closing the distance

 

The four books I have been reading leisurely (even lazily) over the last few weeks are talking to each other in marvelous ways. Added to this I have been racing through, and just finished, Madeline Miller’s forthcoming novel CIRCE. A particularly excellent reading week with many interconnections and echoes.

“For our texts interrogate us when we have crossed into the world of the imagination, until we can figure out why we have come, where we have come from, and how we have managed the passage.”

–Grace Dane Mazur, Hinges: Meditations on the Portals of the Imagination

“Loveliness and stillness clasped hands in the bedroom, and among the shrouded jugs and sheeted chairs even the prying of the wind, and the soft nose of the clammy sea airs, rubbing, snuffling, iterating, and reiterating their questions—“Will you fade? Will you perish?—scarcely disturbed the peace, the indifference, the air of pure integrity, as if the question they asked scarcely needed that they should answer: we remain.”

–Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse

“An utterance, a gesture, is clear if it is transparent; if it renders what is on the other side of the glass easier to understand, to accept, respond to, or love; if it facilitates the integrity of our being in the world.

An utterance is clear if it purifies vision.”

–Jan Zwicky, Lyric Philosophy

“Original paintings are silent and still in a sense that information never is. Even a reproduction hung on a wall is not comparable in this respect for in the original the silence and stillness permeate the actual material, the paint, in which one follows the traces of the painter’s immediate gestures. This has the effect of closing the distance in time between the painting of the picture and one’s own act of looking at it.”

–John Berger, Ways of Seeing

 

 

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