e e cummings

The Ineffable – somewhere I have never travelled – e. e. cummings

The ineffable, unspoken, unspeakable, beautifully filmed by fabnor and spoken by Kamal. The poem of e. e. cummings, just beautiful.

// Shot in Copenhaguen
// Model : Annie, thefashionmirror.blogspot.de/
// Poem by E. E. Cummings, read by Kamal

“somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near
your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skillfully,mysteriously)her first rose
or if your wish be to close me,i and
my life will shut very beautifully,suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;
nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the colour of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing
(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain, has such small hands.”

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Seat Guru – and Then There Were Three

Seat Guru – and Then There Were Three

You get to plan a dinner party for 4-8 of your favorite writers/artists/musicians/other notable figures, whether dead or alive. Who do you seat next to whom in order to inspire the most fun evening?

Young_Dorothy_Parker

The first person would be Dorothy Parker – her acerbic wit and lack of stupidness around romantic love and relationships, would make for a sometimes painful but nonetheless challenging debater. Here is a quote:

“A lady … with all the poise of the Sphinx though but little of her mystery.”

“You can lead a horticulture, but you can’t make her think.” Parker’s answer when asked to use the word horticulture during a game of Can-You-Give-Me-A-Sentence?, as quoted in You Might as well Live by John Keats (1970).

Parker published her first volume of poetry, Enough Rope, in 1926. The collection sold 47,000 copies and garnered impressive reviews. The Nation described her verse as “caked with a salty humor, rough with splinters of disillusion, and tarred with a bright black authenticity”.

Ronald_D._Laing

Then I would have R. D. Laing the famed anti-psychiatrist. He and Dorothy will have a wail of a time, drinking and engaging in verbal battles with one another. He attractive, she attractive, an explosive chemistry.

“If the human race survives, future men will, I suspect, look back on our enlightened epoch as a veritable age of Darkness. They will presumably be able to savor the irony of the situation with more amusement than we can extract from it. The laugh’s on us. They will see that what we call ‘schizophrenia’ was one of the forms in which, often through quite ordinary people, the light began to break through the cracks in our all-too-closed minds.”

R.D. Laing, The Politics of Experience, p. 107.

 

320px-E._E._Cummings_NYWTS

 

Then, I would have ee cummings. He would be here for his ability to be controversial, (at times). This would be one party for stirring things up and for his way with words:

 

Buffalo Bill’s
defunct
who used to
ride a watersmooth-silver
stallion
and break onetwothreefourfive pigeonsjustlikethat
Jesus

he was a handsome man
and what i want to know is
how do you like your blueeyed boy
Mister Death

From “Buffalo Bill’s” (1920). Unfortunately the unique presentation of his words does not translate to this page.

 

And in some of my most loved words, perhaps cummings may unfurl the passion within Parker and trump Laing, from somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond:
"...your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously)her first rose..."
I would have three. The uneven number between them, means that they would vie with one another for Mrs Parker’s attention. I would simply be the mediator when things got heated…
Here are some knots from R. D. Laing:

“The range of what we think and do is limited by what we fail to notice. And because we fail to notice that we fail to notice, there is little we can do to change; until we notice how failing to notice shapes our thoughts and deeds.” 

“Rule A: Don’t. Rule A1: Rule A doesn’t exist. Rule A2: Do not discuss the existence or non-existence of Rules A, A1 or A2.

Read more at Brainy Quotes

Images Creative Commons Share Alike.

 

Provocation to Meaning | We are Called

isle

Provocation to Meaning, (inspired by Langle and Viktor Frankl – Man’s Search for Meaning)

This formed part of a portfolio for a course on Logotherapy. For Frankl, meaning has an element of a unique demand that is made on us by the situations we find ourselves in over the course of a lifetime. So this kind of turns the idea of “meaning” into something a little different to our usual ideas. It is something with which we enter into a dialogue, in the words of Langle (2003): “the capacity for dialogue is a characteristic of being a person (i.e., a being with mind and spirit and a potential for decision making.” Since we are beings who are dialogical we look for something or someone who “speaks” to us, calls us, needs us, talks to us, looks for us, challenges us. This element of provocation then emerges from everything that confronts, challenges or engages us. This being provoked means we are called.

So then this unique demand or call from a place of value creates a moral imperative to act in a personally responsible and accountable way. Each situation requires that we do or be something. This speaks to our conscience and provokes us to “do the one thing that is required.” Meaning for Frankl is not found like a gold coin under a rock, it is something given to us.

We can think of meaning as unfolded as we live our lives and are provoked to meaning and towards self-transcendence in this meaning. This meaning then is beyond and ahead of us pointing to a future. Frankl once defined meaning as: “a possibility against a background of reality”. [1]

For Frankl conscience is something spiritual and transcendent which has universal and timeless significance. Therefore, it seems to suggest that life’s meaning exists a priori, waiting to be discovered. Perhaps it is enfolded waiting to be opened, (this could also be too much poetic licence here). This makes me think of e. e cummings:

“Somewhere I have never traveled, gladly beyond

any experience, your eyes have their silence:

in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,

or which I cannot touch because they are too near.

Your slightest look easily will enclose me

though I have closed myself as fingers,

you open always petal by petal myself as spring opens

(touching skilfully, mysteriously) her first rose.”[2]

Langle, (2003) talks about a meaningful existence that is characterised by “inner consent” which relates to what we do, commit ourselves to, or leave out. This continuous consensual activity has a two-sided dialogue – one external characterised by questions like: “What appeals to me? What attracts or challenges me? Where am I needed or what do I want to do in this situation?” The other side of this dialogue goes around whether I agree with my decision. If inwardly, I have said yes then there will be harmony between inner experience and outer action.

Let’s look forward with hope then that we are all provoked to meaning to the “most worthwhile (the one of greatest value) and realistic possibility present in a given situation and one for which we feel we should decide. “ (Langle, 2003:19).

A meaningless life by contrast could be filled with trivial pursuits, such as seeking wealth, power, popularity, without an awareness of the richness of meaning. This could be characterised by depression, cruelty, sadism, anger and aggression amongst other things.

How do we experience meaning in life?

In three ways in Frankl’s view:

  1. Goals or projects – creative values
  2. Through love and loved ones – experiential
  3. Through a right attitude to life and the tragic triade: pain, guilt and death – having the right attitude – attitudinal.

[1] In Langle 2003: 34. The Art of Involving the Person.

[2] Reference for Cummings: www.k-b-c.com/poetry_eec.htm (Accessed 05/05/2012).

References:

Frankl, V. (1963). Man’s Search for Meaning.

Langle, A. (2003). The Art of Involving the Person – Fundamental Existential Motivations as the Structure of the Motivational Process. European Psychotherapy, Vol. 4, No. 1.

Image from Creative Market purchased Epilogue Presentation.