Blow on a dead man’s embers and a live flame will start. ~Robert Graves
Nothing is ever really lost, nor can be lost,
No birth, identity, form; no object of the world.
Nor life, nor force, nor any visible thing;
Appearance must not foil, nor shifted sphere confuse thy brain.
Ample are time and space; ample the fields of Nature.
The body, sluggish, aged, cold; the embers left from earlier fires,
The light in the eye grown dim, shall duly flame again; ~ Walt Witman
It’s a funny thing about life: if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it.
~W. Somerset Maugham
It is with a handful of scattered quotes that I start this monologue. Having reached into the ashes of failed plans, charred expectations and grey dusted aspiration, I clutch at a few kernels of hope only to feel the embers burning my palm. This is an act of sedition. A refusal to bow down, to resign to the practical, to lower my head in surrender to the powers that be.
Instead I will cup my hands, blow on these embers and see what new flame will come to life.
This is a new blog started primarily to follow a continuity. To follow a pattern from one thread through many threads to another. Like knitting, the pattern may be intended and precisely followed but the actual motion of the threads, the ins and the outs, the overs and unders, go through their own patterns. Patterns of necessity. These patterns are absorbed by our intentions. By the time we are through the finished item may bear little or no resemblance to the original pattern of intention. However this record, this tracing of threads will definitely show us how we got there. To the end result. There’s a bread crumb trail and if we trust the birds we can like good hansals and gretals find our way back through the dark forest we’ve been walking through.
This blog will ramble.
It will stumble over stones, trip over dead roots, splash over unseen streams.
It will take a break and lie still on the cool mossy ground to stare at the light filtering down through cathedral trees.
And wonder at the bright gaps of blue way up there, where the sunlight slides down from and whether or not a passing cloud might give us a lift out of the trees shadows, take us somewhere in the same direction but well beyond where we would go.
We will get to our knees and leverage ourselves up with our hands.
And we will keep on walking.
Here we go.
…art is something subversive. It’s something that should not be free. Art and liberty, like the fire of Prometheus, are things that one must steal, to be used against the established order.
…why did Plato say that poets should be chased out of the republic? Precisely because every poet and every artist is an antisocial being. He’s not that way because he wants to be; he can’t be any other way…. and if he really is an artist it is in his nature not to want to be admitted, because if he is admitted it can only mean he is doing something which is understood, approved, and therefore old hat – worthless. Anything new, anything worth doing, can’t be recognized.
…the right to free expression is something one seizes, not something one is given…. if it does exist, it exists to be used against the established order…. There is absolute opposition between the artist and the state.
So there’s only one tactic for the state: kill the seers.
Pablo Picasso (1881 – 1973)