Tag Archives: Tao

The Present Monument I: Preservation

Eternity is in love with the productions of time. — William Blake

after 'Carrow' by Julie Speidel

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Mon cher Degas

On the side of our refrigerator, I have a quotation from the 19th century poet Stéphane Mallarmé, speaking to his friend, the painter Edgar Degas, who was complaining about the difficulty of converting his ideas for poems into actual poems:

“Ce n’est point avec des idées, mon cher Degas, que l’on fait des vers. C’est avec des mots.” (It’s not with ideas, my dear Degas, that one makes verse. It’s with words.)

— From Paul Valéry, [mis]quoted in Harper’s Magazine.

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Storm watching

It all began, simply enough, with this photo. In January 2006, I had newly joined flickr and found Vida Morkunas’ photos. This one, which she had just uploaded, captivated me because of other things going on in my life, things at the not-so-nice end of one of those “versus” dualities. I just wanted to sit on that bench, sink into it, even be that bench — and stare at the waves. The “restful” part sounded good, but “wild pacific trail” sounded remote, and the description below the photo confirmed it: “Ucluelet BC, on the Left Coast of Vancouver Island.” sigh. Not right now.

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