Reflections & Riffs

Portrait of Modest Mussorgsky, by Ilya Repin
(painted in the hospital from March 2–5, 1881,
only a few days before the composer
s death)

“Moment by moment things arise and pass away. Moment by moment we encounter what is not self.”

Every ‘tale’ has a remarkable forecast—natural reactions of wonder. Mathematical thickness of some instantaneous trickery and we’re often back to square one, we silly quacks! I draw a breath from misty mornings, gaining velocities are the splendid sighs of nature’s first light—to all, perhaps? yes, o yes, we but shiver and fall away, like some brilliant arch of continuous unmoving. But “life goes on” and every vapor in the wind merges into resolved conversational endings. In this life, everything ends, except for God. On the heels of this verse comes yet another thought: How to convey images between the mental and the physical. An example of this may be thought of as the words on the pages inside of books as hollow piping, where thought had once existed. Words merely acting as decor. That would be the Physical. The Mental is the subterranean—a reflection of self, or experience, like the reflective eyes of nocturnal creatures.

“I did not start out as a photographer but, instead, as a writer....this fact has inspired and colored many of my concepts.” (Laughlin, The Personal Eye 14)

My perception of the world, like an orb, exists within the Theatre of The Sensational Visual Transmitter. Bending paths of lightning on Circumference’s infinity. O, speak to me through this thunderstorm, react with the lightning; I am mounted on your deck, I will confirm your words through the thunder.

Wallace Stevens: “...gusty / Emotions on wet roads on autumn nights; / All pleasures and all pains, remembering / The bough of summer and the winter branch.”

Opening my e-‘male’ every morning as I wake, often tossing myself into a Ring a Ring o’ Roses. “For a limited time only.” My balance is fattened with the agenda of an architect. I need a storage case for multiple explanations. Seeing the light of my face in your face’s light; the oscillation between song, between the mind, the way it hesitates. One moment I am editing pictures, and then the next moment I am looking out of the window, remembering the bird that landed on the window after all of that silence, and was chirping at a high pitch; a naturely flute--clung to this wowscape, scrape me out of these walls, paint me into the song of the bird. Moment succeeds moment and each is complete in itself. Valéry: “Animals, who do nothing uselessly, refuse to comtemplate death.” Perfect.

Speaking of animals. One must consider the “strange company” of the eccentric Lord Bridgewater (known as Francis Egerton), who astonished Paris by giving dinner parties for dogs—the dogs were the guests, dressed as men and women. He was a supporter of natural theology. The French were not surprised by any means that the milord living in Paris was unusually fond of animals, as they, somehow, expected such bizarre conduct of an Englishman. However, they raised their eyebrows quite frequently in the case of Mr. Egerton when they heard that he gave dinner parties for dogs dressed in the height of fashion, even down to fancy miniature shoes! Strangely, Mr. Egerton kept partridges and pigeons with clipped wings in his garden to shoot because of his failing eyesight. Strangely, this odd nobleman was an extremely learned scholar (gotta love the self-education!—Ray Bradbury: “I never went to college. I went to the library”), a connoisseur and patron of the arts, and a fellow of the Royal Society. He was the donor of the important Egerton Manuscripts to the British Museum. However, this was the eccentric who wore each pair of his shoes only once and then had them arranged in rows so that he could measure the passing of time. And to return a book he had borrowed, he would send a sumptuous carriage attended by four liveried footmen. He never married, and with his death in 1829, the title became extinct.

Francis Egerton, 8th Earl of Bridgewater