Author Archives: anlehnung2

About anlehnung2

If you know, you know; if not, you don't. I'm not pathologically worried about it.

The End(s) of This Blog

Unless something changes pretty drastically, this is the end of the blog, “A Certain Style of Being.”  It’s my last post here.

I’m going to leave it here, and I’m not going to worry about its “anonymity” any more, not at all.  It will stay here, and will be accessible from the other blog that I maintain under my real name, and I may or may not refer to the content here from over there.  Given that, this is only an approximate end.  It’s not “closure.”  Whatever was going on here will not end, and it may remain a mystery for a while what its end (goal) was.

I’m so tempted at this moment to feel that it was (is) a mistake somehow.  But even if that were true, our mistakes also become a part of who we are.  And I wonder if being tempted to feel that way is simply a part of what it means to decide anything.

To those few of you who have already read it, you have my most heartfelt thanks!

Do you think you may miss me, as if I have gone away?  No, I’ll be over there with him.

Craig Alter


You, out there.  Yeah, you outside the whole selfsystem — the one with the facet wanting to kick my facet’s childish ass.


I know Others who suffer.  They throw shadows around my own suffering that make it look like a picnic in the clearing in the light under a beautiful summer sky.  I know joy beyond expression, and (just like everyone else) I forget it in the twinkling of an eye.

But don’t you go thinking that I don’t remember.  When a loved one breathes his last, ending pain only by ending life, and I’m soon helping to shovel dirt over him.  When a friend sounds despairing in her pain that laughs at her through the likelihood that it will not go away.  When I stand with family and friends who have been forbidden even to be who they are for most of their lives. When I know not only that I will have pain and that I will die, but that my children will too.  I remember.

I remember.  The part of me that remembers wants to kick ass right back.  But I love you, too, damn you.

If I make it about me in just the right way, it will also be about Others.  If I make it about Others in just the right way, it’ll also be about me.  I won’t make anything “in just the right way” because I am fallen.  But I do want it to be about Others, even when it’s about me.  That’s a want of mine, so it’s about me too.  But Others haunt my wants, and I welcome the wailing and the rattling of their chains.


Reading Laplanche while wondering how to go on

“It may indeed be questioned whether we have any memories at all from our childhood; memories relating to our childhood may be all that we possess.”  (quoted from S. Freud, “Screen Memories”)

Jean Laplanche (1924-2012)

“…[I]nfantile scenes — the ones with which psychoanalysis is concerned — are first and foremost messages….

The development of the human individual is to be understood as an attempt to master, to translate, these enigmatic, traumatizing messages.”

from Jean Laplanche, “Interpretation Between Determinism and Hermeneutics,” in Essays on Otherness (Routledge, 1999).

Repeat After Me

My head jerks up suddenly.  I had apparently been asleep.  I feel both totally disoriented and, at the same time, totally reoriented.  It’s as if I’ve not known where I was for a very long time, even though I’ve known perfectly well where I was at every moment.  I know that I was dreaming while I was asleep, but I don’t remember the dream at all, at least not right now.

I’m in the conversation room.  It seems like a long time since I’ve been here, though I’ve really been here the whole time.

Three comfortable chairs are arranged near the center of the room, facing each other in a circle.  (I thought “circle,” but I also thought “triangle” at the same time.)  I am seated in one of them.  In the chair to my left sits…  Sigismund.

“Anna?”  I’ve spoken to him before I even realize that I intend to.

“Needed she is not.  Not today.”  It’s Frank Oz’s Yoda voice.  I expect a Viennese accent, and what I get is Yoda.

I look to the chair on my right.  I’ve seen something like this before.  It’s something like the projection of a woman, in black and white, seated in the chair.  She changes to a different woman every few seconds.  Oops, was that one a man?  Not sure.  All women now.  “She” maintains the same posture throughout the visual shifts.  She is looking at me with an expression that’s impossible to read.  Her right hand is in her lap, and is holding something.

It’s the shard.  Of course.

I look down at my body, and hold up my hand to examine it.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is playing me today.  I think about that for a moment.  “Death.”  I’m not sure if I just thought it, or if I actually muttered it.

