Fragmented, Literally

by MB


"But one of the basic features of the mind is its keenness to construct wholes out of fragmentary parts. We all have a literal blind spot in our vision where the optic nerve attaches to the retina, but our brain unfailingly registers a seamless world around us. We catch part of a word and hear the whole. We see expressive faces in floral-pattern upholstery; we constantly fill in blanks." (Jonathan Franzen, My Father's Brain)

It is so ironic (and perhaps contrived, as I sit here typing it out in front of you, this blankness into which I've invested the entirerty of my emotional and intellectual energy) that I find it difficult to really say what's on my mind. Yet as my fingertips compose the words, seeking to make whole the fragments my synapses try (though often fail) to connect, my instinct is to mute them. Repressing energy and memories (because what are memories, really, except for pieces of your past held together by an impetuous and effervescent narrative glue) which threaten this temporal space I inhabit?

Tonight, four people, connected by their ties to one another but distanced by their absence of individual connections, came together to celebrate. To feast on life, on philosophy and religion, to savor food and a mutual overarching presence. Religion as a political construct, an ideology. God as a fable, a conceit which I can only (ironically) describe as meta.

Four people passed time reciting Allen Ginsberg's prophetic vulgarities - cock and balls and saintly motorcyclists fucked in the ass - universally humored by its absudirty. Celebrating a birthright of religion and connected by its invisible shackles.

Though time passes (for Virginia Wolf, in the shape of a letter, no less) we remain. Magnetically drawn by shared experience, heartache.

There is never a guarantee of tomorrow. We plan, dream, and hope, but we are stunted by our morality. Today, that is ok. We are enough.