Works in progress

I have a system. The one I was given. The one that was taken away. I live in between the two, developing others, which in turn develop systems within me.

So pieces develop. I find them here and there in the notebooks people have given to me over time. Years later the notebooks have things in them that I think I wrote. I definitely wrote them. But the people who gave them to me may have taken them back while I wasn’t looking. Because some of the things I find in them seem very unfamiliar.

Hence. I post this as evidence. From the notebooks lying around that I treasure. These things work. They have woken me up at night. They have gone further than I possibly could’ve while I was sleeping.

“When she felt herself first drop out of the life she had — dropping in a sense downwards which also could’ve been upwards — it was because someone else’s life had ended in a way she felt she should’ve cared more about. The perceived lack threw her off.

“The results must also be part of the magical anticipation: Who will die of grief? Who’ll go mad with fury? Who’ll do better work at a distance?

“She executed this motion, dipping away in order to curve upwards into more advantageous, well-lighted space to preserve that branch of the unknowable, knowledge akin to strange fore-knowing afterthought, what family members had called intuition or instinct, but that was not for her because the death signaled natural forces doing their miraculous gutting. And her cold reactions, as she named them, were innately disappointing. She’d thought she was the kind of person who’d embrace the need for grief with the grace of an elder, the kind from films and movies, the way women in those things should, with two strong hands, like her mother’s and her mother’s sister’s, who could organize funerals and deliver brisk smacks, talents she found herself wanting to develop while promising she never would.

“So respect the glory of the nuances to all of this magic. And give them their time.”

In the margins, someone had written, “There’s work to be done.”

And, “Use of detail. Be part of [illegible].”

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