing to look forward too.

I don’t know why I am writing this, the strength of humour is as spoken truths. You need to find the vulnerable point, the thinnest surface of certainty, and prick through it. Laughter is contagious – get one person to laugh at a joke and it will flow over to others.

07/07 Direct Link
Objects #2: It is an absorbing exercise to think about the things humans have invented that are patterned on the hand, that replicate a hand’s shape and function. We have designed brushes, combs, spoons, tongs, bats, pointers, mallets, plates, sieves and scoops; objects that mimic the palm extended and fingers splayed, fingers contracted into pincers, bunched into fists, hands curled into containers. Removing us from touch, so often manufactured objects produce the finessed, delicate actions; they control the coarse movement of the hand, making us more sensitive or powerful. Our hands have become hammers, grasping objects that make us skilled. 

07/08 Direct Link

I’m getting a lot of practice using left over, edited out, surplus words; those that don’t make the cut, that fall off the edge of the page, limp out of sentences, are beached leaving the stream of a story, those not found when events are resurrected. These words make their own narrative, mesh and mould their own certainties, and settle, saying want they want, without a forced and persistent undercurrent, cultural message, or historical law to uphold. These words do not reinforce, become bastions, they are not landmarks: there’s hardly a mark in the sand to show they’ve been here. 

07/09 Direct Link

‘You’re being emotional, aren’t you?’

‘Don’t know,’ Sally said. ‘I just feel cut off. As if I can’t walk a straight line without really focussing; my mind’s collapsing.’

‘You need to relax,’ said Joan, watching her friend lying on the sofa.

‘Do you think I’m unbalanced?’ asked Sally. ‘Maybe the world’s tilted, or I’m on old time, still jet-lagged.’

Joan pulled the last thread and cutting it looked up. ‘Want a cup of tea?’

‘Lack of certainty,’ Sally continued. ‘I’m in a liminal state, unable to move forward.’’

‘We’ll talk later,’ Joan said, as she left the room to change.

07/10 Direct Link
Today – what would I do without it – if I could, then where would I be while today was happening, and what could I do while today surrounds me: maybe I would exist like one of those disreputable plastic bags being blown about in the breeze getting jagged and torn when grounded, tangled in weeds and snagged on shrubby bushes, floating listless and helpless – but that would not be desirable, that is a fate to refuse, to flee, to escape from: I must oppose the entropy that engulfs things not mindfully managed, choosing instead to follow the sun, to be light.
07/11 Direct Link

Closing down one part of my activity and preparing for the next to commence gives me an oblique sense of progress, or it would if I could avoid the sense of loss and failure as I close doors behind me and move on. Always starting something new, moving through, acquiring new ideas, ways of thinking, accessing new pathways, making connections that should knit the world around me, seems useful – it could be described as skill acquisition – but it is not natural or easy: every time it’s a wrench, it breaks and bends before there is healing. It feels like brainwashing.

07/12 Direct Link
It is today again: I am trapped in a cycle of todays that abut each other but are, in the reality of my mind, in my conscious thought and memories when I replay them, the same thing.
Each day has a fixed duration, days start early, but then it is usually later than I would like so I am already hurrying, skimping on my shower, the quick rinse of my hair, a short-blow drying until it is touch damp; on the way out I pick up everything and leave, hoping the night before I had put what I needed together.
07/13 Direct Link

Deferred gratification sounds good, even reasonable: no pleasure until your work is done; don’t rest until your assignment is finished; only have ice cream at the movies – and only go to the movies when your assignment is done. The alternative to deferral is to ‘live large’ and enjoy: breathe deep and live in the moment. But I, I sit on the fence, neither enjoying myself or feeling virtuous through being abstemious. I live in resentful necessity on the cusp of my needs, without respite. I learned to save for future pleasures, but now worry about every penny spent on joy.

07/14 Direct Link

I am looking for a way (a what, a why, a how, a where) I can stand from where I can see objects independent of my preconceptions and assumptions: I want a way of seeing that reduces subjectivity, is independent and not overlayed with my expectations or desires. Standing aside I want to see everything and everywhere, how they move and interact. Objects don’t exist to fill the space around me, to support me, or my pleasures; yet, I cannot imagine a world in which I do not exist: my existence creates a hole in the world shaped like me. 

