HOWDY, MELODY

This is my first blog post and I don’t want to make a bad impression. On the one hand, I am thrilled: as a lifelong journaler (albeit, an erratic one) I have always found joy in reflecting on the inner life of my former self. I am not someone who must be convinced of the value of this reflection — I am an enthusiastic convert to this thoughtful practice. But, in writing, and in writing blogs especially, I struggle with the feeling that there’s a right way to make these first sentences punchy and witty — that I should wait until I’ve mastered my openings before starting on my firsts (an irony that is not lost on me, I promise). Already, I am tempted to erase these sentences and start over. Already, I’ve rearranged them and despaired. Already, I am tempted by more knowledge-gathering before taking the plunge. (It’s funny that while some practices take time to internalize, others are easy – from the instant it was named for me, I cannot help but look for the fingerprints of my Scholar on the notes I’ve been gathering in lieu of beginning my creative endeavors and finding them everywhere.) This has been a rambling, imperfect preamble — I am grateful that here, there is plenty of space for it.

I’ve taken nearly 20 pages of notes in the past four days (and resisting the urge to despair about the lost record Monday’s revelations that I did not write down because I forgot to bring a notebook, though not always succeeding) and reflecting on each page here, though tempting, is not what I will do. My head is swimming with creation myths and organization schema and tools and flat heirarchies and the awareness of formerly-dormant muscles and finite and infinite resources and questions about what it really means to hold power or inhabit an archetype or imprint or trust or make space — it speaks to the pull of the body how easily distracted I can be from all of these things by the twitch of my dry contact lens. Cacti and other hearty succulents hold water in their fleshy leaves for months at a time until there is a deluge of rain and they burst forth in bloom; I’ve never seen the desert but I know it in the space between my ears.

The pages of the notebook I’ve been leaning on are unlined, which is why it was the only unused notebook in my apartment – I am uncomfortable with unlined pages. In the past, I have relied on the gridded moleskine to provide a framework for me to fit my words and doodles into and around, and I imagined that I was unaware of those boundaries while I observed and reflected and supposed. When we learned to multiply double digit numbers in 4th grade we did so on graph paper, and Mr. Immore (who annually demonstrated how to fry a pickle with an electric current, a hat trick for which he was immortally famous at my elementary school) would write the numbers in the boxes to make it easier to keep them straight, to tally them. Today, I copied out Drew’s network fractals onto a blank page in a hand that looks too confident to be my own. Throughout the week, my waving letters meander across the page – the lines are not straight and the layout of the sheets are not deliberately plotted. There are tiny, dense notes where later, my thoughts were amended and expanded. There is more to glom out of my head onto those pages, and this one too, and though they are messy they are dense and also beautiful and I am lucky, today, this week and this year, to be in a space with books and thinkers and the things they attract so, at risk of sounding trite, I will publish this post without editing these last two paragraphs and just count on them to take up space as they are.

Published by

Mel

Mel Compo is an interdisciplinary artist, playworker, and facilitator at the New York City Agile Learning Center. Their work with children centers play, art-making, city adventuring, and open conversation about language, bodies, gender, networks, emotional intelligence, brain plasticity, and cycles of growth. Mel studied the intersections of SDE, poetry, and the history of American education NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. They live in Brooklyn, New York.

One thought on “HOWDY, MELODY”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *