A story about stories. As if. I have many stories, which ones do I choose to endorse, to give the gift of embodiment? Which ones will I choose to envision, revision, elaborate, write a sequel, a series, a curriculum vitae? With my storied opus vitae, I cross my fingers hoping to become someone else’s op. cit. So dearly do we cling to life that we imagine our name having some ephemeral immortality gives us something. II does. A story, a story for the time being. Not for later, that’s another story. We abide in a story that we can bank our stories for later, like books at a library. Our life story chapters are stories, or a compendium of many, as in a book.
Of course, this is an amalgam of false stories. To think we have choice in the stories we tell. We are part of a grand wave of story called human history, one where so much is invested into inscription. I suppose that’s where the eye began its tyranny. Ciphers became auguries, and we all want to know what is coming next by defining what has already happened. They go together. What we perceive as outcome, as ending, is in a determinative stream of what we tell ourselves has happened before.
The tyranny of the eye, did it begin with ciphers or cinders? We are so drawn to fire because of the eye. The eye, which looks to variegations in color during the day, or nocturnally, simply looks for reflected light, shadowed feral eyes or the moon. All these things were surely enmeshed in the predicative hunt for survival.
The eyes. The fire. Look at us now, mesmerized into our screens for the better part of the hunting day, as we search for that story which will finally satisfy or steady us. Of course, the real story is that none of these stories can, and yet we never stop searching. We are hunter gatherers discarding everything we make into a trophy or put into a basket.
The eyes. The fire. There are so many other elements. Earth, air, water, wood (in the Chinese system). We might do well to close our eyes. Give them a rest. Simply touch the smooth complex grasses and roots of the earth. The cool ineffable liquidity water as it passes through our fingers, unstoppable in its evasion of all our attempts to hunt it or to gather it. As we forget that water gives all life. The air, we could listen to it pass through our ears as breezes or far off cries of human or animal origin, calling us back to something that carries us away from our campfire and into the unknown. Wood, standing vertical for centuries tells us stories much larger than our eyes can ever see. Stories we lose when we burn it. Resting here, our laser focus on the fires of the day can be seen as small, small stories in a much broader context.
Can I look at the fire in my eyes in the eye? The bromide is that we can’t see our own eyes. And yet, we have to. It is the next thing being asked for. It is the mind’s eye that is being asked for. To have the capacity to see our own stories, and all the amplifications and magnifications we materialize in order to create what we deem a worthy mirage frame for the god of the eye, and the power of the fire.
Can I see my own eyes? I would have to give up something precious, something dear, something that seems my primary limb. The limb, the story that only the eye can not only see but also create outcomes and endings to the story of my body, and the story of the world, this story may well need amputation.
As for me, you will never catch me ever saying a story travels in one direction only. Time is circular. I have seen it when I close my eyes. Choice is limited, and time molds us into the channel that leads the spiral to a single point, and through it, back out to a helix that leads to somewhere we have never been before. That is what all stories are about. Trying through some sort of collective gossip to be able to somehow grasp at where all this is going. Can you see where it is going? I know so comfortably that I can’t. I close my eyes and wait for what is next. Oh, yes, I will tell stories with eyes of fire. But I will never believe they are one way or come to an end I will know.