Fragments from Old Stories

[W r i t e r' s N o t e b o o k]

We do not describe; we are the description.

Woe to those caught in the early, collective fantasies of their own generation. The fantasies will lift up for awhile and then transform into an albatross and slowly pull the poor soul to the depths.

The condition of being locked into these collective fantasies results not in free people but silly people.

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The writer had a fierce night travelling through the imaginative qualities of the past six or seven years: Sights, sounds, faces. He saw himself as a man adrift but at a specific moment when he discovered he was not who he thought he was, a ball of information welled up and a sense of, "this is the way it is supposed to be," came over him.

He connected what he saw in his mind with the casual writing he had started. It was a kind of tentative physical description of walking down a city street and places he had lived. He watched a TV set following him into an alley. What was immanent, what was transcendent at that moment? The raw, exquisite data of physical things he called immanent and the interpretations that danced around the data as transcendent.

He admitted problems with the types of physical environments that had been built the last twenty or thirty years. It was the background to all the daily activity; both divine and mundane. The environment always seemed alien to his own sense; foreign and even hostile to everything he knew. He would carry his knowledge through the city streets and always find his knowledge in competition with the raw information of the physical environment: Building, cars, bridges, streets, stadiums, post boxes, telephones. Information he viewed as regressive and locked into something that wanted to punish rather than liberate.

And sometimes a strange reversal would take place. He would walk quiet streets with fine, broad avenues and that wonderful felicitous architecture the city was famed for. There was a woman at the window, a dog laying up on the white, wooden steps, a man in his car turning his head as he backed out from his driveway, the wind blowing softly through elm trees in a park with a stream rolling through it, dotted with sunlight. And his mind full of problems and solutions! His mind taken away into abstract problems that existed somewhere, perhaps here where he stood, but, they existed since he had seen and experienced, if not the problem, the effects of the problem and that was proof enough for him; as much as the scene he passed through. The phenomenal world had no real ambition to solve the problems that surged in his mind. They existed. Perhaps they lead away from the world and its objects. But, they existed. Perhaps they existed at the very vertex of the phenomenal world.

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David Eide
January 24, 2014