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

Saturday, August 2, 2014

the language of horses, may 26, 2014

i used to think that photographing animals or nature was a mechanistic kind of job.  one would behold the factory of the world and choose the component of the world they wanted to exert method upon.  i did not then see that it was a dance with mystery.

and i think one needs to be careful because while it is always a dance with mystery, the photographer, it seems to me, is not always aware of it.

and then in my 40th year or so i re-found wellness and myself, not in ideas, nor in words (however in both of these places too), but in the air that moved around a bird's wings, in the musk of moss on my face, and upon the mudded fur of the elder beaver hard of hearing, heavy as wet carpet and as slow as the good time of silence, moving his mute body only some feet from me. each act of the ordinary in nature is extraordinary, miraculous, beyond us in our inattentive functioning, but is the core of us inside of our attention, and of course, is the act of grace itself.

last week driving through farmland after a great many days of rain i came upon a horse at the back of the field.  it was stomping into water, over and over again, its hooves as thick as trees.  i could see no reason for what it was caught inside of, captured by the lust of its doingness, however i could feel its ecstasy, its revelry, in my chest, over and over again its heavy hooves moving the water recklessly with heft, as though the water were not water but something solid that the horse was managing to manipulate.  it seemed like such an act of spirit, and of course, of body, the horse putting its face to the currents and snorting, withdrawing and stomping some more.  i thought of a lover in his lover's lap deep in the smell of sex, intoxicated by desire and being.

i can't care if it means anything to anyone else.  it is my breath, even if not to capture it, even if i fail time and time again, even if the camera stays on the seat beside me as it did with the horse, to be in the same world as the horse without the impediment of human language, but rather deeply bruised by the language of horses, bruised so hard i am convinced, shudderingly, of being here in this moment.

***

due to a series of small events i have no ability to process and post photographs any more. this absence is an absence of myself to myself. and is curious. and so i post these words in lieu of photographs.

11 comments:

  1. You painted a perfectly beautiful, uplifting, vivid word picture. Words are pictures, to me. I've been trying to put my camera down more and experience the event, then write about it. I love what Anais Nin said about journaling/writing: "We write to taste life twice; in the moment and in retrospection." So true!! xo

    ReplyDelete
  2. ...bruised by the language of horses,...

    What you saw, I can see.

    ReplyDelete
  3. thank you marion and peter. it is a small difficulty to not make photographs inside this world of larger difficulties and grace.

    xo
    erin

    ReplyDelete
  4. " it was stomping into water, over and over again, its hooves as thick as trees. i could see no reason for what it was caught inside of, captured by the lust of its doingness, however i could feel its ecstasy, its revelry, in my chest, over and over again its heavy hooves moving the water recklessly with heft, as though the water were not water but something solid that the horse was managing to manipulate. it seemed like such an act of spirit, and of course, of body, the horse putting its face to the currents and snorting, withdrawing and stomping some more."


    while i was reading this, i had such a compelling feeling of recognition - not only the horse's being absorbed, body and spirit, into that present act, but your amazement in front of it too - and then i realized i had had experienced this so many times, but with my little daughter, and this must be true of all children: they are exactly like horses, like any other animal in this ability to become lost into the same action, repeated endlessly, with the same bodily ecstasy as the first time. while we sit aside, looking at them with wonder: how can they keep doing this, again and again? how does this not become boring?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ah! the horse as the child! of course! and all along, with such silly notions, i thought the child was me. but i was sitting! it was the horse enlivened! (but there is a transference, isn't there? an infection of play!)

      the ability to be lost in the same action over and over again. i think of my boy and his origami. and then he and his butterfly knife, which sounds more menacing than it is. how many hours did he spend in the glory of flipping the blade dangerously close to his skin! i wonder on your girl and what webs between her body and her imagination and i smile realizing it must be kingdoms:)

      xo erin

      Delete
  5. read your text and I remember a Sidney Lumet film "Equus" I saw many years ago but I remember it shocked me.
    While we wait for your photos, we will follow you through your texts.

    Un abrazo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oh.my.god. i have watched the first four minutes of equus and i am shaking. not only for what holds, but also for what it holds up as a mirror. i am something akin to being afraid, but leaning a little more toward being excited. holy holy. thank you for the reference damaso. i will watch it in its entirety in wonder.

      i miss being involved with photographs profoundly. but i imagine this is an important absence, no matter how long or short the process.

      xo
      erin

      Delete
  6. You create wonderful pictures with your words. I wonder how often I have used photos instead of words--when I first started blogging and had no digital camera I did a lot more writing... I do miss your photos, however.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Copie d'une réponse donné sur mon blog à ton commentaire.

    erin,
    Merci, Erin. Parfois, les gens me demandent si je ne m'ennuie pas à faire tout le temps la m^me chose. Je dis que d'abord, la vie n'est jamais la m^me d'une journée sur l'autre. Je dis aussi que les personnes que je rencontre nourrissent mon humanité qui nourrit mon imaginaire. Tant pis pour les gens qui m'oublient ou croient devoir faire comme si j'étais mort, qu'ils soient de la famille ou non. Trop occupés, trop riches de moyens à en oublier l'essentiel. Mais je n'ai rien à leur dire, rien à leur expliquer. J'ai beaucoup plus de points communs avec toi dans ces échanges virtuels où il se passe quelque chose. Si ton âme vivre, si ta pensée vagabonde à la vue de ses superbes baies, alors crois-moi, tu es plus vivante que tous ces paradeurs élitistes dont le paraître est le seul but. La nature, ile ne la verrons jamais comme toi, ou moi, nous la voyons.
    Je t'embrasse bien amicalement.
    Roger

    Réponse à ton superbe texte posté ici.
    J'ai voulu répondre à ton absence de photo par l'absence des miennes où tu t'es exprimée sur mon blog. Le commentaire ci-dessus est à la suite de ton commentaire et en contact avec tes mots d'aujourd'hui. Mot contre mot, peau contre peau, sensibilité, contre sensibilité pour que cette rencontre témoigne d'une amitié qui dure depuis un certain temps, grâce à ta photographie, passionnante, envoûtante, secrète, rencontrant la mienne, énigmatique , dont tu sais saisir le sens. Nous avons tous des milliers de photos dans notre cerveau, en attente, dans ce meltingpot qu'est la mémoire. Nous sommes, mémoire du monde, de passage sur terre, lien entre le passé et le futur, pour un temps très court à passer sur terre. Qu'importe le moyen choisi pour s'exprimer si le résultat arrête l'autre, le fait réfléchir, douter de lui, ralentir dans la course, aimer. Ce qui compte c'est le résultat : la création d'un mouvement de vie. C'est le seul moyen pour lutter contre l'instinct de mort et la barbarie. Créons ensemble et le monde sera meilleur.
    Je t'embrasse.

    Roger 23 Août 2014

    ReplyDelete
  8. you ask if it matters; yes, it matters...to the ones that get to see and listen...reckon? Hope you are doing good Tiny Leaf...

    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))