Writing Practice 11/23/2018

[because I was riding past it when I pulled out my notebook]

Write about Greenville, Illinois…

Greenville, Illinois, is one of those middling little places in the middle of america, one of those places that is inconsequential by itself, but if every one of the Greenville’s and Dubuque’s and Florences and Albions across the country were to fall, the entire economy would come to a screeching halt. Greenville is lubrication in the bearings; it is oil in the crankshaft, it is the spit-and-shine of the modern economy.

It is one of those places in between the agricultural rurality and the intellectual city. It is a straddle, a middle, an in-between in which you don’t have the full commitment to farming of the plains, nor the devotion and history of industrialization like the factories back east, nor the intellectual / commoditization / technological of the big cities of St. Louis, Chicago, Austin. It is a hybrid, but not the cool kind. It is a chimera of things, some good from a few different disparate parts, and yet without the flaws of each of these places the aggregation of “good only” smacks so false that nobody believes it, nobody that trusts it, nobody really tries to help it succeed.

So Greenville sits, squats, waits, behind Highway I-70, waiting for the passing travelers and transporters to almost run out of gas, and then be there to resupply them, and, oh, by the way, while you’re here, why don’t you also fill up your stomach with overpriced chips and hotdogs, or satisfy that sweet tooth craving with a candy bar or a slushie, or even get ready for that long, lonely alone night coming up by lubricating yourself with a convenient 12-pack of beer, or a fifth of distilled spirits, perhaps even pick up a couple of smokes along the way.

Because that’s what Greenville is. It doesn’t make anything itself. It doesn’t grow the food, or process the cotton, or assemble the automobile, or develop the software that everyone else uses and consumes and lives in and with and appreciates and, even, needs. But it is strategically placed, carefully, precariously, dependent on the multifaceted nature of our economy which says “live local” but acts completely different. They are dependent in Greenville on the transportation industry and yet, too, the industry is dependent on the network of Greenvilles and Peorias and Waynesburgs around the country, for without them, without this quantum-connected network, this “cut out one you’re okay, cut out one too many and everything falls”, everything would be different.

Used to be. And then the transition started. May come again, too. But for now, Greenville and its ilk remain, waiting, supporting, remora-like, providing a small benefit for a small cost, skimming just enough off the top to keep their host alive, like a good vampire, who doesn’t drink too deeply from any one victim, for if you do that, everything falls.

Writing Practice – 9/25/2018

Myths of Origin, p 434

There is not a stone here which has not borne up under a foot. There is not a branch which has not supported the tenuous, thin, wispy talons of a sparrow or starling. There is not a blade of grass which has not been explored, investigated, understood by the six legs of the sugar ant, or the ladybug, or the hundred legs of the caterpillar. There is no streambed here which has not felt the cautious step of a fawn’s hoof; there is no cloud above which has not cast its shadow across the cycle of death, life, birth, rebirth, renewal, and trust and development.

There is no cycle of life separate from all the others herein. No bird or chick exists without the trees, the grasses, the insects, the worms, the mulberries. No wonder of nature exists in a vacuum, and thence comes a symbiosis, a sympatico that allows for all and everything together to move in harmony, in unison, in a pattern of reflection and recognition that trace a path of universality through the waiting fields.

There are no enemies here, no predators, no prey, no worse or better, no contests. Oh, there are those who consume and those who fall to them, but this is not viewed as strife. In this wood, this idyllic scene, there is a parallelism and a partnership to such experiences. The grub does not resent the mole; the mole does not resent the owl; The owl does not resent the cougar; the cougar does not resent the passage of time, the arthritic creak seeping into the joints, slowing her leap, helping encouraging her miss, her failure to sustain herself, her failing then nor the end to stop normal progress and to then lay down and rest, thus becoming fodder once again for the grub, the worm; no, the cougar does not resent the passage of time or the grub, for all understand that this cycle is not so much a competition as a cooperation. There is benefit for all in the process, in the turning of this wheel of interaction, in the inevitable, irrevocable forces of evolution, gravity, time, patience, radiance, sunshine, wind, weather. The time for competition has passed. The time for partnership has arrived, and with this partnership all eventually succeed; not despite one another, or because of one another, but, simply, with one another.

Writing Practice – 1/15/18 – Describe how the rain smells to you:

Describe how the rain smells to you:

The rain smells like washed grass. It smells like renewal and refreshment. Rain smells like the stirring up of old trail leaves when you’re out on a bike and the clouds have rolled in and the fat, warm drops bombard the detritus composting on the side of the trail, kicking up a dust of smell like regeneration.

The rain snails like opportunity – the chance to get out of the safety and comfort, the security of a house, a roof, walls, to walk through a field, the water landing haphazard on my shoulders, arms, [illegible], feeling little ploshes of backsplash off my cheeks onto my eyes, making me squint, making me raise a hand to wipe my eyes, stretching a smile across my face as I appreciate the connections between myself, here in this field, open, inviting, interested, connected between myself and voles and the ravens and the snails who live like this, who do not hide from nature, who do not hide from this nature, from the natural experience they have symbioted through for the past million years, they do not avoid the past, where they came from, where they were, who their ancestors were, they turn in to those ancient memories imprinted into their mind and into their psyche and into their instincts, they do not avoid it out of fear or weakness or some misguided desire for comfort, for peace, for ease.

I avoided those things, I avoided real, I avoided nature, I avoided my heritage, for so long, for TOO long, until this moment, until this image came down from the sky, a divine, heavenly blessing of reality, a grace, a perfection of experience, a true picture as simple of the way I used to be, of the way we all used to live, and I appreciate it, I revel in it, I glory in it. To be myself in the harmony, the resonance between myself and the world, I cannot but touch god through its raindrop tendrils. I feel a bond between us and though this will last, not forever, but at least as long as I desire, until I break, until I release, until I disappear away from this perfection back into the obscurity of security and safety, so I will revel in that while at the same time missing this, mourning this, wishing this, that I must release back to the sky.