I once read somewhere: 'You cant use form to escape form'. The nearest analogy that right now comes to mind is that you can't swim to learn how to walk. Yes, I know it's not necessarily the best analogy but I'm still running on the fumes of last night's California Spumante; I drank 4/5ths of the bottle. Did I enjoy it? Yes, I was laughing at all kinds of things. No, I was not dancing around wearing only underwear and shoes and a lamp shade on my head. I do have standards.
Can I escape language to something better? And if I did escape where/what would I be escaping to? What happens if I'm no longer in range of the transmission tower for radio station, KULTR? Will I feel lonely? Will I be alive in a thoroughly different way? Or would I, as the plaque atop Dante's View in Death Valley states re anything in the salt of Badwater Basin far below be, preserved and perfectly dead? I guess it's relative.
I had thought of a few titles for this first post, some words and so on. But then I had the urge, or maybe it was a prompting from consciousness - sub or super, I'm not sure - to just let whatever present itself. The result was facilitated by that action of randomly picking a book from some of the books on a deep shelf in the closet area that I passed on my way to the bathroom after waking up at 5:00 am. I didn't think much about it, I just extended my hand and picked, 'Fin De Siecle Vienna' by Carl E. Schorske, opened to a page randomly, pg 222, and this is what was read:
"But more is changed than the character of Athena. In the lower left-hand corner of the picture, Nike, winged victory, is no longer in Athena's hand. In her place stands Nuda veritas, holding up her mirror to modern man. But Nuda veritas too has changed. Once a two-dimensional waif, she is now shapely and sexy, with hair, even pubic hair, of flaming red. Not Nuda veritas, but Vera nuditas! Here we have a crucial turning point in the emergence of a new culture from the old. Klimt is distorting the ancient iconography in a truly subversive way: Athena, virgin goddess, is no longer the symbol of a national polis and of ordering wisdom, as she holds on her orb the sensual bearer of the mirror of modern man. Truly les pensers noveau are breaking out of the chrysalis of their vers antiques!"
Then on that page is a painting by Klimt, Schubert at the Piano, and on the page to the right, Klimt's Pallas Athena.
Well, that's just great. Here I am looking forward to seeing the annual, Vienna Philharmonic New Year's Concert on PBS and now I have to think about red pubic hair and ancient thinking? No, Herr Schorske, I will not! I'm going to enjoy the concert and sway to the Strauss waltzes with a satisfied smile appropriate to my well-earned modernism. And if I daydream a little about the ballerinas in the dance section, it will be purely platonic.
At that point I thought, ok, so maybe I can grab another book or two and comment on it. But something said no because that would be following the form, using the form. What then? I feel there is something more. Then I realized that the something more was my wanting something more, something that would make for an interesting sentence or two. It was form. Form enticing me, luring me, to return to the fold, to return home. I then went and had my juice, cereal, and coffee.
Then I thought about another thing that came to mind. It had to do with savoring mushrooms in Titus Canyon, Death Valley, on an Easter Sunday decades ago with my girlfriend at the time who was of German-Lebanese descent. But that's another story.
Anyway, I imagine for a moment that I have been successful in escaping form. In that imagining the best I can say is that I begin this year with neither hope nor despair. I simply move forward with whatever dignity, grace, and lightheartedness the cosmos thinks I can handle.
I feel better already.
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