I look at Sigismund again, and try to remember what’s been going on.  “We had lunch yesterday, right?”

He shrugs and says nothing.

“What are we supposed to do here?”

He makes a vaguely circular, inviting gesture with is hand, as if indicating that I should continue.

“I’m supposed to talk?”

He shrugs again.  “Repetition, this is about.”  He leans toward me, his eyes widen, and he repeats the word more slowly.  “Re-pe-ti-tion.”

I look back at the shifting images in the other chair.

“The shard is repetition.  I am repeating something.  I have been repeating it my entire adult life.”

Sigismund’s smile widens, and he nods approvingly.  “WE.  Repeating it, WE have been.”

“The whole selfsystem, you mean, right?”

He nods again.

I look at his face.  Though the smirk is still there, so is the pain from his oral cancer.  I notice for the first time that he is holding a cigar, but it is apparently not currently lit.

“You’ve been waiting for me here for a long time.”

“Yes.  Been here the entire time, we have.”

I feel as though a great many things dawn on me all at once, but also as though the realizations have been accumulating since I awoke.  Watching the shifting images again, I now know that they are a definite set, cycling through in the same order each time.  Some of them are a bit vague in outline and detail, but some of them are very clear.  Three or four of them, the ones that are the most clear, seem to evoke a slight pain in my chest whenever they appear.

As I watch, the figure of shifting images lifts “her” (I’m still unsure whether ALL of them are female) hand from her lap, and extends it a bit in my direction.  She is offering me the shard.

I stare at the shard itself for a long time, motionless and speechless.  The shard never changes.  Only the image of the person.  She says nothing, and does not seem to tire of holding her hand out toward me.

Finally, I speak to Sigismund again. “What will happen if I take it from her?”

“Take it from her you will not.  Not today.”

I’m very uncomfortable, but very excited, and I shift in my chair a bit.  “Haven’t I known all along that this is a pattern I’ve been repeating?”

Another “go on” gesture.  I’m supposed to answer this myself.

“It’s been in my soul all along.  My psyche, that is.  But I have not known it.”

Know it now, do you?”

I’m still looking at the shard intently.  “I’m obviously realizing it today in a way that I have not before.”

“And Avram would say what?”

I look at him.  Avram?  I haven’t thought about him for quite a long while.  I look back at the shard, and visualize Avram.  Then I smile.  “He would say, ‘DUH!! Told you years ago!'”

Sigismund nods.  “But know it now, do you?”

I remain silent for a full three minutes, still gazing at the shard.  He waits patiently.

“I’ve only made some kind of beginning today toward knowing it.  Is that correct?”

He doesn’t answer at first, so I look back at him, directly meeting his pained eyes.

“Or…  I need to WANT to know.  I’m beginning to really WANT to know.  I mean…  WE are.”

Relaxing his facial muscles a bit, he nods.  He places the cigar in his mouth, folds his hands in his lap, and closes his eyes.

The figure in the other chair still wears an unreadable expression, but she too has relaxed, the hand holding the shard back in her lap.

I mutter:  “Gordon-Levitt.  Death?”

I close my eyes too.  Has it really been since Easter?


Easter Island (or Why the Long Face?)

Easter.  That’s what it was.

Easter was supposed to happen somewhere in there.

The Patti Smith album?

No, the holiday.  But not just the holiday.  The Resurrection.  What the holiday means.  (Ways and means?)

It did happen, of course.  It “went by,” and as is sometimes the case given the extended family thing, we observed it not in a “church” (meetinghouse) but in a home where the levels of belief varied overtly (rather than covertly, as they tend to do in “church”).

Was that Resurrection (I’m capitalizing it.  Capitalizing ON it?) supposed to “resolve” something having to do with the shard?  Or with other tensions in this selfsystem?  “Resolve” names a stain remover, doesn’t it?  If so, there’s clearly still a stain.  Scar, stain, residual twinges when I move in a certain way.

Resolving.  Resolution.  Being Resolute.

Sheesh, is it that obvious?  Is it we (I) who must resolve, even when that resolution is somehow tied to another broken, bleeding body, the body of one whom we proclaim to be “risen”?

