Monday, September 29, 2014

Unfamiliar angles

Lying on the sand, sideways I see pipers and gulls screeching, picking at the congregation on the edge of the tide. Closing one eye then the other, watching the horizon jump back and forth. Children search for stone crabs on the rock jetty. Time, arrow or not, hangs suspended languid and indolent. The pull of the tide the syrupy smell of kelp and Laver. Why do objects appear to become smaller as they move farther away? You seemed so tiny as if the world were about to swallow you up.  With my head on the sand, looking up, you were all legs, your head blotted out the sun, the bright light forming a crown of golden rays. You were the closest you have ever been to a goddess. The ocean, such a temperamental god, I never believed it was a woman. So permeated with violence. Wicked. Its stillness is a mirror, always to our own minds, as the white clouds are swallowed by the breaking surf. One gull with a broken leg limped to the edge stabbing for fat, transparent sand bugs. Dragging its useless leg, trying to avoid the others. The ocean is such an unreliable god, swallowing up things that it doesn’t care for and even those things that it holds so dear to its heart. And it pulls, how it pulls! Something that is right next to you becomes smaller and less significant and harder to see until it isn’t there any longer. Items that are lost appear unexpectedly. People cast away parts of themselves inadvertently. We think of context. We think of matter emitting energy as light waves. We relate to the amount of uncertainty about an event associated with a given probability. You are a probability that hovers above me, from this angle the ocean is still and inanimate, composed, benign, and compassionate.

Sleeping muse after Brancusi, with commentary

Monday, March 24, 2014

Sunday, March 09, 2014

“People brutalise everything” (Thomas Bernhard)


People brutalise everything. They get up noisily, go about noisily all day, and go to bed noisily. And they constantly talk far too noisily. They are so taken up with themselves that they don’t notice the distress they constantly cause to others, to those who are sick. Everything they do, everything they say causes distress to people like us. And in this way they force anyone who is sick more and more into the background until he’s no longer noticed. And the sick person withdraws into his background. But every life, every existence, belongs to one person and one person only, and no one else has the right to force this life and this existence to one side, to force it out of the way, to force it out of existence. We’ll go by ourselves, as we have the right to do. That’s part of the natural course.

From Thomas Bernhard’s novel Concrete.