Saturday, April 8, 2017

Everything and Nothing: A Saturday Morning Hodgepodge

This is a blog post about everything and nothing. It will be an attempt to re-arrange ideas into a free-flowing form that gives the appearance of producing meaning, but its ultimate aim is uncertain. As soon as I mention Dylan one of my readers will drop off, and then I can address topics that I normally steer clear of. Or not.

Various words come to mind. Burn permits, vision, the centrality of uncertainty, facts versus feelings, coincidence, luck, chastisement, the Whitney, circular reasoning, fast cars, cranberries, sideburns, grace, the Coliseum, air tools, unnecessary violence, perspicacity, tax statements, forgetfulness and the archeology of knowledge.

Various images come to mind as well. Nebulae, Orion, Javier Bardem, Sofia, a shot of Patron, a broken chimney, a shattered window, a bowling pin, a pair of memories I'd long forgot.

I didn't understand where this was going. But then, there it was. A riveting clarity.

* * * *

Yesterday as I was shopping at a pair of superstores -- Lowe's and Wal-Mart -- I reflected on the well-worn Picasso quote, "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up." Have you ever aimlessly meandered through these places with no other purpose beyond experiencing it with wide-eyed innocence and wonder? It struck me how massive these buildings are. And how colorful the signage and packaging, all of it designed to stimulate the photoreceptors at the back of your eyeballs. Whoa. I am usually unaccustomed to paying much attention when shopping, primarily because I am just there to do my business, get in and get out. How much of your life is lived in a state of purposefulness that leaves you oblivious to everything else that's going on around you?

* * * *

The Walk

My eyes already touch the sunny hill.
going far ahead of the road I have begun.
So we are grasped by what we cannot grasp;
it has inner light, even from a distance-

and changes us, even if we do not reach it,
into something else, which, hardly sensing it,
we already are; a gesture waves us on
answering our own wave...
but what we feel is the wind in our faces.

Translated by Robert Bly
Rainer Maria Rilke


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