Sunday, December 30, 2012

Forward To "What Is Known Is Variable And Dependent Upon Available Light"

Note the screen door behind the kid, a "scream door" he called it in his boy tongue hearing "scream" for "screen" and so it means something...I now see that face multiply, a clown's sad smile, a grimace with dimples, a sorrow mask, head turned slightly to the right, an appeasement gesture to father, unable to look directly at the camera, father's eye, fearful of contact with that threat insisting that the knuckle-shy son "smile goddamn it"...poet Theodore Roethke once wrote, "Fear was my father, father fear"... squinted for sure, kid did, into just too much too much light, eyes already staring out and into some unfocused place of Escape-To but nowhere to go but inward, into woods, bountiful books, into night stars in the front field soft and yielding to all the weight a small boy could live, the ground gave and so the boy was saved a bit by sparkles...not pitying here, just that I know that little soul by then was stunned by what existence had already become, the skinned knees can't be seen in the pic...a kid in need of available light...which he found in nature, books, music...NOT people...well, most of them, there were the few rare exceptions among the living and a very very many in books, companion souls between pages he wished he could live between and away from the hurting world...seems all these listed here are still his closest allies...

"I am old enough now to realize we are all trying to live sufficiently long to see the self come true. None of us is likely to make it. Therefore we invent selves, we prance and pose and dream and labor, confirming what we might be by what others think we are and by what we see we have been." - Dave Smith, "A Secret You Can't Break Free"

"We go towards something that is not yet, and we come from something that is no more. We are what we are by what we came from. We have a beginning as we have an end. There was a time that was not our time. We hear of it from those who are older than we; we read about it in history books...It is hard for us to imagine our 'being-no-more.' It is equally difficult to imagine our 'being-not-yet'. " - Paul Tillich

The opening quote sets the tone, autobiographical  (Smith's), then Tillich's leading one about "being-no-more" and "being-not-yet"...the happy news is that the being-not-yet in the thin-skinned kid did arrive and all things considered it's been a helluva shock to fall finally into Presence afterall having stalled for many years perched noon-blind on childhood's top step...Such "Kindly Light" (reminiscent of the front field's stars) surprised the boy and does so still. One gives the will over to the "what is" and the "not yet" and so far it's been pleasing to the mind though the body will always complain for it is for life - Freud's Eros principle in the body prevails,

"Life wants more of...LIFE."

"We do not mourn that we see through a glass darkly, we now rejoice in the dark loveliness of the glass."
- John Dominic Crossan*

I read of Plotinus today
in Wallace Fowlie's marvelous book, The Clown's Grail, A Study of Love In Its Literary Expression...and wept like a silly in Simone's by the red beaded windows..."Plotinus says that all
systems base themselves upon two questions, do we love? whom do we love? ...thus the events of our destiny (or of our sensitivity) are measured by the love we bear...this ascent toward love [you can see Dante in all of this] is by three types [representatives, modes of being-with] of men [and women], the artist (in love with Beauty), the lover (who needs the visible beauty of a single body), and, of course, the philosopher, the third kind of man who follows the contemplation of physical beauty and the love of a human soul then enters the purified zone where harmony and beauty are merged with truth. The artist, "the most primitive of men," lives the nearest myths and knows the reality of each thing...the lover, that most vital of men, is the protagonist of myths and knows the death of each thing...the philosopher for whom ideas and intuitions remain fresh and new is the most idealistic of men, the decipherer of myths and the one who knows the plenetude of each thing (the philosopher sees through the myth via that which the myth hints at, points to, the Real, the plenetude of each thing)...After giving order to the chaos of matter, he tries to give order to the chaos of his heart through a knowledge of that love which will lead him to his ultimate goal, the "flight of the one toward the One."

Which for me is where available light comes in...and what is known is indeed variable according to that light...but even dim light is light nonetheless and something is gathered, some love is gathered in the perception or rather, better, in the effort to perceive what may be revealed...the dark all the darker from the revelation but altered too by what is seen and by who is doing the seeing...a darkness shaped as opposed to shapeless darkness..the difference is the mind, Crossan's "glass," perceiving, making,  the glass impacted/shaped by that dark relation which is relation.

That little boy in front of the "scream door" was seeing ahead past the door and the porch, down the four concrete steps which seemed so high and steep and so far the hard falling into those two questions intuited then as a waif but now lived more consciously in the fallen stooped man:

Do we love? Whom do we love?

The kid and I have concluded thus far, still only a few feet away from the bottom step, this,

that Beauty is the Name derived from both depth and height.

What is known is variable and dependent upon available light.

*Crossan, John Dominic.  Epiphanies of Darkness, Deconstruction in Theology. 
Fortress Press. 1986.

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