The Quail Diaries, Notebook Reflections, 8

30 12 2008


The last of my transcription of the notebook comes with this post. I hope you are not too bored. I am not bored but I am confused, and this, much to my chagrin, makes its way to the page. As I have been in the process of transcribing this journal I have also been bidding farewell to a friend who has gone mad. Whether this person will ever return is doubtful for he/she is also dying. My friend is not elderly, this is not the Alzheimer’s that runs so thoroughly in my family, nor is the other forms of dementia found in the elderly. I will not tell you what is is but it is not a nice thing.

Dazzlement is night in broad daylight, the darkness that rules at the very heart of what is excessive in light’s radiance.

Many of you, I am sure, are not particularly interested in this information (indeed at least one has made that clear). I will not bite my thumb at you. It is a matter of a little concern.

In a sense, it is thus plenitude…

I know something about the locked ward. I do not want to talk about it right now but cannot seem to help myself. This writing is a form of compulsion. If you are violent, they strip you and lock you in a room, sometimes tethered to a bed, with the video monitor on you at all times. They might sedate you–they probably sedate you. I know this because I saw people on the video monitors at the front desk.

an abyss yawns in the middle of confinement


And that brings me back to the notebook. Because this is one of the questions. Was the author mad or sane? [You may ask yourself why I use these archaic words when the DSM has such nice terms like: schizoaffective disorder and folie a deux. Ultimate, mad or sane are as far as I want to go]

It is a silly question. Mad and sane are words all tangled up in what we call reality and appropriate behavior. But even with this entanglement the question of the author’s sanity, and the validity (here another loaded word) of the contents of the notebook affects my interpretation of the thing.

Does it affect yours?

No rescue? What a prisoner? I am even

The natural fool of fortune. Use me well;

You shall have ransom. Let me have surgeons;

This is what I say to my friend:

I am so very sorry. I am so sad.

I hate you.

I am so sorry

I am cut to the brains.

I miss you. That’s it.

When thou dost ask me blessing, I’ll kneel down,

And ask of thee forgiveness; so we’ll live,

And pray and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh

At gilded butterflies…

we’ll wear out

In a wall’d prison, packs and sects of great ones,

That ebb and flow by the moon


FIRST OF THE LAST SET OF ENTRIES (all spellings are the authors. RP=ripped)


I Remember when

She meet Barny

me + Grandma called

[RP]he Fire Deptemet

[RP]he ot mare]





[Pink]I Remember when

mom got a job & [illegible]

Hospital as a [illegible]

[Orange]the Day and Her telling

pop that she got it

the birth ceriticat

[pencil]then [illegible][PinkishPurple]ected life insur[illegible





I Remember coming

Home from school. mom

[illegible]ad the Day off She made[illegible]

she said





[Large Rip down upper left corner]

[RP][bluegreen]Remember over herrin

[RP]m tell mom he was

[RP]e to sneak in to the

[illegible]id was able to get the

[RP]ile of the knife ripped up

[RP]k[illegible]and threw the

High thears[RP]l



There is nothing I can read after this page. The rest are glued together with dirt and rain, wind and time. Blue ink bleeds through the back but I cannot read it. What the notebook is, is a skeleton, and I am not sure if it is anything that can become fleshed. I am back at my field site as of this afternoon. The traps are out, seeded but not set. I have my scope to read bands. I smelled the ocean on the way, the sage and dust. It is winter here. I am a bit intimidated because the quail are in a covey which means they will behave frustratingly, at least if I want to band them. They may be here or somewhere else entirely…that is the problem with a nonterritorial bird. We’ll see.

The notebook is back at home where it will sit in its own dust.

And my friend is back there too. Somewhere or perhaps my friend no longer exists.

If thou wilt weep my fortunes, take my eyes

I know thee well enough


In italics: Quotes 1-3 are from Foucault, 4-7, Shakespeare [Whom am I to place myself at the sole of such august company?




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