From the occipital bone, the shoulder blades, to the outsides of the hamstrings, calves, and heels, the elbows, the upper third of the forearms, the third and fourth knuckles.
I can’t tell you how I cause my heart to beat. But as no one else is beating it for me…. Call it an involuntary action, but it is at least possible that it is intentional, as intentional as the many things that I do that I don’t exactly know how I do. Like thinking. I mean, I have my methods, my ways, but I am talking about the wetware and the operating system. I don’t know how they facilitate the running of my programs.
I begin this under the waxing gibbous moon.
Awareness is the zero. Alignment, the one.
Protocols. Generally. It is unlikely that I am diagnosable, but I have my ways. Rules. My track record demonstrates that I may flip a rule now and then. The core code, though, those ways run pretty deep. And the loops are not disagreeable nor are they paralyzing, generally, but rather I think you could argue, well-functioning if inelegant code.
When I began to learn asanas, I recognized a set of ways that dovetailed nicely with others of my ways. A path into a kind of moving meditation through the most specific tasks, the mind through the body. Awareness and alignment. And incidentally, a protocol that tricks one, eventually, into lying still for a very long time.
…a system of digital rules for data exchange within or between…
Walking the curve of the low tide line at Indian Head, it occurred to me that the beach induces the corpse pose of the mind.
I had lived for many years within earshot of the Pacific break. But I had forgotten about what wavesound does in the brain, the deepest clearing.
Lying on the floor and sinking in to the earth. Beating my heart. And breathing. She says that breath is touch on the inside. That our lungs massage our other organs.
Every day when we are lying there at the end of the hour she says,
the parts of you that are touching the earth;
the parts of you that are touching the air.
Apart or a part. That is the crux. Noticing is another word for awareness. It initiates the sequence.
This is the green breasted hummingbird in the honeysuckle. Needle-like beak. The chirp if you want to call it that is so brief and focused, I think of it as the one and the silence as the zero. Tiny telegraph.
Holding a rock in my hand. A small chunk of limestone from my homeplace. Save point.
At one point in my life, I spent as many hours in water as I spent out. Sometimes there is a thing that happens when the water is skin temperature, if you don’t move really, and you are in a pool, say, where there are no currents or waves, no water movement because your sister is out on the deck with SPF 4 Hawaiian Tropic on, then your skin, it starts to become indistinguishable from the water.
The number eight is significant. A turn and return. A figure that contains its own protocol, its own pathways for exchange.
I love the smell of chlorine almost as much as I love the smell of the Pacific.
Indistinguishable from the water. Merging the membrane with external material. That was the spawn. It may have been a simulation, but I took it as establishing possibility. Related: being unable to tell, on a warm breezeless evening, where your bare skin stops and the air begins.
Selenite, composed like all gypsums of calcium sulfate dihydrate (meaning it has two molecules of water), will dissolve in water.
Selenite crystals commonly occur as tabular, reticular, and columnar crystals, often with no imperfections or inclusions, and thereby can appear water or glass-like. In some rare instances, water was encased as a fluid inclusion when the crystal formed.
…from Greek selēnitēs (lithos), literally, moonstone or stone of the moon, from selēnē (Moon).
All five senses. It would be easy to ignore most of the senses most of the time and still take in more data than the system could reasonably process let alone store. But it is just in this time of freely flowing zeros and ones that deep attention to at least some of the five become perhaps a rare pursuit, a specialized data set to be captured by devoted, durational attention. (I am lying on the floor.) What then of augmented perception, this notion that I might perceive in a more expansive way by exchanging zeros and ones with surrounding matter. How better to understand than in a limited way to become.
…an interface is a shared boundary across which two separate components of a computer system exchange information.
A couple of years ago I finally decided to quit questioning to smithereens some of my knowns. Just let the core data be the core, quit bothering about the source, and get on with it. So for example, one thing I take without proof (see how hard I avoid the word believe), is that everything is one thing.
(I carry rocks in my pockets.)
I’ll just say I know how this sounds, the development of an enhanced interface facilitating a limited “becoming,” at least around the edges, facilitating exchange. I have had to create certain protocols for bracketing off [[ ]] to protect fragile notions such as this one from being shredded by my own thinking. And yet, empirically, the list of available elements for the composition of materials is fairly short. And are many not variations on a theme? I am no chemist, more of a chemistry fan girl. And even I know how improbable this idea is. And yet…
The third and fourth. And the wood floor.
So much lying down. At the end of the morning practice, evening practice. This is in addition to the regular pre-sleep, sleep, post-sleep lying down. And the Vitamin D lying down. One gets pretty good at noticing.
The intake and expulsion of air. Breath into the parts of you that are touching the earth, she says. Save point.
Like the sound of waves, the sound of breath is a clearing. Initially, I had thought focus was what was required. But focus requires control, and it may be obvious but it took some time for me to understand that this protocol requires release. To unravel the cohesion of the material. Release. To allow exchange.
At the edge of the edge—as on the eroded cliffs at Montana de Oro—there is nothing to keep you from stepping right off. I always feel this about the right sort of cliffs. Further north, my homeplace is littered with these cliffs. Nothing to hold you back. Just as there’s nothing to hold you in once you start exchanging zeros and ones with the surrounding materials. The barrier, the epidermis is a fiction. A joke as a protective shell as any run in with an edge of even the most blunt aspect will demonstrate. And then the discovery that it’s not a shell at all, not a container or outer limit as I’ve always thought of it, but actually a very abbreviated span on a rather large continuum. A horizon.
I was telling Flint that the worst part of my problem with needles is that on more than one occasion, a prolonged breach by a needle has made me feel as though I was falling away from myself. As though I might not come back. Is that dissolution? At what level or in what aspect of the organism? I am quiet in the dentist’s chair, I breathe very carefully to hold on to the center.
A distinction needs to be made. Willing exchange with adjacent material. I cradle the piece of limestone in my palm—skeletal fragments of marine organisms.
The foraminifera ("hole bearers", or forams for short) are a phylum or class of amoeboid protists. They are characterized both by their thin pseudopodia that form an external net for catching food, and they usually have an external shell, or test, made of various materials and constructed in diverse forms. Most forams are aquatic, primarily marine, and the majority of species live on or within the seafloor sediment (benthos) with a small number of species known to be floaters in the water column at various depths (plankton).
The protocol protects the integrity of the core by circumscribing the interface, limiting the surface area over which exchange is made. The protocol focuses as well on the protection of data and the exchanges of that data from corruption.
Related is work on invisibility. The protocol could be used in an expanded way to create the appearance of invisibility for the system as a whole. But that kind of surface-wide interface is where, I am afraid, the danger lies.
For now the safety is skin/skin. The right hand rests on the skin of the torso. In the event of an error in the protocol, inadvertent surface area expansion and uncontrolled exchange, skin plus or minus skin is skin and the point of return is maintained.
In the water, the edges of the selenite grow soft and dissolve.
It’s a full moon now pulling on the blood in my veins.
Lying on the floor. Sinking into the earth. I am not sure if it matters whether this turns out to be a simulation or not.
Occipital bone, shoulder blades…elbow...third and fourth. A piece of limestone in my left palm.