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The Nature of Change - De File — LiveJournal
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The Nature of Change
My friend Laura has been writing some wonderful entries lately. Because my life has felt like a whitewater rafting expedition in recent months -- one minute I think I'm in the clear; the next I'm just trying to stay upright -- I was especially taken with this one she wrote yesterday:
Our experience just isn't a linear progression from birth to death, with gradual improvement and progress the usual thing. And it isn't a spiral either; we don't travel an ever-widening circle round and round certain landmarks on the path, Yeats-like. It turns out the catastrophists were right in some ways: change happens because uncontrollable forces move mountains or bury continents. What seemed "natural" yesterday isn't even geographically possible today. Who you were then isn't a location now and there's no map. It is like an earthquake: big noise, shaking, stuff falls down and maybe is set afire, and everything everything is different.
As someone whose whole life was transformed in the aftermath of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, I especially like the plate tectonics conceit, even if it does make it seem like I'm mixing metaphors here. Maybe I'm hurtling downstream during an earthquake that threatens to alter the course of the river -- as the 1812 New Madrid earthquake did to the Mississippi --- or, more bluntly, drop a huge rock on my head. Still, there's an appeal to extreme wilderness activity.

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Mode: tight-lunged
Muse: Bean playing, Kim watering

5 comments or Leave a comment
From: zokah Date: June 24th, 2005 04:01 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I can't help but wonder if the extreme weather you have been experiencing creates the watermark on your thoughts and mood.
". . . extreme wilderness activity..." Indeed.

Now that it's summertime here in the Bay Area, and the sun has therefore disappeared until September, there is a marked change in moods as I walk around the streets.

Your climate's mood changes sound as if they are quite dramatic.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: June 24th, 2005 04:07 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I keep wanting to read your comment allegorically. But, yes, the climate here is extreme enough without resorting to figures of speech. It was so hot on Tuesday. Last night it rained. And, on the heels of two California trips, the extremity feels even more extreme. I love the foggy season there, actually,
From: zokah Date: June 24th, 2005 04:14 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
we all write with our audience in mind.

I too love the fog - it suits me.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: June 24th, 2005 04:29 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
The trick is to recognize the presence of the sun right above the fog.
commonalgebra From: commonalgebra Date: June 25th, 2005 12:19 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

hmmmm mmmmm mmmm mmmm (humming a song)

san sepolcro by jorie graham

In this blue light
I can take you there,
snow having made me
a world of bone
seen through to. This
is my house,

my section of Etruscan
wall, my neighbor's
lemontrees, and, just below
the lower church,
the airplane factory.
A rooster

crows all day from mist
outside the walls.
There's milk on the air,
ice on the oily
lemonskins. How clean
the mind is,

holy grave. It is this girl
by Piero
della Francesca, unbuttoning
her blue dress,
her mantle of weather,
to go into

labor. Come, we can go in.
It is before
the birth of god. No one
has risen yet
to the museums, to the assembly

and wings--to the open air
market. This is
what the living do: go in.
It's a long way.
And the dress keeps opening
from eternity

to privacy, quickening.
Inside, at the heart,
is tragedy, the present moment
forever stillborn,
but going in, each breath
is a button

coming undone, something terribly
finding all of the stops.
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