not a pretty picture. not a good. not a bad. picture. but an argument.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

god is a metaphor. no, really, he is. errrr metaphors are god. ya.

Kundera writes, (ya, i'm reading it again) "Tomas did not realize at the time that metaphors are dangerous.  Metaphors are not to be trifled with.  A single metaphor can give birth to love."  The Unberarable Lightness of Being. 


on one side of the river is a fraying flower/weed. on the other side of the river, rock.  the river is invisible.  you tell me what this is.  it has the potential to be anything, my body and my spirit, my children and i (interchangeable as rock or flower), you, me, life, death.  you show me one thing in this world that is not (potentially) a metaphor.  it is as though metaphors have blessed mouths, they are that which animate all things!  and yet here we are, tiny sacs of being, with the power (?) to assign meaning.

12 comments:

  1. and yet i know we are powerless except for semantics or poetics, for even when we are not there, the rock and the flower are, even the river.

    xo
    erin

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  2. "it is as though metaphors have blessed mouths, they are that which animate all things!"

    and love the Kundera quote (love his thoughts and snippets but disliked the book).

    i believe we birth insight through art and make sense of our world in stories.

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  3. the universe (one story) is a metaphor

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  4. only we have the power to assign meaning, to make of the unconnected pieces scattered everywhere shards of a fallen wholeness.

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  5. monica, yes, i struggle with the book too, and yet i love where it sends me. it's a fucked up piece of literature.

    and i tend to agree with you too about making sense of our world through art with story. i just wonder on the nature of our stories and the vehemence with which we believe them. we can believe in anything we can create. that makes story dangerous and belief too. (although i love them both.)

    ollie, yes! and so i laughed yesterday in the theatre. robert and i were watching the tree of life, a new movie about creation, our place within it, and god. perhaps you've heard of it? anyhow, there are long scenes that are so visceral and yet scientific, about the formation of the universe and life. they are trying scenes for an audience in today's world. i heard an exasperated woman say after many minutes of being immersed in one of these series of scenes, there's not much story here, is there. ohmygod, i could have screamed. perhaps should have. the perversity of saying there isn't much story in the whole of creation and life!!!! oh, how we are so stupid. aren't we? don't we miss too much?

    andreas, isn't it that we think we have that power and yet, the wholeness remains regardless of our prattling? it makes us larger to think we have to power of assigning meaning and yet we fall so much farther for our meaning is (perhaps) irrelevant.

    yesterday i stood beside a swamp and imagined a moose making its way into it and through it. i thought, holy fuck, if this were to happen with me as a witness all time would become irrelevant. history would only be this moose and this crossing. everything else would cease to matter.

    the moose did not appear. does this change anything?

    xo
    erin

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  6. only we have the power to assign meaning, for only we are concerned with meaning. i think you're right that it's irrelevant in the grand scheme of things; meaning has meaning only to us. what happens if we remove man from the equation? does everything become meaningless? yes, in the deepest sense of the word.

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  7. what happens if we remove man from the equation? does everything become meaningless? yes, in the deepest sense of the word.

    well, andreas, isn't that something?

    xo
    erin

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  8. the photograph is the mirror when i have disappeared ... flower and stone, transience and permanency, the cosmos looking at itself across the river, imagining itself, being is the flower in love with stone, the stone longing for the quickness of the flower, disquiet and unsettlement, and i am the invisible river....

    everything everything everything hinges on the question mark in parentheses ... do we have the power to assign meaning through metaphor? i'm not sure ... i think it more likely that we are cursed with assigning meaning, we can't do anything else ... what power it would take to see what things are rather than what they mean!! ... is it basho?: how admirable! / to see lightning, and not / think life is fleeting ... metaphor is the wings of swallows that fan the sunlight through our blood ...

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  9. james, the photograph is the mirror when i have disappeared!!!!

    cursed, yes! and on and on we go, cursed, driven, passionate about knowing/experiencing, consuming with the very mouth of our own passion to know, to experience. why can't we then lay it down and allow it to be, to allow the moose to set one heavy foot inside of our frame and have time itself dissolve?

    and see and see and see how i love this life! i am a mouth who must might consume myself!

    xo
    erin

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  10. i can't seem to let this go. i hope you'll indulge me, erin. what consequences does it have if everything is meaningless? to a human being it's death? we cannot go on if we don't at least glimpse a semblance of meaning. and for the universe, what consequences? none that i can see. the universe goes on regardless. it's our predicament that we are part of the universe and at the same time creators of worlds of our own.

    now my head hurts. i need a cup of tea :)

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  11. i'm glad you don't stop. can't. me either. this is but a blip in the screen of my thinking, by no means done. when i am done, as you say, i'll be dead:)

    (it is funny to put that smiling face just there.)

    xo
    erin

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  12. Ok, I take into account what is said by Kundera.
    Anyway, this image resonates for me.

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"Words at the limit of hearing, attributable to no one, received in the conch of the ear like dew by a leaf." (philippe jaccottet) or even a quiet presence is appreciated))