Another sun after sleep. After dark dreams of flaming stars and laughing moons. Too soon the dawn. Likewise, too soon the night. Too soon the end of each and every thing just at the perfect moment. Each and all in every place in perfect motion becoming time.
Being Time. Time is change. Being is change. Being is becoming. Becoming encompasses birth and death. Joy of life and joy in the face of death.
We linguistic animals labeling life. The poet's job is to rearrange the labels, to make strange, to reveal in the mystery in song, to dance with words.
Here on a bluff looking out over miles of beach and an infinite ocean. Why hurry? The waves will continue as will the sun and the earth's rotation. At least for time being. At least as far as we can see. And we do see far, even to the end and to the beginning. So far that our place is indeed a miracle of prodigious chance. So much chance in the brimming universe that our private miracle is common. Hold it precious and light.Sat, 27 Mar 2004
At a beach on the Oregon coast facing the Pacific, the setting sun, the North American continent behind. Few people, never-ending waves. The swirl of two spent waves mixing on the wet sloping sand. More waves rise and fall and mix their final motion on seemingly solid sand.
The sun, above the sand, the waves, the ocean, stuck in eyes. The attraction of the day's last light drawing out, toward the sea while the danger of looking leaves its afterimage long in memory. Yellow turning orange as it lowers. Red at the back of closed eyelids.
The swirling red and the swirling sand lose their edges as we move towards night, the lack of light. Not there yet. Far out over the sea it still hangs there burning through low clouds. Burning through blue. Speaking with white wide waves wherever sun's sound simmers and dims and returns again seeming to say forever.
The spray coming off the leading edge of cresting waves scatters the last rays into the air as if to continue to illuminate the world with drops of light.
More color as it goes. Orange, purple, white, blue. The sun setting, the earth turning, rotation as time. Straight up an almost half moon with Jupiter? splitting the distance to the now set sun.
Turning, walking back over footprints towards a thought, or perhaps just a breath in the ocean air in the gathering dark that still sings the wave's song even though soon, nothing to see but sound.Sat, 20 Mar 2004
Language is logic + desire for security = the security of reason (e.g., God). But, reaching back (genealogy) before language, before humans, we see the long reign of dinosaurs (far longer than current humans - our current reign) gone in an instant. Now we know, via the language of probabilities, we too may be gone in an instant. A throw of dice (and laughter) is a better metaphor for the mystery and miracle of life.
One keeps coming back to Poetry - trolling the depths of language for the essence of thought - of life - while trying to avoid being snared in grammar (e.g., reason). Poetry starts and ends in silence.
Music and dance are more apt ways to be. But we need poetry to remind us of the limitations of language - to keep us from taking language too seriously
the ticking clock her breathing next to me breakfast being prepared in the unit next door sound of cars passing by a waking moment before falling back asleep
Falling - why falling? To sleep is to trust you'll be caught - you'll be caught by... (why give it a word?). You'll be caught by the mystery (see how poetry keeps coming back to silence).
Sure, I'd like to get some more rest, but I don't want to miss a moment of it, there's so much going on.
Footsteps on the pavement outside the door. The clock still ticking towards an infinite dawn. The coming day depends on all that has ever happened. Now I may sleepThu, 11 Mar 2004
Finishing Umberto Eco's Serendipities - Language and Lunacy.
"If language must be considered the only way to enter into a rapport with the Sacred, then every etymology must be "good"; in every metaphor, even the most banal, there should shine a truth. If language is seen as a natural revelation of Truth, then nothing in language should be wrong - even monsters should show the power of God."
Many have tried "to prove that it is no longer a language's autonomy but rather the existence of an original and divine force, the Word, that becomes the source of every language." Adam, the original Name Giver, tapped into this source.
But we must admit that "languages are a historical-cultural phenomenon, that they grow without an order decided by a supernatural will, and that they gradually arrive at their stability through borrowing (deliberate or unconscious), poetic inventions, conventional whims and 'iconic' attempts."Wed, 10 Mar 2004
I prefer the latter.
P/E, the Poet's Apprentice: a dictionary of words tracing back to proto-Indo-European; a tool to rewrite text.
Datlet: a storage, linking, equalizing, contrasting, presentation mechanism. For differentity.
B/E, the Book of Everything: an impossible dream - what I think, read and do in datlet form to compare and contrast and discover connections.
P/E & B/E: related to attempts to construct perfect linguistic systems, but, laughing at this unrealizable goal, used to produce texts "endowed with some poetic virtue or visionary force."
Imagine a universe without sentient beings - where the sun's flame would serve no purpose save to burn.
The rediscovery of either a primordial generative grammar or a mother tongue (e.g., Hebrew, Chinese, Indo-European). Primigenial language had: a historical validity (to rediscover the language before the confusion of Babel); a semantic validity (a language with a natural relationship between words and things); and a revelatory value (in speaking it one would recognize the nature of the named reality - like Adam).
The search for a perfect language derived from a sort of neurotic uneasiness, because people would like to find in words and expression of the way the world works, and they are regularly confused.
Attempting to demonstrate that a relationship exists between words and the essence of things indicates the toughness of a dream - an irrepressible need to have some contact with Being.Mon, 08 Mar 2004
Continuing on to the second essay in Umberto Eco's Serendipities - Language and Lunacy he speaks of dreams of restoring the language of Adam.
The blasphemy of Babel results in the Babel disaster - - a wound inflicted upon mankind that might, in some way, be healed.
Dante most likely believed that, in naming the animals, rather than speaking, Adam was laying down the rules of language, that Adam's language had a primordial affinity between words and objects, that the principles which permitted the creation of languages capable of reflecting the true essence of things, languages in which the essential mode of things were identical with how they are signified, disappeared at Babel.
Dante, aware that a natural language can be enriched through the creativity of single individuals, aimed to create the language of Adam in which to write his poetry. His goal was to discover the rules of language layed down by Adam and use those rules to create a contemporary language which might heal the wound of Babel.
(Note: the Bible clearly states that God brought before Adam all the beasts of the field and all the fowl of the air. What about fish?)
(Note: Genesis 10 speaks of the dispersal of the sons of Noah after the Flood resulting in "the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, ..." - before Babel - suggesting that the original Hebrew spoken by Adam was already lost after Noah.)
(Note: Greeks and Romans identified the structures of their languages with reason (e.g., Aristotle constructed his list of categories by setting out from the structures of Greek grammar). Nevertheless, the Greek culture continued to think of a universality of the Logos beyond the difference between various languages.)Sun, 07 Mar 2004
I'm reading the first essay in Umberto Eco's Serendipities - Language and Lunacy. He notes that we still speak Ptolemaically (e.g., the sun "rises" and "sets") and that we need conspiracy theories. Citing Karl Popper he says, "the social theory of conspiracy is a consequence of the end of God as a reference point and of the consequent question, Who is there in his place? This place is now occupied by various men and powerful sinister groups that can be blamed for having organized the Great Depression and all the evils we suffer. Plots and conspiracies are used to explain the failure of our own actions."
He continues, "Tales, true of false, are always persuasive. Narratives explain something that was otherwise hard to understand. They seem more plausible than everyday or historical reality, which is far more complex and less credible.
"There exists a process of verification that is based on slow, collective, public performance by what Charles Sanders Peirce call `the Community.'
"Recognizing that our history has been inspired by many tales we now recognize as false should make us alert, ready to call constantly into question the very tales we believe true. The cultivated person's first duty is to be always prepared to rewrite the encyclopedia."