Thundering Hubbub

patty-maher

Nothing is wrong.
The mind says that
Something is wrong which activates
An inner drive to do something
It is thought alone that destroys your peace.

~ Wu Hsin, excerpt from Morning Statements from This Too: The Water Cave Tutelage


Photograph: Patty Maher via Aberrant Beauty

 

Flaubert and Socks.

socks-color

My deplorable mania for analysis exhausts me. I doubt everything, even my doubt.”

It started with these words, Gustave Flaubert’s words in his letter to Louise Colet. And spiraled from there. A middle aged man crippled with analysis, dragging his lame foot behind him as he trudges ahead.

I run the math. 10 years in this house. 365 days a year. Deduct 500 days for vacation, travel, walking the floors au naturel. Round it. We’re talking 3000 discrete events.  3000 discrete events.

And as I sit pecking this post out, I couldn’t tell you if the drawer handle is circular or square, platinum color or brass, a smooth or a rough finish.

But for 3000 events, mostly mornings, with a few afternoon and evenings sprinkled in, I open the drawer, peer in, and stare at my socks. The first big decision of the day.

Color? Must match the pants. And because socks are put on first (Why? Just because) the decision is momentous – the first domino tripping the shirt, suit, tie and shoe selection. Like an algorithmic equation forced on a poet, I’m paralyzed by the complexity. A lab rat for Barry Schwartz’s Paradox of Choice.
[Read more…]

It’s been a long day

woman-long-day-struggle
Kafka said, “In man’s struggle against the world, bet on the world.”
Oh Yeah?
Do you agree?
No.
I’m with you.
People like us you bet on the man.
You most definitely bet on the man.

~ Ray Donovan, The Kalamazoo


Notes:

It’s been a long day

bird-on-wire

Perhaps the hardest feeling
is the one
Of unrealized possibility:
Thoughts left unspoken,
actions left undone

~John Koethe, from “The Secret Amplitude,” North Point North: New and Selected Poems 


Notes:

It’s been a long day

hair-photography-portrait

Why does my blood rush
into a hell of tumult
at a few words?

~ Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights


Notes:

It’s been a long day

face-paint-portrait-eyes

[…]

There were only numb mind tones,
thoughts clenched like little fists,
And syllables struggling to release their sense to my imagination.
I tried to get out of myself
But it was like emerging into a maze

[…]

~John Koethe, from “Partial Clearance,” North Point North: New and Selected Poems 


Notes:

What’s under it – hell, a snake pit, the repository of nightmares?

blue-art

I was way back in terra incognita with a friend.
At the edge of a black-spruce bog in a thicket
we found a moss-covered cement slab with iron rings.
We are fearful.
We questioned,
what’s under it – hell, a snake pit, the repository of nightmares?
My friend indicates it’s up to me,
I mean the contents.
We lift the slab aside.
The pit is full of brilliant blue sky.

~ Jim Harrison, from “Dream as a Metaphor of Survival,” Just Before Dark: Collected Nonfiction


Credits: Quote – Memory’s Landscape. Art: Trang Bui – Kind of Blue I via Exercice de Style

 

It’s been a long day

water-blue-art-painting-self-portrait

The odd little magpie of the mind.
Nothing is finally finished, then?
The past emerges and re-emerges.
It builds its random nest in the oddest places.

~ Colum McCann, Thirteen Ways of Looking


Notes:

Lightly child, lightly

jo-cardin

I think 99 times and find nothing.
I stop thinking,
swim in the silence,
and the truth comes to me.

~ Albert Einstein


Notes:

  • Photography by jo cardin (comfort in chaos); Quote: a dream within a dream
  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect here.
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

And doubling and doubling and doubling back

que-saiz-je-what-do-I-know

“Ever since Michel de Montaigne, the founder of the modern essay, gave as a motto his befuddled “What do I know?” and put forth a vision of humanity as mentally wavering and inconstant, the essay has become a meadow inviting contradiction, paradox, irresolution and self-doubt. The essay’s job is to track consciousness; if you are fully aware of your mind you will find your thoughts doubling back, registering little peeps of ambivalence or disbelief.”

~ Phillip Lopate, The Essay, An Exercise in Doubt


Notes:

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