More paintings, more departures. Utilizing a digital knife for blending, and a steel wool effect in some cases. Imagining all of this on massive canvasses, propped up on giant easels, in one of a dozen rooms in my ancient castle by the sea. Thick walls, high ceilings, stone floors — sun and moon seeping in from on high. And mead. Lots of mead.
Castles fill my mind often, but the most recent trigger was seeing two films: The Last Duel, and The Green Knight. I liked them both, but the latter was, well, strange, which is a good bit of the point for A24 movies. I can imagine Jessie L. Weston, a fine scholar and translator of the Gawain poem, rolling over in her grave.… Click to Continue “Honor in our dreams”
Rereading some good books about Camus and his times, which strike me as highly relevant again. Robert Zaretsky’s Elements of a Life, and Alice Kaplan’s Looking for the Stranger, with more on my To Be Read shelf, including The Plague. His refusal to follow the prevailing winds, his courage under direct and indirect fire, his impassioned moral compass — we could use all of that right now.
I read Ubu Roi in high school That’s when I first met Dada Titles someone else selected Words broken into atoms The year of Slaughterhouse 5 Not Nam but brutally familiar Cultivating seeds of Experimental gardeners It was the Cabaret of Voltaire.
Last night, after watching the game, I looked out my front door at Magic, then walked to the back of the house to see more. Moonshadows on the snow. Twins of tree branches on snow-covered ground, spread out like black spider-webs, searching with Sistine fingers, telling stories we’ll never truly understand. Yes, they talk, and talk, above ground, underneath it, across the globe, and they protect and defend. Each other. The natural world communicates a kind of practical, functional, oh so direct vision of love, while we scream (and worse) at our fellow humans over countless nothings.
Snow at midnight. Dark gray on white, with hints of dark blue, floating. Contrasts, impossible. Peace. Light where it can’t be. Light when it can’t exist.
Several strands of thought come together, collect themselves, flash. I see beyond and outside them. I know it’s too obvious. The fight. The human desire to undercut. The unconscious desire to blow up — oneself, contrary to conscious goals, even “will.” Nietzsche’s will and more, and not. Not his interpretation of that, necessarily, nor Schopenhauer’s. But mine and, I suspect, millions of others.
What am I talking about? The mass production of subverting and sabotaging oneself, multiplied. It’s no wonder that we’re lost in a sea of stupidity and the counterproductive. We have so many. Too many competing messages to deal with, too many hours a day. And the subconscious has long been a vengeful beast.
The frightening thing about this important book from 2016 is that its, at times, terribly dire assessment of our environmental trajectory seems positively sunny in comparison with 2022’s outlook. As in, despite its warnings and vivid depictions of Mother Nature as of 2016 and beyond, She has gotten a good deal angrier since then. And this time-shock has been my experience reading various books on Climate Change in the last few years. As dire as they appear when they first come out, events soon overtake them and paint a more worrisome picture soon after. This is accelerating almost daily now.
Elizabeth Kolbert’s excellent The Sixth Extinction, for instance, from 2014, now seems too optimistic in its general hopes for timely realizations, as does Naomi Klein’s On Fire, from 2019, and The Uninhabitable Earth, by David Wallace-Wells, also from 2019.… Click to Continue “Amitav Ghosh: The Great Derangement”