In search of story


Vagaries in Gestation: On Being Linear, Part lV, March 16.17

If there are no lines in Nature,

how unnatural is this place?

what narrow box, right-angled well,

what one-eyed vortexed face?

Phantasmic vague stalactites

shadows flat, diffuse

Kafka-like, I morph

into hypotenuse.

Walls and floor and ceiling

and claustophobic me

all sucked into a point

 of squashed infinity.

More thanks to the S.W. Berg Photo Archives.

Vagaries in Gestation


Vagaries in Gestation: On Being Linear, Part lll, March 15.17

©M. O’Hern


There may be no lines in Nature, but there are lines in Geometry, where I learned that a line is an infinite series of dots, that we see only a segment of it as it stretches into infinity. That hurt my head.

Can’t a line be just a line? Must Geometry ruin more than an hour of the school day? Must it contaminate every sketch wherein a line suggests a form, a gesture?

These lines tell of a hand, our first tool and our last. If the lines stretch into infinity, how fitting that they take with them this transient tool. This hand, no longer useful, waits. My pencil reaches out, as does my heart, to that waiting, transcribing it to something see-able. Something tangible. Some way to show what I feel. Some way to keep my dad.

When I sketched this, I didn’t know he would die in two days. I only knew that I was seeing things that no one else saw. I was alone at his bedside, as usual. I am sure that, as it sketched, my hand was also reaching out. Would anyone ever know what this was like for the solitary daughter? Yes. Now you know.

If the line we see is only a segment of its infinite self, what does that tell us about everything else we see?

It flows then like the line that the simplicity of a sketch is not simple at all.




Vagaries in Gestation