Saturday, 20 September 2014

another vision


  1. Interesting that you decide to share this on your blog. It must be that you think of visions as a form of communication.

    We use body language for instance; we all understand it, but we're not really able to articulate its meaning in sentences.

    Perhaps it's somehow analogous to how visions and dreams communicate without being conceptually grasped?

    I suspect poets understand language better than philosophers, or at least they're more intimate with it.

    Who knows why, your vision reminded me of a poem by Georg Trakl called A Winter Evening:

    At the window, the fall of snow.
    It tolls long now, the evening bell.
    The table is set for many, as well,
    The house well-ordered, aglow.

    And many from their wanderings
    Arrive by dark paths at the gate.
    The Tree of Grace blooms gold, if late;
    From out of earth’s chill sap it springs.

    Traveler, enter with silent tread.
    Pain has petrified the door.
    Yet clean and bright on the table before
    You gleam the wine, the bread.


    1. zakaj, rather than post my reply here, I have put it up on my web page with your post including another translation of trakl's poem side by side, jesus dead at 27, he didn't live long ! reply trakl

    2. Thank you for the thoughtful reply; material for contemplation

      The translation you posted is better than mine in almost all verses, except a few (in my opinion)

      pain petrifying the door / threshold

      What I love about him is how he fuses the "psychic" with the "material"... reminds me of your "solipsism" or maybe we could say panpsychism?

      actually some of the stuff you write reminds me of him... is he classified as "expressionist poet"? can you recommend more in that vein? Thanks

    3. " I do not have easy days at home now and I drift between fear and helplessness in sunny rooms where it is unspeakably cold.

      Strange shudders of transformation, bodily experienced to the point of vulnerability, visions of mysteries until the certainty of having died, ecstasies to the point of stony petrifaction, and a continuation of dreaming sad dreams”

      yeah he's certainly got that visionary blurring of reality !

      I do see that is osip Mandelstam and his poems

      it's hell trying to deal with translations of mandelstam though . . . ! :o(...)

    4. gerg takl's overt magical thinking reminds abit of the new zealand author, janet frame as well!

    5. The quotes above are numinous. 'sunny rooms where it's unspeakably cold' - 'strange shudders of transformation, bodily experienced to the point of vulnerability' - when I read this, it seems so familiar... it's as if I know exactly what he's talking about, without knowing what he's talking about. Both simultaneously. I'm guessing it's a kind of communication that's more direct than the verbal, but maybe this is just a bad attempt at making sense of it. Who knows, maybe that's really what "mind to mind" points to? A more intimate kind of communication?

      Magical thinking is a primordial way we relate to the world, before we're trained to suppress it; but it still emerges in innocent frivolities like astrology, superstition... however all those things are already mixed with rationality (for instance, astrology has an intricate pseudo-scientific system). That magical thinking seems to be from the region where language and reality aren't kept apart. Where reality itself speaks, and language has the power to create realities.

      If "Sage", "mystic", "Zen master", "Patriarch" etc. mean anything, they have to refer to a man who is able to maintain a relationship with that primordial dimension, but WITHOUT giving up rationality!

      The collision of the visionary/mystical and the real is really what I look for in art. It's also what I like in your own writing. Purely mystical writings are incomprehensible (Taoist alchemical writings, for instance, resemble the word-salad of schizophrenics) - and purely realist accounts are boring, for lack of a better word. It's when the two meet, or clash, that things get interesting. Wikipedia calls this expressionism, I was never sure about that term. There are instances of this "expressionism" even in the East, in Dogen for instance! Someone called him a "mystical realist". Whatever we think of Dogen, we cannot deny he was a skillful writer. (It comes out even in translations!) I looked up Janet Frame and I quite like what I read. Thank you for directing me to her, and to Osip Mandelstam. The latter seems especially difficult to get into.

      What's fascinating about you is that you say some things which truly sound crazy (such as the vision of the Patriarch), but you're uncompromisingly rationalist on all other fronts: against all kind of pseudo-science and superstition. This is what makes you interesting!