Saturday, September 19, 2009

Touching stories

Had a friend who stopped to rescue a dog on a busy highway, okay the name was Buford Hwy, but the other details have been ever so slightly changed to protect the ordinary (that'd be me.)  He was hit by a car and sent to a local hospital with a broken, uh, elbow. Jan Cox had me give this person a message when I visited him in the hospital. The message: This better teach you not to be a do-gooder.  That was the gist.  And an expansion of this message, which of course was not what I delivered at the time: the ordinary can be so nice. Being ordinary was not what Jan Cox was about.

Time frames

Don't really know where the word abracadabra came from, but I have to wonder if the word is not the sterile remnant of a once lively trick: say you are trying to convey how circular and unilluminating the mechanical mind must be, on the level of words.

Art can offer a longer time frame than words. Say you are trying to convey the message, in the statue of Romulus and Remus, nursing on a wolf.The children are still totally meshed with the physical world. That is their strength, but they will go on to found a city. The wolf cannot know how different these pups are, ---but the wolf pack that builds a city, an empire, is a quantitative difference which becomes a qualitative difference.
If the stoic knowing in the face of that female wolf could be put into words, the words would quickly become drained of their usefulness. As a sculpture some remnant of the mystery is still extant: how the future can unfold in totally unpredictable ways.

But to progress words have their own value. Jan Cox once described them as fast food. The trick of the word 'abracadabra' is that it may have originated in an attempt to make words look at words. May once have really been a magic word: the first time it was uttered it lit the mechanicalness of verbalizing because it was a word withOUT a meaning. As a word the first time it was used, abracadabra showed the thinness of the ice that mechanical language is. To succeed at showing the hollowness of man's rational speech IS magic. This first, functional, phase, was very brief. As such must be. The glimpse of magic the word provided quickly became the impotent word: magic. With use abracadabra become the opposite of it's original import.

Life (words, that is) is brief. Art--not so much.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Mysticism of a planet

It sometimes occurs to me to change the name of this blog. American mysticism turns out to mean native American to some --those hunters and garnerers who owned the woods because they were home in the woods. Actually my original idea was a bow to Gurdjieff who pointed to the United States as the flatland. I meant to refer to the European phase as Gurdjieffs and then Jan Cox as the American.  But I probably won't change the name.
The idea of the crystal radio came to my attention, an early option anyone could set up if they had a certain crystal and a fine wire. The crystal setup worked best from a high altitude, so children climbed into trees to test their knowledge of physics by making the crystal radio transmit.  The wire tip had to be very fine, the idea was a point contact that worked, allowing radio wave transmission, and the wire had to be fine because it literally had to touch a particular electron.
That kind of fineness is like the attention we struggle to attain and keep-- that is one picture.  The struggle for a precise but next to nonexistent touch, which resulted, when successful,  in words or music. Perhaps if the transmission is successful, there IS a silky background of forest and figure  behind the flatlander words.