Risen.  Derision.  Have I recently been hiding, away from the confessional of this blog, deriding the risen and nursing the wound.  Nursing at our own (my own, if I’m Bruce, which is not clear today) breast.  Of course “breast” would come up, if there’s nursing.  And of course a fixation like that will always keep coming up.  It will arise repeatedly.

Which brings to mind cleavage, of course.  And this is all about cleavages.

Cleavages in the soul where my shortfalls permanently hide.  Tensions that won’t go away until we (I) do, because they ARE us/me.

And all of this under shadow of deaths.  Deaths once removed from my self, through other selfsystems whom I love.  Those deaths seep or leak through the cleavages, through the interstices, somehow becoming my death, or prefiguring it, or something like that.

Ah, I think I’m getting something here…

Can the Resurrection (the Rising) similarly seep or leak into us?  Into ME?  Into I?

A statement that feels right/true:  Only the Resurrected body will lack the shard.

Another statement that feels equally right/true:  The shard is a part of who I am.



I haven’t been keeping this blog abreast.  But happy Easter to us and to you, though rather late.


Hose on a Indie Heist.

I’m heading into Holy Week (Passion Week, whatever you call it), and I still have a shard embedded in my heart.  My heart has been shardened.  Take that, ol’ Pharaoh.

I guess I must be Bruce.  That’s how the post begins.  But we’re so tired of the actors today.  Don’t ask who’s playing me.

I reach up to my chest, while looking down at it, and see that it is now a scar.  No dried blood anymore, but still a nasty scar.  If it run my fingers along the scar, it feels rough, almost scaly.  Scales.  Yeah, why not?  I’ll think of it today as something that I have to scale.  Climbing, but also attenuating in its intensity, “scaling back.”

Ah, but there’s the point of the “heading into Holy Week” part, it would seem.  It’s not I who can scale, or scale back.  I (or someone in the selfsystem) talked to someone else about prayer, and it came easy (because it was not about me) to talk about prayer being so much more than asking G-d for help.  (Sorry, I’m feeling Jewish as well as Catholic this week, because there’s truth every damn where.)  It may be telling G-d that I’m not inclined to ask for help, and then leaving open the possibility that I need G-d’s help with that.

Sometimes it might just be not asking anything, but being here, with G-d here too, and just saying “OK, here I am.  Don’t want help, but neither am I running.  Here I am.”

I lightly stroke my scar again.  I tug at it just a bit.  Sure enough, blood begins seeping.  It will not completely heal.  Not by itself.

Not by myself.

Not myself.

Why have you forsaken me?

Where the hell is anyone else?  I’m on my knees on hard, arid ground.  There is shit nearby, scattered on the ground.  Droppings from an animal.

And palm leaves.  Palm leaves on the ground along a path that the animal must have followed.  But no one else is here now.

No.  Not.  Negation.  Eyes close.  Blot out.  Not here.

I wait with my eyes closed, and notice after a moment or two that I’m trembling.  “Sometimes it causes me to tremble…”

I drop my hand and feel the ground without opening my eyes.  It’s sand now.

On my left, the sound of lapping water.

The fucking beach.

I still keep my eyes closed, and wait some more.  No change.

Finally, I speak.  “Okay, here I am.  I guess I don’t want help.  But I guess I do.”

No response, of course.  Not audible, anyway.

“Here I am.”

I’m guessing I have to wait a few days.  Gently stroking my wound.  Still bearing the name ‘Bruce.’

For now.

Why have I forsaken me?

Future Tense, in the Burst Versin’

Tense.  Yes, as I think about it now, that is one of the issues.  Past tense?  Future tense?  Just plain tense?

The times between posts here get much longer again.  That’s happened before, and maybe it will shorten again, but this time it feels more tense.  A tension has been here all along regarding how long this will continue, whether the threads of narrative that have shaken loose will be followed through.  Through to what?  When I think about that, it’s in the future tense.  I guess I am future-tense.  This time it’s felt, for a while, up to writing this post, as if it has stopped moving.  The shard is where we last left it, and there’s not been any deliberate effort to clean up the blood.  And that can’t be it’s final resting place.

