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?).
Wendell Berry: "Condemnation by category is the lowest form of hatred, for it is cold-hearted and abstract, lacking the heat and even the courage of personal hatred. Categorical hatred is the hatred of the mob, which makes cowards brave . . . This sort of categorical violence can only after we have made a categorical refusal of kindness to . . . any other group different from ourselves."
Description of the US today under Trump.
Some time ago, workers deposited large piles of sand on the beach near me. Since then, the rain has dug channels from the top of the piles on down the beach to the sea. Meanwhile, the sea keeps rising. There's an obvious message here, but I'm not sure anyone is listening to what the sea is teaching us. (Hardly unique, I know. There are too many people—including politicians—who keep their heads in such piles of sand, hoping ineffectual means will stave off the inevitable consequences of not responding responsibly to what nature keeps telling us.)
Banyan tree, Selby Gardens
Gary Snyder: "I want to challenge the priority given to charismatic landscapes . . . it is important to develop the kinds of sensibility that can learn from very plain landscapes, too . . . Landscapes themselves are not the teachers, it is what we do in the landscape that teaches us—walking in them, or spending time in them."
K. A. Hays: "Here floats the mind on the summer's dock.
The knees loose up, hands dither off,
the eyes have never heard of clocks.
The mind won't feel the hours, the mind spreads wide
among the hours, wide in sun."