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

Sunday, March 17, 2013

am i the flower, wide awake inside the falling fruit?

i think about the orchid
not to think about the flower
but to think about myself
which means, i think about not existing
but:  existence, being
to touch my lover, my mother, my children
to touch the lover, the mother, the children of a foreign hand
all hands and all bodies
all suns rising and setting









Hurry Toward Beginning by Li-Young Lee

Is it because the hour is late
the dove sounds new,

no longer asking
a path to its father's house,
no longer begging shoes of its mother?

Or is it because I can't tell departure
from arrival, the host from the guest,

the one who waits expectant at the window
from the one who, even now, tramples the dew?

I can't tell what my father said about the sea
we crossed together
from the sea itself,

or the rose's noon from my mother
crying on the stairs, lost
between a country and a country.

Everywhere is home to the rain.
the hours themselves, where do they hide?
The fruit of listening, what's that?

Are the days the offspring of distracted hands?
Does waiting that grows out of waiting
grow lighter? What does my death weigh?
What's earlier, thirst or shade?
Is all light late, the echo to some prior bell?

Is it because I'm tired that I don't know?
Or is it because I'm dying?
When will I be born? Am I the flower,
wide awake inside the falling fruit?
Or a man waiting for a woman
asleep behind a door?
What if a word unlocks
room after room the days
wait inside? Still,

night amasses a foreground
current to my window.
Listen. Whose footsteps are those
hurrying toward beginning?

15 comments:

  1. Magnificent photos, Erin. I've always thought the Orchid is the most sensuous flower on earth. Much to my dismay, I've killed many in an attempt to grow them. :-) Love the Lee poem. He always feeds my spirit. xo

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    1. when i came upon this orchid, marion, i gasped. it was at the end of a common supermarket aisle. i didn't understand its intensity and i couldn't leave it there but i couldn't imagine owning anything so beautiful and so i bought it for my mother.

      lee is...too much and beyond words to say.

      xo
      erin

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    ╭▔▔▉▔▔▉▔▔╮┈╰╮Day┈
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    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. heh:) yes, it is so. you too))

      xo
      erin

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  3. I understand the displacement, the disquietude Lee feels. This poem begs for language to unlock time, space, distance. Each scene, moody and nostalgic, asks to be liberated somehow from its tragic past.

    Is this what we do when we bare our souls?

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    Replies
    1. what you say, rosaria! language as the key to unlock time, space and distance! yes))) this is what art longs to do. this is what man longs to do. this is the articulation of longing, translation.

      lee takes us to the place where all exists at the same time. how he shocks me with his young child-like voice, "When will I be born?" on the heels of his acceptance of death, "Or is it because I'm dying?"

      when we bare our souls we at least reveal that place of vulnerability we all share.

      i'm not sure Lee wants to be liberated from his tragic past, or rather acknowledges that we do not move from it but remain eternally united with it. i have to read more of him and keep this question in consideration.

      xo
      erin

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  4. Existence.

    How strange.

    I am taking a Coursera course, Know Thy Self.

    I am reading today, re-reading, Descartes' Meditations.

    xo

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    Replies
    1. bruce, i hope this course draws together many great minds and perspectives. how exciting. please, please share what you learn)) can you do this, reflect it through photography? (i always think back fondly to the time you were writing more and sharing.)

      xo
      erin

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  5. every day the loop of existence seems to grow tighter and more rapid and i yearn to slow it, to try to inhabit it. i think our perception can interact with the loop of time. for what is time, but a human invention?

    are the days the offspring of distracted hands?

    is the meditation of an orchid a meditation, as you say, of ourselves?

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    Replies
    1. amanda, i read your comment carefully. how does the loop of existence seem to grow tighter for you, although i certainly understand the more rapid? i find the loop grows larger, encapsulating everything, drawing away the borders and barriers like skin and/or definition, whether it be my skin or that of the orchid, my lover, my mother, my children. in my mind forms seem to be dissolving and the essence of each particular takes root as an analogous entity, as though the essence of all things is one thing only.

      but time does something to us, this one distance, as does being articulated as separate individuals and things. it gives us the distance to become confused within but also, the distance is our gift so that consciousness might rise and we might have the opportunity to know, or at least ask questions.

      is the meditation of an orchid a meditation of ourselves? yes. yes. yes. but the orchid is beautiful, isn't it? if i were to photograph a garbage heap or a rotting corpse, it would be a meditation of ourselves, as well, and those too would be beautiful.

      xo
      erin

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  6. touching, without thinking, bypassing thinking
    caress of silk, breath upon skin

    ReplyDelete
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    1. roxana, with whom even thinking dissolves. all breath. all form. closer to essence without the pesky black strokes of thought/word.

      yes)))) breathing)))

      xo
      erin

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  7. It is too much for me. Except

    Everywhere is home to the rain.

    Maybe one line a day could enter me. Maybe one photograph (so like skin and body and there is no difference is there) a day.

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    1. there is no difference, ruth))) with this comes grace, awe and humility. how could anything else follow?

      do our stomachs grow smaller?

      yes, only one line a day. perhaps not even a line or a word. perhaps lee will wordlessly point and we will even then swell with overfeeding.

      xo
      erin

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  8. all hands and all bodies
    all suns rising and setting

    Wonderful

    Reading your blog, it seems that your father is very important in your life and the way you are. I have a little son who lives away. In Spain today is Father's Day. Hopefully he can feel I am something important and lasting.
    Hugs
    W.

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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))