Saturday, July 8, 2017

Journal bricolage: We are far from perfection in the sphere of Luna

Looking over a forest of antlers under a downy sky
I make the sign of the Enterer
I come from an Order of the Western Way
A Hasid offers to lend me his sidelocks
I bring home a bear cub on my shoulder
I dive through jaguar’s jaws to play doctor
Time has no secrets from the blue-white mirror
I am making a spiral labyrinth with a silk slip
A scorpion astrologer stabs a paper napkin with hexes
I am docking at Broceliande in outer space
There is a treasure chest at the door of my house
Jung gives me the Book of Heaven, his posthumous master work
A pregnant red fox is clinging to me
Demons are roosting in the cliffs but can be distracted by raw meat
She says she had a hard time staying asleep after she died in 1630
I defend the deer with a long-handled wooden mallet
We are far from perfection in the sphere of Luna

Just for fun, I played a game with my journals over the past half hour. I plucked one report, at random, from journals I had kept over one year. I took one line from that report, with no editing, and made it a line in an emerging poem. I repeated this, year by year, until my mind and my belly told me I had enough. Above you can read the result. The lines appear in chronological order from my journals from 1988 to 2005. Seventeen years, seventeen lines. I did not count as I was plucking, but seventeen is perfect because in tarot it is the Star, for me the card of dreaming with the greater Self. I did not change the order of the lines except for putting Luna (from 2000) at the end.
     This is a poetic version of what I have called journal bricolage. 
I've given up trying to translate this marvelous French word, sometimes rendered as "tinkering". It's about putting together bits and pieces on a whim, rather than approaching a project as a solid, stolid work of engineering. It's about following oneiric logic rather than plans and structures.
     Claude Lévi-Strauss,who made the word at home in French, found that this approach is central to the making of myths and the workings of "the savage mind". In his celebrated book La pensée sauvage he observed that the bricoleur employs "devious means". His game is "always to make do with whatever is at hand, that is to say with a set of tools and materials which is always finite and is also heterogeneous because what it contains bears no relation to the current project, or indeed to any particular project, but is the contingent result of all the occasions there have been to renew or enrich the stock or to maintain it with the remains of previous constructions or destructions."
     Found objects, junk shops, storage basements, words overheard from strangers...these are materials for bricolage. So are your journals.
     As I look over my instant poem, I am fired up to play games of memory and investigation. Has Jung in the afterlife really written the Book of Heaven with a purple cover that he showed me in a corner bookshop? Do I need to examine what was going on in my life when that pregnant red fox started clinging to me? Why do I find myself in dream after dream, defending the vulnerable with the weapon of Sucellos, the Good Striker, a Celtic boundary guardian? What more does the daimon of Luna want to share with me and through me?

Sketch of Sucellos in RM journal, July 1996


Sloan Bashinsky said...

To days ago, a friend told me to check out Robert Moss and gave me a link to this blog. I sent the radio station email address an email, but heard nothing back. Here's the email I sent:

From: Sloan Bashinsky
Sent: Sunday, July 9, 2017 7:23 PM
Subject: potential interviewee on your radio show

I told the American who told me about Robert Moss today that I imagine in some way aborigines were in on the things that happened to him when he was young in Australia, which led to where he is now. The wild aborigines viewed dream time as the real time, and what we call reality as a distortion. I think they had it figured out, certainly much better than the white invaders.

I catch plenty of hell regularly for relying on my dreams and using dreams other people have about me.

I have done probably 300 radio and TV, mostly radio interviews over the years, but nobody ever wanted to interview me about my experiences with dreams, the supernatural, etc., which are ongoing.

When I was in Australia (Darwin) in November 1995, a male and a female aborigine came to me out of dream time in the rear of an SUV in Kakadoo containing several younger Australians and me. Back then it was my habit to ask spirit visitors what I had that they wanted? They laughed, said, we are real people, what could you have that we would want? Real people is what the aborigines in Morgo Morgan's MUTANT MESSAGE DOWNUNDER called themselves. Embarrassed, I asked them, well, why did you come? To invite you into our tribe, they said, and went back into dream time. This conversation was telepathic and only I saw and heard them.

Below is a link to today's post at my website, this is July 9, 2017. I live in Key West. The title of today's post might be a joke, as I have not really tried to commerce in what I was trained to do, although I'm starting to wonder if that was how it was supposed to go, or if that is changing and it will be something I move into?

Sloan Bashinsky
Born Oct. 7, 1942, Birmingham, Alabama

Carol Davis, OP said...

Robert, this is delightful, fun, evocative, creative. A forest of antlers, a treasure chest, a Book of Heaven, dream gifts over time that holds no secrets from the blue-white mirror. This peaks my imagination and invites me into more...

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