Confronting the Unread; Reconfronting the Read

I find myself thinking of being in a library.

In the Buddhist worldview, the entire conditioned reality in which we live is called samsara: the world of birth and death, arising and passing. This is our life. One of the amazing attributes of samsara is that no matter what we have or what is available to us, we know that somewhere out there, there is always more. The potential for dissatisfaction is infinite, because in this world of change, there is no end to arising and passing away, and the possibilities for comparing and wanting are endless.

Sharon Salzberg. Lovingkindness.
Countless books and countless roadways to reading and re-reading.

And so for day 2049

Typology and Function

Proposed typology of gay literature

- community building
- coming out
- passing
- closetry
With intersectionality with AIDS writing.

Inspired by application of action research

And so for day 2048

Lost Locus

Could serve as an epigraphy to a set of psychogeographic instructions.

The Drop, that wrestles in the Sea —
Forgets her own locality —
Opening lines to No. 284 in The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson edited by Thomas H. Johnson.

And so for day 2047


Towards the end of a poem in three mandala sections ("Tiger") there is this arresting bit of typographical ingenuity.

A few strokes and the "attempting" becomes "tempting". There are many lines to treat the cascade of words. One is the periphery of the circle: "edge / where / someone is / always / cutting loose". Another is to preserve the horizontal line by line progression while ignoring white space between the words: "someone is attempting the / always nemesis / cutting loose." The very action of striking out letters is a sort of cutting loose. And so the poem folds upon itself. Tempting attempt at reading the locus — "at". A displacement.

Michele Leggott. Swimmers, Dancers (1991).

And so for day 2046

Raise a Glass

From the obituary for poet and novelist Peter Trower in the Globe and Mail

A memorial and celebration is scheduled to be held Saturday at 3 p.m. at his old Vancouver hangout, now known as the Railway Stage and Beer Café. It will not be teetotal.
Need we say that Mr. Trower enjoyed his beer?

And so for day 2045

Craft in the Tool

Christine McFadden. The Essential Kitchen.

It's a book about tools. In which we learn more about their design and purpose. For instance, the rough texture underneath ramekins:

Porcelain ramekins These smooth, straight-sided ramekins are used for individual soufflés, as well as baked custards or crème brulées. Egg-based dishes such as these are cooked in a roasting pan filled with enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. The ramekins have a slightly roughened base to prevent a vacuum from forming and making it hard to lift them from the water bath.
And this about the design of the tagine:
Tagine A tagine is a uniquely shaped, thick earthenware pot, used in North Africa for the slow-cooked dish of the same name. The pot is traditionally used on an open fire. Very little is needed as the conical lid provides a large cool surface on which steam condenses and then drips onto the food below. The tall shape also keeps the lid cool at the top, so it can be lifted without a protective cloth.
One is set to develop via McFadden an appreciation for good design.

And so for day 2044

Metaphors of Method

This is a description of cooking technique but it in its regard for the appropriate procedures and outcomes can serve as analogy to writing.

Crisp and Golden vs. Soft and Moist

Do you want ingredients — such as onions or potatoes — sautéed to a golden brown? Or do you want them soft and moist? Here are tips to remember:

1. For crisp, golden coloring, heat the fat first, then add the ingredients, but do not salt. Salt impedes browning.

2. For soft, moist cooking, heat the fat, ingredients, and salt together.
Perfect description of some writing assignments.

Simply French: Patricia Wells presents the cuisine of Joël Robuchon.

And so for day 2043

Like How

Wrote to my sister and my niece about a culinary accomplishment (from a family friend from St. Pierre et Miquelon, Mme Amandine Lalande, who gave the recipe to my mother who made pâté maison at Christmas time and passed on the recipe and instructions to us)

At long last I attempted my first pâté maison. Attached is a picture of the creation and a scan of the index card with the recipe in Mom's handwriting.

I no longer have a meat grinder and had to finely dice the ham by hand. A nice meditative action.

Lesson for next time : don't under salt - it affects the taste.

