Friday, August 31
Something still eluded him, though now, with time running out, he thought he had almost got it. Soon dawn would come, and with it would go this hush, this cool luminosity coming through stillness. It was like sitting in the calm centre of the world, he thought, this total balance between the world and its mirror image, water and sky. He was conscious of fragility, as though he was sitting in the middle of an aquamarine bubble. That's it, he thought, as his intent eye caught a line of dark blue shadow where the river met, not sky, but its own reflected shadow.
But the light was changing now, and it was time to give up on this particular canvas. A faint streak of rose flushed the sky beyond the trees. Everything would change now, touches of pink would show in the water which would begin to shine, glinting with rose and gold, the skin of the water would become a living thing, running with fragments of the world, washing them downstream into the following night. The sky grew paler as the sun rose, light had begun to touch the trees, which broke into a thousand surfaces, leaves and branches throwing off light and colour. He could not look at his canvas now, because of what was happening on the river. Though the banks were still in shadow the surface of the water in mid-stream shone like shot silk, bright pink and gold, the colour of fire between the prow of his boat and the horizon where the trees came down low and water almost touched the burning sky. Everything was always in flux, he thought, noticing a dark reddish hue close to the banks where the high trees overshadowed the water. It was both his overriding difficulty, and essential to him.
He put down his brushes, knowing it was finished for now. A sense of fatigue came over him, as he dropped tubes of colour into the box. He leaned over the side to call Auguste, and saw he had dropped off to sleep in the skiff...
-- Eva Figes Light
Posted by rb at 8/31/2007
Thursday, August 30
Wednesday, August 29
Love merely as the best
There is, and one would make the best of that
By saying how it grows and in what climates . . .
To say at the end, however we find it, good,
Bad, or indifferent, it helps us, and the air
Is sweetest there. The air is very sweet.
-- James Merrill, from "Variations: The Air is Sweetest that a Thistle Guards"
Posted by rb at 8/29/2007
Monday, August 27
She let the river willow her, red silt
Green glacier, loose robe of water drifting
Over stone, rush her over beds of algae,
Fossil mud, slick and salty, a woman's
Bones dissolving easy, riffled and sucked
Like marrow down seeps and gorges toward
Sea level—the longest river in the world.
-- Sandra Alcosser, from "Glyphs" Parabola 31:2
Posted by rb at 8/27/2007
Tuesday, August 14
Monday, August 13
Sunday, August 12
Not I, not I, but the wind that blows through me!
A fine wind is blowing the new direction of Time.
If only I let it bear me, carry me, if only it carry me!
If only I am sensitive, subtle, oh, delicate, a winged gift!
If only, most lovely of all, I yield myself and am borrowed
By the fine, fine wind that takes its course through the chaos of the world
Like a fine, an exquisite chisel, a wedge blade inserted;
If only I am keen and hard like the sheer tip of a wedge
Driven by invisible blows,
The rock will split, we shall come at the wonder, we shall find the Hesperides.
Oh, for the wonder that bubbles into my soul,
I would be a good fountain, a good well-head,
Would blur no whisper, spoil no expression.
What is the knocking?
What is the knocking at the door in the night?
It is somebody wants to do us harm.
No, no, it is the three strange angels.
Admit them, admit them.
-- D.H. Lawrence
Posted by rb at 8/12/2007
Thursday, August 9
The key to the hidden lands beyond those veils lies in the letting go of all hope, fear and expectation. The portal opens when one realizes that one no longer needs to seek it and must simply open to that which is already fully present. In that vastness in which nothing is hidden and nothing needs to be revealed, all is transparent, clear, and the doors, in response, open everywhere.
-- Ian Baker The Heart of the World
Posted by rb at 8/09/2007
Wednesday, August 8
Tuesday, August 7
Monday, August 6
I lifted the curtain,
looked out ―
and was looking within me.
A sandbox I saw,
and a boy building it;
he is building it still.
The game was
and is still in its beginning.
The boy sat down,
looked behind him ―
and gave a start;
at the window stood a man,
with a strange look on his face.
What happened there?
Past and future
gazed into a COMMON PRESENT.
The boy went on with his play,
I let the curtain fall.
No window anymore,
no view ―
Only the body I was given,
reflecting on its surface
the distance between me and the boy.
Each holding in his yesterday the line engraved,
the anteroom of tomorrow
from which every now is born.
Man and boy ― me ―
all in one;
from somewhere towards something new.
In that same window,
staring each at each.
-- Matti Itkonen, from "Does What Has Been Survive?" in Analecta Husserliana LXXXII
Translated by Robert MacGilleon
Posted by rb at 8/06/2007
Thursday, August 2
As for me, I am inclined to believe that flight is a warm wind before being a wing. I do not reject the teachings of a dreamer who believes that a sylph will teach him what a bird is. In dynamic imagination, the first flying creature in a dream is the dreamer himself. If someone or something accompanies him in flight, it is a sylph, a cloud, a shadow; it is a veil, an aerial form, enveloped and enveloping, happy to be undefined and to live at the edge of the visible and the invisible. To see birds of flesh and feathers fly, the dreamer must climb back up toward day and assume once more his human, clear, logical thoughts. But if the clarity is too great, the spirits of sleep will disappear. It is for poetry to find them again, as though they were reminiscences of a beyond. A person who does not forget can make no mistake on this point: the dream, like Toussenel's God, creates the soaring spirit before creating the bird.
If purity, light, and the sky's splendor summon up pure and winged creatures; if, through an inversion that is only possible in the realm of values, the purity of a creature gives purity to the world in which it lives, we can easily understand that the imaginary wing takes on the colors of the sky and that the sky is a world of wings. We will murmur like the sleeping Boaz, with the soul's voice:
There angels flew, but darkly, of course,
For at times there was seen, going by in the night,
Something blue, that might be a wing.
-- Gaston Bachelard Air and Dreams
Translated by Edith R. Farrell and C. Frederick Farrell
Posted by rb at 8/02/2007
Wednesday, August 1
My only talent, if you can call it that in my case, is that I love this little world inside the thick walls of this playhouse, and I'm fond of the people who work in this little world. Outside is the big world, and sometimes the little world succeeds in reflecting the big one so that we understand it better. Or perhaps, we give the people who come here a chance to forget for a while, for a few short moments, the harsh world outside. Our theater is a little room of orderliness, routine, care and love. I don't know why I feel so comically solemn this evening. I can't explain how I feel, so I'd best be brief.
-- Oscar Ekdahl, in Ingmar Bergman's Fanny and Alexander
Rick Moody on Fanny and Alexander
Posted by rb at 8/01/2007