Archive | UC Santa Barbara RSS for this section

The Design, Limitations, and Purpose of Narcons

“Hi.” This congenial, seemingly innocent greeting is what opens Pandora’s Box (and indeed opens paradise) in Volume 1 of Mark Z. Danielewski’s The Familiar. Like some metafictional game of peek-a-boo, the novel’s Narrative Construct pauses the story completely and introduces itself to the reader. TF-Narcon9, as is its designation, exists someplace above and beyond the […]

700701 magic tricks; where’s your cat?

Les Chats

Les amoureux fervents et les savants austères
Aiment également, dans leur mûre saison,
Les chats puissants et doux, orgueil de la maison,
Qui comme eux sont frileux et comme eux sédentaires.

Amis de la science et de la volupté
Ils cherchent le silence et l’horreur des ténèbres;
L’Erèbe les eût pris pour ses coursiers funèbres,
S’ils pouvaient au servage incliner leur fierté.

Ils prennent en songeant les nobles attitudes
Des grands sphinx allongés au fond des solitudes,
Qui semblent s’endormir dans un rêve sans fin;

Leurs reins féconds sont pleins d’étincelles magiques,
Et des parcelles d’or, ainsi qu’un sable fin,
Etoilent vaguement leurs prunelles mystiques.

— Charles Baudelaire

http://fleursdumal.org/poem/155

105-563

Little solace comes

to those who grieve

when thoughts keep drifting

as walls keep shifting

and this great blue

world of our

seems a house of leaves

moments before the wind.

Parenting as a theme

In Xanther’s storyline, Danielewski explores the struggles of parenting a child with a serious medical condition. Both Astair and Anwar express that they are not sure how to care for her best and are worried that they are doing the wrong things for her. Its obvious that they care deeply for their daughter and would do anything improve her life, like move all around the country or spend $20,000 on a dog that would sense her seizures. Anwar especially worries consistently that he is disappointing Xanther as a father.

It seems as though the relationship between Anwar and Xanther is stronger than the relationship she has with her mother, which Astair acknowledges when she expresses that she had been having trouble connecting with her daughter. I think that relationship is the most interesting, because Anwar is not Xanther’s real father, which I think is Danielewskis commentary on custody and responsibility. Xanther’s biological father, Dov, seems to have given up the responsibility to be a father for Xanther, most likely due to the fact that he was committed to the military (and ended up literally giving his life to the military). She calls Dov by his first name and she calls Anwar ‘dad’ or ‘daddy’. According to Astair, Dov was one who taught her to call him by his first name. Xanther seems to have a deep tenderness and admiration for Dov, in the way that she looked up to his bravery and obsessively listened to his records, but it doesn’t seem as though she regards him as much a father figure. Xanther seems to recognize that Anwar has been the one to actually act as a father in her life, and even expresses to his coworkers that she feels very lucky to have him as a father, and also seems to adore and admire him in general. Anwar is the one who can claim ‘custody’ (not in the legal sense of the word) for Xanther because he earned it by caring and providing for her in a way that her real father didnt.

Still working on identifying custody, care, and responsibility in other character’s chapters, if anyone has any ideas please comment!

The Novel as an Apparatus (By Danielle Levy)

Disclaimer: This is not my post. This post was created by Danielle Levy.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Hey guys! Thought id put this up..we are writing essays for class and i tried to map out the way in which the novel is constructed (how it remains convoluted yet maintains its organization..something along those lines 🙂 ) any comments would be great and criticisms about the writing or ideas! always trying to get better 🙂

Perhaps before we are able to realize it, the Astral Omega passage in the beginning of The Familiar summarizes the entire context of the novel. The passage seems to occur in the earliest period of time of the universe, the Planck Epoch, a time between 0 and 10^-43 seconds. While it appears that the narrator comes from this early time, he seems to come from the future, claiming that the past and the future have grown into one. He reveals that the ‘dissolution’ of the future is what has drawn the present into the future, a dissolution that has perhaps made it possible for him to futuristically report from the past. The narrator darkly mentions that despite prolonged ‘postponements,’ questions of war and death have turned out to be ‘broken promises.’ War and death are just as unanswered as they were in the past, and it seems that the ‘postponement’ of these problems did not lead to the solving of them. Danielewski, with this convergence in mind, thereby establishes the ‘familiar.’ The familiar is a marker of reoccurring significance that represents the convergence of the past and future as narrated in the novel. It appears throughout the novel as, literally, the highlighted word ‘familiar.’ Danielewski materializes the familiar, aside from just the word, in a more specific convergence between mysticism and the technological. The cat is predominantly the mystic familiar while the orb is the technological, and the owl is yet another convergence between the mystic and the technological that adopts characteristics of both worlds. These familiar’s have characters that operate them, and the characters through these mystic means come into contact with technological ends, or vice versa. The cat leads Xanther to the narcons through direct association, while the orb leads Cas and Bobby to the question of the mystic through its invention. The convoluted series of convergences between mystic and technological presuppose the ultimate convergence occurring between the past, present, and the future of everything in existence.

