RUDIMENTS, pt. 25
Running cars, and motorcycles too,
with well-pressed, highly-tuned engines,
there's a lot in balance. Especially in earlier
models where the variables run higher.
Cars of the pre-computer era had a different
tuning factor, the mixture points and accesses
were different - carburetor, jets, etc. But, no
matter, that's not my point. Rather, I wanted
to point out how I found a similarity to that
with the world of ideas.
Running a hot car is all about efficient cooling.
The same thing goes with a motorcycle - those
of my experience have always been air-cooled.
The temperature and cooling factor, the idea of
heat build-up and fighting that, was important.
You wanted air-flow, air hitting the engine, and
in a water-cooled situation (where a coolant
'jacket', as it were, of liquid flows around the
engine), you needed a sort-of fan-controlled
air flow directed at the radiator, etc. All well
and good. BUT, in important factor as well,
and mostly nothing you had control over, was
called 'heat-set' - which is the short period of
time immediately after the engine is turned off.
Running a hot engine, fast, hard, really pounding,
for a few minutes after shut-down, all that heat
produced is still produced, in a quickly-diminishing
way, yes, but all the metal components are still
under that growth as the behemoth, turned off,
still sheds heat. Heat that just stays there, with
no blowing or shedding except the outward
radiance of. You have, essentially, a huge pile
of non-aspirated raging metal still producing,
and shedding, or trying to shed, its rage of
heat. It's called, as I said, heat-set. It could be
called, just as well, 'aftermath.' The dynamics
of metal expansion, that minuscule growth
of the physical plant, all those tolerances and
tight fits, mean that the unit itself is still glowing,
still perhaps expanding, still raging for its finish.
No real danger, it diminishes and does shut itself
down - but conceptually it's a happening idea. No
matter how carefully controlled the factors of
heat and its cast-off, while running, were, once
the engine-plant was turned off, it was still raging,
still producing its heat of fury, for a bit.
Drunk guys used to dwell on this.
Among the biker crowd, I'd sit there smirking.
All their talk of physical realities and post-running
occurrences used to bring me immediately to the
meta-physical places where all these things
constantly occurred to me too. It was very much
the same, this engine stuff, as with an idea, a
sudden flash. Creatively, heat is generated,
fiercely; it has to be channeled, directed, and
a means found for its production to be cast
outward, before a crashing, rambling mess of
overheat destroys it all. And then, afterward,
the idea, the spark, is still setting off sparks
and idea-collisions, brandishing its possibilities
into the other hardened chunks of fixed reality
which oftentimes resisted such expansion.
Psychological resistance, conflict within ideas,
a crazed, crash-land of inert stuff which refused
to fit, or sit still, or cool down.
No big deal, of course, and nothing to really be
concerned over except to the nut-case (in this case,
me), generating these ideas - oh maker of heat,
oh divine fire-producer, oh caveman on the plains
of a mental Abraham - but someday I dare you to
walk with ideas akin to this amongst a group of
people who bear no awareness of this sort of
thinking - and see how far you get. Even better,
see how difficult it is to function; which is why
there have always been 'artists' communities,
those odd enclaves you read of and hear about,
over all these years - the writer' colonies, the
eccentric small art-towns, the Chautauqua's and old
Woodstocks of the world. This kind of thinking,
this sort of 'heat-set', yes, has to be isolated, put
away, moved aside, for the coals and fires to
kindle and burn, run-down, settle....and burn out.