She knew this body reclining into her. It evoked visions of dirty epitaphs, of structures in progress, peeling tin ceilings. He would say he couldn't help it, it tortured him to listen to or read language used incorrectly. So he corrected her. Not less but fewer. Either is. He taught her how to beg a question.
Facing one of this year's final, full afternoon suns, tracing the patterns crossing the sky she said, the way the electricity travels aboveground through the insulated wires and trees is arcane. He looked up at the wires, then down at something else (something which was also probably nothing) and said, I think you mean anachronistic. Arcane, he said, it doesn't mean old or outdated. But it makes sense that you thought it did. In fact, I would likely ascribe your confusion as much to the way in which we've been taught to picture these privileged people, the people supposedly in possession of a privileged knowledge - arcana. Scan their faces and tell me what they share. They're old. They are wizened white scholars, or they're orientalized sages, or they're war weary bureaucrats reminiscing about the race of the man who installed the office's first model xerox machine.
What the arcane encompasses, holds and keeps safe, is the barely articulable : mystical, inward truths; different forms of revealed magic, the self-protecting and playful codes invented by subversives; a single page inside a single volume buried deep within the stacks of a restricted library. It is restrictive knowledge, yes, and properly accessible only to a few. But the limits are as much a gesture of protection as of mastery. And the boundaries mark off a home, not an empty territory.
Arcane is a holdingoff
Arcane is a keptprotected
Arcane is a giving refuge
Arcane is a kept concealed.
(so i gather these elements of security and inspiration from pages and smells and kisses with tongue over aisles of art books into my little corner of the world)
selections from 28 journals (2007-2019)
presented in reverse chronology