A Map by Stephen Hastings-King

The people who together form an open-ended series A through N…, and who were scattered and adrift for a time, now constitute themselves as complex figure beneath a sign that says: “We missed you too” through layers of activity that are like multi-dimensional chess except that each scale and configuration impacts those around it.

I hear it in what the woman next to me is saying, in the ways her sentences are also elements in a mosaic of words that migrate from one conversation to another, that arrive and are repeated, arrive and are repeated, again and again.

I imagine a geography of everyone talking and a map of invisible territories made from elements of conversations that appear inside one another, kernels of lateral interactions that get pulled into knots as soon as attention wanders.

For a while every sentence I hear refers only to other sentences and the map is an aspect of the territory. Then it is an idea adrift in the ways intentional and non-intentional systems weave together and come apart again.

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11 Comments

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11 responses to “A Map by Stephen Hastings-King

  1. Wow. This is an image that will likely come up next time I’m in a crowd waiting. Like what you’ve done here, Stephen.

  2. the linkages and images are really strong in this piece. nice job.

  3. hey, a systemic manifesto of sorts. marvelous, great read, my kinda stuff. and also congrats on the fwriction:review piece.

  4. Kim Hutchinson

    I’d love to see this map of everyone talking! Wonderful story.

  5. guy

    Going down to the rally at the capital once i get my socks on (it’s cold today). This is kind of how it feels to be there: daisy-chained conversations & an idea braided in.

  6. stephen

    thanks much for the reads and lovely comments.

    the publick house a few doors from my tree fort re-opened last weekend after getting flooded out just after xmas. all the usual suspects were in full effect last friday night; the talk seemed particularly animated and i heard phrases getting passed around like elements in a piece of counterpoint. since then, i’ve been listening for it in other crowded places too. the main results are (1) it happens all the time and (2) if you listen for when it happens and are moving, chances are quite good you will bump into something. maybe more than one something.

  7. This makes me think ‘3 dimensional word puzzle’ – like you’ve physically built something with the words. Very interesting and dynamic. I like it.

  8. I love the image of words and sounds between us all forming this visible web. Just very cool, you always have the coolest ideas. Peace…

  9. Pingback: Week #41 – Coincidence | 52|250 A Year of Flash

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