enjoy these mossy rocks

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Tuesday, January 05, 2010
mossy rocks
Aren't they pretty? I can hardly stand it, I love the acid yellow green of the moss so much! This photo was taken at a state park right on the willamette river this last saturday. (I have more photos I may post soon.) It was raining so hard, but the trip was worth it: there were these mossy green rocks and a great blue heron. (I love those birds! So huge, improbable, elegant, even while standing in a muddy riverbank.)

(it's no trick: the heron is not in this picture.)

Here's a quote that has nothing to do with mossy rocks or big blue birds, but I thought it was interesting. From Charles Simic's collection of essays and memoirs called The Unemployed Fortune Teller. This is from a section on the power of imagination, writing, "the liars art", etc. This particular bit was about automatic writing (p14): (...) I don't have a lot of faith in automatic writing, with its aping of mediums and their trances. All my attempts at opening the floodgates of my psyche were unimpressive. "You need a certain state of vacancy for the marvelous to condescend to visit you," said Benjamin Peret. Very well and thanks for the advice, but I have my doubts. The reputation of the unconscious as the endless source of poetry is over-rated. The first rule for a poet must be, cheat on your unconscious and your dreams."

I think my favorite part is "but I have my doubts." I've come to love my doubts now that I'm old enough to balance them (more or less) with my innate optimism. Too much of one or the other is exhausting, but together they make for some good in-brain arguments. (I like those.) Anyway, it's a fascinating section about taking ideas where you find them and bending them to your purpose - a blend of instinct and craft. I've probably chosen the dumbest part to quote, but it's late and that's what I found without quoting the whole damned thing.
2 comments on "enjoy these mossy rocks"
  1. That Simic quote is great because it could provoke ENDLESS discussions and disagreements pro and con about the merits of accessing the unconscious. That line about cheating on one's unconscious and dreams? Hmmm. Curiouser and curiouser.

  2. I don't think he's saying that you shouldn't access your unconscious, I think he's saying you should feel free to mess around with whatever you find there - change it, bounce it, bend it, fold it, etc. Just because it came from some deep mine in your mind doesn't mean you have to leave it the way you found it in order to be "authentic" or whatever.


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