I’m in the mood for stancin’

Sorry, I got some dust in my; got distracted. That storeroom can become all encompassing…I can lose days in there. I still don’t really know how far back the storage area goes. Is it words, endless wor…Ach, there, you see, it’s got me going off-piste again. Right, stance. There is perhaps a positionality with the idea of a stance that could be problematic but let’s run with the notion for now. Let’s play the rope out and see where we get to. Forget the start (if there was one) because that will only send us off into a discussion around ground. We will start up a bit further but don’t get distracted by the view because that view does not exist—that would be over-working the metaphor. Climbing!

If you fall, remember no one will see
You tumbling lonely down. Only
I through this bad focus will see.
Why do you imagine Gravity lonely?1

We need to stop before the stance (if that is even possible). Not stop exactly, but have a good look at what is happening. We are thinking ahead, around, alert. Then the possibility cuts in. (This is what the matter is not what’s wrong.) This is a cut sharp enough to alter the rockface-surface, enough to form a small ledge on which to apply a little more weight and to give a longer pause. Now, this possibility is only there because we have attuned ourselves to its possible presence, its potentiality. To add a twist, this possibility could have been of our own making but, like a Get Out of Jail Free card, it cannot be used at any old moment…we need to know how to play it. We need to know when to play it, there is a certain moment that is not pre-announced but is formed by our decision to play. Of course, the possibility may have been more akin to chance, even so, we need to be in the right mood to spot it, to work with it…willing to follow it.

Like I sometimes follow these words. I push the spoil of my burrowing up in front of me so that the words precede me in a way (they certainly appear detached from me). Now I have muddled things, we’ve gone from climbing metaphors to speleological ones.2 They become the same though; didn’t I tell you not to look at the view? Run with the words, let their lines play out. It can be so exhilarating and when in the moment the stances become almost invisible, like so many commas in a sentence. Punctuation as climbing gear…that’s for another time…

1. W.S.Graham, “The Don Brown Route,” in New Collected Poems, ed. Matthew Francis (London: Faber & Faber, 2003), 174-76.
2. The proofread facility on this blog wishes to change “speleological” to “teleological”…
3. A note on the post title: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbAM2_6jKY0 tee hee.

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