[veggie burgers] DEFINITION - EXPANSION [the inchoate]

USED, altered book 
Everything feels like it is blending together these days. All is yoga, life, art, you name it! It's all merging in such beautiful, resonate way.  How can I separate? 

Ironically, here I am writing, which I love to do, but most words and prose seem so limiting. The more words get welded to some idea, the more it renders them indicators of well—just another illusion. I believe poetry and all art, yoga, oh heck everything (but rigid thinking attached to a belief in the solidity of words) can expand and open us to the magic of.... uh...the divine. 

Recently, two words spontaneously arose—words that point toward something less demarcated. Alive words that both define and expand me; words that can be applied to the artist/yogi in all of us: Creative Activist. 

Still inchoate ideas and feelings.  

Anyway, back on earth, while creative activism can be used in relation to everything we do, I've just finished two pieces that are an expression of it in art. 

One of them is a sculpture based on Peace Pilgrim's diagram of her path to awakening; and the other,  an altered copy of Proust's Volume One of In Search of Lost Time, Swann's Way. "USED," is closest to my heart and consists of nine interventions, interruptions in Proust's narrative that appear (I hope) as seamless surprises to readers of the book because of the use of similar paper and the same font.  

And this too is yoga! (For us literal minded ones, consider it a verbal asana.)

Here, in the sixth intervention of "USED",  I make fun of myself and reveal secrets of the (altered) book. 

                                                                 SWANN IN LOVE                                  429
woman, Mme. Roland sat in an overstuffed chair in her salon on fashionable Rue d'Écho. As a faux French philosopher herself, it was utterly natural that she would consider the nature of reality even while sipping her green tea. After a morning of yoga, her Lululemon yoga pants and flowered shelf-bra tank top (which flattened her rather small breasts) were still moist with post-vinyasa sueur. 
She certainly was no Baudrillard, Foucault, or even de Beauvoir for that matter, but there she was staring out at the delicate early spring green of the estate and thinking—we have what we consider reality and then there are these interruptions, interferences, and/or interventions that break into our comfortable little narratives. 
We could be reading a highly regarded early 20th century novel for example, and our thoughts might wander to a job we had last fall. Of course, I didn't need the money! I was intrigued by the work. It was transcribing Marlon Brando's audiotapes—everything from personal conversations to his Tetiaroa housekeeper's monologues. I was fascinated by the glimpses into this man's life. 
Then we would read a bit more of the novel, and our mind might wander to bookmarks and art, in particular an artist named Erica Baum who makes dog-ears on old book pages and photographs them with serendipitous and poetic results.  This banal act of folding down a corner of book page even without reading the resulting word combinations—is visually compelling. Art is everywhere! I think I'll dog-ear the book I'm reading now in homage to Erica Baum... 

At that point Mme. Roland was interrupted by a text message from her friend Francoise who was a ballet dancer. 

"U want 2 comp tkts to swan lake @ d wortham  Saturday?"

                                                 SWANN'S WAY                                 430

"Yes, love em thanx. Good seats?"

Well, where was I? Reality and interruptions/interferences in our stories, in our fragile realities. I rest my case. Perhaps I'll read a few more pages of that novel. 

Mme. Roland put down her cell phone, picked up the book, and began reading page 430:

...but the importance of which began once more to feel in proportion as the spontaneous relaxation of his suspicions, often accelerated by the distraction brought to him by reading about art or by the conversation of a friend render his passion less exacting of reciprocities.

Huh? Merde! Who translated this? Then she continued:

Now that, after this swing of the pendulum Odette had naturally returned to the place from which Swann's jealousy had momentarily driven her... 

Mme. Roland stirred in her chair and placed the book in her lap. She thought about the ballet Saturday—Swan Lake, the swan Odette, Swann, the Prince, and the black swan Odile and her 32 fouettes pirouettes. Incroyable!  She had studied ballet also, but had taken up South Indian classical dance, Bharata Natyam, when living in India in her twenties. Distressed by the recent outbreaks of violence against women in India, she often felt helpless and broken hearted by the cruelty and suffering in the world. 

 She wondered—do dreams and daydreams break into reality or does reality intervene in dreams? Is there one narrative or hundreds of narratives at all times? What is the truth resting just beneath the surface of art and life? Mme. Roland certainly had philosophical inclinations but being hungry, she closed the early 20th century novel, went straight to the kitchen, and made herself a veggie burger with vegan mayonnaise and a green pepper on a whole-wheat bun....in seclusion—that perfidious 


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