an image diary

"And if he left off dreaming about you, where do you suppose you'd be? ... You'd be nowhere. Why, you're only a sort of thing in his dream! If that there King was to wake you'd go out -- bang! -- just like a candle!"

"Hush! You'll be waking him, I'm afraid, if you make so much noise."

"Well it's no use your talking about waking him when you're only one of the things in his dream. You know very well you're not real."

Monday, July 28, 2008

summer: week eight


By "stable" I mean fixed, unchanging, really really real; I mean not an accomplice to the mesh we call artifice. I still want to draw a line between that which is essential and that which is constructed (or if you like, that which is "agreed" on, contractual, promised, imagined, and then instituted), but this line of thought is not easy. I look around for the unchanging thing, the constant substantial heart of a thing, the source of a word’s referential aspect (assuming there is one--for maybe word is only a collective dream), and find that I’m back to the superstition of forgetting that teleology isn’t really really real: time, contingency, origins, tendency, progression, purpose, ends… All imaginary aspects (measurements) of change. Cohesion, mostly.

That’s the problem with yes. Yes has a very cohesive mind.


More exactly, a mind of glue. Wordsworth: "their minds are not loose but adhesive."


But it is easy to dismantle telos if you care to. And to live as though the dream of linearity is necessary, a gluey (and agreed on) distortion of the fragmented universe, a kind of everyday common-sense convenience. A kind of watch. Who cares that time is not knowledge but art? Nobody. Time is not my maker--I am its keeper. So that "mortality" takes on a certain shade of archaic significance, and this is good, for I don't want to live with an antiquated view of life. So long as I know I am superstitious about time, about governance, and even about light, I am more knowledgeable than I was before recognizing it.


Which is why values are so difficult. What gives a thing (a who or a what) its worth when there are only differences to sort out? Differences. Not ladders, pecking orders, or class systems. Not hierarchies. Not power.

No hierarchies are really really real, though they exist, though they are starving out and eradicating nations of other people. Right now.

I am hyper-aware of what monuments art will make of values--what monoliths of meaning, what theologies of need--and of how weorthscipe tends to misplace its values. If there is a scale or a spectrum of use to me, it is between art and reality, with all that is prone to acculturation tottering heavily on the art end. Of course everything is prone to acculturation. So the reality end looks pretty quiet from here. Dead silent, in fact. Vacant. Because it is easy to make an art of (to genetically modify) what is real. In such a world, worship has no value. Worship is absolutely disordered.


And in a world so fully saturated by its art, mediation is really really literal. Art is the thing-itself. So the really really real is not only inaccessible. It is no longer very useful. That's where I've been coming from.


"and what is the use of a book...without pictures or conversations?"

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what o'clock it is


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