A man’s work

A man’s work is nothing but this slow trek to rediscover through the detours of art, those two or three great and simple images in whose presence his heart first opened. (Albert Camus)

Word Pond – certainly not just another WordPress blog – has these words of Albert Camus as its colophon. I happened upon them whilst pursuing Wolfgang Tillmans.

A chance, or nothing at all

All existence a slender reed, a tinsel strand, a chance, or nothing at all. (Jeffrey Lewis, in The Conference of the Birds)

I got to thinking again today about how unlikely it is that we’re all here right now. And, inspired by this improbable state of affairs, I began to tingle and thrill – as I invariably do when such things come to mind.

Ah! but soon I will have forgotten again, lapsing into semiconsciousness once more.

In a flash, at a trumpet crash,
I am all at once what Christ is, ‘ since he was what I am, and
This Jack, joke, poor potsherd, ‘ patch, matchwood, immortal diamond,
Is immortal diamond.
(Gerard Manley Hopkins, 1888)

Lewis, Jeffrey. (2005). The conference of the birds. New York: Other Press. [p92]

Be here now

We are always on the tangent of the moment – only touching the wave of change one point at a time. (Elisabeth Bee)

In his autobiography, Be Here Now, Ram Dass wrote: “The game is not about becoming somebody, it’s about becoming nobody.”

Arguably, one of the most crucial words in that sentence is the second one: ‘game’.

They say play is essential preparation for life. They say sport is healthy. My observation is that people generally take sport very seriously. But as vital as the rules are, the interpretation of the rules is even more vital.

Enlightenment is the ego’s ultimate disappointment. (Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche)

PS: This is post #100 on A Twisted Pair. The first was on 08 March 2010. And it’s good to be here now.

Elisabeth Bee writes thought-provoking poems, which she posts on her blog –
Elisabeth Bee.

The things we say about ourselves

You spend so many years trying to be someone and then one day you realize that you just … are. (Katie Lewis)

The things we say about ourselves are not eternal truths; at best, they are stories we tell, based on what we have observed of our behaviour, our feelings, and what our peers expect of us. Often, we modify our narratives to improve the story or to cover up things we don’t want others to know.

BUT we are not powerless; we are free to create who we are, moment by moment, day by day. And if we commit to a particular discipline or lifestyle, doctrine or dream, it begins to shape (or reshape) who we are.

Aristotle put it well: “[We] acquire a particular quality by constantly acting in a particular way.” (Aristotle, 384-322 BC)

Katie Lewis keeps a blog she calls Perda la Vida, which – as she explains – is Spanish for “to lose one’s life”. Her point? “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.” (Luke 9:23-24)

A link to one of Katie’s old posts (from 16 May 2008) was offered in response to The quest for the true self – the piece I posted yesterday.

After adding a quick comment to Katie’s thought-provoking words, I got to thinking further. And my note grew into today’s post.