words written in the week of
August 21st to August 27th
in previous years.
This was 7 months, 22 days ago

그렇게 여름은 지나갔다.

that was the summer, the summer of hurt and loves, of emotions, of connections, of knowing what's possible; what is possible when we let ourselves feel, fully, and are honest with ourselves, and find vulnerable spaces when it reverberates.

I am and will forever be stunned by the magic of what happens when people are able to enter into full vulnerability together, when we let ourselves be who we are, and feel what we feel. I imagine flows and loops moving between us in magical, special ways that are impossible to articulate. existing blocks made of fear acknowledged, the electric fence turned off, and our fears part of a dance we call being, letting myself, then ourselves, be whoever we want to be. I have had conversations that I never thought I would be able to have.

to be brutally honest is incredibly scary. to be honest is electrifying, to be honest. it means to relax some muscles we've been holding for the longest time, that have constituted who we are, that have shaped our being. but at the same time, we can let ourselves also be us, and who we are.

This was 7 months, 22 days ago

times are a-changing. selves-are-a-growing. the right answer is that I will look back on these times and consider this a period of growth, of change, of learning who I am, or have always been. change just looks like understanding my existing terrain, more, perhaps. exploring my earth. I've always been myself, and will always be, and spaceship earth is always here, and I am just learning.

change feels like: finding metaphors for selves, emotions. learning how to feel who I am. learning what I am feeling, and the different kinds of things I am feeling. learning how to say them out loud. learning how to move through, or with fears. learning to know what my fears are. learning to articulate them, to map how they work, to see how they have shaken me.

change feels like: when I hear someone say something deeply important, I wait. slowly, from within my body, deep bells peal out, or long low bass strings of harps vibrate, generating resonances. I hear these resonances. and eventually they float upwards, through my body, through my chest, and a curiosity, or a knowing forms. and I think, and I realize it, and I share it outwards. it's a question, or a statement. the sharing doesn't have strong goals or aims; maybe there's a disposition, but at the heart of it, it is a stating-of-things-out-loud. an articulation.

and the incredible thing -- the incredible fact that never, ever ceases to amaze me at some deep level, is that the responses, the connections that are possible afterwards are magical, unexpected. we are on a journey. I am listening, responding. my interlocutionary partner is also doing the same. we are reverberating. finding places to go.

M shares a story. through and into the words I hear the depth of a core story that vibrates deeply, the kind of core story you write your life around; I feel the core stories that I've written my life around, and that come back to me, or that I return to, over and over again. I imagine those spirographs, drawing tools, twin plastic gears locked and enmeshed with each other. you place a pen into a hole, and set it going. gears with differing sizes so that a full revolution happens at the least common denominator of these gears. together, the line swoops in, and out, and in, and out, an in, creating a floral, radially symetrically pattern consisting of two continuous revolutions. two gears, just keep turning circularly, and we find ourselves leaving a story, coming back, leaving a story, coming back to it. full of meaning, meaning full.

and so I hear myself saying, "it sounds like something you've thought a lot about", and as I say it I know it is true, because it is resonating with the energy of myself thinking a lot about my stories, and I can hear in my voice the slightly humorful voice of someone who knows that is probably true, and knows that they know that it is true,

and M says, "oh, yeah", her head nodding both smoothly and emphatically, and I imagine myself see the motion of the wave her head makes, down and up, down and up, the easing function of a curve, swooping downwards and upwards, like reeling in silk, or the quality of a certain heartbeat. I recognize, or resonate with, the tone in her voice, in the tones of my voices. somewhere around acceptance, understanding, bittersweetness, sadness, manifested through a kind of wry humor that feels right. this kind of wry humor is what gets us through it. it's gentle but important. perhaps it's all just this wry humor, you know? I think. humor is a force that connects us to acceptance.

