Given that we can live only a small part of what there is in us–what happens with the rest?
Pascal Mercier, Night Train to Lisbon
In this lodging
that no one visits,
where no one comes to call
from the moon in the trees
beans of light come poking in
~Saigyō (cited: Trans: B Watson, Poems of a Mountain Home)
“Of the thousand experiences we have, we find language for one at most and even this one merely by chance and without the care it deserves. Buried under all the mute experiences are those unseen ones that give our life its form, its color, and its melody. Then when we turn to these treasures, as archaeologists of the soul, we discover how confusing they are. The object of contemplation refuses to stand still, the words bounce off the experience and in the end, pure contradictions stand on the paper. For a long time, I thought it was a defect, something to be overcome. Today I think it is different: that recognition of the confusion is the ideal path to understanding these intimate yet enigmatic expertises. That sounds strange, even bizarre, I know. But ever since I have seen the issue in this light I have the feeling of being really awake and alive for the first time.”
~Pascal Mercier, Night Train to Lisbon. pg 17
I think this is a good time to pull away from the computer, close our eyes, and open ourselves to “Clarinet Concerto in A, K. 622: II. Adagio”.
“Even after decades as a successful artist…if I choose an object [to draw], fear becomes a goblin holding me back–fear of failure, of not measuring up, or of just being banal, but mostly fear of my drawing looking weird. Drawing makes me vulnerable. Doubt has a role in holding back the sheer joy of expression … the strongest initial resistance to drawing, for me, comes from the inner critic–the judgmental voice in my head. I imagine I hear people judging my work, devaluing my efforts, or comparing my sketch unfavorably to someone else’s finished work, and I just don’t want to face that!
“The great twentieth-century painter Philip Guston, known to work long hours in the studio, once repeated something the composer and artist John Cage had told him: ‘When you start working, everybody is in your studio–the past, your friends, your enemies, the art world, and above all, your ideas–all are there. But as you continue painting, they start leaving, one by one, and you are left completely alone. Then, if you are lucky, even you leave.’ Guston and Cage before him, were articulating the reality that dealing with internal resistance, with the inner critic, is an integral part of an ongoing creative practice…” (cited: J F Simon, Drawing your own Path)
Let’s take a break, make a cup of tea, and listen to the Colorado Symphony’s Digital Ode to Joy
“Life may be brimming over with experiences, but somewhere, deep inside, all of us carry a vast and fruitful loneliness wherever we go. And sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths, or the turning inwards in prayer for five short minutes.”
~ Etty Hilleson, Trans: A Pomerans, In Interrupted Life The Diaries of Etty Hillesum. pg. 78
“The silence after a snowstorm isn’t just your imagination — all those tiny flakes actually trap the sounds of your surroundings.
“Chris Bianchi, a meteorologist at Weather Nation, described the phenomenon as a sort of citywide cup of tea: After a big storm, we can take a few minutes to relax and take in the quiet.
“The science behind that quiet comes down to how sound waves travel (or, more accurately, don’t travel) through snowflakes.
“‘Snowflakes, when they’re spaced further apart, there’s little gaps, obviously invisible to the naked human eye,’ Bianchi said. ‘But there are these little gaps within the snow and those are very efficient at absorbing sound.’
“The sound waves from cars, buildings and people get trapped in those small places between the snowflakes.
“Not just any snow can trap noise. It has to be the freshly fallen, light and fluffy. Wet and heavy snow doesn’t leave those spaces for sound to be trapped.
“One study found a couple of inches of snow can absorb as much as 60 percent of sound. Snow can act as a commercial sound-absorbing foam when it’s in that fluffy, freshly fallen state.
“As the snow starts to melt, those little sound-catching spaces start to go away too.
“(When snow melts) it compacts, and that compaction reduces the amount of little crevices and nooks and crannies that sound is able to be trapped in,” Bianchi said.
“So, for at least a few hours or even a day after a snowstorm, we can get some reprieve from all that noise around us.
“‘It’s calming, it’s relaxing, it’s tranquil,’ Bianchi said. ‘Life is kind of forced in a sense to slow down.'”
cited: CPR News, Claire Cleveland and Andrea Dukakis, “Yes, it really is quieter when it snows. Here’s the science behind the calm after the storm. February 4, 2020.
The Story of Ming Lan, based on the novel written by Guan Xin Ze Luan, follows the concubine-born 6th child of the Sheng household from her childhood into adulthood. Ming Lan first meets Gu Ting Ye, the 2nd son of the Gu Family, as his rival in a game of Touhu, but when she encounters him again in a time of need he goes to great lengths to help her. This dynamic plays out on a grander scale when they meet again as adults. Both Ming Lan and Ting Ye are unfavored children who suffer as a result of internal scheming in their households. Ming Lan adapts by learning to hide her talents, spirit, and intelligence, while Ting Ye, long painted as a scoundrel, decides to live recklessly. Yet they each have a rare gift of foresight. Through cunning schemes and daring endeavors, they both rise in position and work to obtain justice from those that have wronged them. Together they shape the new Emperor’s regime and work to sow and harvest a bright future
Chaos – eternal, immense, uncreated – from which all is born; nether darkness nor light, nor damp nor dry, not hot nor cold, but all things mingled, eternally one and limitless.
Chaos was the beginning. Within her void slumbered, in undifferentiated fusion, all the elements, the potential, the seed of a person. Yet, some say that Chaos was born from Mist and that Mist was the first to exist.
Mist is symbolic of things indeterminate, or the fusing together of the elements of air and water, and the inevitable absorbing of the outlines of each aspect and each particular phase of the evolution process.
It is also said that Chaos existed from the beginning together with Nyx, the goddess of Night, mother of Erebus, god of darkness, and Tartarus, the underworld.
Or is Chaos the soul’s state of potentiality – eternal, vast, uncreated, where all is intermingled, folding and unfolding, evolving and enveloping – prior to the birth to the unconscious?
stillness– in the depths of the lake billowing clouds
*David G. Lanoue (a translator of Japanese haiku, a teacher of English and world literature, a writer of haiku and “haiku novels) writes that this haiku serves as a substitute for experience–or, perhaps, a clear window into experience–allowing the reader, in contemplation, to see that same lake, those same clouds, and to feel the serenity and stillness of the moment.
*David G Lanoue, “a translator of Japanese haiku, a teacher of English and world literature, a writer of haiku and ‘haiku novels,'” offers a footnote to this writing … It’s the last night of autumn. Tomorrow winter.