For me, my landscape above is a time machine back to a Sunday afternoon road to a beach where sadness and joy took turns to sweep the shoreline with the tides.
I envy – or again, perhaps do not envy – those painters that work with assured clockwork precision to an outcome almost known. For me it is a doubtful, anxious search for a felt but not known emotion in paint. It sometimes takes several attempts before it shows itself:
Amiel said that a landscape is a state of feeling, but the phrase is a flawed gem of a feeble dreamer. As soon as the landscape is a landscape, it ceases to be a state of emotion. To objectify is to create, and no one would say that a finished poem is a state of thinking about writing one.
Time and time again, a hurried pace, ambition and lack of self awareness takes me to the place of humble-making. There I find myself. Gold is found where I stumble and fall without hope. I am not that steeply sloping hour that Rilke wrote of:
My life is not this steeply sloping hour in which you see me hurrying. ... I am the rest between two notes, which are somehow always in discord because Death's note wants to climb over - but in the dark interval, reconciled, they stay there trembling. And the song goes on, beautiful. Rainer Maria Rilke, trans. Robert Bly in Selected Poems of Rainer Maria Rilke
I sense that autumn approaches – a favorite season. Longer walks, steady meditations, eating little and falling into hesitant footsteps with awareness. Clearly seeing and rinsing off those expectations that approach from an angle like soft rain to fill my life with semi-contractual “shoulds” that tighten like barbed wire across the chest at 2 am.
Pain and pleasure are in the mind. Change your scale of values and all will change. Only contentment can make you happy – desires fulfilled breeds more desires. Contentment in what comes by itself is a very fruitful state – a precondition to the state of fullness. Believe me, it is the satisfaction of desires that breeds misery. Freedom from desires is bliss. [I am That (3)].
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