Cusick's Speedwell (Veronica cusickii) (XI.17.08) . . .
Cusick's Speedwell is a member of the Figwort family
endemic to the Wallowas, named for William C. Cusick
of Union Oregon, one of the first botanistts of the
Blue Mountain & Wallowa rnages (1842-1922). The common
name 'speedwell' comes to us from the traditional healing
properties assoicated with the genus, such as speeding
the healing of wounds. The botanical generic name is as
ancient as it is interesting. Veronica refers, of couse,
to Saint Veronica, a woman from Jerusalem who is said to
have offered her veil to Jesus on the way to the Calvary—
hillside of the Crucifixtion—to wipe the blood and sweat
from his brow. Legend has it that the cloth retained the
imprint of the image of Jesus' countenance.
THE LITERAL MAN & THE
IMPOSSIBILITY OF METAPHOR
The world of the literal man—a state of mind and being
which manifests now in both genders equally—is a world
of extreme fragmentation. In this broken-apart world of the
literal man, the natural weave of connectedness, of the
interdependencies of wholeness, has been ripped apart,
and 'facts' and 'things' exist in all but complete isolation.
It is a world, therefore, in which image and metaphor, or
rhythm and movement, not only make little sense, but are no
longer even possible. And it is a world, because nothing is
connected to anything else. ethical responsibility is reduced
to the utter indifference of the tightest of circles around the
exigencies of his own personal survival.
It may come as little surprise that the literal man makes
the perfect foot soldier in the technological armies of
mechanistic science that have given us the modern
weapons industry. The brilliant physicist who without
the slightest ethical qualms diligently increases the yields
of a new nuclear device; Or the virtuoso economist who
spins the market trends with great short-term success and
methematical élan while diligently ignoring every single
relevant feature of the wider, long-term context; Or the clever
genetic engineer of genius who diligently designs seeds
that self-destruct, seeds that you must buy because his
goal is to make sure that no others are available, and
that terminate in their own infertility.
The final extreme? A world resource empire that hordes
the very water of life itself, and which sells it back to us
at a price only he, the literal man, can afford. This is the
"participate or perish" world of the literal man, which, as
posited at the outset, is a state of mind and being which
manifests now in both genders equally.
Complication—in contrast to the richness of natural
complexity— is about making things at least twice as
difficult as necessary, thus making it easy to do really
difficult things not at all.
BETWEEN THE WORLDS . . .
All mischief begins with distance. Poet,
be the messenger between the worlds.
Broken Bridge Camp,
Eagle Cap Wilderness,
Regulus regulus ("The Little King") is one of my StarCycle
projects for the virtuoso solo instrumentalist. Regulus has its
own mini website. Working on pieces like this, and at the same
time doing my wilderness fieldwork makes something of an odd
couple. I think this merely reflects a kind of deep and largely
unconscious cultural fragmentation and bias.
What do I mean? It's simple. I do not have a single conservationist
friend who is native to classical new music, or even Vivaldi; And I
do not have a single artist friend, living perhaps in New York City
or Amsterdam, who is, well, native to the wilds.
That, in a nutshell, is why I write about the things that I do. And
why I continue to write pieces for instrumentalists who take
on Music like a real alpinist takes on mountains: it's always
about exploring oneself, and exploring the world, all at once,
and one step at a time. And then broadcasting the good news
to the Universe.
BUY Regulus at for $0.99 [sic] at iTunes . . .
All Photographs & texts by Cliff Crego © 2011 picture-poems.com