Quite without effort,
words coalesce: the bright brooch
A wisp, a whisper
of wistfulness, of wanting …
gritted teeth, desire.
Breathing empties me;
a single candle flickers,
sparks a forest-fire.
All futures blossom
on one ancient tree; sways still
the eternal dance.
(08 February 2015)
So, if I let it write itself,
will it resort to its old habitual riffs and licks,
or will it dare shapes and intervals unplanned,
allowing the fingers to lurch and spasm
in grotesque gestures, crunching dissonant chords …
Where does the question-mark belong in all of this?
So, having let it lie, incomplete,
month after month – not even remembering
having started something – does this count,
do these syllables amount to anything worthwhile,
or is there sense in setting fire to it,
or simply letting it die?
(20 April 2013 – 27 July 2014)
A day or two ago, I saw something I’d never expected to see: a young man riding a skateboard … using his crutches to propel himself along. And it instantly put me back in touch with something I’d scribbled down the day before, whilst reading a novel called Ru:
“He had stopped time by continuing to enjoy himself, to live until the end in the lightness of a young man.” (Kim Thúy)
I am not a young man … and thus no longer immortal. Whenever the pain from the osteoarthritis gets bad, I have a mantra: “My feet kiss the earth.” It helps.
But I’ve taught myself something that helps even more: whenever I find myself bracing my knees and hobbling along stiff-legged, I have learned to relax my joints and saunter instead. I’m not saying every step is pain-free, but it sure feels better. And I whisper my mantra. And I smile.
Thúy, Kim. 2009 [Copyright © 2009 Éditions Libre Expression]. English translation Copyright © 2012 Sheila Fischman. Ru. New York: Bloomsbury.
The skateboard wallpaper image comes from: http://www.wallpaper4me.com/wallpaper/Royal/
My title is a parody of The Unbearable Lightness of Being, a 1984 postmodern novel by Milan Kundera. The story takes place mainly in Prague in the late 1960s and 1970s. It explores the artistic and intellectual life of Czech society during the Communist period, from the Prague Spring to the Soviet Union’s August 1968 invasion and its aftermath.” (adapted from the Wikipedia article)
These two images date from 25 January 2009 – a day with friends on the Wellington waterfront. Gave the images the once-over-lightly treatment in Photoshop only yesterday.
Our intention is to affirm this life, not to bring order out of chaos, nor to suggest improvements in creation, but simply to wake up to the very life we’re living, which is so excellent once one gets one’s mind and desires out of its way and lets it act of its own accord. (John Cage)
Visiting the workshop of a skilled craftsman a few years ago, I was impressed by the inspiring clutter of creative chaos everywhere I looked.
Whilst digging into my photographic archive recently, I found this shot. After a little Photoshop work, it affords a strong reminder of a most enjoyable visit.
The ten thousand things are born of being.
Being is born of emptiness.