Intense heat, the suffocation of the great metropolis that stingily carries on not recognizing that it was made by human hands and minds for the benefit of human beings in their endless daily slog...

tiresome, choking, trellised, the city-creature, the layered amplitude, the hard grace and threadbare unbecoming, the will at odds with its own purpose...

I want wholeness amid the grey and acquiescent stupor, I want rhythm amid the fine-boned dissonance, a special coven of mind-meld and revelers, and the agility and courage to make sense of things...

but time runs out, it disappears into the gloom and is scarce remembered as what it was, a cool rapid current of trilling waters, trailing over the edge of things, and never stopping to be taken, held or tasted...

we seek the quietly problematic, ennervating, constant, we seek the contradictions that we know will persist like hard gemstones and so carry us and our emotional life and our struggles beyond the grip of time's trilling rapids...

we seek to be plural, to be expansive, to make or achieve meaning by extending our intentionality and understanding, with painstaking care and quiet fire, into the broader societal energy: in this, the explosive periphery of human passions, for it is at the periphery that we find friction, frailty, agitation and the spark that makes words softly spoken or not so, or not at all uttered, into incendiary devices...

in the teeming folds of excess and absence, in the landscapes of opening up, desire and aggravation, we find the serene, and the promise of the serene is an explosive moment, is a life-binding way onto the great uninhabited plains that span across all the theories about a happy life...

in the need to play out the experiment of first seeing, then imagining more, then desiring, obtaining and sustaining, in the need to see that what is worth desire's exhausting flame is also worth desiring to begin with, we mythologize, we martyr ourselves, we try to hold up the flag of an imagined idol, as if it were not only a mirror to the object of our desire, but the very gift of life renewed...

we hope to 'get beyond' the imperfect, to resist those places, those facts, those methods, that seem to stain or sully the imagined life, but we are wrong to aspire to this specifically; we do it from weakness and from the false promise of impatience...

faultlines are lifegivers, places where deep primordial energy comes up to the surface of the living world and makes more world; flaws in the perfectly smooth terrain are landmarks and give meaning to the surrounding landscape, become nameable places and so exist at the root of language...

we are wrong to want to 'get beyond' or even 'smooth over' the imperfect, because that separation between one thing and another, even between ideal and actual, is what gives the constellation of difference in which we all come to be, in which all human relations situate both the core and the outer limits of their reason for being...

the truth is that the unobtainable ideal informs all of its offspring and all of its progenitors, but it is unobtainable because only those imperfect fragments and temporalities can inhabit this world, only that which fits intermittently within the unfinished, can come to exist as such...

those imperfections and injuries that come with breaking the law of the stoics and trying to love earthly bodies, or rather, manifestations of this existence and in this sensorial realm, should be seen as gifts, or at least as intensities from which we gain, in the contact we in fact have, in the chance to love, with that which, though it dies away, remains imprinted in us, in this world, which so thirsts for that remaining, which in turn can only arise by our committing ourselves to such unstoical desperations...

it is not true that we as mortal beings are here to suffer or to be suffered and no more, but rather that at times we forget —and too easily— that what seems difficult, or even insurmountable, is actually a kind of joy, living in us, burning in us, calling us to celebrate and to find new life in the midst of agony...

© 2007 Joseph Robertson

WRITING & NAMING: the medicine of acquiring knowledge
Joseph Robertson

Language is that point of contact in the abstract, that plane where the intellectual life within us is enabled to assert itself as part of the overall experience of living. Language is that plane where the individual self is allowed repeated attempts at manifestation. What takes place in the process of writing, in the spilling of ink or the posting of digital characters, the slip toward defining a landscape, however brief, is the sanctification of an individual, and by extension of the human condition as such...

Not every person is a writer, by trade, nor should they be, but there is something about the act of writing that serves the writing individual as if it were a medicine for selfhood, a healing venture into clean waters. Especially so when its intent is to be expressive of secret regions of the mind or to lay out new experimental vessels for such expression. [Keep reading...]

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Casavaria celebra el cuarto centenario de la novela El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha, con una edición de la primera parte (primavera 2005) y otra de la segunda parte (primavera 2006)...

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Joseph Robertson Art Pages
Book of photos in halftone sepia-tinged black and white. An exploration of contrast and meaning in the textures of the everyday.

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