The transfer of the cat from Tian Li to Xanther through the rescue points towards Xanther’s ability to recognize the paranormal and operate in levels above that of her simple humanity. Through her ability, Danielewski converges the technological and the mystic by giving the mystic technological characteristics. The mystic is transformed into something technological when readers discover that the ultimate ‘higher beings’ seem to be narrative construct machines. In this way, God seems to be eliminated as the higher being and replaced by the ‘narcons’ that code the everyday lives of each character. Therefore, Xanther’s ability is indeed mystic, but is ultimately of a technological nature. Xanther’s epilepsy is also rendered simultaneously mystic and technological when it is both related to Tian li and attributed to overloads of information. In one sense, readers can tell that Xanther is some sort of paranormal, if not a witch, because Tian Li also has epileptic fits during spells. Yet, in the other sense, these fits are also said to be due to the aforementioned overloads of information. If one considers the definition of the familiar as a ‘spirit, often taking the form of an animal, which obeys and assists a witch or other person,’ its means is purely mystic. Yet, the ends of Xanther’s connection with the mystic cat lead her to the technological beings that are embodied within that cat. In the immediate sense, Xanther is a witch because she possesses paranormal capabilities of recognition. However, this recognition ultimately connects her to the world of the narcons, the technological beings that are the ends of her mystic abilities.

Cas and Bobby seem to represent the other side of the convergence in which the technological is rendered into the mystic. They have a seemingly governmental objective in which they may want to reveal very sensitive information that is shown on the orbs. These orbs capture ‘narcon’ narrations and show them, in various clips, to those watching. Readers could guess that because the narcons are omnipresent in nature, they show clips that reveal information that is too sensitive for the public, thus making the orbs objects of controversy. By starting with the technological, Cas and Bobby’s stories create different ends than that of Xanthers. The convergence in Xanther lies in the mystic means that lead to the technological ends. To put it simply, the mystic cat leads to the suspicion of the existence of the technological. Cas and Bobby’s orbs begin with technological means that capture mystic ends. The clips, which are the ends, are mystic because they rely on pure coincidence to show specific images or stories. Readers see an example of this reliance on coincidence when Bobby recalls that his friend, Sorcerer, saw Xanther in the orb, and knew her through Anwar. There is no mention of a pattern, nor of a deliberate search for Xanther, but instead a random clip that happened to connect Sorcerer with Xanther. Readers wonder where this coincidence came from, if it is coincidence, and if there is an even higher operational system above the narcons that is somehow controlling who sees what clip. The differentiation arises out of the ends that rely on coincidence, a mystic characterstic.

The owl is representative of yet another inter-convergence between the mystic and the technological that does not have a clear end or means. There are multiple examples of the owl as a predominantly mystic figure that thereby ends with the technological, while there are counter examples that end in the mystic. The Blade Runner allusion in the epigraph of ‘The Orb’ demonstrates the owl as a mechanical ‘replicant’ from the movie; replicants being engineered robots that are almost ‘more than human.’ One could say that the physically mechanical nature of the owl begs the question of its mystic properties, in which the boundaries of technology are challenged by a presence of artificial intelligence or emotion. In other examples, however, the owl is purely mystic when it inspires Tian Li’s epileptic fit from her experience in the owl room or when it appears as Pontianak. It becomes difficult to consider the owl either predominantly mechanical or mystic when it appears as ambiguously both. Furthermore, in the Familiar 2 passage on Oria, readers wonder if Oria is a part of Anwar’s game Paradise Open. If she is the enemy that was described as chasing the prey, she is mechanical in her physical sense, yet mystic in her potential self-awareness. This self-awareness can be seen when she decides to kill the baby jaguar. The lines are blurred, however, when it can be said that she exists in the same mode as every other character in the novel. Technically, every character is coded by a narcon, just as Oria is coded by Anwar. The owl is ambiguously difficult to pinpoint, and marks a perfect example of the convergence between technology and mysticism that does not begin with a specific means.

