Walt Whitman: "A morning glory at my window" (or a Bar Harbor sunrise) "satisfies me more than the metaphysics of books."
"Remember the way you are all possibilties
you can see and how you live best
as an appreciator of horizons,
whether you reach them or not.
Admit that once you have got up
from your chair and opened the door,
once you have walked into the clean air
toward that edge and taken the path up high
beyond the ordinary, you have become
the privileged and the pilgrim,
the one who will tell the story
and the one, coming back
from the mountain,
who helped to make it."
Jordan Pond, Acadia National Park
It has been raining everyday now for quite a long while. Ground is soaked, streets are sometimes flooded. And we are entering the peak of hurricane season—should be interesting . . .
A. R. Ammons:
". . .everything is
magnificent with existence, is in
surfeit of glory: nothing is diminished . . .
though I have looked everywhere
I can find nothing lowly
in the universe . . .
I whirled through transfigurations up and down,
transfigurations of size and shape and place:
at one sudden point came still,
stood in wonder:
moss, beggar, weed, tick, pine, self, magnificent
Last week was stormy: one afternoon a heavy storm rolled through—high winds blowing the rain sideways, trees bending in the wind, streets flooding. The street outside my window had water rushing down and deepening until a car trying to move up it just stopped, then got out of the way. Water over the curb, stuff floating on top of the water in the street and on the sidewalk: nature at its most dramatic. And then another evening, clouds rushed west past my window and the sunset grew astonishing in color and shape. Interesting week, here!
Chinese Garden, Missouri Botanical Gardens
Wendell Berry: "there are limits to what a human language can say. One may believe, as I do, in inspiration, but one must believe knowing that even the most inspired are limited in what they can tell of what they know. We humans write and read, teach and learn, at the inevitable cost of falling short. The language that reveals also obscures."
I think this is true of all creative work. Nothing one makes is ever completely what one would like to see at the end—this is one reason a painting, a print, anything, could also be worked on further.
Charles Olson: "what really matters: that a thing, any thing, impinges on us by a more important fact, its self-existence, without reference to any other thing, in short, the very character of it which calls our attention to it, which wants us to know more about it, its particularity. This is what we are confronted by, not the thing's 'class,' any hierarchy, of quality or quantity, but the thing itself, and its relevance to ourselves who are the experience of it (whatever it may mean to someone else . . .).
That's what it's like to come out of the tunnel into Tunnel View: there it is, the valley in all of its particularity, in its self-existence, impinging itself on us . . .
The stormy rain season is with us. Heavy rain, some lightning this morning (there was a spectacular light show earlier last week).
I caught this image in the middle of one storm: Call it "Wind and Rain" or "Sturm und Drang."
I listened to David Whyte being interviewed on "On Being" yesterday. He talked about how our focuses changed over the span of a lifetime. It occurred to me that somewhere in there may part of an explanation of why so many of my images are dark in the last year or two (besides the fact that I just like the technique I've been using and black and white images generally). Here's what he has to say about vulnerability:
"Vulnerabilty is not a weakness, a passing indisposition, or something we can arrange to do without, vulnerability is not a choice, vulnerability is the underlying, ever present and abiding undercurrent of our natural state. To run from vulnerability is to run from the essence of our nature, the attempt to be invulnerable is the vain attempt to become something we are not and most especially, to close off our understanding of the grief of others. More seriously, in refusing our vulnerability we refuse the help needed at every turn of our existence and immobilize the essential, tidal and conversational foundations of our identity.
To have a temporary, isolated sense of power over all events and circumstances, is a lovely illusionary privilege and perhaps the prime and most beautifully constructed conceit of being human . . . but it is a privilege that must be surrendered . . . with ill health, with accident, with the loss of loved ones . . ."
Live long enough and this becomes obvious, unless one is so self-deluded that one fails to recognize it (perhaps an explanation of Trumpism?).