This was 1 year, 7 months, 18 days ago

i can feel summer on its way out. slow ebb and flow.

this time of year there's a particular smell in the air. it smells of things ending and starting again, of melancholy, of a kind of gathering, energy, excitement. this time of year I might be getting ready to go into a desert, gathering things up, packing, thinking, planning. this time of year I am mobilizing and moving around so that I might be able to think about what it means to be home with myself. to be home.

this has been a wild year, and a wild few months. I don't know if I've changed as rapidly and strongly as I have in this time, like when a bird takes a a sideways dive and swoop, a strong hook, and then all of a sudden I'm going faster in a different direction. but it's good. it's okay. it's where I am. it's even amazing.

suddenly I feel myself nostalgic for home, for family, for parents. I think I am reaching the age where parents start to resonate, where family starts to become more and more important, where the angry independence of my 20s and the slow deep capacity of my 30s will gradually transition to familial power, like tides. this care, this power of care, is powerful, I can tell, like the tide rising, gentle and insistent and magical. and if I want it to I can ride with it.

--

what do I want to do? there is the idea of building spaces and houses. yeah. this stuff is interesting.

but underneath it all there is something that tickles my gut and my penis and my heart and my stomach and my belly, a fire that roars that wants to CARE, that wants to hold and heal and guide together, and then to laugh in pure delight about the things we've been through and the sense of perspective and deep sorrow and acceptance that can accompany us when we face our fears and traumas. I really like this. I crave this. and when I pass into, through, with these things, I feel whole. ready. real. present. ideal.

in the next few days and weeks it will become fall. we will feel it. we will talk about melancholy. we will settle. we will think about our lives. we will wonder what we are living, what life means, what is important to all of us. we will love the people that we love. hold them dearly and carefully. and miss the people that are gone from our lives, or are distant, whether through death or through... time, pain, knots.

how to hold this energy.

--

I want to become a teacher, a guide, a listener. a servant leader? when I'm 40 I want to be supporting and guiding, leading people through their own journeys. I want to be a hiking guide, write trail guides, be supportive. I want to share and provide spaces where we can go inwards and cry cry cry cry cry so deeply. I want to be a space for a temple.

I want to make things, and hold care in the making of things, and to share and learn acceptance through the process of making and being.

--

an calm adult with an angry kid inside. at some point I became one, soothing that kid. turns out it's important to be an angry adult and a calm kid sometimes too, and we are in the process of sharing that energy, of moving it around.

--

this deep inner shadow work / integration / inner child work / somatic movement work is. deep. am slowly moving with love. a tide like love. learning to love myself and others in new ways, in ways that I didn't know were possible or ever real.

it's a nice feeling to be in groups and to be able to notice. to gently offer up a possibility that knits a group together, if everyone wishes to. to see excited energy and to then be able to guide it, help channel it into a form that the group wants to.

I can feel how good and experienced I am in this, and also how much more I have to learn about other styles that are important. of more ambient contexts. creating a container and letting go, no driving. the walls of the trash fence are enough. everything held in the magic of the container

and in this I am exhilarated and so so so curious about what lies around the corner. I can't wait to get older. to be rooted in the earth.

This was 7 years, 7 months, 19 days ago

late-summer-evening a barrage of things, things soaking. don't get too full of it. all there is is a series of sunsets and gorgeous parks and friends. sometimes you run into beings at a store, all serendipitous, where you exchange the words that really needed to be said at that point. post-meeting, post-meeting, where you feel the flex of your muscles and your feet pushing against pedals, not so much for the desire to reach a destination, nor for some sort of fetishized metric, but for the joy of movement itself; movement != approaching a destination, movement != performance, etc. movement and wandering in a city and all these things as the pinnacle of desire formulated inwards and turned into seeking, finding, attempting, etc.

in the midst of this all I am just biking home, whistling as I inhale this air, whistling as I exhale this air, and it is just me with a helmet and some pieces of material and a whole lot of labor supporting my body, moving through spaces and fields that are all labor, all work, all the congealed mind-time brain-time muscle-time funneled into physical form, and in the midst of it I am truly really starting to even-more-viscerally comprehend how immense this project of living appears to be, again.

