I wish that I could read faster. I wish that I could absorb information more quickly. But, I also recognize that when I’m reading I’m doing more than just interpreting the markings that make up a strung together series of words. I’m scouring through sentences and syllables in the hopes that, maybe, I’ll be able to slip into the small spaces between the structures of language, where seemingly secluded and separate things start to seep into one another.
Amanda Palmer says that “artists connect the dots”. She goes so far as to say that “This impulse to connect the dots and to share what you’ve connected is the urge that makes you an artist”, but she points out that “we can only connect the dots that we can collect”. In other words, it is not enough to find and follow the trail of bread crumbs dotting the path, we must also saunter slow enough to stuff our pockets full of as many of the fragmentary particulates as possible, especially if there is to be any hope of connection.
“It is tedious” as Jab Abumrab points out, this arduous task of spinning arbitrary words into gold; this Sisyphean labor of “eyes and brain” cracking open the “elaborate husk” of signs and signifiers “to extract out meaning”. But this is the unfolding of the artistic endeavor: collecting, connecting, considering, conspiring, continually.
When we read closely we discover that each collected crumb is a microcosm; a half-opened window to a world bigger than ourselves, a small inkling of an expanding universe beyond our comprehension feverishly punctuated by the possible . When we uncover the ways in which all the crumbs conjoin “Every page is a whiplash” that, according to Abumrab, pulls us from the normative patterns of daily living. And, we discover that “Each page contains a portal”, Abumrab goes on to say, an intricate network of wormholes that reveal rifts through time and space; places where the past is made prescient, where the future becomes present, where now becomes perpetual. We escape from the claustrophobic constraints of all that we cannot control through the doorways of what Abumrab calls “a self-transcending structure”, and when we emerge on the other side of our literary meandering, we find the radicality of our realness more fully real-ized.
Perhaps this is simply what means to read with the slow and steady eyes of an artist…