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Old 08-05-2007, 09:52 AM   #16
brightpearl
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^That's funny, because it was a Frost poem that reminded me of this Berry poem.

I find his metaphorical use of the ground particularly compelling...

Song in a Year of Catastrophe

I began to be followed by a voice saying:
"It can't last. It can't last.
Harden yourself. Harden yourself.
Be ready. Be ready."

"Go look under the leaves,"
it said, "for what is living there
is long dead in your tongue."
And it said, "Put your hands
into the earth. Live close
to the ground. Learn the darkness.
Gather round you all
the things that you love, name
their names, prepare
to lose them. It will be
as if all you know were turned
around within your body."

And I went and put my hands
into the ground, and they took root
and grew into a season's harvest.
I looked behind the veil
of the leaves, and heard voices
that I knew had been dead
in my tongue years before my birth.
I learned the dark.

And still the voice stayed with me.
Walking in the early mornings,
I could hear it, like a bird
bemused among the leaves,
a mockingbird idly singing
in the autumn of catastrophe:
"Be ready. Be ready.
Harden yourself. Harden yourself."

And I heard the sound
of a great engine pounding
in the air, and a voice asking:
"Change or slavery?
Hardship or slavery?"
and voices answering:
"Slavery! Slavery!"
And I was afraid, loving
what I knew would be lost.

The the voice following me said:
"You have not yet come close enough.
Come nearer the ground. Learn
from the woodcock in the woods
whose feathering is a ritual
of the fallen leaves,
and from the nesting quail
whose speckling makes her hard to see
in the long grass.
Study the coat of the mole.
For the farmer shall wear
the greenery and the furrows
of his fields, and bear
the long standing of the woods."

And I asked: "You mean a death, then?"
"Yes," the voice said. "Die
into what the earth requires of you."
Then I let go all holds, and sank
like a hopeless swimmer into the earth,
and at last came fully into the ease
and the joy of that place,
all my lost ones returning.

~Wendell Berry 1968

Last edited by brightpearl : 08-05-2007 at 10:02 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 08-05-2007, 09:59 AM   #17
Hyakujo's Fox
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life in general,
life in the particular
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Old 08-14-2007, 09:19 AM   #18
brightpearl
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Look closely -- it's not 'shopped
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Old 08-14-2007, 03:06 PM   #19
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i just cried a little bit because this is so brilliant...
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Old 08-14-2007, 04:34 PM   #20
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^^ I agree, it's ingenious, and good find.
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Old 08-14-2007, 04:39 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 12"razormix View Post
i just cried a little bit because this is so brilliant...
Yeah, I decided it was a good fit for this thread.
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Old 08-16-2007, 10:24 PM   #22
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Mona Lisa out of thumbtacks. If that ain't a metaphor, I don't know what is.
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Old 08-17-2007, 12:21 AM   #23
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Old 08-18-2007, 09:00 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craig johnston View Post
what is that force which drives us on?
... Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing."
Macbeth (Act 5, Scene 5)

For me, it's discovery of ways of creating. I like the idea of the sand paintings, like very elaborate sand castles, but deliberately destroyed instead of passively returned to the sea. Losing something you've created invites you to deal with the loss, to embrace the fact that everything is impermanent, on loan, fleeting. It creates a space to recreate, if you don't let yourself become too caught up in the disappointment of loss - teaches you that you shouldn't. Life does go on, and the only thing to do then is to live it. And really living is creating, and there are many definitions for that.
I struggle with loss. Sand painting would be a very good exercise for me!
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Old 07-16-2008, 09:33 AM   #25
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