Sep 16, 2012

The Invisible Pyramid

I seem to have this skill of stumbling upon the weirdest books at second-hand shops that grapple with our place in the cosmos. Here are some bits of poetic language from my recent find, The Invisible Pyramid:

"time glimpsed through a blowing curtain of dust"
"Man himself is the solitary arbiter of his own defeats and victories"
"compulsive vertigo of vast distance and even more endless time"
"I dream deeper, slipping back like a sorcerer through the wood of time"
"We no longer stare at the stars or think of the unreal. Do not repeat this. I think we are animals."
"Indeed the cloud itself was symbolic. It represented time in inconceivable quantities--time, not safe, not contained in Christian quantity, but rather vast as the elemental dust storm itself."
"a silence so profound, a silence so complete that the soul feels penetrated by a sort of religious terror."
"Man cannot restore the body that once shaped his mind."

"Out of a spoken sound, man's first and last source of inexhaustible power, would emerge the phantom world which the anthropologist....calls culture. Its bridges, towers and its lightnings lie potential in a little globe of grey matter that can fade and blow away on any wind."
"A name is prison, God is free"
"To speak of man as 'mastering' such a cosmos is about the equivalent of installing a grasshopper as Secretary General of the United Nations."
"Nature gambles, but she gambles with constantly new and altering dice."
"the flaw is in the vessel itself"
"Infinite love cannot be expressed in finite room. Yet it must be infinitely expressed in the smallest moment...Only so is it in both ways infinite."
The price of living:
"It is, though overlooked, the discontinuity beyond all others: the separation both of the living creature from the inanimate and of the individual from his kind. These are star distances."
Captain Ahab: "All my means are sane, my motive and my object mad."
Buddhist saying: "Thou canst not travel on the path before thou hast become the path itself."
"Men may....use beautiful or deathly machines and yet have no true time sense, no tolerance, no genuine awareness of their own history. By contrast, the balanced eye, the rare true eye of understanding, can explore the gulfs of history in a night or sense with uncanny accuracy the subtle moment when a civilization in all its panoply of power turns deathward."
"...because with understanding arise instruments of power, which always spread faster than the inventions of calm understanding."

I'll keep updating this post as I read!

Sep 15, 2012


Sometimes you can be so close to your work that you don't see something really obvious.        
For example, today it occurred to me just how important titling my work is to the work itself. I realized this when I decided to make a list of reoccurring phrases that I use in my songs and paintings. What I have so far is:

Radical Light (from a poem by A.R. Ammons)
Myth of Boundaries (from an AMAZING book by Wilson Harris)
Frontier (a word I use for paintings that have a really novel space)
Wilderness Surface (a phrase I use for paintings where the novel space is primarily created through texture)
Portal Pusher (break on through to the other side, baby)

Hm. I guess I'll just keep on collecting words. To live you need books, words to save and keep with you. Words trailing behind you when you walk, floating above your head when you sleep. To die, you won't need a book or prophecy. These are words you can't save, although they'll be the bridge to the next living soul who picks up your golden track.

I know that's a bit depressing, but I saw an opportunity to expound on some lyrics and I took it! "Softly, softly you fall apart. And you won't need, a book or prophecy. Words you can't save."

Without poetic thinking, language is just a crude tool and a prison.