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Posts Tagged ‘Annie Dillard’

The hardest thing in life to learn is which bridge to cross and which to burn.

Die vraag is nou natuurlik: het hy die brug oorgesteek, of het hy omgedraai en die brug gebrand?

“Believing there is a bridge from where you are to where you want to go is 99% of the battle. The other 1% is to cross it.” sê Richie Norton.

Daar is ook die ander benadering wat aandring daarop dat jy van die brug moet vergeet en op vaste grond moet bly omdat daar soveel meer is om te sien en te beleef. Maar wat daarvan as dit wat jy wil hê slegs aan die ander oewer te vinde is?

Dan moet daar n brug wees, soos Carl Jung se brug, maar dit is weer n heel ander soort van brug, “Grounding in the natural philosophy of the Middle Ages, alchemy formed a bridge, on the one hand into the past, to Gnosticism, and on the other into the future, to the modern psychology of the unconscious.”

But Jung could be wrong in that alchemy (as spiritual quest) formed a bridge to Gnosticism (as religious ideas and systems) through the alchemist himself with the goal of evolution from ignorance to enlightenment, thus working unconsciously with the unconscious, not as a bridge into the past but, as a bridge to modern spirituality and postmodern Integral Operating Systems Theory, which is ultimately a bridge into Nothingness, grounded for ever in the all pervading LOVE that is the cause and well-spring of all that is, was and will ever be.

En dan is daar Annie Dillard by Tinker Creek:

“I sip my coffee. I look at the mountain, which is still doing its tricks, as you look at a still-beautiful face belonging to a person who was once your lover in another country years ago: with fond nostalgia, and recognition, but no real feelings save a secret astonishment that you are now strangers. Thanks. For the memories. It is ironic that the one thing that all religions recognize as separating us from our creator – – our very self-consciousness – – is also the one thing that divides us from our fellow creatures. It was a bitter birthday present from evolution, cutting us off at both ends.”

Duidelik was haar gedagtes op n eiland met geen brug na die Skepper aan die een kant en ook geen brug na ons mede skepsels aan die ander kant nie.

Maar dan sê Richard Bach weer: “We’re the bridge across forever, arching above the sea, adventuring for our pleasure, living mysteries for the fun of it, choosing disasters and triumphs, challenges, impossible odds, testing ourselves over and again, learning (to?) love and love and love.” (The bridge across forever: A True Love Story.)

And then of course there is the wisdom of Snoopy: “In the book of life, the answers aren’t in the back.”

 

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Ons teken prentjies, mors verf op doeke en staan trots terug om ons eie skeppings te bewonder, maar ons het meeste van die tyd geen idee van waarom ons dit doen nie. Dit was sekerlik nie anders met die eerste mense wat prentjies op rotse geteken het nie, en hulle mede-grotbewoners het sekerlik gedink hulle is van lotjie getik! Intussen het niks verander nie. Mense dink steeds jy is van lotjie getik om prentjies te wil maak.

Cave Art 1

Die ou ego en geld is moontlik die sterkste dryfvere agter kuns. Kunstenaars, net soos ander mense, hou daarvan om op die rug geklop te word, dalk tog so ´n klein bietjie meer as die gemiddelde man op straat? En tog is daar iets anders aan kunstenaars, veral die ware, outentieke kunstenaar. Hulle kyk anders na die wêreld om hulle, hulle sien as’t ware meer en selfs dieper, en hulle hou aan skilder al lewe hulle in armoede.

“The mind does its perceiving in terms of intensity of existence, profundity of significance, relationships within a pattern.” sê Aldous Huxley in sy boek “Doors of perception”. Maar omdat die insette uit die omgewing vir die gewone mens so oorweldigend is, is daar ´n “reducing valve” in sy brein wat hom beskerm en so sy voortbestaan verseker. Die nadeel daarvan is dat die mens dan glo dat; “the reduced awareness is the only awareness and it bedevils his sense of reality, so that he is all too apt to take his concepts for data, his words for actual things.”

Maar vir die kunstenaar, sê Huxley, werk dit soms anders. “A little of the knowledge belonging to Mind at Large oozes past the reducing valve of brain and ego into his consciousness. It is a knowledge of the intrinsic significance of every existent.” en dan word byvoorbeeld gordyne en ander behangsels “ living hieroglyphs that stand in some peculiarly expressive way for the unfathomable mystery of pure being.”

Huxley verwys na Van Gogh se “the Chair” as “that astounding portrait of a Ding an Sich, which the mad painter saw, with a kind of adoring terror,” en wat hy toe probeer vasvang het op doek, maar volgens Huxley, alhoewel dit ´n ongewone gevoelvolle uitdrukking van die voorwerp is, bly dit steeds net ´n simbool van die werklikheid, en nie die werklikheid self nie. Die werklikheid, soos Van Gogh en ander kunstenaars dinge sien, is “manifested Suchness:” en dit kan, volgens my beskeie mening, nie werklik met kwas en verf weergegee word nie. n Kersboom met elektriese liggies in is maar `n vaal, oninspirerende weergawe van Annie Dillard se "tree with the lights in" wat sy by Tinker Creek gesien het (en dit sonder meskalin!)

