Desire Lines

I knew someone who used to clip
newspaper articles about large

natural disasters— earthquakes
and tsunamis in Japan, hurricanes

in the Philippines, landslides in India;
then he’d study the timeline they made,

to try and predict the next upheaval
in the earth’s biography. He believed

we should all keep a similar record
of whatever befalls us every day,

in order to better control not necessarily
the events themselves but our responses

— to not let the accidents of either
grief or joy gain the upper hand, not

forget ourselves in heights of transport
or in the depths of despair. According

to him, the mind needs to train the body
and its network of automatic responses

to stimuli: to stop on call, merely observe
without judgment. To ease the desire line

pulling constantly in all directions: like a spoilt
child, so used to demanding absolute obedience.

 

In response to Via Negativa: Craft.

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