The convergences between mysticism and technology ultimately presuppose the convergence of the past, present, and the future. The opposite ways in which the mystic or the technological approach the other creates a sense of convolutedness that simultaneously has order. The use of the owl, cat, and orb as objects of interest could appear random superficially, but the way in which they are developed as objects of interest make them significantly more coherent. I specifically focused on the means in which these convergences are carried out, and in a sense tried to determine the means in which these convoluted convergences are formed. The construct that starts with the mystical and ends with the technological can be justified by searching for a technological representation of the cat. There doesn’t seem to be any instance in which the cat presents itself from a predominantly technological existence, and it instead remains in the mainly mystical. On the other hand, the orb better embodies the technological due to its physical existence as a machine. Therefore, its unexplained reliance on random, if not coincidental clips points towards a mystic ends that is not yet attributed to any one character. The owl, as the in between of the schema, is representative of the ever-converging nature of the convergences themselves. It is the explicit way in which these cacophonies and convergences form that creates the extremely convoluted yet meaningful feel in the novel, something that constantly renders us in search yet perpetually premature of the answer.

¡Breakthrough in TF-Narcon²⁷!

One of the many puzzles our class at UCSB has been trying to solve is exactly WHO’s behind the countless redactions in the text (see the top of pages 629-634 for examples). This came up once we reached the Narcons chapter and discovered to our dismay that there were redactions made TO a Narcon’s speech, making us suspicious of who was behind these redactions all along. After all, redactions TO a Narcon directly contradict Parameter 1: ‘MetaNarcons Do Not Exist.’ Who, then, or what, could possibly be behind them?

I’m pleased to say I’ve found the answer: it’s TF-Narcon²⁷. Allow me to explain.

TF-Narcon⁹ introduces itself on what would be page 565, and the reader learns all about the ‘Narrative Construct’ and its parameters. Throughout this section another voice interrupts and provides information that TF-Narcon⁹ “can no more see or hear than feel” (566), and we know from the fonts key at the back of the book that the bolded, more dominating font in question belongs to none other than TF-Narcon²⁷. Logically, if the ‘9’ in TF-Narcon⁹ refers to the number of characters in Vol. 1, then the ’27’ in TF-Narcon²⁷ refers to the entire series as a whole, since 27 installments are to be written. TF-Narcon²⁷, then, represents the kind of superset of all other Narcons. That is to say, if TF-Narcon⁹ is meant to oversee Vol. 1 of The Familiar, then TF-Narcon²⁷ is meant to oversee the entire series…

The reason I am convinced that TF-Narcon²⁷ is behind the redactions is relatively straightforward: every time TF-Narcon²⁷ ‘interrupts’ TF-Narcon⁹, the latter is overwhelmed with an inexplicable feeling of “breathlessness,” the very same feeling it gets immediately after the large redaction on what would be page 570.

I’ll break it down better.

On page 565, TF-Narcon²⁷ first interjects this section and right after this paragraph TF-Narcon⁹ suddenly becomes “dizzy” and “off, in a breathless sort of frantic way.” This occurs again, shortly before the end of the section, when TF-Narcon²⁷ interjects a paragraph on the denouement of Xanther’s old therapist Mrs. Goolsend, and again TF-Narcon⁹ states it feels “uneasy.” A couple paragraphs down and “the nausea still isn’t gone,” nor is that same “breathlessness,” suggesting a direct link between this Narcons’ feeling of unease and the interjections of TF-Narcon²⁷. The reason all this is significant is because TF-Narcon⁹ feels the SAME “breathless, frantic thing” on page 571, right after an entire block of text has been censored. Conclusion? The redactions are the doing of TF-Narcon²⁷, the MetaNarcon.