As you can imagine a pound of veal, a pound of pork and a half a pound of ham makes a big loaf. We froze half.
My evidence and the recipe card I worked from

Elsewhere in a post called 1846 I muse about an other piece of handwritten ephemera from my mother and note "Never undervalue the impact of the hand written note." or in this day and age a personal message that reminds oneself and others not to forget to salt adequately.

And so for day 2042

How Like

A bundle and its medicines resembles a smartphone and its collection of apps.

The comparison points to revitalization of Indigenous cultures.

The bundle's homecoming and first ceremonial opening since 1942 is being witnessed by 200 people, Blackfoot from Alberta and Montana (who call themselves Blackfeet) and a significant minority of non-natives like myself.

Some have come for physical healing. Others have come for the healing of the soul.

"These are holy bundles given to us by the Creator to hold our people together," explains tribe member Patricia Deveraux, as she waits outside the teepee, craning her neck to see what is going on inside.

"They're the same as the relics from the Catholic Church," continues the pleasant, round-faced woman of 36, whose faith straddles Catholicism and Blackfoot spirituality with equal vigour. "They are a demonstration of the holy spirit. They can heal people."

Reprinted from the Edmonton Journal 2002 by Larry Johnsrude (
The comparison also points to the indigenization of the culture-at-large.

That smartphone connects people through a sort of spirit world. Remember William Gibson's Count Zero? The loa in cyberspace? Creolization is the old indigenization.

But they are not quite the same in a linguistic context:
The contact between languages in multilingual contexts can lead to language change and the formation of new varieties of language. The term indigenization is used to refer to the contact-induced linguistic changes that result in a new dialect, while creolization refers to the emergence of a new language. […] According to Mesthrie and Bhatt (2008 : 11), indigenization ‘refers to the acculturation of the [transplanted language] to localized phenomena, be they cultural, topographic or even linguistic (in terms of local grammatical, lexical and discourse norms).’ In other words, its use in a new environment brings about changes in the transplanted language. Unlike other kinds of linguistic change, however, these changes reflect the influence of the local languages and culture. They also reflect widespread second-language learning of the transplanted language by the local population.

Jeff Siegel. "Multilingualism, Indigenization, and Creolization" in The Handbook of Bilingualism and Multilingualism: Second Edition edited by Tej K. Bhatia and William C. Ritchie.
"Linguistic indigenization occurs when a language is transplanted in a new location and learned and used by the local population." By analogy thinking of spiritual items such as medicine bundles in terms of digital technologies such as smartphones would be a form of acculturation covered by the notion of indigenization. Both have an element of ritual and appropriate use attached to them. Spirituality meets materiality. Holding people together.

And so for day 2041

Dialogue as Exclusion of the Third via Noise Introduction

Serres Hermes I

See Serres, Hermes 66-67: [doCtored with typographiC noise]

Following scientific tradition, let us Call noise the set of these phenomena of interferenCe that become obstaCles to CommuniCation. Thus, CaCography is the noise of graphiC form or, rather, the latter Comprises an essential form and a noise that is either essential or oCCasional. To write badly is to plunge the graphiC message into this noise which interferes with reading, which transforms the reader into an epigraphist. In other words, simply to write is to risk jumbling a form. In the same way, to CommuniCate orally is to risk losing meaning in noise. . . .[C]ommuniCation is a sort of game played by two interloCutors Considered as united against the phenomena of interferenCe and Confusion, or against individuals with some stake in interrupting [67] CommuniCation. These interloCutors . . . battle together against noise. The CaCographer and the epigraphist, the CaCophonous speaker and the auditor, exChange their reCiprocal roles in dialogue, where the sourCe becomes reCeption, and the reCeption sourCe (aCCording to a given rhythm). . . . To hold a dialogue is to suppose a third man and to seek to exClude him; a suCCessful CommuniCation is the exClusion of the third man. The most profound dialeCtical problem is not the problem of the Other, who is only a variety — or a variation — of the Same, it is the problem of the third man. We might Call this third man the demon, the prosopopoeia of noise.

And so for day 2040