Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch
cbertsch

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FROM THE JOURNAL I WRITE BY HAND: 12/29/04

I was just thinking, as I heard the tinkling of Kim's Soleri bell outside the kitchen window and thought about the sense of contentment this rainy, windy day is giving me, augmented by a belly full of Kim's X-Mas Eve spaghetti "refried" w/ eggs and the pleasure of reading in my new Time-Life Russian Cooking book about, most recently, Georgian and Armenian food, the last memory being a shot of grape vines against the snowy backdrop of Mt. Ararat, which conjured up Egoyan's films Ararat and Calendar, that I should do more entries in which I "blog the moment" in the (pseudo-) Zen manner of paying attention to no other end than not focusing on an end outside the present.

Of course, the longer it takes me to write this, the further the present I wished to document in writing this recedes into a past that I'm holding onto in what seems, on the surface, to be a very un-Zen-like manner. But the writing itself is in the present, after all, and the bell is still tinkling, though now the sun has emerged from the clouds to cast intermittent rainbows, courtesy of the faux crystal snowflake I gave Kim as an anniversary present this year. I keep hearing Skylar half-speaking the words to the story she's illustrating with her new gel pens in the little pink journal I got her at IKEA. It's a steady sound, like the bell.

How closely should I zero in on the moment? How tangent should pen and mind be in order to truly be "in the moment?" I want to say that I'm getting off track, that I had a purpose in lying down to write this, but my point was going to be, is, that it would be good to do more writing without a point in mind. What led me to write in the first place was a train of thought about "point" in the sense that Ross Chambers discusses it in his U of Minn press book on narrative. So here goes, belatedly: when there is a point to what we write, we are already imposing a telos -- there's an issue of that journal from 1978 at my feet, BTW -- on it. And when we search for the point in someone else's speech or writing, we are trying to place it on the rails of a progressivist narrative as well. Point = end. Point perspective implies a point of origin or destination -- it depends on your perspective which! -- and provides the right analogy for thinking about the "point" of a story. The point is like what resolves a vector in math. It orders, subordinates, reduces. Whether that limiting comes about as a result of the author or reader's intention, it is the antithesis of Zen. I should write more pointless entries: that's my point.
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