This does, indeed, go directly against Parameter 1, which states clearly that “MetaNarcons Do Not Exist,” but read what TF-Narcon⁹ admits just before stating this parameter: “Everyone has a Narcon. Except me. Or maybe I do, but if so, it is considered an indeterminate form which my programming forbids me even to pursue as a thought experiment.” This is a big clue. We know from before that Narcons are “nothing but numbers. Zeros and ones” (565), essentially a coded program. It is my theory that these parameters simply refer to the programming code of TF-Narcon⁹ and that these paramenters exist to prevent “highly volatile MetaMeta- constructs” (573), and may actually be false. For instance, “neither TF-Narcon⁹ X nor TF-Narcon⁹ knows what happened to Xanther’s former therapist” (575), yet the omniscient TF-Narcon²⁷ proves it knows every detail of her existence, from the therapist’s dying thoughts to the man she would come to marry (576). TF-Narcon²⁷ is, thus, the MetaNarcon of TF-Narcon⁹ and is responsible for every redaction in the novel, from the crossed out names in the “prologue,” for lack of a better word, to the details above the Orb clips from pages 629-34. My theory is that TF-Narcon²⁷, representing the entire series, is blotching out major “spoilers” that the reader needs not know until a later volume. These redactions also give storylines an air of mystery that contributes to the seriality of the The Familiar.

There are a ton of instances where redactions occur in the novel, and there are even more instances of TF-Narcon²⁷ interjecting omniscient details that TF-Narcon⁹ does not have access to, very much like TF-Narcon⁹ adds miscellaneous information within the storylines of Xanther, Astair, and Anwar that they do not have access to. Analyzing these instances and their contexts will no doubt lead to more enlightening findings, metafictional or otherwise. Hope this all made sense!

(What… TF… is.. this.) Signiconic {?}

This is a leviathan discourse of the signiconic. I don’t know if any of this supports all of your readings, but I would suggest that if I’m close to some element of truth, that your comments can help us create our “global village.”

Danielewski defines signiconic as follows:

“Signiconic = sign + icon. Rather than engage those textual faculties of the mind remediating the pictorial or those visual faculties remediating language, the signiconic simultaneously engages both in order to lessen the significance of both, and therefore achieve a third perception no longer dependent on sign and image for remediating a world in which the mind plays no part.”

In the post All the Colors, I briefly comment on the relationship between the sign and the icon. My claim is that Narcon^9 is the frame through which the reader understands the identity of each of the characters in the novel, and it follows that because Narcon^9 is the frame, the reader does not necessarily understand or know each character’s immediate sensory experiences, since the Narcon describes characters and their experiences in the way that Narcon understands both of which . As a result, the reader notices that there are breaks in the text that do not actual break the text into parts, but they actually blur the separation between the sign and the icon. One may argue that there are many occurrences of this phenomena throughout the text, but, for now, I will use pg. 639 as the stepping-stone.

This section embodies my argument because of its allusion.  There is a question of “how many days and hours… it [had] taken just to hear “message” instead of ” The heart quickens at such a massage”?” This is a reference to Marshall McLuhan’s, The Medium is the Massage, which causes the reader to reconstruct/deconstruct/re-fragmentate The Familiar as a testimonial to McLuhan’s work, and furthermore a metafictional exploration of the ramifications that both their modes of writing call into [re]action.

McLuhan’s “massage” mentions the idea of “Acoustic space: boundless, directionless, horizonless, in the dark of the mind, in the world of emotion, by primordial intuition, by terror.” (pg.48)  This “acoustic space” is a prominent concept that figures into the [in/re/con]ception of Danielewski’s work HOL , in which the term is described in relation to the ineluctable and inexorable infinity (mobius strip?) that the house represents . I mention this concept here because there is a way that TF’s references to Danielewski’s other works serves to traverse time,form, and linearity to serve other more inclusive purposes. McLuhan also states that our sense of hearing is more in tune with the “environment” than vision, beacusing hearing allows us to experience life enveloped in “acoustic space;” this relationship is established because sound is heard at the locus of the ear, but is received from every direction at once.

McLuhan states that in our media’s current state, “electric circuitry is recreating in us the multi-dimensional space orientation of the “primitive”, “ (pg. 56) and that “electronic interdependence recreates the world in the image of a global image.” (pg. 67)

So, how does this relate to the signiconic?