Can it?

Is it because, as I think I put it before, I’ve become a lump on other blogs?  Or is it the friendships that I seem to be fanning into flames this year, opening myself in a way similar to the opening of the writing, the opening of the heart into words that don’t always need to make an immediate sense, that allow for a tense that anticipates sense?  Does tense perhaps always anticipate sense, whether past, present, or future?

Ah, here is what was trying to occur to me this morning:  Friendships are to “agreement” as intimacy is to “sex,” perhaps (or better: to its afterglow)?  The heat of the intimacy is in some sense born of the flesh that we both are and share, and we so easily mistake that for lust, for a narrow sort of arousal.  The fire of friendship is stoked by both the proximity and the friction of minds and hearts that make themselves vulnerable and trust in the face of an ever-present danger of violence.  But the fuel here cannot all be of the same material, or there would not be the right kind of friction, the best (precisely because risky and dangerous) kind of heat generated.

We use the words “thinking” and “thought” for something that is a different sort of together from the together of intimacy.  Do we take thought as wanting to find rest in an intimacy, when it thrives, moves, has its being (verb) in tension–not in past, present, or future tense, but in just being tense?  Surely it is right to think that there is an intimacy required for thought, both at interpersonal and intrapersonal levels.  But do we confuse that intimacy with resting in a sort of stasis that we take to be agreement?

This may be part of why the shard’s edges, and especially its sharp point, can cut.  it may be one of the places where the edges fall against a spinning stone and thus retain their sharpness.

First person,
Burst versin’,
Live and in person!

Bruce cuts loose?

There’s a shuffling (off to Buffalo?), a slouching (towards Bethlehem?), and the facets may gather.

How soon?

Leave it tense for now, some voice tells me.


At some point, quite a while later, he spoke again.  “U2.”

I waited for more, and it did not come.  I opened my eyes and looked over at him.  “What about them?”

He opened his eyes and slowly turned his head toward me.  “What about who?”


He looked at me blankly for a moment, then his eyes cleared.  “You. Too.  You might get a new name too.”


He turned to face front again, closing his eyes.  I watched his face for a while.

Eventually, he smiled that slight smile again and spoke, but without opening his eyes.  “I’m at a place called vertigo.”

After another longish silence, I was ready to close my own eyes again, and then I noticed it.

This post is in the past tense.

Why would that be?


I seem to be hurrying.  Not exactly running, but still hurrying nonetheless.  It’s something urgent.

What is it?

It’s Bruce.  Right, Bruce asked me to come.  How long ago was that?  God, I don’t remember for sure.  I’ve lost track of time, haven’t I?  I realize that I have no idea exactly what I’ve been doing for the last few days.

I glance down at myself, and the surprise is enough to stop me in my tracks (track of time? track meet? tracks of my tears?).  I would have expected Gellar or Stewart.  I wouldn’t even have been that surprised by someone else entirely, but this…  The skin on my hands and arms seems not to be skin at all, but some kind of motion, some kind of impossible shifting across itself and never quite succeeding but never quite failing either.

I’m the one that is apparently neither male nor female, or is apparently both, or something like that.  I was the bovine.  But it’s a surprise because it seems as though that was not me; I mean, it was not this self-facet.

Or is that just confusion on my part?  Isn’t it one of the premises of all this that it’s ALL me (I)?  But right now I have this strong sense of my stream of consciousness not intersecting with that of the androgyne.

Even though the space that I am traversing is not space in any literal sense, it’s apparently taken me quite a while.  Why could I not just be there, and walk in to see him?  Oh, of course!  Just when I think THAT, the door appears.  Why didn’t I think of it earlier?  Was I even thinking at all earlier?

Having “reached” the door, I knock.

An unfamiliar voice, not very loud but clear:  “Come in, please.”

