Today I drove again from Ypsilanti, Mich., to Christiansburg, Va., what is becoming entrenched as “the route.” Sometimes when I clock it, the GPS says 500 miles. Other times, like this morning, 501 miles. I stopped for coffee in Bowling Green. And fueled up at the Speedway just north of Delaware, Ohio. Gut-buster lunch in Ravenswood, W.V. And, predictably-oddly spotted A. driving in the northbound lanes of I-77 where our paths–👋🏼–crossed 18 miles outside of Beckley, which I still associate with the now-boarded-up Mountain State University. A. was going to Charleston for a visit with a cousin, returning again to Christiansburg tomorrow.
I listened to several podcasts along the way, like usual. The Daily, Savage Lovecast, This American Life, The Bulwark. The new season of Serial sounds promising, but I couldn’t tell whether the first episode had been released yet.
Back at the holler, it’s hello kitty with a caring scent-check to Z. (petting her too soon would elicit a slashing event). Carrying in luggage, later unpacking, shoving the bag into the attic where, thankfully, there were no mice in the traps. I pulled on boots and walked lower-to-upper loop, poked my head in the buildings, the sound of scurrying things in the rafters of A.’s studio, the soft pastry sod pushed up by burrowing kin, and noticed lost count but more than 50 robins at the milkweed patch, and put a call in at phone of the wind.
The break was restorative in that I got to spend some time with Is. and Ph., and then last evening, though I hadn’t known to plan for it, T. was over at the condo and we settled into a vigorous round of games with slime followed by an improv performance of “The Goose Who Laid Golden Eggs,” which we staged from behind the love seat with Ph. as the audience. T. picked up quickly on how the goose was threatened by greed, and so the puppets took turns expressing how the goose’s yield could serve their interests, while others talked about protecting the goose and ensuring its well-being. It’s the most writing-program-administrative of fables, but I didn’t mention work; I just enjoyed T.’s delight in the ventriloquism and staging and shenanigans.
While driving today I also had another small breakthrough with the next 🤷🏻♂️ thing I am slowly very slowly bituminously slowly composing; it’s the weirdest of projects for its tripartite gravity in the discipline; in death, loss, and intergenerational memory (folded-clock-like, you could say), and in my own cautious footing with imagetext paradox and the illustrated elements. It’s going to take a while, and that’s okay. But today I was thinking again about hodology, and specifically about chreods versus methods. How did “methods” catch on and hold on as the name for a researcher’s practical tools (and steps) and not “chreods”? The setups are not neatly enough aligned yet for apt, coherent description: a deeply splintered map, it’s a project about hodology, a project about gone-noting practices, a project about impermanence, about phenomenological indexicality, about (or with) hauntography, or the writing with/from what haunts, about tonglen-like clearings with geological and entomological digressions, about the first time I flew on an airplane (1980), the mysterious disappearance of more than $700,000 of Smirnoff vodka (1997), more.