At first, the definition of the signiconic seemed exceedingly profound to me. I could not grasp the concept because I did not understand what the end of remediation is, nor did I comprehend what it means to “remediate a world in which the mind plays no part.” After reading McLuhan’s work, I realize that the use of multiple different types of languages, narrative and page formats/structures are the signiconic’s means of constructing a world that inherently calls into question mere representation in itself, which causes the reader  to remediate their own sensory experience of the text.  For example, if the reader uses the internet to translate the singlish found in jingjing’s sections for all of jingjing’s sections, the reader is exposed to a font-type and a voice that resounds aurally, visually, empathetically, and in their mind’s eye, as naturally as if the tale was in english; this feeling is experienced if and only if the reader uses some mode of media (or an “apparatus,” like a person who speaks the language) to understand this foreign idea. Jingjing is obviously not the only character that requires additional information and self-projection, and because all of these characters require a certain level of both, it follows that we find a sense of ourselves in each one of the stories by end of this volume. I’d like to note this is a specific scenario, but the extent of this dialogue can be carried to enhance the analysis of narrative arcs that include individual characters being connected by some object or some higher calling, or even the images that begin each chapter; the ends all means all is that they are connected through difference and similarity, because they are signs and icons of one another (or not). If not, then the reader chooses to trust the Narcon and understand that “Most of the iconic goes unsigned,” which may adhere to the set-up for Narcon^9, but may not necessarily be the case in future volumes with other Narcons (or even Xanther, if she, as the character who seems like McLuhan’s poster child, develops a sense of going beyond her self to be immersed in the environment as a completely understanding being———— this applies only if one thinks she is alive; my own reading of the end of the novel made me feel — because of the way the words are structured in the page in a signiconically significant way– as if the was an incubus trying to take the last bit of her breath it couldn’t pull from her earlier ((((((((( I guess that’s why the mind is involved in the signiconic

Acoustic      Space       =        boundless       infinite?     understanding {?} )))))))))

The Significance of Water

I’d like to discuss the use of water in the text, besides the obvious fact that it is raining (on this day in May), and its many forms. The water in this text not only represents themes or personality traits within characters but it allows for a sense of mystery that is not answered within this first volume.

Xanther’s sections drop the most references regarding water, much more so than her clear wonderment at how many raindrops there are outside (maybe even inside?). Her question song is somewhat formed around the drops bombarding her and she finds herself unable to escape their impact, nor does she seem to want to. She lets them fall and becomes concerned when she thinks it becomes too much for others to handle. Also in regards to her questions, Xanther discusses the types of questions she asks, labeling them as dangerous or mild. When explaining what makes the dangerous questions distinguishable, she compares them to “holes in the ground. Or the water…. Like earthquakes and whirlpools. Like, what’s underneath just, you know, falls away? Like a [chasm]!” In this moment, water seems to be a dangerous factor in her questions/thoughts, rather than simply a point of mystery. The mention of a chasm however, brings her perceptiveness to things beyond her, as it is somewhat reminiscent of what happens later to Hopi. She also says that she is reminded, as someone who is worried that she is a “Fraidy K,” that she is “tougher than Mudd.” This is a double entendre, as her biological father’s last name was Mudd, and Xanther often compares herself to Dov’s braveness. Mud is clearly made of water and dirt, and as two key elements, is as persistent in our world as cockroaches. This perhaps foreshadows Xanther’s actions later on in the novel, as she courageously fights to save the kitten, though it gives her the same battle wounds as the terrifying seizures. The mud, though persistent, also acts as a point of shrouded understanding, as Xanther recalls that whenever Anwar explains his engine, she understands at the time but when she tries to remember later it becomes muddied. The water, while acting as a clarifier, can also hide many things.

For Astair, the water is a representation of her anxiety and her scattered thoughts. The first section with her in it portrays her going around the house thinking about her daughters, the big surprise, the recent death in their lives, the prank pulled by Mefisto, and the results of her paper, all while looking for leaks that are letting water in. As scattered as her thoughts are, so are each set of drops coming from each leak in the roof.

Hopi and Luther’s interaction with water is clear yet raises even more questions about what powers Hopi possesses and what higher power is out there that could allow for such an event. The presence of the water is made possible by the rain that day and offers yet another avenue to the characters in the book, leading them to inexplicable events that alter and even end their lives.

Less clear and only really implicated, moisture/water plays a part in Oz’s discovery of VEM. The window, though not exclusively damp, was moist from the rain outside and made VEM visible. Before it is wiped away, it becomes an important turning point and would not have been made possible without the water.

R-S-V-P-C

I want to discuss the letters and respective words at the beginning that we could interpret as a roadmap of connecting lines, weaving threads, overarching categories of continuity and significance.

