Pablo Casals: "In music, in the sea, in a flower, in a leaf, an an act of kindness . . . I see what people call 'God' in all these things."
"How can I number the worlds to which the eye gives me entry?—the world of light, of colour, of shape, of shadow: of mathematical precision in the snowflake, the ice formation, the quartz crystal, the patterns of stamen and petal, of rhythm in the fluid curve, and plunging line of the mountain faces. Why some blocks of stone, hacked into violent and tortured shapes should tranquillize the mind, I do not know.
Matthew Zapruder wrote about Wallace Stevens that for him "a poem is a reconfiguring of the elements of the real into new forms, ones that help us understand our lives and ourselves in different, necessary ways. In poems . . . the ordinary is rearranged, reconfigured . . . The poet transforms the material of the real in a more-or-less conscious way, in order to create a space of contemplation and imagination and possibility . . . this is not an escape from the world around us, but a different sort of engagement."
I think is true of photography also—it is part of what I try to do when I'm working in making an image.
Looking at this called up a memory:
bread baking in the oven,
irresistibly delicious aroma
windows steamed up
warm, safe, loved--
growing up in St. Louis
And outside those steamed up windows I also remember this (as described in a favorite poem by Christina Rosetti)
"In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind did moan
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow
In the bleak midwinter, long, long ago."
That "snow on snow, snow on snow" seem particularly apposite this January. For all of you up north having a terrible January: stay warm and safe.
"Art does not in fact prove anything. What it does is record one of those brief times, such as we each have and then forget, when we are allowed to understand that Creation is whole." Robert Adams
Thoreau on the "wild":
"I would say, --
How near to good is what is wild!
Life consists with wildness. The most alive is the wildest. Not yet subdued by man, its presence refreshes him . . . Give me the ocean, the desert, or the wilderness! . . . When I would recreate myself, I seek the darkest wood, the thickest and most interminable . . . In literature it is only the wild that attracts us. Dullness is but another name for tameness. It is the uncivilized free and wild thinking in 'Hamlet' and the 'Iliad'. in all the Scriptures and Mythologies . . . that delights us. As the wild duck is more swift and beautiful than the tame, so is the wild . . . thought . . . Where is the literature with gives expression to Nature? He would be a poet who could impress the winds and streams into his service, to speak for him; who nailed words to their primitive senses . . ."
Or tried to awaken that sense of the wild in an image . . .
Gary Snyder: "consciousness, mind, imagination, and language are fundamentally wild. 'Wild' as in wild ecosystems—richly interconnected, interdependent, and incredibly complex. Diverse, ancient and full of information. At root the real question is how we understand the concepts of order, freedom, and chaos. Is art an imposition of order on chaotic nature, or is art . . . a matter of discovering the grain of things, of uncovering the measured chaos that structures the natural world? . . . The 'art of the wild' is to see art in the context of the process of nature—nature as process rather than as product or commodity—because 'wild' is a name for the way that phenomena continually actualize themselves. Seeing this also serves to acknowledge the autonomy and integrity of the nonhuman part of the world, an 'Other' that we are barely beginning to be able to know . . . The art of the wild can well be irreverent, inharmonious, ugly, frazzled, unpredictable, simple, and clear—or virtually inaccessible."
Fog is a good metaphor for gazing ahead into a new year, and may be particularly appropriate as we begin 2019 . . .
Happy New Year!! May you find lots of time in this new year to get sand in your shoes or for whatever gives you a chance to relax and to recharge.