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

Saturday, January 25, 2014

scenes of grave consequence, v

in the dim daylight of the snow the world dissolved into whiteness, the electric poles, the trees, the farms, even the road before us and i knew this was honest, but at night outside the windows everything dissolved completely into darkness.  this new kind of dissolve moved from outside the windows into our very bodies, a kind of pixelating, so uncannily close to the self we could no longer see the self.  in this world we could no longer believe we knew who we were anymore.  and so as the car hummed, not along the edges of our bodies which we could no longer discern, but as it hummed instead through them, we recognized this most blessed state.  from this new vantage point, no longer limited, we might understand the anything never considered before.


12 comments:

  1. her hadde jeg kanskje beskært lit oppe, ellers er det i di stil og fint.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. dirk, sometimes i am a little lost in translation. would you have me make this photograph less dirty? (i could be completely off base in my understanding.) for me there is some kind of clarity in the dirtiness. (this is true, but also true is that when i post low-light photos on blogger something strange happens with pixels. they appear otherwise, cleaner, in adobe photoshop.)

      xo
      erin

      Delete
  2. There is night and there is darkness. I find them to be two entirely different entities: one is full & beautiful, the other, sinister and empty. Love to you, dearest Erin. xo

    "The night walked down the sky with the moon in her hand." ~Frederick L. Knowles

    "Light gives of itself freely, filling all available space. It does not seek anything in return; it asks not whether you are friend or foe. It gives of itself and is not thereby diminished." ~Michael Strassfeld

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. marion, you make an important distinction which happens with our perceptions, with our fears.

      are you familiar with the yves bonnefoy story i post below?

      xo
      erin

      Delete
  3. To feel this way. Is my desire.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. do we want this, ruth? do we truly? i don't know the answer to this. sometimes it seems, yes. sometimes yes seems to be the antithesis of existence.

      The Curved Planks

      by Yves Bonnefoy
      translated by Hoyt Rogers

      The man who stood on the bank near the boat was tall, very tall. Behind him moonlight nestled on the waters. As the boy approached the river in utter silence, he heard faint thumps: he knew the boat must be bumping gently against the dock, or a stone. He held the small copper coin clutched tight in his hand.

      "Hello, sir," he said in a clear voice, though it trembled. He feared he was making himself too obtrusive to the ferryman. Teh giant loomed there, motionless. He seemed to be distracted; yet he'd already noticed the child, under the reeds. "hello, my boy," he replied. "Who are you?"

      Delete
    2. "Oh, I don't know," said the child.

      "What, you don't know! Don't you have a name?"

      The child tried to grasp what a name might be. "I don't know," he said again, quickly enough.

      "You don't know! But you have to know what you hear when somebody waves at you or calls!"

      "Nobody calls me."

      "Nobody calls you when it's time to come home? When you've been playing outside and it's mealtime, or bedtime? Don't you have a farther, a mother? Where is your home? Tell me."

      Now the boy was wondering what a father might be, or a mother, or a home.

      "A father," he said. "What's that?"

      Delete
    3. The ferryman sat down on a stone near his boat. Though at first he had laughed a bit, now his voice came from less far away in the night.

      "A father? Well, he's the one who takes you on his knees when you cry, who sits down beside you in the evening when you're afraid to go to sleep and tells you a story."

      The boy didn't answer.

      "True, often children haven't had a father," the giant went on, as though reconsidering. "But then, they say, there are sweet young women who light the fire so you can sit down close to it, and who sing you a song. If they go away awhile it's only to cook some food; you can smell the oil heating in the pan."

      "I don't remember that either," said the boy in his light, crystal voice. He had drawn closer to the ferryman, who now fell silent; he could hear hte man's breathing, slow and even. "I need to cross the river," he said. "I have enough to pay the fare."

      Delete
    4. The giant bent down and scooped him up in his enormous hands. After setting him on his shoulders, he stood up and climbed down into the boat. It gave way a little under his weight. "All right, let's go," he said. "Hang on tight to my neck!" With one hand he gripped the child by the leg, and with the other he stuck the pole in the water. In a sudden movement, the boy embraced the ferryman's neck, and let out a sigh. Now the giant was able to grasp the pole with both hands; he pulled it out of the mud, and the boat slipped away form the shore. The water rushed more deeply under the glimmering, into the shadows.

      A moment later a finger touched his ear. "Listen," said the child, "do you want to be my father?" But he broke off right away, his voice choked by tears.

      "Your father! Why, I am only the ferryman! I never stray far from the riverbank."

      Delete
    5. "But I"d stay with you here, along the river."

      "To be a father, you have to have a home, don't you understand? I don't have one. I live in the rushes along the bank."

      "I'd be so glad to stay near you, along the bank!"

      "No," said the ferryman, "it isn't possible. And anyway, look!"

      What must be seen is this: the boat seems to sink more and more beneath the man and the child, whose weight keeps increasing by the second. The ferryman labors to push the skiff forward, as water keeps pouring in over the sides. Currents swirl through the hull, reaching the giant's thighs. In his huge legs he senses that the curved planks are giving way. Even so the boat doesn't founder; instead it seems to melt into the night. The man is swimming now, with the little boy still clinging to his neck. "Don't be afraid," he says. "The river isn't that wide. We'll get there soon."

      Delete
  4. "Oh please, be my father! Be my home!"

    "You have to forget all that," the giant answers under his breath. "You have to forget those words. You have to forget all words."

    He clasps the small leg -- immense already -- in his hand again, and with his free arm he swims in the limitless space of clashing currents, of yawning abysses, of stars.

    (forgive my mistyping anything but i feel this translation is important, especially the line What must be seen is this which is translated elsewhere as The child cannot fail to see. i'm not exactly sure which is more correct, however rogers's translation holds more profound weight for me.)

    xo
    erin

    ReplyDelete
  5. I feel the importance of the story. There are no answers, I suppose. Least of all to your question, Do we want this?

    On the surface, only, for now. I doubt I'd survive if I got my desire.

    ReplyDelete

"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))