This was 8 years, 7 months, 19 days ago

I approach these statements like the wonder of sifting through one's own being like an archaeologist - fascinated but removed, distant: re-reading this, in the way that one forgets what has happened to one before. experiences are less like accumulations and more like a river into which, you know, one never steps into twice. who said that? when was that? more and more, distinct psyches seem to be incommensurable states that are endless miles apart from each other, or like different floors on koolhaas's downtown athletic club; sectional slices so distinct that they appear to house different worlds already. the MEP work plunging/skewering through different floors. structure somehow keeping everything together. program and lived experience is entirely new here, entirely new. this floor was then. now you are over here.

--

something I'd been thinking about but hadn't quite put into words yet came out today in a sudden explanation of why I didn't want to apply to that program, at least not quite yet:

so in capital volume II, marx's explanation of M-C-M becomes expanded into a detailed elaboration of M-C-P-C'-M', where money is used to buy commodities (both labor and means of production), which are then used in a process of production to create new commodities, that are then sold back on the market for a margin (that originates from the surplus-value of labor). M-M', expanded into a cycle.

long story short: marx then elaborates on a chain: M-C-P-C'-M'-C'-P'-C''-M''-.. and then privileges this reformulation: C-P-C'-M'-C', or C-C'. he says this is the most important process because it's the only formulation that starts from a commodity, and ends in a commodity. and as such, this process represents the full imbrication within capitalism; there's an implication that the initial commodity came from someone else's output; the new c' harkens to a continuation of this cycle. a nifty conceptual gesture, if you ask me.

to return to theory, or praxis: or to jettison these terms temporarily, because they are too laden, to wobbly, too up-for-grabs:

after three years of a joyous plunge into the world, lately I am interested in the experiment -- the experiment stemming from an idea that yields results that then changes the initial idea -- the idea itself having been created of formulated in such a manner that always wanted to be changed in the first place. yearning towards revision, movement, motion. and so this would probably be like:

idea -> experiment -> result -> new idea (idea')

and to map marx's nifty conceptual gesture onto this, I would posit that the full cycle is idea-experiment-result-idea'-experiment'-result'-idea''-...

and that the ideal reformulation of this cycle is:

experiment -> result -> idea' -> experiment'

in which it always posits the experiment as the alpha and omega of the cycle. same process, new viewpoint. without experiments, there are no results, and no new ideas.

and you may say -- "but how do you know what kind of experiment you need to run if you don't have a theory about it?" and this can be true in science. but what I mean by experiment isn't a scientific experiment that needs a null hypothesis and a control group, etc.

more importantly, the question could be rephrased as -- "how do you know what ideas to have if you don't observe from phenomena captured by an experiment?" which, I believe, is the better stance to organize around. pro-movement. ideas are not manifest into the world and then returned back into ideas. rather, the world gives you an idea that you then test again on a new formulation of the world.

having said that, what I really mean is that the danger of "theory" (that word again) is that it becomes hermetic, becomes abstracted into operating on top of its own logic, grows to a point where it starts growing its own axioms, becomes like a lilypad floating on the water. language driving language. the question of axioms, then -- from where do they come from? what is 'underneath' axioms? not about "why is an axiom an axiom", but what is the historical/geneological origin of an axiom? and is that question not infinitely valid? is it not eventually a social agreement to call a shared axiom a shared axiom? hence the infinite sociality of mathematics (what, you do graph theory?), and computer science, the only two fields that seem to engage deliberately and non-problematically in the formation of one's own axioms.

the other fields do not have axioms, perhaps. there are just loose models that are continually revised in the pursuit of better models. geological models fail; maybe it is more like a treadmill or a snowball or an organism in action, or maybe the circulation of water through rain/ocean/clouds. "what is the snowball"? "where is water?" these are just conditions of flow that continually invent themselves every minute. and how do you explain that well?

when we talk about agonistic pluralism and chantal mouffe and ernesto laclau, and when I take delight at reading ranciere, or foucault, or a playful joy at reading some snippets of derrida, or when there is a meaty heft to digging into marx, now I cannot help but ask - where does that come from? is that just a purely aesthetic desire? why do I like the idea of agonistic pluralism over habermas's public sphere? is there not an aesthetic gesture behind it? an aesthetics of politics -- not in terms of ranciere's book, but to be blunt about it -- that certain ideas seem 'sexy'?

