Bricks and balconies
It's cooler (at least for a while): 50s at night, 60s during the days. Maybe this year we will actually have a winter; we really didn't last year.
I started this blog nearly five years ago—and sometimes in the midst of the chaos of our world, I wonder why I continue with it. But last night, I heard something that sounded appropriate: Some one said, when a computer pauses, it goes to sleep; when a human being pauses, he or she wakes up. That's what I am trying to encourage here with images and words: a pause from the usual noise and a waking up—waking up to what is really here right in front of us, not what advertisers and politicians and ideologues would cloud our vision with, but what is here to be seen, if we will but wake up.
Mary Oliver's "Fall Song":
Another year gone, leaving everywhere
its rich spiced residue: vines, leaves,
the uneaten fruits crumbling damply
in the shadows, unmattering back
from the particular island of this summer, this NOW
that now is nowhere . . .
I try to remember when times' measure
painfully chafes, for instance when autumn
flares out at last, boisterous and like us is longing
to stay—how everything lives, shifting
from one bright vision to another, forever
in these momentary pastures.
Finally, a cool down: down to the 60s at night, high 70s to low 80s during the days. Fall has definitely now made an appearance.
Thoreau: "We shall see but little way if we require to understand what we see. How few things can a man measure with the tape of his understanding! How many greater things might he be seeing in the meanwhile!
Nathan Wirth: "When I photograph a rock in the sea, I am, of course, photographing a rock in the sea . . . But there are other possibilities to consider, such as mood, contemplation, presence, or, in my case, silence and solitude and this wonder of the marvelous fact that things exist . . . I am after that silence, after that solitude, after that cataloguing of the wonder that the rock even exists in the first place (or the sea that it rests in, or the sky above it, or the tides that undulate in and out, out and in)."
Nathan Wirth: "I wish to photograph silence . . . I am specifically trying to capture that silence that resides in the cracks and crevices of our daily lives, in the folds of the constant noise that permeates every corner of the world we live in . . . I am archiving slices of silence."
"after the publication of Descartes' Meditations . . . material reality came to be commonly spoken of as a strictly mechanical realm, as a determinate structure whose laws of operation could be discerned only via mathematical analysis . . . Descartes laid the foundation for the construction of the objective . . . sciences . . .Yet these sciences consistently overlook our ordinary, everyday experience of the world around us . . . The everyday world in which we hunger and make love is hardly the mathematically determined 'object' toward which the scientists direct themselves . . . the world in which we find ourselves before we set out to calculate and measure it is not an inert or mechanical object but a living field, an open and dynamic landscape subject to its own moods and metamorphoses (italics added here)."
For me, the image above is one which makes clear what Abrams is saying. Two further comments: this distinction between an "objective" mathematical world and the living field within which we always already come to consciousness is one that eventually led me to dissatisfaction when I was studying scientific biology. And it is my response to what someone once told me: he only saw in the world the beauty that science revealed. To which I can only reply, look again. Carefully (i.e., not curslily) looking at the image above (i.e., reflecting on, letting it come fully awake in you), and one comes to see a great deal more than what physics, chemistry or biology tells us about it.
Kim Manley Ort's paraphrase of a poem by Cid Corman:
"It isn't that I have nothing to say (I do).
It isn't that I'm not expressing myself through my photographs (I am).
What I really want is for you to stop,
to linger, to be there with me,
to feel the experience,
to be connected.
"The Tint I cannot take—is best--
The fine—impalpable Array--
That swaggers the eye
The eager look—on Landscapes--
As if they repressed
Some Secret . . . " Emily Dickinson
We continue to have summer-like days: hot and humid. And autumn here is in any case not much like it is up north. But cooler days would be quite welcome about now.
Here's another David Budbill comment on autumn:
The lazy bees