Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Expetiences with Ants and Sentences

This morning, as you took your coffee on your back deck while regarding the plants and animal/insect life about you, a procession of ants caught your eye.

Relieved that they appeared to have no interest in gaining entry to your studio, you were content to watch and admire their progress, either convinced by your reading of their activity or conscious of your own longterm plans that this was mo mere procession of ants. This was a trail of ants with a purposeful agenda.

This led you to single one ant from the procession, then compare it to you as its analog, one individual, singled out from the procession about you.

The sentence looks at the paragraph the way a single ant looks at a picnic. Each longs to participate in something  larger and nourishing.

To avoid the accusation of pathetic fallacy with respect to the nature of the inanimate sentence having any agenda at all, you'd have to demonstrate how sentences were not, in fact, inanimate objects. You'd have to demonstrate how sentences are alive with intent and agenda, just as in fact any ant has intention and agenda.

You have spent much of your life, from about age sixteen onward in the service of imparting life and agenda to your sentences. During those years, you spent little energy amassing experience and information about ants. When your attention was called to the matter of ants, it was more often than not in relationship to getting them to apply their considerable, hive-mind intelligence to moving their presence from your living quarters.

There is no comfort in the recent understanding that you have for so long neglected to consider how important it is for sentences in narratives to have life and agenda, only a resolve to make up for lost time. There is even less comfort to be had with the understanding that you've probably killed more ants than you have spent killing or rearranging pesky sentences.

Over the course of time elapsed since you first began trying to bring life and meaning to your sentences, your experience with ants and sentences has caused you to evolve. You've moved from a young person eager to get as many sentences and stories down in retrievable form as possible to an older person, wrestling with the dynamics of story. And let the ants fend for themselves.

There is an overwhelming possibility that there will be ants, cockroaches, and most likely coyotes long after your allotted time has passed and you have become--to indulge another trope--yet another of Nature's afterthoughts.

Your preoccupation with sentences and stories are no less important to you than the procession of ants in industrious procession from the fence post to a concrete berm separative the property where you life from the fire station next door. Some of the ants are carrying what appear to be large crumbs.

For your part, you carry crumbs from your imagination and your experiences.

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