Wednesday, April 17, 2013


A hole is a gap or space, once filled with substance.  That sums up hole in the abstract.  But consider:  Hole is a concept on the prowl of an attribution, much in the manner of a panhandler hitting you up for spare change.

Additional matters for consideration:  There are black holes, pot holes, and loop hopes.  There are port holes, man holes, and for attributions of persons we cannot abide, there are even ass holes.  Do not for a moment forget moth holes or bullet holes

Since you were about age nineteen or twenty, you discovered you could use a two-line space break to represent a gap between scenes in a story instead of a * or #.  Your writing life centered around this particular type of hole.  Soon, this hole grew to include the expanding universes of holes between finishing one story and the beginning of another and the sometimes black holes of submitting these stories for publication.

There are occasional holes in your sweaters, which can be repaired--often by you--with a crochet hook or a darning needle.  Occasional holes also emerge when a student or friend disappears from the fabric of your life.  Once again, a form of reweaving or repair is possible, thanks to the viral equivalent of the crochet hook, the social media.

Sometimes holes appear and you don't notice them in context, which is to say you chance upon them by happenstance.  Like the generic bareness of the word "hole," your discovery of this chance hole cries out for associations.  When they come, they bring the equivalency of flowers and candy brought by visitors to sick friends; they trigger memories.

An Indian rug, for instance, purchased at a famed trading post in the Navajo Reservation, an elongated rectangle of about 108" length and 32" width, runs at a diagonal across your work area.  The hole you noticed is one you are attached to by a recognition of its source, making the hold a considerable enhancement to the sentimental value of the rug.

Often in the late afternoons or evenings when you were composing or reading or editing, you were aware of the persistent scratching sounds of a thirty-pound dog, attempting to smooth out a resting place on which she would then flop to either the floor or one of two beds placed for her convenience.  The area of the hole in the rug coincides with one of the places this thirty-pound dog would gravitate for a segment of a nap.

In substantive terms, a hole becomes a significant lack of something, a fact more likely to call your attention because of the lack rather than the entire presence.

After witnessing and experiencing a certain amount of holes--no one knows for certain how many are necessary--a person is more likely to become obsessed with the number of holes in the vast expanse of persons, places, and things close to hand.

The human psyche is inventive and resourceful, spinning out numerous ways in which to provide reweaving or some mechanism by which we can selectively ignore holes.  Often this process involves some remedial activity such as a course in art history, by which we attempt to train the eye to see the entire surface of a work of art.

But we are resourceful creatures, trained in the arts of observation and association.  There is scant surprise when we hear about phantom limb awareness, limbs or joints no longer associated with the body to which they were originally attached appearing to ache, itch, or cramp.  In similar fashion, some holes remind us of the lost, vanished, removed part of the fabric representing our life.

Through the process of association, we're given the opportunity to observe how close we were bonded to some of the things we now consider holes.

There is some comfort in the knowledge that we are as shaped by the holes in our life as we have been by the substances.  Secure in the uncomfortable knowledge that at any moment a substance may translate into a hole, we try to take comfort in our ability to focus on the sections of whole cloth about us, holding up the universe, as it were, or at the least, the scenery.

But it is a cold, wary comfort, and we must try to stay alert.

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