•January 8, 2012 • Leave a Comment

[Transfer, 06.08.11 – Florence]


1. Leaving a place you’ve spent any good degree of time in is always an interesting phenomenon. I think on a fundamental level this is because of a simple math equation. What I mean by this is that psychologically it is always (and sometimes cruelly) a reminder of beginnings. In a way that is almost cyclical, human memory starts from the beginning, starting over, playing back again from the moment of arrival, I believe. If you’ve spent enough time in a given place, you remember who you were upon getting there. The simple math is subtracting this from the person you are upon leaving. What’s left over is that place intensified and concentrated, visible clearly, starkly, almost empirically in a way that only you can see.

2. On more than a fundamental level this cannot ever be completely explained so easily. Provided that you love something enough, a person, a pet, a place, whatever- you set down roots into it, whether or not you know it as it occurs. You invest and grow within it, deriving sustenance from being in continual contact, communion with it. The more time, the more exposure, the more investment, the deeper the rooting. In a removed way, I don’t know that there is a limit to how deep these emotional root structures can extend, just as I believe that we would be amazed at this literally if we could see through the soil around us. How deep is a marriage, a motherhood, a nationalism?

3. Leaving, subtracting, having something die then is on par with an uprooting. if you’ve ever seen a tree fall over in a wood, or pulled a weed out of a garden, I don’t have to explain how this works. It never comes clean. The roots take with it part of the surrounding of where it was, and there is an ugly gash marking it’s old location. A transaction has no choice but to take place in which part of these two elements remain altered (perhaps permanently), by the other. I believe to a degree, it is an intrinsically human thing to be able to relate in some way to this.

4. At the risk of sounding sentimental, I took a final walk in the earliest hours of the morning of my departure, paying last respects to a place that I know (as I write this), will be uprooted in this way so violently that I cannot adequately explain it. I was walking along the Arno, stopping before getting to the Ponte Vecchio. The river water was still, reflecting the rhythmic repetition of the streetlights illuminating it with a startling clarity. Given the nature of water though, of course it was still incomplete- shimmering, quivering slightly, in a way that was almost painterly. I thought then that this would be perhaps most closely how I will remember being here. It will be incomplete, delineated, moving and fragmented, only a reflection of its source. This is the spirit of place, it is present in the reality of being there, you can feel it- but it takes on a new life and lives again in memory. It is a transplantation that within which, I for now, will have to be content to reside, to invest within, to derive sustenance from.

5. Every continent has its own great spirit of place. Every people is polarized in some particular locality, which is home, the homeland. Different places on the face of the earth have different vital effluence, different vibration, different chemical exhalation, different polarity with different stars: call it what you like, but the spirit of place is a great reality. – D.H. Lawrence


•December 23, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I wish he was still alive.

•December 22, 2011 • Leave a Comment


The Cyclops. Odilon Redon. Undated.

•December 12, 2011 • Leave a Comment

•December 7, 2011 • Leave a Comment

As I write this, it has just begun to snow. Not sort of snow, or lightly flurry, but the kind that drifts in at an angle in big flat flakes, and evenly and rapidly blankets the tops of literally everything. A whimsy snow. It should be said that for the past 28 hours or so, a cold and even rain has fallen prior – one that chills through raincoats and sharply draws in breath that will turn to swear words momentarily.

Whimsy is a word with a rather complex meaning, but never one that I would never apply to rain. There is an immediately apparent and vast dichotomy between the nature of these two phenomenon characteristically that wouldn’t even need spelling out for children. One is clearly wet, quickly falling, the other exactly the opposite. More than that, they have imbued within them unique charges, emotional pressure points that are deeply inherent, despite their inanimate nature as weather phenomena.

To explain this, it should be known that in observing this, my location did not change. Who I was with did not change, my age, intelligence, personality, stress level did not change. What changed was that the kind of water falling from the sky changed to a solid – and somewhere in the neural pathways of the brain, the way I observed and understood that allowed for an feeling internally that I could not have had prior. The physical sight of the snow, its accumulation, the knowledge of its texture and speed of its flutter changed everything about the way I felt. Gone was the sense that I was beneath an oppressive meteorological weight that had all day underlined the stress of the moment before the end of the semester. Instead, in its place was a feeling that the very harshness and the reality of all of life was too buried under the languid drift of a snow that touched the interior of me, more than perhaps the exterior. Rain that had been knives before was made innocuous with a shift south in temperature by several degrees. Memories surfaced of childhood, of a world still enchanted, made beautiful. A whimsy snow.

It perhaps goes without saying, but as people we remain I believe, highly violatile entities who are subject to a complex network of factors that constitute our environment. These factors, at any given time,  culminate into a surrounding, immersive envelope that has direct ties to our hearts and minds. Our moods, very emotional states of being are all too often dependent on the condition of circumstance that is the product of this network. That network is, I now realize, a very fragile one simultaneously. It is often outside of our control and has a violatile power that reaches to the very depth of our immediate existence. So much so, that I wonder if the emotional states in which we find ourselves can be controlled any more than a driftwood borne on a wave.

We eternally though, wish to have control over our lives in this way. We discipline ourselves in a modern world to carefully prepare for, resist heartbreak, or take drugs tweaked to fight depression, etc. -But how much bigger does the world get, how much more primal, when our condition, inside and out, becomes one entirely subject to the happenstance of our envelope? How in not trying to condition ourselves against it do we get closer to what it means to experience a world surrounding us more acutely- and how in the process we find more of union between  the core of us inherently, and the presence of everything acting upon it?

•November 17, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Forget yourself. Consume voraciously and the rest will follow.

•November 14, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I think in some weird (albeit different) way I still believe in the afrocentric/1960’s concept of soul. I don’t think it really goes away. I find myself inherently drawn to things, people that have it. By that specifically I mean a sort of intense sense of purpose about what it is that they are coupled with a vitality and a radiance that compliments that. It’s not something that you can learn, it’s something you’re born with, something you find.