so I admit - I find non-hierarchy 'sexy', I find agonism 'sexy'. hopefully these terms are not just aesthetic determinators. but if they are -- and I suspect that they are -- then they follow the logic of any aesthetic, which is to say a socially formulated axiom, and so we share views of what we think is sexy, and so we all get on this agonistic-pluralism-is-sexy boat, and then the aesthetic continually formulates itself into a firmer axiom,

and then we are really dealing with a problematic axiom here, or just the circulation of idea-idea-idea-idea, no primes here, just endless repetition or conceptual hegemony, a kind of meta-politics of the idea.

==

back to the experiment:

or you could drink in the world, and find an idea. and then drink in more of the world, and then find another idea. and move forwards with a series of experiments that are like jumping from island to island.

==

where am I? I wonder lately. I feel like I am either at the crest or the trough of a wave, some sort of wave, or more like at the end of a deep exhale that started in mid-may and is just ending now. breathing wayyy out. and now I am breathing in, and starting new things. school is starting, without me in it. I am now in the world. I am now engaging in other things, other cycles -- or more like: making my own. and as tempting it is to engage back into that world, or at least to harness that energy from it, I realize that school - loved and celebrated school -- is really just a wrapper around a different sort of activity already innate within me. movement was just amplified. engagement was just more easily induced. but all of these things are still existent, you know. nothing is lost. when you leave the gym, you still retain all of your muscles.

and running: running is good, because it is your body thinking about your body, really; nothing else. the ground is an excuse for an intimate engagement within your body, and neither a collaborator or an enemy. it provides the support for an internal dialogue; but more than that -- it's the medium for each experiment,. endless petri dishes with agar solutions testing out the relationship of your foot ot your angle to your legs to your arms to your centers of gravity to your lungs to your heart to your sweat glands; aerobic and oxygenated and coordinated and complex series of experiments, observations, results. each experiment valuable and moving and pushing and generating.

here's to seeing the world as the ground.

This was 10 years, 7 months, 20 days ago

what is it like, looking at photos of people you vaguely remember? trying to find young faces in their visages.

-

there is so much here and I know not what to write.

let's see.

-

I go to Jerusalem and I couchsurf at S's house and I meet her groups of friends. I talk. I meet her friend Y, who is firmly warm and studies literature and spent a little while in israeli prisons because he didn't want to go to the military. we talk.

I sleep on her balcony, one of the most comfortable nights I've had in a while, and I wake up to the sun in my eyes. shimshon (samson) the cat rubs his face against my hand, and again it hits me how physically hard animals can be, how solid their existence are, how rooted in the fleshy and bodily they are. they are beings, beings.

while petting shimshon I talk with S in a strangely low whisper about this and that. it's quiet out, it's the shabbat, and nothing is open. israel and palestine. she thinks about it every day, she says seriously, and I believe her. by the way her hand moves in the air I can tell that she's recalling countless conversations she must have had before. she is conscious and careful and I listen to her tease out these dilemmas, and I feel myself bringing these emotions into myself, trying to see what she does, what her friend Y does. it is important for me to do that. it is important for me to wander the streets and the closed-down market, an ultimate sunday morning in new york, sunday morning summer morning -- except here it's saturday, the shabbat, everything winding down, and I feel the city exhale, exhale, exhale.

-

in tel aviv I wander off with J to look at the city's protests. he's here to talk to some people. we get off a sherut taxi (#4) and walk onto rothschild boulevard and suddenly here it is, rows of tents. here is the critical mass that has made the news. we see people congregating, and we walk towards the northern end.

and then suddenly, we are in this. this is supposedly a silent protest but it has gained momentum and a voice. it is 9pm, and the sky is dark but there are torches lit, candles lit, people walking, showing support for the victims in southern israel (of the recent attack) but most importantly protesting against the israeli government's economic/civic policies. small vocal groups speak out about israel/palestine political issues, but there are small points of friction between these groups and other people, a little yelling, a little anger. one of the hundreds of houses we pass by has signs hanging outside on their balcony that disagree with the protest. someone comes out onto the balcony and yells out the crowd. people boo; immediately a chant forms, apparently something along the lines of: "come down here, your country needs you!"

