Archive for January 2009

My Great Salt Lake

January 25, 2009

spiral_jetty_wisps

In studying a photo of the Spiral Jetty, I realize that Smithson made two spirals, one of land and one of water. This beautifully useless construction was built not many miles from where I was born and feels somehow like a monument to my umbilical cord. Someday, on an auto-pilgrimage, I’ll paddle a canoe to the center.

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The World is Bound with Secret Knots

January 12, 2009

kircher1

All of nature in its awful vastness and incomprehensible complexity is in the end interrelated – worlds within worlds within worlds: the seen and the unseen – the physical and the immaterial are all connected – each exerting influence on the next – bound, as it were, by chains of analogy – magnetic chains. Every decision, every action mirrors, ripples, reflects and echoes throughout the whole of creation. The world is indeed bound with secret knots.

– Athanasius Kircher

And the internet gives us, in a way, worlds within worlds within worlds. This blog will reflect, in a limited way, the endless interconnectedness of the physical and the immaterial, of fiction and fact.

And what if all of animated nature
Be but organic Harps diversely fram’d,
That tremble into thought, as o’er them sweeps
Plastic and vast, one intellectual breeze,
At once the Soul of each, and God of all?

– from the Aeolian Harp, Coleridge

Coleridge gives here a cautiously radical view of the human soul. He seems to think in that moment that we are not so much the productions of a creator God as we are pre-existing essences that come to life, when a kind of cosmic force, emanating from an unnamed and presumably not-quite-Christian source, moves through creation. Unlike STC, who, embarrassed, renounces the concept by the end of the poem, I have always been very happy with it, and feel at times a breeze sweep through me, bringing to life, among many other things, this blog, this Book of Caves and Canoes and Harps. My purpose is to hold onto the threads of language and sound and image that run through my mind and are too often broken or mislaid. Here is a commonplace book, book of scraps, cabinet of curiosities, a series of fissures in the world, cracks in the heart that issue kaleidoscopic surprises or caves that remain completely dark and silent. Know all men by these presents.