In Absurdlandia, Animals, Artists, Current reading, Drafts, Food, Fun, Games, Hautvoir, Local projects, Music on March 28, 2016 at 8:24 am

Spent most of yesterday with friends at my neighbor’s. We listened to my neighbor’s musical composition in which I provide a narrative voice, and in which the two friends provide vocals. We joked, we broke out in song a lot, between bouts of discussing F’s latest episode with MS. He’s thirty-eight, the diagnosis happened when he was twenty-five. He teaches guitar which adds an extra… annoyance, shall we say,  when he loses all sensation in his fingers.

Reading Svetlana Alexievitch’s La Supplication in the evening keeps things in the minor key? Yes, no doubt. Except the voices of those people living in the irradiated zones around Tchernobyl say things we all need to hear. Not for a cheap dose of pathos. For the reality of what they describe and of how they describe themselves as experimental subjects in human adaptation to surroundings modified by substances with life spans in the billions of years. Given that the human body rarely survives to one hundred years, we’re all stuck with a huge deficit in imagination – same as when we try to imagine the reality of billions of stars or dollars or even humans, for that matter.

One of the women Svetlana Alexievitch meets talks of her mother’s  helpless confusion when denied the right to evacuate the town with her favorite books by Tolstoï and Chekov. For one, the books have turned intensely radioactive. For another, her mother was used to reading these authors as her lodestars in dealing with life’s endless surprises. War we know, most of the men and women say. But this new reality, we don’t understand. Most of the youngsters don’t read anymore; when they do, they read science fiction only. It’s the only writing that comes close to describing their own experiences of reality. A world in which marauders carry off radioactive lumber, clothes and TV sets for sale on the market in Minsk and beyond. Meanwhile, the remaining locals can their gorgeous tomatoes and pickle their magnificent cucumbers because what else are they going to feed the body?

Voilà. Meanwhile, here and now, this body hasn’t adjusted yet to the artificial change in clock time. Wakes from a dream with the White Rabbit’s feeling of late-late-for-a-very-important-date. The dreamer feared missing the 9:05 out of town because she’d forgotten her briefcase at Sir George Williams’ University in Montreal, and her laptop in a different venue entirely. The dreamer had been talking with a man whose grizzled features owed something to Jim Harrison’s physical appearance and whose company tended to make her forget about schedules and physical objects in need of transportation.

Easter Monday is a non-work day over here, I learned yesterday. Which made the time spent singing with friends more acceptable somehow. Less slothful, you know.

Absurdlandia. (Oh yes. And A Midsummer Night’s Dream too, re-read from a different perspective. Meanwhile, the writing proceeds by small increments.)


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