07/15 Direct Link
A pebbled beach, an array of dark washed stones lapped by the sea; waves crunch and pummel the beach, grinding pebbles to smooth rounded shapes; pulling out from the shore waves rise up rampant to crash down, water churning into white foam as it runs up the beach; further out waves angle and pitch in conflicting rifts and tides; out again, float islands, almost translucent, covered in haze; flying overhead seagulls bank sharply in the breeze, their calls sharp then fading as they turn into the wind; briny damp breezes lift and comb swathes of tall grasses on the dunes.
07/16 Direct Link
The evidence of experience #3:
Implicit in the concept of thought is structure: a framework, webs of logic, patterns – made up of mathematical, physical, procedural, even musical rules – that exist solely to plot an arguments course, hierarchy of decisions, the agreed facts or fictions. It is only within these boundaries that the narrative makes sense. This matrix or webbed fiction then curtails arguments, limiting them to focussed points, visible paths, and leaving maps that track to simplified clarity, the unremarkable, the unassailable and specific, only supporting the outcome. In the worst cases, an answer is derived before the supporting assertions.
07/17 Direct Link
There were too many experiences where, on meeting someone, discussion gravitated towards them: what they liked, patterns of their habits, their future, what they valued, and the dreams they held tightly. I found there rich and complex bags of variables, but when each time the novelty wore off, and they still hadn’t asked about me, I started to recognise the end was inevitable. I gave up on expecting to find a soul-mate: patterns repeated endlessly, and my interest lapsed. I didn’t need to learn how to behave to fit in; I wanted chaos, conflict, sparked energy, new ways of living.
07/18 Direct Link
Life as documentary #2:
Along the avenue the horizon blurred with banking clouds foreshortening the day. The dimming light leached all warmth, first taking the sunset’s gentle yellows and reds, then shrouding objects and people in shade, wrapping them up so they appeared as distant flat surfaces that bloomed forth hard-angled shadows: long shadows, moving and cross-hatching streets and footpaths, occasionally repelled up the luminescent white walls of skyscrapers and apartments like waves seeking an escape.
It was the sound of the traffic that made me aware of the rain before I saw falling drops on the window before me.
07/19 Direct Link
And here I am wondering about reason and truth, how they divide me into disparate contexts and coalesce around to obscure my vision, when a phrase from a Bach Cantata (BMW 175) says how deaf we seem when our blinded reason, our dazzled reason, obscures what should be heard clearly if we were listening. Religion aside, I am dazzled and blinded by reason, perceiving this to be truth, until I am turned deaf. How can I arrive at understanding when reason stops me listening for what is not yet known and allows me to hide using obfuscation and self-selected delusions?
07/20 Direct Link
Looking down the long avenue of time spent, days that are lapping close to a week, I travelled preparing this assignment, I see only relics and detritus of discarded and predated articles and journals, news reports, cultural artefacts that have, when viewed together, not a cohesive shape, not an aligned, structured or composite form, but an empty centre. This mass does not show an informed intellectual pursuit of knowledge, instead I see a farcical exercise posed as analysis, an exploration into a vacuum. I wear this learned knowledge, this misshapen armour that rattles and clanks tunelessly, in an unbalanced way.
07/21 Direct Link
It had written itself into history, the insect that rammed onto my windscreen. It was now a grey streak smeared across my vision. Even though there was not enough rain to clear the dust, I’d turned the wipers on when a brief rain shower blew in from the horizon. It ended just before the insect landed. I hesitated when I saw it: I think being face-to-face with it held me up. Sitting there calmly looking at me through the glass, It was almost as it wanted to ask me a question, then the wiper blade swept across and totalled it.
07/22 Direct Link
The rain had been a few muddy smatterings and I knew the wipers had sat so long unused the washer water would be a thick crusty saline. Throwing that on the windscreen now would only make things worse. I enjoyed ranting to myself as I hunkered down behind the wheel, peering through the un-smudged strip below the wipers, looking for somewhere to steer into to stop and fix this. I was slowing fast, trying not to skid. After ticking a few spots off myself, my problems seemed to be under control; I was sorry for the bug that had landed.
07/23 Direct Link
I knew this French guy: he drove like a maniac, always nipping across lanes, turning at full speed, car horns blaring behind. When he used the indicators or wipers, the ticking and slapping seem to set him off and he’d punch and slap everything around him, bouncing in his seat, all turned into a kind of jazzy rap or threads of some bizarre modern classical riffs, with vocals in pitch only dogs reacted to. Every time it happened it shook me up, this percussion; it was like sounds playing inside his head, the music of the universe, were pouring out.
07/24 Direct Link
I hung out with Victor for a while; we were on a job together that hadn’t taken all that long and became friends, of a sort. Just from how he walked, if I saw him today, I would know him: he was small, always nervy, bouncing on his feet like a boxer. He had a lot of aggression too and was quick. Quick to take offense too, he reacted fast and hard. I remember blokes knocked on their asses and not knowing what had happened. Sometimes just having a sense of humour could get you into trouble, especially around Victor.
07/25 Direct Link