I don’t have them all figured out yet. How they might relate to one another in congruence to the character plots calling out to one another, whether the order matters R-S-V-P-C, whether these words were chosen to locate specific moments within the text or to spark our imaginative assemblage of meanings under the umbrella constructed by them…??

In any case, I will connect as many dots as I can… (missing S and P. Ideas welcome)

On this rainy day in May, the individual world’s of each character connect at the point of a narrative constant, the rain remains.

R is for Rain-

Rain, I believe, stands for infinity. OR the possibility of an answer too infinite to hold on to- the space beyond knowing. How many raindrops? is not the underlying question being asked. Rather, the question is “How far am I from grasping infinity?” Isn’t that Xanther’s greatest cause for anxiety? Not knowing how much is out there and feeling like she should be able to figure it out somehow? If she could just ask the right question.
The number of raindrops is out there. “Dancing on the pavement” even if she can’t know it.

“Terror tightens around the child’s eyes. Finally something about Hopi that isn’t wobbly. Terror doesn’t wobble. It knows what it is.” (223)

Hopi and Xanther share a common trembling anxiety. Hopi bites his blue pencil, Xanther sings the Question Song. The wobbling tremor of their minds’ racing is not for fear, but rather in anticipation of the thing they fear most. Death, I’d suspect. Or rather, a painful death, one without care, one without reason. Being lost or alone before the end. [all the characters might actually share this in common {all beings might}].
The questions, although we know them to be never-ending, and possibly unanswerable, still cause us to tremble in the wake of their enormity, and we worry that we will die before we know what it was we were looking for. “As if begging for and answer. Even the echo of an old answer. As if begging for the comfort of just knowing itself to be begging could suffice” -Cas (150).

This anxious, desperate desire {and simultaneous dread} for unknown answers is the violent side of infinity.

V is for Violence-

A stormy cold night is a good setting for Violence, or at least that’s what hollywood and old murder mysteries tell us. The climactic action happens in a downpour where blood and rain and sweat and tears seem to flow as one down into…earth, deeper darkness, an end. The Violent End of All.
“Even the planet itself orbits against itself, with constant anomalies threatening to set it loose, heading toward unreachable light or surrendering to the dark obliterating mass at the galaxy’s core.” (135).

Özgür – “When you are standing in the rain where the dead have lain and the blood has mostly washed away, it makes sense then to think only of her” Katla Katla Katla.
Surrounded by relentless violence and grey storms, we think of the ones we love, the ones who cared for us as we cared for them.

Does the rain know death like we do?
Maybe. And the people that were, the paraphysical entities that were, the animals that were, know there will be a violent end to all of this, but we will probably have already faded into a convoluted or lost history by then.

“All those memories lost. Like tears in rain. Time to die.” -Blade Runner
This storm, too, will rage with war, and eventually, will come too, to silent death.
“Easy as rain. Quiet as what comes after rain” (210)

Could it be that there is still Hope in spite of all this dismal destruction? Could the questions be- perhaps not answered, but- brightened, given a lighter quality than the dense doom of a raging storm?

The sun won’t stay behind the cloud.
-Armenian proverb.
The sun, a familiar friend, warm and bright, gives us light, to ignite the path towards tomorrow.

‘C’ is for Custody
…and Care…and Cariño (not your Google bitch)…

‘C’ coincidentally, also stands for Cat, which is the entity that counteracts the magnifying grandiosity of infinity (‘R’).

Perhaps those that hear well will find something Captured which escapes Contemplation. -Bill Evans
The one who hears the Cry for help and answers it, will in turn have answered for themselves, what they had been searching for, in the rain. Xanther pays attention. She hears. And Cares enough to go searching for the source of the Cry.

The Cat, unlike the rain, is something small and sweet and needs to be Cared for, requires to mathematical Computation, nor violent methods of Control; a kitten needs protection and Care and love. This affectiona (not just for the Cat, but Care for Xanther, [and Care given by Xanther] {Also how Cas and Bobby Care for each other}) is what makes this Catastrophic kaleidoscope of Colors and Cacophonies, darkening destruction, and infinitely quantifiable raindrops, possible. It adds Calm to the Chaos.

“Even this kitten beside her seems nothing other than simplicity itself.

Also in place

Also arranged.

Also safe…
the kitten is here at her side and even if nothing seems to have changed everything suddenly feels manageable.

Or better:

answerable.”

(p.839)