MUTED SNAKE, November, Thanksgiving lastlight [ buy art print ] (XI.24.2011) [click photo for next . . . ]
DIFFERENCE OF LIMIT AND CONTROL . . .
I just came down to my little Eagle Valley shoebox Office
from this ridge on the Oregon side of the Muted Snake.
(I refuse to call it the Snake River, because it is at
present terribly knotted up with major reservoirs and dams.)
It is a place where I go often just to feel the pulse of
the land. We are looking North here. And the river is making
its way, not in a hurry, massive, flowing downstream on into
the natural cathedral of layer after layer of river-carved
volcanic basalt now called Hells Canyon, the deepest gorge
in North America. The entire swath of land you see here is
roadless and uninhabited. It is also entirely a part of
the great commons of collectively, or publicly, held
land. We're standing at about 1200 m., with the water
at about 600 meters, in round numbers. I would very
much like to see a Thoreau-style little wooden one-room
refuge built here. And to have the area around it closed
to anything but foot traffic and horses. (I can hear all
my local friends complaining, already....) It's sole purpose
would be to have no purpose. Think of that.
On the road in the Northwest of America.
MIRRORS MADE OF SOUND?
When strings at rest reflect in
sympathetic resonance the movements
of other sounds around them, we hear
the beginnings of Love and Compassion
in the physical world.
INTERCONNECTIONS . - _ /
The movements of intelligence in Nature resonate together like the
circular waves of water droplets merging on the surface of quiet water.
Shake one, and they all shake. Leave one out, and another steps in to
take its place. This is why machines like computers, which are based at
present not so much on the all-at-once of the resonance of natural in-
telligence, but rather on long, complicated, necessarily explicit strings
of logical thought, so easily break. And they do this, as we all know,
in frequently highly disturbing and unpredictable ways. Their connec-
tions must indeed be ‘hard-wired,’ so to speak, one at a time. Given the
present need for this surface absolute precision, and therefore the lack
of the greatly more flexible relational movements of resonance, com-
puters, computer networks, and the software upon which they depend,
are all prone to go haywire with even the slightest low-level error.
Remarkably, if one were forced to tune the complex weave of inter-
connected sounds and rhythms of an orchestra in this way, one would
not make it past the first bar.
The perception of Necessity can be liberating, because the way is then
made free for clear, decisive action. Indeed, how could this be oth-
erwise? When something must be so, the mind—whether that of the
individual or that of the collective—quits wasting energy by fighting
against itself, and, without forcing, comes to a unitary vision or flow.
The peak is in view.
The problem clearly defined. Let’s get on with the
ON THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN
LIMIT & CONTROL
Control imposes order from without by projecting the predetermined
thought, conditioned by the past, of what should happen. The need to
control invariably increases as the disorderly, unexpected, side-effects
of past efforts accumulate, which results in ever-greater unnecessary
difficulties or complicatedness. In contrast, limit allows order to emerge
from within by determining only what at any given moment should not
Limit is therefore open to the future, and tends strongly towards
ever-greater simplicity and freedom.
PROTECTING THE COMMON GROUND
The cheap and flashy slogans of politics and commerce are like
aggressive alien weeds, overrunning the sacred common ground of
language with a kind of false—or irre-poetry. They numb and cor-
rupt our natural sense of the refined sonic elements of verse, reducing
subtleties like rhythm, anaphora and rhyme to mere clever instruments
in a grab-bag repertoire of tricks eager to serve the abuse of power and
One of the first tasks of Poetry is to protect this common ground of
language, especially for the young, in the same way we might protect
the Earth itself, whether it be a patch of prairie along a busy road, or the
delicate balance of species in a remote and pristine alpine meadow.
INTERCONNECTIONS & ON NECESSITY are part
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