Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Logic and Sex

"In this there is no measuring with time. A year doesn't matter; ten years are nothing. To be an artist means not to compute or count; it means to ripen as the tree, which does not force its sap, but stands unshaken in the storms of spring with no fear that summer might not follow. It will come regardless. But it comes only to those who live as though eternity stretches before them, carefree, silent, and endless. I learn it daily, learn it with pains, for which I am grateful: patience is all!"
-Rainer Maria Rilke in Letters to a Young Poet

"Logic and sex."  I wrote that in my journal right after I wrote the Rilke quotation. I'm not entirely sure why.  It has something to do with my frustration with life's forcing me to logically sort out my daily duties for survival, health, social interactions, work, etc., when at times, I'd like to approach life more like sex: discovering and progressing through instincts and the senses. Logic aids sex and instincts aid navigating life, but I feel logic gets more attention.  Probably for the better. But it still makes me squirm sometimes.

Instead of writing an essay, I'd like to write a poem on "logic and sex", but I can't really figure out how to do that right now.

Rilke's words are a comfort, because he says instincts help, and analysis (computing/counting) isn't always best.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Book Father on 5th Avenue

Got Blake's Songs of Experience from man on street with foldout table and 50 paperbacks who prides himself on his selection.  He sits and reads and sells all books for $5. Three weeks ago, not knowing him, I asked if he'd accept my 4 sole dollars for a book, and he said: "No, but you can take the book for now and come back with the extra dollar later."

I'm always attempting, I think, to dive into the soul, into what matters in life, and this man has it. He was endlessly charming, sitting on his chair and selling books that mean something to him.  When I told him he had a nice selection, he said "I try to keep one."

Old man enjoying his retirement, giving wonderful books to others -- cheap, but in good condition. All books are clean, though used. And he has not only good taste in literature, but editions as well. I bought a van Gogh set of prints collected with biography and essays for $5 -- paperback w/excellent prints (color) and in excellent condition.