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

Friday, March 15, 2013

crow asks:


if we were to say that which we long to say?
if we were to shoot that which we long to shoot?
then what? is our being not the bridge?
is there not something to be said for our failing?

23 comments:

  1. They don't call the crow the smartest bird for nothing!!! That's the best (or at the most succinct) argument for (what I'd call) eccentricity in terms of its ultimate purpose. Thanks Erin.

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    1. william, i kind of laughed at myself too in terms of justifying failure, however, it makes good sense as in that which is not complete or perfect is that which has the opportunity to lean toward completion and perfection. our failure opens this opportunity. (but i imagine given the time i suppose anyone might find the justification for anything.)

      xo
      erin

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  2. I have no words ...
    The combination of text and image is perfect.
    The real meaning of what you mean ... I have an idea but it's easy I'm wrong.
    As always, you only know the truth.
    I am very happy to visit you again.
    kisses
    W.

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    1. this is interesting, white. as you say only the bearer of the idea might know what he or she knows, but even inside this one might become lost. (as it is with a photograph, poem, story, movie, or any art.) and so if the crow is talking? how might any one of us hear?

      xo
      erin

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  3. the crow watches Erin as she drives by and takes this photo

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    1. michael, i imagine he didn't even have to watch me. he seems to be omnipotent, doesn't he, or even worse, he doesn't need to care. in his knowledge of being he is above/beyond caring.

      xo
      erin

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  4. Yes, our being is the bridge. But we long for the touch, what comes when a word or image is a current over/through the bridge. The recognition is electric. I am addicted to it.

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    1. we cast out bridges like lassos, don't we, ruth?

      i'm addicted too)))

      xo
      erin

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  5. Seize the day in no uncertain terms. Own this life rather than witness it. Love without fear. Spring is coming -in what's next for you? Xo

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    1. aimme, and more than this too, and under it and through it, somehow encapsulating these motions while boiling away all modifiers.

      what's next for me? i have no idea.

      xo
      erin

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  6. crow asks always the most pointed questions. if we said what we are longing to say, would we then be silent? perhaps it is the longing that keeps us speaking ... perhaps we are constructed such that we long to touch what cannot be touched, so that we will keep reaching ...

    i love this photograph very much, the obliqueness and rush and skew of the diagonals. the crow's body dark, as if he is a bit of speaking shadow that has been ejected from the shadow, the one solidity that tangles and delays the light

    and he is liminality, at the edge of the road, at the edge of the picture ... only at the point of disappearance or at the point of coming into being, can we ask the right questions, hear the answers when they come, if they do come ...

    .

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  7. james, isn't longing life itself? perhaps we could say instead of, i live, i long, which is the same as, i want which i remember you responding to, understanding this as an essential, if not the essential.

    you see the crow articulated:) AND you see him un-becoming. always this dualism, as is present so profoundly in the poetry of li-young lee)))

    ana asked the other day about photography and art, what makes it? perhaps this is the crux, to hold up the mirror to the core of existence, illustrating the point of disappearance born of the fold with the point of coming into being. ?

    xo
    erin

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    1. the point of disappearance born of the fold

      the fold ... i think on this idea for a time ... is consciousness the line where the sides of the fold meet? the duality of this seems significant ... disappearance and birth almost indistinguishable at the intersection, the crossing, (the crux) ... consciousness as con-scientia, "with-knowing" implies the fold, the split, the fracture, the rift, knowledge of self and distance from self gained and lost in the same gesture ... being and non-being as the wings of the crow, which work together by opposing each other, which lift the body of the crow into the arc where she asks (and questioning is fundamentally different from saying, yes ... a declaration is lateral transfer, from A to B and done, but the question asks for response, for back and forth, the two wings moving and lift) ....

      .

