Ancient Stone Wall Close-Ups

Imagine being Picasso and walking out of the Lascaux Cave and muttering, “We have learned nothing.” Imagine this neither being facetious nor a judgment of utter disappointment.rock wall 4

Imagine it just being a statement of fact. Imagine it being just a pronouncement of what is, an objective enough comment. Not only has art not moved in 17,000 thousand years, but from that time on we as humans beings ourselves have not learned a thing.

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As a statement of fact, it is quite a thing for one man to say, for him to have said. As a joke of sorts, it is the typical sort of flyaway comment made all the time. That, like so many things said sarcastically or in jest, is pretty easy to take.

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But I rather think, like the setting of the sun done for the day, that it was made in the spirit of simple truth rather than the wry, self-serving smile of irony.

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It Was A Sky Blue Sky

mediterranean machinery

The preservation of most private moments is lost. These could be decades ago or they could be tomorrow. Gone is the fingered picking through a crate of manila folders, the little creases they get from being pulled out and pushed back in. Gone is the eye standing above, looking below. The quiet blue Mediterranean blue sea was there. And so was that other self deciding ‘whether or not’—whether to take a picture or not, whether to let the shutter fall or not, whether to set the aperture’s opening even smaller, and to take the light in there—or not. The abolishment of this, when “1” now equals “0”—mere placemarkers, not just photography is abolished but it abolishes time itself. Synchronic memory is gone. When a small sector of the world is scanned, forgotten now is the stillness in time, and one’s very place in it—in that—is altogether completely gone. Though one can pick up, pick through, pull out a true photograph from those former times when one was truly alive, and remember the once living self that almost innocently decided to trespass upon daily quietness and take that picture, a remnant of another age, now gone, now held, now remembered itself as ‘artifact’, as fossil, as archeology, as one’s own passing anthropology, and so long as hands can hold it, a 3”X 5” or 4”X6”, a very old picture is so beautiful to behold.

History, What Is History?

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Every river has a bridge. And every island town a saint. Often, these are never built, never seen. Much of what is leftover will show the habits of the people who are no longer there. Not just to imagine, but to know what we cannot ever see—how, for instance, a galaxy beyond our deepest possible human travels turns itself in space—is new to us. This we can know, just as we can know how quickly an apple dropped to the ground falls, accelerates. In general, we are much more used to delapidation and decay here on earth. To get from one muddy bank to the other, one might need a ferryman. One will need to have arrived at that very spot where he polls his ferry across the current. Or not. If not, that bridge may someday be constructed. If not, in the middle of the ocean, one day a temple may be erected. If not, there may be other things that must occur. Or not.