I open the door.  It’s a small room.  I immediately think of a jail cell because of its size, though it is clearly not locked.  No windows.  A platform extending out into the room from one wall making a bunk, on which there is a thin, uncomfortable-looking mattress.  On the bunk sits a man, played by Christopher Walken.  He is sitting on the bunk sideways, with his back leaning against the wall and his feet on the floor.  He is completely naked, and there is a large amount of dried blood on the front of his body.  There is a wound in his chest, apparently the source of the blood but now no longer bleeding,  He seems to be resting.  His eyes convey that he is weak, but he does not give any sign of being in significant pain.

His gaze flits briefly to the space on the bunk beside him, and back to me.  “Sit, please.”

It feels like I am moving very slowly.  I sit down on the bunk next to him and lean my back against the wall, adopting basically the same posture.  “What happened?”

He slowly lifts his left hand and uses it to indicate the wound in his chest.  “Shard.”  He clearly is weak.

“That was done with the shard?”

He nods.

“You did it to yourself?”

He nods again.

“Where is the shard now?”

He slowly reaches up again, this time very lightly touching the wound with his index finger.  “In here.”

Ok, it’s not as though I really didn’t know that this is what he was going to say.  I sit silently, not knowing yet how to respond.  His hand falls back to the mattress, and he seems content to wait until I do know.  Though it feels longer, it’s probably only about 30 seconds.  30 seconds is a long time to be still and silent, though.

“It’s in your heart, then.”

He turns his head and regards me with those weak but penetrating eyes for a few seconds, then turns to face forward again.  “Duh!”

Silence again.  An abyss; that’s the measure you’d use.  An abyss of silence.

No surprise that it’s up to me to break it again.  “It?”

This time he smiles a bit.  “Also in here.”

I think about this for a moment before continuing.  “You are both Bruce and It now?”

He seems to be considering this carefully.  “Not exactly.  But not exactly not, either.”

“Ah.”  I settle back more, as if his answer had been adequate.


After what I’m sure is at least a full minute, I speak again.  “So, you’ll be getting a new name, then?”

The slow head turn once more.  This time he looks puzzled.  He stares at me with that look for a while.  I ignore the discomfort, hold his gaze and wait.

Finally:  “I don’t know.  I hadn’t thought of that yet.”  Now facing front.  “And I don’t know if this is…”  He lifts his hand and looks at it absently.


The hand drops.  “Yeah.  I don’t know if it’s permanent.”  He closes his eyes and sighs.

I decide to close my eyes too, and wait.


Long pauses in the posting, lags in the narrative… They really bother me.  Should they?

The shard is still there, but it’s not clear where that’s going.  The shard, I mean.  It actually is clear that what the shard is about will continue to be a part of me. Like the wound of Anfortas?  No, that’s too grand and operatic.  It is a sort of “thorn in the flesh,” though.

But today a temporary ambivalent unicity hangs out over the selfhood abyss.  There’s no particular actor to play me, partly because I don’t care as much today about me’s.  I’m just “I” today, and sort of kind of OK with that for the moment.  Yeah, “me’s” is intended to be the plural of “me.”  My understanding is that you CAN use an apostrophe and an ‘s’ for plural rather than possessive in some special circumstances.  Does this qualify?  I’ve decided it does. No one else is here right now to stop me.

Webster says an apostrophe can be “the addressing of a usually absent person or a usually personified thing rhetorically.”

Addressing of a person who is usually absent?  I’m addressing myself here, and today I’m tempted to say that I am indeed usually absent.  I guess I’m also usually personified, too, but I am not a thing.  Oh yes, of that I am about as sure as I get about something.  I am no thing.  Not A nothing, a “thing which is not,” but “no thing.”

And so I address thee, self that is no thing, with this non-punctuational apostrophe.  The start of that, “apo,” is like the start of “apophatic.”  By being apophatic in some sense, rather than kataphatic, could it be that I’m avoiding a “katastrophe”?

Jack Bruce played bass with Zappa on Apostrophe.  So I guess it’s one third Cream.

But not sweet, really.  More salt.  That wound…  It does feel like it has a little bit of salt in it today.

But it’s a pretty good day, absent self.  The apostrophe in that sentence is not supposed to be possessive.  But was it anyway, in a different way?

Am I learning not to be so possessive with you?