Ripenings and Twistings: Emergences of the Fantastic

‘Ideas change, they warp and become salty, they run, they are eclipsed, they go dark. Ideas compost, they drop seeds . . . Ideas are saturated, incubated, stained, and blurred . . . Most live in the substrata, lurking in the forest undergrowth, in the pavement of my city, in the folds of skin behind your knees.’

from Beginnings? (Nora Bateson, 2015)

Come back and around in the art of going around in circles. There are things we can learn about letting things ripen and in our re-twists and returns. Drop in an idea or two and let them brew. You know (I’ll assert) the page can be a fantastic arena for fermentation (and, here, ‘fantastic’ is with a view to the blown out, a starsplash, out of the ordinary): the spread of yeast, the Petri dish. Or, mixing metaphors, drop in a bead of ink and watch it unfold in the water. We write and we wait.

Do you know what you wrote, one day, stone cold sober or otherwise, and later underneath the ink there is, you find, something sweet unique? What does it matter if they might say that all that ever might be written ever has been written? It never has been written quite this way. Though you may not have known it at the time, later when you read again you sensed something just breathing. We write and we wait and we listen in.

It may just be the brewing process, words steeped in the mash of time and place where they were written, steeped in the puttering and bubbling of the states of being, times and places of our returns of reading. We write and we wait, we listen in and we stir.

Underneath the ink is something quite unique. We create our tenebrous soft and wet-winged creatures and leave them in the dark. What is it that they’re silked with? What ‘ineffable utter neatness’ and ‘everything just connects-ness’ smothers them? What lies folded within the nascent, soft wet wings of a line? It may just be its settling that imbues its future reading with an artistry. We write and we wait, we listen in and we stir; we study with the keenness of mothers.

Come back and around in the art of going around in circles. There are things we can learn about letting things ripen and in our re-twists and returns. Drop in an idea or two and let them brew. You know (I’ll assert) the page can be a fantastic arena for fermentation: the spread of yeast, the Petri dish, where the salty long-tongued lick of lips is soft and small — the grub, the pup that opens up its silk-slipped wings, letting leatherings and letterings stiffen in the breeze you breathe across them.

We write, we wait, we listen, and we stir; we study and we are astounded, confounded, by the creatures we have made.
 
 

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