the protest must be at least ten thousand people at least, maybe fifty thousand people or a hundred thousand people. I realize that I do not know how to gauge large amounts of people. I imagine that this information is written in a police handbook somewhere, something about the 'predictable density of people' and 'average area occupancy' condensing beings into a single formula with a memorizable constant: people = area * density constant, and this mystical constant being some innocuous number like 5.6. somewhere a riot or a protest happens, and the policeman looks at a space and does math in his head. five point six times, five point six times. people are counted. this is where it happens. to engage in this counting mechanism is to position one's self within a specific attitude already, already.

I look at these candle-torches that these people are carrying; they are made out of wax that tapers down to a handle, with an inner core wick. they burn brightly. they are stable. I imagine the industry for these; the industry for protest candles, bullhorns, and other materials. from where do these come from?

but not to trivialize the protest -- it was impressive, and enormous, and the entire crowd culminated into a single rally where the entire crowd sat down on grass to hear the leaders speak. declarative, polite, forceful. all I could hope for was that the sense of change and movement I was feeling would be able to coalesce into organizational change, operational change.

-

in ramallah I wonder. the day after coming back from tel aviv and jerusalem, a jeep passes me with four guys sitting in it; in the back seat a guy sits sticking the muzzle of a kalashnikov out the window. I am not sure how to evaluate this because I don't think that was the PA or the police and the car wasn't even marked as fatah/hamas/etc, so I shrug and move on. and this is emblematic: I am not sure how to evaluate things. I am not sure how to evaluate things.

the hardest part is this inability, not only the lack of a solid criterion but even the lack of knowledge of what constitutes a solid criterion. what is this? what does this mean? how has this changed? how was this place like ten years ago? is that why these things are like that?

in any case, I am here. I am living here. 'here' seeps into me like raindrops disappearing on a dirt road after a drought. I am sticky, loaded, I feel like an inhabitant.

and most days I think: what it would be like to live here? these skies? one is chopping onions, or putting something on the stove to boil. I think about that. one is putting something on the stove to boil, and the sun is setting, and the kitchen window is open and the breeze comes through, and suddenly one hears the call to prayer ring across the valley, and one smiles, because it is evening, and the skies are deep fuschia and violet with many many layers. olive trees dot the hills in the distance.

This was 11 years, 7 months, 18 days ago

oh my god, I'm excited, I just realized, I'm excited, it is 12:26am and I am still at the Clocktower, where it feels like home, the rooftop feels like home, this space feels like home, but I'm excited, for future and for school, to jog tomorrow morning, and there is new music coming out from the internet through the wires into my computer out of my speakers, and all of a sudden (and I don't know exactly why myself) I can't help but dance and laugh to myself and swivel myself in my chair after everyone's gone, gone home, it's just me up late, empty hallways and locked rooms, a beautiful roof, lingering auras, fingers on the keyboard, and I can't help but do a little jig with my feet and dream about sleeping here, maybe on the roof, dream about waking up in the morning to a tribeca sunrise, wash my face in the sink, do some stretches, sit and smile contentedly like a cat and wait for people to come home.

This was 11 years, 7 months, 20 days ago

I go for a bike ride, and then a jog, and then a bike ride, and then I go to work, and after work I go to bhqfu and spit my mind into words, and then I peruse the streets oh-so-briefly with a friend, and then I go home to curry and a communal meal, and I talk and laugh and this all feels quite comfortable, actually, and then I work and work and try to do work more amidst this impromptu party

