A few words about method


May 10th 2011

“I wonder what happens if I do this?” I start with random experimentation, and then something catches the attention of discursive mind and it starts to frame the bare bones of a story, starts to guide the process, but still without a lot of what I learned to call “thinking.” It feels like there is a delicate balance between action and thought, between the pulse of energy and idea. I hear the word composition, but not having had formal art training, I’m not sure I know what this is, so I imagine that it is like argument in academic writing,, that it provides the energy that moves the piece along and allows for communication, and that somehow my groping method sometimes gets me to composition. I do believe that this energy, when it is present, allows me to communicate, or allows life to communicate through me? I do not feel in charge of the process. We, our bodies, are just on loan from life? Life is the purposeful force? What the poem wants, what the image wants, what the thesis wants – perhaps these are just ways of saying pay attention to what life wants. Meditation, journal writing, image making are all practices designed to tune into what life wants of this bundle of cells and processes called me.

Life chooses each of us and dances with the concrete circumstances of our existence – parents, location, ethnicity, class, time. Our lives unfold at the moving intersection of these two forces. This is not abstraction, this is experiential. And yet, with these abstracted words, I am guessing, groping. I wonder what happens if I say this.

Life chooses us. Our job is to pay attention. Life tells us what to say, if we attend well enough, if we are attuned. Life is writing, sometimes painting. I am trying to learn to trust it.