Friday, October 6, 2017

No Answer.

Dear Choiristers,

We should sing this this one too, together. 

I was going to call you this morning, to tell you about a dream, and to ask you what the thing was without its story.  Was it then ready to receive a new story?  Did I make the page white and receptive again?  Or was I just adding mystery?  Another possibility:  Was losing the story making it less, was it taking away power? 

It just goes away, the story, when the people who tell it are separated by time, space, memory or death from the object.  The story stops, and the object goes on.  I have an object, an orange-red thing we bought from the neighbor when he got a divorce, and held a series of garage sales to help finance his struggle to keep making the payments on his ten acre spread. 

It hulls corn, for seed, once the ear has dried.  I don't even know that it has been used, and if it has been, by whom and when?  How many times and what did they do with the seed?  Did they plant it?  Or grind it up for pone or corn bread?  Perhaps it was a demonstration model that a saleswoman would bring round to show to potential corn cob de-kernalizers?  A further story, beyond where we got it, and how it came to the neighbor, might be what we have done with it for the three or four years of our stewardship.  It could be ended, all this wild surmising, by tossing it into the recycling bin, where it would go into town on a truck, and be sorted by the hands that sift our garbage into piles of possible grist for new materials.  I doubt very much that it would be reborn as another cast iron corn sheller.  I expect it would maybe become a bit of a steel girder for a dreadful new parking structure on a quiet, low 'underutilized' corner of your town.

But, you say to me, it's only because you watched La Dolce Vita that you feel this way- and I say to you "watched" is not even the word.  That movie puts you through it like Moby Dick takes you whaling on a ship captained by a madman and crewed by hopeless and hapless people like us, who see the edge approaching but keep on scurrying towards it.  No, 'watching' is not the word, and yet, I did not feel like the girl waving, or the man receding, or even the brutalized and dead fish, the object of curiosity.  The object.  I watched it all with a terrible knowing;  I have seen this before and often.

Everyone keeps on saying these things, saying 'look out,' and 'take care,' and 'beware.'  These are the stories, but what will the object be?

An object is what, exactly?  Take a manuscript-  what is that, exactly?  It's the first, the original, but what does that mean in the Robot Overlord Digital Age?  Everyone has a copy, right here on the gorgeously flat, story-filled and completely objectless, democratizing Internet.

If you got this far, reading all the way to the bottom of the glass, wondering where we might be going, you'll want to hear this again.