and then all of a sudden a comment instigates me and I am standing up talking about the exploding galaxy commune and genesis p-orridge where the axiomatic bases of things are pulled out from underneath you, and then porn informing sex and post-pornographic architecture, and external objects as locators of the internal identity (ala lacan's mirror stage where the infant finds a coherence in the image of himself that he sees) and then from this turns to algorithms of aesthetics (catenary curves generated from hanging strings), and here is this banter about unboxed box-wine as louise bourgeoise-like catheter-like party favors, and my mind is a loft and afire and adrift and we are drunk and others are high but we're all still very lucid and sharp, feeling like a dart, converging to a point, and here we are juggling buildings in the air, tossing concepts like dice, here we are chewing on these things, us all, you and me and B, P, B, T, A, G, K, M, S, R, P, A, G, B, and we talk and there is something hanging in the air and we can pull it down and make worlds of it, buildings of it, video games and architecture, projects coming together,

and amidst all of this is this growing excitement, this inner fervor, not only at what-is-to-come but what-is-now, the knowledge that I could build, use my hands, dip my hands into a dirty muck of mud and come out ecstatic and energetic. earlier today I had 40-year old rum, wonderful courtesy of R, and it was amazing, fantastic, smelled like maple syrup. earlier today I also had tea that was so very old, and it had the scent of soap somewhere in the upper-left quadrant of my tongue after it had steeped for twenty minutes, but I tried it anyways, decades-old tea from an estate sale, and so these things will happen, and I am so grateful for that, tongues twisted in history, steeped in what-has-been.

and so I come upstairs to sleep and it starts raining, and I hear a million tiny pinpricks on the roof, pitter-patters of small creatures. I am blessed, I think to myself. and start to sleep.


I think this is called limit-attitude, or liminal-attitude (and yes I am borrowing that phrase of foucault's but it is mine now, only the phrase/signifier) but these moments where the self dissolves away in little rivulets? is, are, precious. yes? yes.

This was 11 years, 7 months, 23 days ago

a morning wake, a bike ride, a music-laden jog, a perusal through greenmarket stands, a perfectly ripe yellow peach (at room temperature), a day at a brooklyn cafe, a subway ride north, a homey korean joint, a wonderful beer in a empty midtown office, a subway ride south, a flip over the bike, a mensch from pittsburgh, a welder from brooklyn bringing blessings, a lightweight junkyard monument lit from underneath, a gaggle of cheerful drunks, a friendly box of bandages, a hot shower, a good night's sleep.

This was 12 years, 7 months, 16 days ago

creatures killed by dan flavin
buildings with cloud shawls
lives in color

This was 12 years, 7 months, 17 days ago

familiar frequencies on the radio
quiet drums in the distance
opened doors and admittedly possible pathways
distanced autonomies
vertiginous pinpoints.

=

oh to be cryptic, just like old times.

on another note, I feel myself slipping. it's 4:33. I have white whiskers for the hours. I am antennae for time. every day there are certain definite markets for what goes on determined by the endpoints of each cafe - ashbox closes at 6, tarallucci at 11. afterwards I am homeless and I walk around streets that welcome me even further. I am postponing wanderlust and so while impatient with it am equally thankful for nyc, these moments of summer. and at points the glint of a reflection in a store window or the amount of sun on one half of a building segmented neatly by a corner jutting out brings me forwards, offers premonitions, gives me a taste of autumn to come

=

something from a book from a stoop sale on Newbury St. that I bought for $1 this past june:

In your next letter I wish you'd say
where you are going and what you are doing;
how are the plays and after the plays
what other pleasures you're pursuing:

taking cabs in the middle of the night,
driving as if to save your soul
where the road goes round and round the park
and the meter glares like a moral owl,

and the trees look so queer and green
standing alone in big black caves
and suddenly you're in a different place
where everything seems to happen in waves,

and most of the jokes you just can't catch,
like dirty words rubbed off a slate,
and the songs are loud but somehow dim
and it gets so terribly late,

and coming out of the brownstone house
to the gray sidewalk, the watered street,
one side of the buildings rises with the sun
like a glistening field of wheat.

--Wheat, not oats, dear. I'm afraid
if it's wheat it's none of your sowing,
nevertheless I'd like to know
what you are doing and where you are going.

Elizabeth Bishop, Letter to N.Y.

This was 12 years, 7 months, 19 days ago

some moments,

and an evening blush.

This was 13 years, 7 months, 16 days ago

how to enjoy a sandcastle without questioning the earth on which it lies