Cycle 35: Portmanteaux

Every morning I pack my green teabags (everything I need for wandering can fit into these little pouches) to go wherever my writing will take me. More forgetful than others, writers (immemorial nomads) depend, perhaps too much, on words (compact carryalls) to convey their experiences from place to place, from time to time (past to present to future), and from mind to mind (from you to me to us).

If I were stranded on a desert island, this would be my wish list (as I grow older, I’ve come to value the body – that astonishing machine ((no a machine is a bad metaphor – that astonishing universe rather)) – more and more than the fantastical mind):

1. A man – handsome, clever, and kind – whom I love and who loves me
2. A water desalinator, a lifetime supply of all kinds of canned food, a can opener, cookware, and matches
3. A solar-powered mobile home with four-wheel drive and all-terrain wheels
4. Clothes for all conditions

5. Soap, toothpaste, and other toiletries I couldn't do without
6. Pencil and paper
7. Books (they used to rank much higher ((the rise and fall of books in my life, a life story in itself)) ), though it’s likely they’ll eventually drop off this list altogether to be replaced by something more useful.

Two years of pre-school plus seven years of grade school plus four years of high school (two in the Philippines ((where I was born (((though I conceal this fact from most people))) and where I cannot, for the time being, return)) and two in the United States) plus four years of undergrad plus eight years of grad school means I’ve been going to school for more than two-thirds of my life. (If I hadn’t learned to be such a good student at such a young age, I probably wouldn’t have become a writer. ((Still it makes me melancholy to think of all the other lives (((cognitive scientist? kept man? saint?))) I might have lived.)) )

Every day I sort words, separating some, combining others (every Tuesday I sort laundry, separating whites from coloreds ((writing I sort the clear from the confused, ordering similarities and differences (((outside the mind, is there clean and dirty? ((((I used to aspire

to ascetic purity in my writing – now I want my words to be promiscuously impure)))) is there order and chaos?))), separating understanding from bafflement)), then washing, drying, sorting, folding) to make a bit of order – purely imaginary I know – in this whirling world.

Traveling is my favorite metaphor (from the Greek ((the ancient Greeks have, by chance, traveled to the present (((origin and destiny are just stories we tell ourselves ((((fate unfolds a tortuous path to (((((you think you know where you’re going, but the self-less journey knows better))))) its inexorable rendezvous with itself)))) to tame our unspeakable bewilderment))) but so many others got lost along the way)) metapherein, to transfer + pherein, to bear) for extravagant life roaming beyond our usual ends and reasons.

<< The Interlarders
>> The Avalanche of Emotion: Touching, Feeling, Shaking
eXTReMe Tracker Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License.