For a time Victor and I had each other’s backs and it was good having him there. The work kept coming: a bit of lumbering, odd-jobs for mates, grafting here and there. He turned up on time and put his back into it; we did alright. I never knew why he moved on, there was just a message one day brought around by the boy of the woman he lived with. I always wondered what happened, but I didn’t know her and it would've been strange turning up at her door to ask. She had her own life to live.

07/26 Direct Link

It was not like I was expecting anything to happen, plenty of insects land on the windscreen: late summer, the sun setting, soft fluffy bugs swarmed around everywhere; you can’t miss them. I hadn’t thought of him in years, but that bug reminded me of Victor. It was as if he’d found me. It sat there looking me, with the wind picking up, and the clouds and dust storm threatening to come in, just like that time years ago, when we were on a house nailing down loose roof tiles as a favour to a mate, in a gale, laughing.

07/27 Direct Link
‘You’re so mechanical, and cold, mechanical even,’ he said. ‘It’s as if there’s a category for everything … or it’s ticked off and filed away. And then, you just switch off.’
He looked outraged: this wasn’t my problem. ‘Give it a break,’ I said. ‘You cannot dump this on me: I’m busy. You know this. Life’s not fair, and I’m not here to make you feel better, or pat you on the back; when you just need to grow up.’
What else was there to say, he thought. This wasn’t going to work. ‘That’s your last word, then,’ he said.
07/28 Direct Link

When is an answer not an answer? I am sure I have asked this before; it is a constant conundrum I grapple with.

I am not talking about the rhetorical – where a person questions and then provides the answer they condone. That is just a style, a bit egocentric and not a subscribed method for modern discussion, that marks the speaker or writer as dated, old-fashioned, conservative, where the intended effect is to be thought of as learned, erudite, even scholarly.

Not all questions have answers; for some, their answer is different everyone else’s; for others, the question is irrelevant.

07/29 Direct Link

‘You getting up?’ Behind her loosely fitted doors slammed in the house, as she looked in.

I pulled the doona close, kicking my feet back under. Her voice entered with the cold air circulating from the gap in the window.

‘Sure, if you say so.’ She didn’t close the door as she left.

Sunlight flickered on my eyelids as the curtains lifted, a breeze blowing in fresh smells of trees and grass competed with the warmth under the covers. Shelly’s sarky voice had started the day and it would stay on now, but there was nowhere I had to be.

07/30 Direct Link

I want to have the high moral ground, to stand above others and demonstrate the real values and judgment that merit respect, yet with every attempt, I get a nosebleed, my knees knock together, and there is a persistent ringing in my ears: symptoms that enfeeble, are impossible to ignore that disable me. This physical frailty, like a natural barrier, stands between me and a place of standing and social respect. As a social phobia, it’s outrageous: I want to be an upholder of standards of truth and honor, and my internal critical circuits are dissembling me, till I’m redacted.

07/31 Direct Link
‘The unit assessment is writing poems, all personal expression. Oh, and saying nice things about other people’s poems. I can do that.’
As her voice drilled into my brain I hoped for escape: to be outside in the sun, the fresh air, following the scent of change, where my spirit could lift, where she couldn’t find me.
‘Are you enrolled too?’ she asked.
In the full glare of her attention, I imagined a pin hovering above about to drop. All thought suspended, there I was unable to move or flutter my wings, trapped, while she considered me for her collection.