I occasionally question my choice of Redacting Rosslyn as the catchall category for the nearly decade-and-a-half process of documenting Rosslyn’s rehab ad infinitum or — more precisely — of telling the story (distilling the spirit from the collage of details, filtering out acerbic and delicate dregs, blending the best into a balanced and cohesive whole.) Aspiring toward a collection of converging vignettes, I nevertheless succumb to segues and siren songs, wondering and wandering wayward. Again. And again.
If only I could harness the haiku’s seductive simplicity…
Converging Vignettes Haiku
Looking through layers
entangled textures, voices,
— Geo Davis
UnHaiku & Long-form
But wrangling a love affair with a home (and the layers of living that have accrued over sixteen years of Rosslyn homing) is less haiku than kaleidoscopic collage. Or mirage!
And while I often turn to haiku (or poetry in general) to capture what more prolix prose muddle or obscure, long-form is invariably useful to transform life into words. Fortunately it’s usually just a preliminary step, a zero draft or rough draft, that will condense and streamline through editing and revising. After all, sometimes unhaiku can amplify and dilate and reveal what a haiku can surreptitiously obscure. And long-form as a process can prime the proverbial pump, facilitate insights, expose patterns and possibilities that might have slipped past undiscerned in the lived moment.
Over the last few months that I’ve been re-immersing myself in years of Rosslyn ramblings, photographs, notes, and miscellaneous artifacts, converging vignettes have begun to reveal themselves. Are they mirages? Perhaps, but they’re familiar mirages rooted in memory. There’s a clarity to their contours. Perhaps the passage of time (and repetition of patterns) underpin discernment. I’m not sure. But I’m relieved and grateful that so far revisiting the past and overlaying the present is rendering… something. It’s premature to define it, label it, confine it, or restrict it. But there’s a profoundly exciting coalescence happening.
So where does this leave me/us?
In an effort to continue catalyzing this convergence, I’m concurrently diving in and stepping back. Immersion and withdrawal. Total intimacy and distance. If convergence requires the merging of distinct entities and the progressive movement toward union, then I will commit to this process. I will deep dive into the tangled textures, the reverberating voices, the layers upon layers of life. But I will concurrently discipline myself to exercise some distance. Filtering and discarding. Disentangling and simplifying.
And I will revisit Ways of Seeing after many years in the hopes of better articulating what the heck I’m talking around!