SOL 22 #26 Layer Upon Layer

Whatever makes me want to begin with an apology comes from deep down, although no apology is necessary, I suppose I want to at least warn you that I don’t know exactly what will happen next. I feel a need for a disclaimer, not a trigger warning, per se, but some indication that I’d prefer to elude responsibility if your feel something unexpected or raw. I suppose that’s my thinking: it’s that I invite you to read at your own risk, which I suppose is what any of us does whenever we open another tab and begin scanning or actually reading the words, sentences that form an argument, that make us think and give us pause. This is not that, I don’t think, although it might be, I mean, it could be for you, but not you. To each his own, I guess, is what I’m saying. I know that I wanted to say something about layers – layered clothing, layered meaning, layered tastes. The way things overlap, partially cover each other yet together yield something warmer, deeper, more interesting because of surfaces touching and influencing surfaces. There are so many uses for thinking about and in terms of layers. I have a lot of questions. How layered is the world we inhabit and what’s your best springtime or fall combination of outdoor layers? When do you notice the competing yet complementing flavors of your second cocktail – what is cucumber, what is mint, and how does vodka get away with murder? Layers of understanding to process the news – I mean, Ginni Thomas over here versus Judge Ketanji Jackson over there and Clarence Thomas in the hospital but we are somehow all infected and shame is no match for shamelessness if you fancy your own layer of power is destined to stay on top. How to shield oneself from the corrosive layer of political decision-making that makes good books apparently bad, caring parents apparently abusive, inclusive institutions apparently discriminatory?

See, this is what I meant. This is what I was alluding to without knowing in advance what exactly would happen. Maybe you got more than what you bargained for. A strong wind you weren’t quite ready for. At the same time, I got to say something about layers. About layers operating in layers: spreading ideas out then laying them on top of each other and noticing if patterns emerge or not, if different layers stick to each other or not. Layers invite both piling and peeling; building up and stripping down. One of the best parts about dressing in layers is being able to pull off pieces as the body warms, replacing them when outside begins to cool. Layers speak to me of adjustment and responsiveness; of addition and subtraction. My mind works in and through layers. My writing dreams in layers, too.

* True story: anytime you write a word repeatedly it becomes harder and harder to believe that you are actually spelling it correctly: Layer, layers, layered, layering, lay er, layer, layayer, lalayer, lalayayer.


5 thoughts on “SOL 22 #26 Layer Upon Layer

  1. I loved your stream of consciousness exploration, the places it led us to, with you. And I absolutely agree that a word seen more than 3-4 times starts to look strange, wrong, unfamiliar. What IS that?? For me, this line was powerful: “The way things overlap, partially cover each other yet together yield something warmer, deeper, more interesting because of surfaces touching and influencing surfaces.” Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is such a brave slice. You never know where it will take you. I think you have a few interesting slices here on the idea of layers. I like how you use the metaphor of layers of clothing to life. This is truly a wonderful slice of your thinking at the moment!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with the previous commenter – such a brave slice! I will be thinking of your ideas about layers for a while. I loved reading your insights.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a powerful piece! I love how this comes across as stream of consciousness, but has so many interesting juxtapositions and observations–so many layers to it. I want to reread and reread it–so many beautiful craft moves and important ideas that you’re layering on/revealing. It’s hard for me to choose a favorite line. One that stands out is “Layers invite both piling and peeling; building up and stripping down.” Another is “Layers speak to me of adjustment and responsiveness”, but really, there are so many that caught my breath.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What I love about this piece – aside for all the things the other commenters mentioned, is how your post reveals itself in the telling, like the layers being pulled back one at a time.

    I’m also thinking about the prelude and the follow-through. Yeah, maybe some folks might find some thoughts difficult to swallow. And now I’m wondering – when will we get to a place where you can speak your mind without having to disclaim or lay (so to speak) some groundwork? More layers, I suppose, to the art of communication, especially where power dynamics are concerned. I’ll be thinking on this one.

    (In an unrelated note, my work partner always calls me an onion, because every situation I’m in is always so layered and complex…)

    Liked by 1 person

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