Signs, Signifiers, and Serendipity

Four days ago, the envelope  in which the bound copy of my Master’s thesis arrived in 1987, came back to me along with two drafts of the logo for my then-business card, my parents’ house having sheltered all these years what was important and discarded what was not.  Oddly enough, I remembered those logos only a few weeks ago and sought them out in vain; I hadn’t thought about them in decades.  So serendipitous this resurfacing of those dust-mired signifiers of a writerly destiny.  The thesis, after all, was the last time (until now) that I’d written anything of size and substance, and the logos were for business cards announcing me as a credentialled editor and writer…all those years ago.  Signifiers of my wish to write are returned to me as if to confirm the novel I’ve just published as real–and more than that–rendering that interminable hiatus merely that:  a hiatus which was powerless to change my destiny, a space of time only, which, though seeming long and endless, remained impotent the entire time, ineffectual against the fate which would inevitably find me.  A mere ‘waiting for godot’ with a better ending.

Since the symbolic, rather than consensus reality, organizes my existence and orders my mind, this is the type of event which I recognize more quickly than a ringing doorbell.  When lost in the crannies of my mind, the bell can ring and ring while I summon the connectors between past and present (as now with these signifiers) and declare them valid descriptors of how physical markers of the individual journey circle until they find a new “in” and replace themselves amongst the artifacts of a lived life.  It’s a sort of steam trunk of memorabilia that keeps losing items in transit and then, discovering them somewhere else along the way, stuffs them back in to the trunk to make the memory–and the life-saga–whole again.  Restored to wholeness once again, I might actually hear the doorbell and answer it.  Then, with all signifiers returned and accounted for, I can say, in a state of wholeness and security:  I mean to go on as I’ve begun.  So next time I say “I can’t talk now…I have things to do,”  I don’t always mean the laundry; I mean that I have to think myself back into wholeness…and then finish the laundry and answer the doorbell.

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