Number 25 of the season–whom I shall name William–was born around 0400 hours this morning. Marty, rising early for work, kindly kayaked around them in order to avoid disturbing the vital, bonding ritual between mom and newborn pup. Good on ya, mate.
The drama on the logboom is always entertaining. A yearling deposed William from the choice haulout spot for the latest pups, while Will’s mom growled and waved her flipper in righteous indignation at the clueless interloper. Harumph.
I named the latest two pups after William Blake and his brother, who appeared to the poet long after Robert’s passing; to guide him in the alchemical process of gravure. This relates to my last post about negative capability. Robert’s physical absence gave way to spiritual presence, which guided Blake into the mysteries of relief etching. This technique–which Blake was the first to use–requires a disolution of the copper plate in acidic hellfire in order to exalt the spiritual form as pure light.
Kathleen Raine writes of how the ancient Persephone myth appears in Blake’s poetry to symbolize the soul’s descent into the the material world. The Neo Platonists–whose philosophy Raine says informed Blake’s work–saw birth as death or banishment of the most vital and ineffable part of us.
O life of this our Spring! Why fades the lotus of the water? Why fade these children of the Spring, born but to smile and fall? Ah! Thel is like a watery bow, and like a parting cloud, like a reflection in the glass; like shadows in the water.
I cut up my collages into ever smaller pieces and arranged them like fragments of a mosaic, or tesserae. I believe it was Kurt Schwitters who said that collage was more than an art technique, it is a state of mind. It helps bypass linear narrative to arrive at a broader perspective that apprehends pattern, rhythms, and wave forms. The Stark juxtaposition of black and white of my tessarae evokes the ambiguous nature of our topsy-turvy, angst-ridden times when our common agreements about truth are constantly being undermined.
John Keats spoke of an art that embraced uncertainty, doubt, and ambiguity as a way to attain a higher Truth that is synonymous with that Platonic ideal, Beauty. Keats called this capacity to tolerate the unease that attends confrontation with the unknown, Negative Capability.
We would do well to exercise our negative capability as a way to negotiate the convoluted, duplicitous drama in which we are now foundering.
So in processing these collages–which, carried to the extreme, might reduce these fragments to total atomization–I search for the most essential kernel of Truth and Beauty at the heart of the Mueller Report. It is a way for me to deal with the maddness; and direct my own uncertainty, fears, and dread into creative channels.
This little guy looks brand new. But I haven’t cleaned up after a complete birth yet this year–though I did see evidence a birth had begun. If disturbed, they can halt the process and carry on elsewhere. That may have happened here. She may have gone to the yacht club next door to finish.
After four years among the Selkies of Dogfish Bay, I remain perplexed by their mysterious ways. This is the first blog post about the 2019 seal birthing season.
This whale has been here for a week or so. The good folks of Fisheries and Wildlife have been monitoring it for signs of distress. It seems the local gray population has been undernourished, possibly due to climate change and it’s effect on availability of krill–on which these majestic creatures feed. The important work on my libretto has been sidetracked by several factors: this elderly gray, the immanent seal birthing season, and a group of clueless youth harrassing pregnant seals with a volley of rocks from a skiff. All this stress reaches a fevered pitch this time of year, when the birthing season of local species interfaces with Summer Yahoos bent on pleasure in its multifaceted allurements.
These developments will not distract from my most pressing task–the creation of the opera. Stay tuned for the next chapter in which Drumph drafts a brilliant memo–a work of awesome fictive power–explaining his justification for Comey’s firing.
Act 2, scene 1–The RT gala, Moscow, the Future.
The 20th annual gala for the Russian news program, Russia Today, is held in a massive media complex, attended by big shot oligarchs, Russian intelligence, and a legion of scoundrels bent on fortune, fame, and their fair share of Reality.
Announcer: Welcome to our celebration of Russia’s greatest contribution to the intellectual and spiritual heritage of western civilization: Fake reality. We have, as special guest, the most august and perrenial brand of all time, the soul of Rudolf Gulliani, in whose honor we present the following program–the Moscovite Butoh Trolls reenactment of the great troll revolt. This bleak episode of our nation’s history, so handily quashed by the superior messaging of our great leader, marked a turning point in the history of Russian culture. Well we remember that dark day when, incited by the American propaganda apparatus, the once faithful troll workers stupidly rose against the beneficent ministrations of the state and presumed to create their own reality. Such presumption was soon quelled in the final, virtual standoff between fact and fiction.
Sections of the Mueller Report overlap with Giotto’s allegorical figures of Greed, envy, etc. I cut up my second copy for the collage, and now I’m more confused than ever. How is this not treason? By what measure do we allow such malfeasance to go unpunished? Tune in for the dramatic denoument. Will I be able to create art from this shit show?
Legal scholars debate indicting a sitting President.