I feel sometimes there's this...confusingly simplified dichotomy between reality and unreality.
Because reality is rather a tricky thing.
Lately, I've been wearing this necklace very often. People will look at it, and ask if the locket opens, and what's inside -- and are startled to discover that not only is it not a functional locket...but the backside has, painted onto it, a non-working clock-face. A doubly tricky thing!
I quite like observing people interact -- confusedly -- with it. I like to watch the look that washes across their faces. That look which signals, what?
And this -- this interacting confusedly -- most aptly describes my relationship with reality.
I sometimes find reality rather dull. But then...sometimes I find it not dull enough. I can point to chapters of life that were too far on either end of the spectrum, and how happy I am for reality in all its dullness and lack of dullness because this is when I make. This is where the footnotes of life outgrow the literal passages, where life blooms into itself, untethered, unhalted.
I will show you, in these moments, the stacks of finished books growing taller, the pages written growing longer -- I could never find unreality so deeply compelling if not for reality itself. And they are all wrapped up in each other, uneasily teased apart, which is just the way I like things. I've never been terribly concerned with the realness of things because empiricism confounds me. It is not the epistemology I choose for myself. And what a wonderful thing -- to have that choice. To not just choose what to see, but how to see it, and how to make sense of things. I choose to care less about the sense or senselessness of things, and more about, I suppose, the weight of them, the color, the texture, the shape.
Robbie and I have some big decisions moving forward about his job -- and in the midst of floating back and forth between the pragmatic details, we started to feel very lost. Very unlike us. And this is when I said,
Tell me instead about the shape of things. Tell me about the arc, about the texture of your imagined life.
And for me, this is the crux, is the root, is the center of everything. What is the shape of it? Tell me: what is the arc, is the texture of your imagined life?
About my necklace. The general reaction is:
It...doesn't work. Why? What's the point?
I yield this over and over, reap it from the fields like a crop I knew was coming in.
But then, my Mom was the one to say:
Hm. It's better that way.
And it really kind of is -- is better that way.
Because as apt as we are to stall, or fight, or flee in the face of confusion...what a very wonderful, funny thing confusion is. What a very good thing to be disoriented. What a very lovely thing to realize not everything is going to work, but that we are still shiny, and golden, and good. And actually, we were made that way, with parts that were never meant to be perfect, or function just so.
So the locket doesn't open, or the clock doesn't tick -- so what. Start smaller.
What is the shape of it?
It is round. And it goes on and on and on.