I Rely on My Incomprehension is a column inspired by Clarice Lispector’s Crônicas, which she wrote weekly for the Jornal do Brasil between 1967 and 1973. On April 17, 1971, Lispector wrote, “I rely on my incomprehension, which has given me an instinctive and intuitive life, whereas so-called comprehension is so limited.”
Wind as it whistles through your raincoat. As it hums a dry, scratching song. As it casts a hush over the antelope brush. As it thunders down pale mountains, a landslide. As it carries the chirp of the pinyon jay. As the tremor of dusty desert grass. As the path which disappears behind you so that you can’t go back that way. As clouds in their northward drift, from empty town to empty town, like a woman without reason. As a wave passing through the scrub oak, fingers scraping your shins. As a wave that keeps coming. As a dagger of rain cutting right through the skin. As your own skin—that close to the bone. As bedfellow, curled up inside of your sleeping bag. Inside of your ribcage. As a whisper up your spine. As cracked knuckles. As yellow wildflowers waving frenetically. As eager, attentive violets blur past the speeding car. As beaten until stripped of color. As the wind, which, night after night, will erode a body or a mountain just the same. As watching your own shadow dissolve into granite. As silence. Or, as its opposite. As the thudding downbeat of a bird’s black wings. As the crows keep time over the chainsaw canyon.