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Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Life Flowed Between Us


File:Rivers Southern India 88.74820E 21.89536N.jpg

Life flowed between us

File:Hawaii lava flow 1.JPG

It was the voice in the shadows
that flows between the centuries

File:Tana 39.41642E 0.95086S.jpg

like dark hair flows
across a pillow

File:Lava flow at hawaii.JPG

When I looked
I knew what it was like

File:SonghuaRiver ASTER 20020401.jpg

to dip a foot
into the river of forgetfulness

File:Pāhoehoe Lava flow.JPG

And the voice said

File:River Plate.jpg

Go ahead

Rivers of southern India: photo by NASA, 2005
Pahoehoe lava flow, Big Island of Hawaii: photos by Mila Zinkova, 2007
Tana River, Kenya: photo by NASA, 2005
Songhua River, just west of Haerbin, China: photo by NASA, 2002
Delta of the River Plate
: image by Jacques Descloitres (NASA), 2003
Landscape with a River and a Bay: Joseph Mallord William Turner, 1835-1840 (Musée du Louvre, Paris)

10 comments: said...

thank you

Dale said...

The pace between the images and the writing is remarkable. I don't know how you do it. It's so good to see.

Mariana Soffer said...

Things are always flawed my friend, perfection always escape. But do let your foot get in to the place that is forgetful, that is the better step you can take.

TC said...

The river of forgetfulness, I suppose, is merely another neurological (non)event.

Melissa, thanks for being in the flow.

And Dale, thanks again for being there in the night.

Mariana, you are teaching me, after many errors, about which foot to put forward. (Or are there any errors?)

BTW, this poem is dedicated to A...

Anonymous said...

Impressive, really. The words flow just like the images you mention. Their sounds make music. I just loved it.

TC/BTP said...

Thank you Lucy.

(And speaking of Flow, dear readers,it's to be found everywhere in Lucy's marvelous blog, which can be accessed by clicking on her name. It's in Spanish/English... or world-language... and the international language of images helps one get into the flow of things.)

Elmo St. Rose said...

At a time like this it never hurts
to quote the late master, Robert
Creeley, who was fond of quoting
Heraclitus: You never step in the
same river twice

TC said...

... unless you're crazy... at a time like this... when everything (else) hurts.

So I went and consulted a scholastic theologian.

Hello, how are you? I would like to talk about a particular situation. I'm sure you have
heard of the phrase " You can never step into the same river twice". To me, this
basically means that a person's experience compared with another experience(s) can
never be exactly the same, even if the general experience is of the same nature. But
what happens if suddenly stepping into the river day after day gets boring and
stressful? Is there something wrong with the river or with the person stepping into it?
Is the person doing something wrong, approaching it in the wrong way, or is there
some psychological component to this? (Let's say the person is doing the best he/she
can, and trying to stay positive.) What does the river stand for metaphorically
anyway? (Sometimes the river seem hard to comprehend and just seem hard to grasp
mentally). Sometimes the river seems random and hard to control. What are your
thoughts on this? Thank you for your time.

Heraclitus said this famous phrase, and it wasn't in reference to a metaphorical river, but to an actual river. Early philosophy was concerned with explaining change and what it meant to our very ability to persist through time. When he said that you cannot step into the same river twice, he meant quite literally that the river you step in is very different each time you step in it (from a purely molecular level, this is true, as water which was upstream is now down stream, and none of the water molecules are where they were when you first stepped into it).

As for the discrepancy of perceptions (ie. "a person's experience compared with another experience(s) can never be exactly the same, even if the general experience is of the same nature"), a number of philosophers have noted this, and it leaves one either accepting an Aristotelian theory of forms in knowledge [i.e. the overarching form of the thing experienced remains the same, so all knowers know the same thing by knowing its form], or else a radical skepticism a la Quine and the other moderns who think you can know nothing.).

Hope that helps!


-J.M.J. West

Now that's odd. I had always thought that what H meant was that each successive time you step into the river you have inevitably changed at least a bit since the last time and are therefore not the same person... and that folds back into the idea of the endlessly reconfigurable selves (see "Bliss").

Then again, saying this, I suppose I'm living proof of the theory of Quine and the other moderns who think you can know nothing.

Anonymous said...

I never step into anything......I jump.... with both feet!
But this is lovely, you.I am liking how you use so few words (I have such a short attention span)and yet the reader (this reader) can ponder much.

TC said...


"I never step into anything......I jump.... with both feet!"

Oh, my! Now that you've confessed to being that way, so can I.