Tonight I turned my tender-monkey grooming ways to my laptop. Burnished the old girl with pointy little q-tips intended for home manicures, and removed all the keys to see what was going on with the sticky e.
The keyboard was filled with flax seeds (three varieties), chia seeds, hemp seeds, and lint.
The keys were a little scrabble quiver on my desk, so I stole up the first two words I saw and popped them back in to the middle line of my console, which now reads:
In the Boggle game that is my new keyboard, there is also ZAP!, POW!, HIC> (Latin for here), PROG, BYE, YES, PAN, LMFAO (oops) and ZANORG.
What is this last formation? A message in some Dell computer kabbalah? May its meaning be revealed in time, oh mystical Inspiron.
ZAP HIC THIS NOW ZANORG hides my true configuration, the fast hacker script DVORAK. That pattern we had to know by the touch in the days before pop-off laptop keys, so at this point the key symbols are useless to me except as some kind of new mnemonic. It’s not like I ever really look where I’m going, but I hope XTHIS<NOW!: catches me sometimes.
It’s so immanent!
Is there an answer here though to this weird suggestion I’ve been puzzling—that traditions of practice must be taken up and led by women in order to remain useful? I don’t know, and I’m all out of little treatises for now, but I’ve also been looking at this heap of keyboard letters and thinking of Jorge Luis Borges, who wrote about alphabets and labyrinths and also has this story called The Immortal.
It’s so beautiful—go read it, in the collection The Aleph and Other Stories. It’s about the meaninglessness of a “heaven” that is without time, in which you could live your own life and that of any other as many times as you want because there was no horizon on duration. (Usually we talk about utopias in space—as outside of this physical place—but this reminds me that Christian heaven is both out of time and out of space: somehow its transcendence is based on its foreverness.) Borges’ story is about the spiritual thrill of thisness, of being in time. Thisness in time is fulfillment.
It’s like we forget this because thisness is what we have.
I have sometimes wanted to avoid the association of “the feminine” with immanence. Why is groundedness, which is no less crucial than lightness, and no less thrilling, all wrung up in our archetypes with wombs and earth and sacred chalices and receiving and goddess stuff? And mystery, gnosticism, the body? Why does this all go together? Why draw from this heap of signifiers that actual female people—so different from feminine archetypes—are what the old practices lack?
I think it’s just a shortcut, a way of saying wake up, wiseasses. There’s so much mystery around immanent spirituality, maybe because if it’s right here immediately then there is no journey. People want a journey. So much mystery about the body so that we can grope for years through the labyrinth in search of it.
Sometimes there is no labyrinth. 🙂