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Bluets [Jun. 26th, 2016|10:54 pm]
fingersweep
The sky is not blue color merely: it is blue fire and cannot be painted. Ruskin, Modern Painters, IV

Each morning you can watch the blues of a year passing overhead. And each year, in the log of each ship coasting through foreign seas, far and daily becoming dear as one summers and winters through them, learns their weathers and varying skies, the changing winds and currents, in each year a rush of blue overhead, starting in that dark negative of late summer.

Seeing out over the dark summer blue of the west a shear glint in the sky and a diffusion behind it like an autumn flock, breaking up and then disappearing somewhere in the cold orange behind the brighter, fiery orange the wild ash let loose at the river's edge: winter to autumn, here and not in a blink. Up in the blue's middle band a few wisps of clouds the sun lit up in chiaroscuro: the same plane crossing its vertical here an hour before. They weren't clouds or smoke but fire itself. Fire of the sun uprising over the eastern hills, and now leaving the ash no more aglow, not yet under the full blinding glare, but here and there in dark, flexive sparkle, dancing shadow, the river showing a multitude.

Bees, becalmed in the flowers during the night, swarm over the surface and then disperse, the light becomes more dense, the spring-hour turns to summer, and then autumn, and as it longs the scattering light spreads over the opposite shore, and night comes. Joy: despair flown out ahead of us like the crow from the great ark over sudden seas.

I read Nelson's Bluets this morning. Everyone is reading it and I was interested: I tried to think of something from my own journals the last year she might have picked. And I found a few things but not much: through a series of adjustments like you'd make on a scale-head, moving from hundreds to tens to ones -- to fractions of ones, you try to fix the level (the widest crossing is usually the easiest) between yourself and someone else. I'm not satisfied with comprehension, with just liking and disliking: I have to feel the book in my mind as it should be in my hand. It has to sit with a live weight in my palm, like that horned beetle clinging to the screen, turning bluer with the minutes like the sky. Not like this book but like some others I'm waiting to know, books I'm eager to meet and will, now in you and now in another.

Loneliness is solitude with a problem. Can blue solve the problem, or can it at least keep me company within it? --No, not exactly. It cannot love me that way; it has no arms. But sometimes I do feel its presence to be a sort of wink--Here you are again, it says, and so am I. In his Opticks, Newton periodically refers to an invaluable 'assistant' who helps him refract the shaft of sunlight streaming in through the aperture Newton had drilled into the wall of his 'dark chamber'--an assistant to Newton's discovery, or revelation, of the spectrum. Over time, however, many have questioned whether this assistant ever really existed. Many now believe him to be, essentially, a 'rhetorical fiction.' Who, nowadays, watches the light stream through the walls of her 'dark chamber' with the company of a phantasmagoric assistant...?

I don't know. But I imagine our will like some colored ribbon twisting round a banner against the ceiling of a large room. Or it's the call and answer we learn and later employ, over and over again, system -- gathering system and crashing in wave on wave, stillness and lulls between the wavefalls, until we find the room's dimensions. It may be as small as a cell: fate might also have made it universe-wide, and expanding, diffusing as we go out ahead of it. The mind knows its size before the universe can. It sets out ahead of the stars in a dawn ambush, the wheeling lights: seeing anticipates the real. The brain has its privileges: it can mark its limits within the boundaries of what's endless and endlessly knowable. And these are limits like the crests of mountains on their way to valleys, to abysses and extensions of form and the windscud of surf off the headland.

People talk of erasure, of fragmentation: wave-motion. The past creates its own sense of the whole, its own sublime. Ruin has its periods. I think of depression as she talks about it like some liquid body, some deep suffusing all these wandering satellites and souls above. It's a dye, a blue in the early morning and in the late afternoon a green (life, like the day, adds its yellow -- life lived has its green, and life to be lived and remembered its blue, and she mentions this obliquely a few times too). The day's ending: I sit greenly after the sun tilts west, sit greenly under an oak on the bluff, and think--remembering nothing. All thought is memory. The music unlistened to rushes like a river, hurrying on through a forest. What bird can melodize in that green distance, traveling ahead? I heard one last night for three hours sing the same three notes every ten seconds, a major and then (repeating the first) a minor second.

And I thought: there was a lull two weeks in the ongoing, and now it's begun to swell again and crest the banks. But what spring is this after spring, moving not with love but the movements of love -- or was it ever love, or just this period that resembles it, ever reassembles it -- (maybe first mimicking it and then turning to the false seal from the true), repeated, reiterant, broken and then returned, this motion, rocking, that gives form to love and all other things and returning is given a name, a name that dies on the lips as soon as spoken and as the waves shatter something crashes and dives below the surface with a tail's whip, flukes high, breath inheld and then released -- falling with sun into night and ocean's pitch of light -- a named thing and colorless, no longer among the beings, the congregant pilgrims of this world.

'I aimed to be a student not of longing but of light,' she ends it. You wake in the morning to your body, unaware as if it were buried in snow, a landscape unrecognizable and still there're signs, juts and outgrowths of fence and tree involved in this negative (propertied: capable of selfness or self-hood): and it's strange to us again, not knowing you, and there are forms in that mirror we hadn't seen in the world (or absences the world would fill, and we should know how). And speech: this is light, or the introduction of a quality whereby manyness is both sparked and dissolved in furtive lucidity. Or this: manyness is the condition of all things, each a jumble of like and unlike, whereby a thing that's like can be unlike and unlike like, traversing those blazing paths of unbeing and being like the clouds and the gods have, and do.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: proximoception
2016-06-27 10:55 am (UTC)
Beautiful phrases here. I hope any troubles will untrouble soon.
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[User Picture]From: nightspore
2016-06-29 12:08 am (UTC)
Have you read Gass's On Being Blue? I read it as an undergrad and thought it was pretty great.
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