2 views on the slipperiness of words:
Words are clumsy tools. And it is very easy to cut one’s fingers with them, and they need the closest attention in handling; but they are the only tools we have, and the imagination itself cannot work without them.
(Frankfurter 1947: 546) as quoted in Harris, R., & Hutton, C. (2007). Definition in Theory and Practice: Language, Lexicography and the Law London: Continuum: 135. [as seen in my “Words of Wisdom” text widgety thing on the upper right column on my blog’s main page. Wow, I really need to do some CSS work; I can’t stand that being all caps.]
wish i didn’t have this nervous laugh
wish i didn’t say half the stuff i say
wish i could just learn to cover my tracks
guess i’m not concerned enough
about getting away with it
every time i try to hold my tongue
it slips like a fish from the line
they say if you’re gonna play
you should learn how to play dumb
guess i can’t bring myself to waste your time
there must be a light of some kind
ani – light of some kind – Not A Pretty Girl
[light of some kind last used here 3 years ago] Quite interesting some of the issues discussed in that post from just under 3 years ago to those of today. I clearly face many of the same frustrations.
Looking for a light of some kind
So. Words and me lately. Some successes; some phenomenal failures. The failures are failures of presentation, and not failures of intellectual content or intention, but they need to be exposed to a light and I need to figure this out. Thus, my current prayer that “there must be a light of some kind.”
It may be hard to find a light while locked in a gas station bathroom to think, but for now I’m thinking about possible resources ….
the heat is so great
it plays tricks with the eyes
turns the road into water
then from water to sky
there’s a crack in the concrete floor
that starts at the sink
there’s a bathroom in a gas station
and i’ve locked myself in it to think
ani – shy – Not A Pretty Girl
[shy last used here Dec 2006] Still some of those issues being faced, also.
I have decided not to follow up on my Gorman posts, the comments others and I made on them, nor on MG’s presentation. I realize that I said I would but I have changed my mind. Things did not turn out so well and I had to consider myself a failure, on one scale at least.
I have forgiven myself (somewhat) and am trying to put it all in perspective. This has been good for me in that it brought to head something that has been bugging me [about myself] for a while. I am getting some help for the issue, and am open to other ways to think about and act on doing what I need. In that regard, I’m pursuing a few discussions on how others deal with issues of communicating their concerns within the field at large. On that note, my thanks to those who sent me some perspective after writing the failure post.
I intend to continue pursuing the same sorts of arguments, and lines of reasoning, as I have been but I also intend to strive to find a better way of presenting my ideas and critiques. Here in my space I will continue to push the bounds of what passes for “professional discourse” in the larger field, as I feel that there is plenty of ethical justification and even ethical responsibility for doing so.
Towards that end, I hope to soon have a comment policy and a “statement of purpose” which in some manner lay out what it is I am attempting to do: what kind of critique[s] I am making, the purpose[s] of my critique[s], my desire for seeing [and participating in] actual dialog, my express desire to be challenged and called on something when I should be, etc.
On the fine art of not being self-conflagrative
we couldn’t all be cowboys
some of us are clowns
some of us are dancers on the midway
we roam from town to town
i hope that everybody
can find a little flame
and me, i just say my prayers, then i just light myself on fire
and walk out on the wire once again
and i say …
counting crows – goodnight elisabeth – recovering the satellites
This song was once very important to me, primarily this section. Every morning, walking into work, was like lighting myself on fire and stepping out on the wire. Every. Single. Day. During the depths of my deepest struggles to climb out of the depression these words had motive force for me.
In fact, there was a curb out back of my previous library that ran from the street to almost the back door itself. It swept down a small incline from street-side to door-side. Straight ahead [and in line with a pillar and one long edge of the building] it ran until almost the end where it curved rapidly 90 degrees to the left. The surface of the curb was interesting in its own right. It was generally a bit higher than the surrounding sidewalk and several inches higher than the parking lot and drive that it bordered. The surface was not entirely even and even had a slight tilt to the sides at points [both directions], covered in yellow paint it could be slippery faster than the surrounding bare cement, and over time portions [much eventually] got literally torn up and made ragged by all the university service vehicles parking along it, running over it, and tearing it up with the plow in winter. I imagine the elements did a little work on their own over time. [Sadly, now, a few years later the curb is a complete mess and is, as such, highly demoralizing on the rare occasion that I see it any more.]
One day, dangerously depressed, heading into work I was listening to this song when I came upon the curb. “Hmmmm,” I wondered. “While I metaphorically continue to light myself on fire, can I actually walk down this curb?”
I did OK for a first effort. From then on, I walked down (and up) that curb whenever an opportunity presented itself. Winter was frequently not a good (or possible) time for curb-walking, nor were rain and wind, generally. But there were always exceptions. Keep in mind I frequently had a backpack.
I became quite good at “walking out on the wire.” I walked it no matter who was at hand to see me do so. [If this was the oddest thing that they thought about me I was on solid footing. 😉 ] It soon became somewhat of a small omen as to how the day was going to go. If I swiftly sashayed down the entire length then the day would be great; if I made it but had to struggle for it then I needed to be “cautious” [in some regard] that day; if I fell [or stepped] off then just hold on because there was soon going to be another time on the wire.
I sometimes walked the curb more than once in a day, and while each time had some “power”, it was the first of the day that had the most impact for the whole day. Rest assured, I made great strides to not let it actually be causal, at least not on the days I fell off. Sometimes an early “falling off” was just the universe’s early warning system letting me know that “today is not a day to be doing this.”
My point, long in coming, is that I need to learn how to walk out on the wire without the self-conflagrat*
Getting back on the wire—repeatedly—is perfectly fine. Missteps are expected. The lighting oneself on fire first has got to go, though.
NOTE: This was mostly written a week or so ago and should have closely followed the “O, most frabjous day” post.
I have been very quiet lately and there are several reasons for this. Despite the distraction of a new girlfriend and, in fact, thanks to much she offered there has been quite a bit of contemplation and reflection going on here. There still is. I am working on some things but expect a bit more quiet and hopefully something different (soon).
This has been a most productive summer for me, personally, in many ways.