Vincent's-Chair-with-His-Pipe

Botticelli se “Judith” kom, volgens Huxley nader aan die “manifested Suchness.” Die ryk, vloeiende kleredrag in Bernini se beelde en El Greco en Watteau se skilderye van mans en vrouens is gelaai met “isness.” Hy sê: “They had seen the Istigkeit, the Allness and Infinity of folded cloth …” en dit is, volgens hom, hoe ´n mens behoort te sien.

Botticelli, Judith with head of Holofernes 1569f.jpg

Botticelli, Judith with head of Holofernes 1569f.jpg

El Greco: “I paint because the spirits whisper madly inside my head.”

The-Virgin-of-the-Immaculate-Conception-(detail-1)-1608-13-small

The Virgin

Bernini: Apollo and Daphne.

Apollo_&_Daphne_September_2a

Vermeer en Vuillard se skilderye sien hy as; “Eternity and Infinity seen,” en as “the Dharma-Body manifested”.

Vermeer:

Vermeer Girl with wine glass    Vermeer Lady standing at Virginal    Vermeer The lacemaker

Watteau:

Watteau_Polish_woman Watteau

Maar helaas, ons is nie almal Vermeers of Van Goghs nie. Ons sien maar ´n boom as ´n boom en ´n blom as ´n blom, en daarom maak Huxley hierdie verdoemende stelling: “Art, I suppose, is only for beginners, or else for those resolute dead-enders, who have made up their minds to be content with the ersatz of Suchness, with symbols rather than with what they signify, with the elegantly composed recipe in lieu of actual dinner.”

By gebrek aan hierdie dieper, kontemplatiewe insig teken ek maar my prentjies en hoop iemand sal dink dit is mooi.

Sonneblomme   Magallieberg PC  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Een lewende kunstenaar wat ek ken wat dalk naby aan Huxley se ideaal van In kunstenaar kom sal Daniel Olivier wees. Sy skilderye (en sy waagmoedige, andersoortige poste op die internet) laat my dink dat, in Huxley se woorde: ‘His perception is not limited to what is biologically or socially useful. A little of the knowledge belonging to Mind at Large oozes past the reducing valve of brain and ego into his consciousness.”

Daniel Olivier

Aan die ander kant; wat is kuns? Iemand het eendag die vraag aan `n kunstenaar gevra, (het nou vergeet wat sy naam was) en toe antwoord hy: “Well, art is art, is’nt it? Still, on the other hand, water is water! And east is east and west is west and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does. Now, uh …now you tell me what you know.”

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Dinsdag 22 April 2014 dou voor dag op pad deur die land se steenkoolgedrewe “Powerhouse”. Op die horizon, tussen bome spartel die son vergeefs om deur die digte rookmis sy gesig te wys.

Sky 1 (2)

Oggendlied

Môre son en wolke ver agter senuwees

agter visioene van silwer bloed –

hoe gaan dit anderkant die wêreld?

jy ook al op, pitpyn?

                                                                Breyten Breytenbach

`n Paar minute later slaag Sol daarin om rooi-oog deur die mensgemors te loer

Sky 2 (2)

En die oggend

toe die son met ranke stralend oor die ringmuur klim

het die bloeisel soos `n bruin pêrel

geruisloos

van die boom geval

                                Antjie Krog (Winterbloeisel)

In my geval het die bloeisel soos `n rooi pêrel, geruisloos op my bakkie se neus geval.

Annie Dillard sê: “Beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.”

Sky 4 (2)

Asof om te vergoed vir die mens se besoedelde lug, begin die son die wolke verf in laatherfs kleure.

Sky 5 (2)

Sky 7 (2)

In haar boek “For the time being” skryf Annie onder die opskrif “Dated Clouds” van John Constable wat op 12 Junie 1824 “painted squally clouds over Brighton beach. They swirled from a central black snarl.”

In 1828, terwyl sy vrou op sterwe lê, skilder hy weer die wolke oor Brighton beach. Die skilderye is nog met ons. Maria is nie meer nie.

En nou is die oggend wolke oor Mpumalanga ook gedateer. Ook die die laat middag wolke op my pad terug is vasgelê. Steeds donker en half dreigend van koud of reën.

Sky 10

En gister, op 24 April 2014, volg hierdie helder wit, eensame stil wolkie my regs van die pad vir goed die helfte van my tog suidwaarts. Toe ek weswaarts koers verander, het die son en wind hom begin uitrafel tot slierte wit teen die helderblou herfslug.

049

Dated clouds by a dated man.

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