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  8. I have to add a few more breadcrumbs reading these breadcrumbs:
    - an entire "poetic career" could be built on the one line "we throw bridges out like lassos"
    - I would love to see you post a photograph of an empty mirror, Erin
    - I agree James a "question asks for response" with the understanding that questioning comes from doubt (as opposed to discernment which comes from gratitude)

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    1. william, how do you ask for the photograph? where does the question come from? (i need to hear you so that i know your meaning/intention.)

      it is impossible. there is no mirror thin enough to reflect the infintismally small point at which all unfolds. that said, yesterday after your question james and i walked in the woods. there is still so much snow here and it remains bitterly cold. we were in the woods(!) mind you and we came across a mirror broken and off to the side of the trail, pitched in shards upright into the snow. i had just told james of your invitation to photograph an empty mirror. of course, reflected in this mirror even in the middle of the woods, shards pivoted toward the snow and others toward the sky, the mirror reflected everything!

      imagining taking the photograph of the empty mirror i would look up and of course, no longer exist.

      xo
      erin

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  9. the crow asks a question from the only viewpoint it has - its innocent complete self. the older i get the more i want to embrace my failings, my whole, imperfect self and all our whole imperfect selves.

    for we are perfect in our imperfection.

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    1. yes, we are, and so we should begin by embracing one another)) perhaps then we will find the gift of forgiveness for the self.

      xo
      erin

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  10. Love the perspective, I love crows and their wicked, clever ways....

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    1. l.))) they are both so physical and (seemingly) metaphysical. i love them too.

      xo
      erin

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  11. Ah, Erin, I am an empty mirror thanks to you! You got all of that one. No need for me to add anything...

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  12. I see the raven and appears in my mind a book that marked a generation, The Teachings of Don Juan by Carlos Castaneda. I suppose did not understand well the teachings, many remained on the road, but the raven still flying our horizon.
    Sunday, 4 April 1965 I took a long hike today. It got quite dark before I reached don Juan’s house. I was thinking
    about the crows when suddenly a very strange “thought” crossed my mind. It was more like an
    impression or a feeling than a thought. The bird that had made the noise said they were
    coming from the north and were going south, and when we met again they would be coming
    the same way.
    I told don Juan what I had thought up, or maybe remembered. He said, “Don’t think about
    whether you remembered it or made it up. Such thoughts fit men only. They do not fit crows,
    especially those you saw, for they are the emissaries of your fate.
    You are already a crow. You will never change that. From now on the crows will tell you with
    their flight about every turn of your fate. In which direction did you fly with them?”
    “I couldn’t know that, don Juan!”
    “If you think properly you will remember. Sit on the floor and tell me the position in which
    you were when the birds flew to you. Close your eyes and make a line on the floor.”
    I followed his suggestion and determined the point.
    “Don’t open your eyes yet!” He proceeded, “In which direction did you all fly in relation to
    that point?”
    I made another mark on the ground.
    Taking these points of orientation as a reference, don Juan interpreted the different patterns
    of flight the crows would observe to foretell my personal future or fate. He set up the four
    points of the compass as the axis of the crows” flight.
    I asked him whether the crows always followed the cardinal points to tell a man’s fate. He
    said that the orientation was mine alone; whatever the crows did in my first meeting with
    them was of crucial importance. He insisted on my recalling every detail, for the message and
    the pattern of the “emissaries” were an individual, personalized matter.
    There was one more thing he insisted I should remember, and that was the time of day
    when the emissaries left me. He asked me to think of the difference in the light around me
    between the time when I “began to fly” and the time when the silvery birds
    “flew with me”. When I first had the sensation of painful flight, it was dark. But when I saw
    the birds, everything was reddish light red, or perhaps orange.
    He said: “That means it was late in the day; the sun was not down yet. When it is
    completely dark a crow is blind with whiteness and not with darkness, the way we are at night.
    This indication of the time places your last emissaries at the end of the day.
    They will call you, and as they fly above your head, they will become silvery white; you will
    see them shining against the sky, and it will mean your time is up. It will mean you are going
    to die and become a crow yourself.”
    “What if I see them during the morning?”
    “You won’t see them in the morning!”
    “But crows fly all day.”
    “Not your emissaries, you fool!”
    “How about your emissaries, don Juan?”
    “Mine will come in the morning. There will also be three of them. My benefactor told me that
    one could shout them back to black if one does not want to die. But now I know it can’t be
    done. My benefactor was given to shouting, and to all the clatter and violence of the devil’s
    weed. I know the smoke is different because he has no passion. He is fair. When your silvery
    emissaries come for you, there is no need to shout at them. Just fly with them as you have
    already done. After they have collected you they will reverse directions, and there will be four
    of them flying away.”

    A hug.

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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))