Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My Own Social Fabric

I received my own social fabric!  Two social fabrics now flap around in the Pioneer valley.  There could be hundreds more of them.  I have no idea.  The words I need to talk about the social fabric are just beyond the little black keys through which I attempt to convert my electro-chemical brain impulses into meaning, but meaning is something that is not made alone in your bedroom, but rather is made when two or more more people congregate around a thing and say, "I agree, that is a social fabric."  But it could be anything.  It doesn't need to be a gorgeous sheet of Finnish fabric.  It could be a Waring blender.  A book of poetry that has come in and out of fashion for two-hundred and fifty years could be a social fabric.  Meaning is something that changes as the circumstances that surround an object change.  What does a piece of fabric mean to the rain or the rain to a piece of fabric?  Here's mine, spread out in the sun.      

"Mine" somehow seems wrong, though.  The social fabric is not mine or yours, not when properly displayed and shared.  When it's folded up and tucked into a drawer, it's only a piece of fabric, a piece of fabric that's about as social as the Mad Honeymooner in Marriage, who lives under the falls, "a scourge of bigamy, a saint of divorce."  But when that fabric unfurls before the public eye, a beautiful curio for the weather to have its way with, then that fabric becomes something for men and women to reflect upon, to invest with ideas and meanings.  It's like a national flag that represents no nation but the nation of community.  There is no president standing behind it, thumping on a huge pork-barreled bill.  On the contrary: when I set this social fabric out in the garden this morning, its first respondent was not even human!

Show me the congress that represents this grasshopper.  Show me the congress that represents the racoons who forage around the skirt of a land-fill.  Show me the congress that represents the fish who swim in the rivers that receive the run-off from the massive, chemical-input heavy farms where mountains of inedible corn are grown to be turned into the million-and-one unhealthy foods that dominate our supermarkets.  RANT OVER.  To refresh your memory, here's the social fabric that I wrote about on October 20th.  Cheers.  Peace.  Etc.  


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