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  • C. Jensen

Aesthetics of the Felt World, iii

Where do we keep our great knowledge?

In books, pages, scrolls…

But...


where do we go to learn it, remember, feel our great love and fear of

Gaia—our womb, hammock and eventual tomb?


The trees. The desert, the stream, the plain, mountain, sea, shoreline, ridge, orchard, garden, abandoned marble quarry with its Janus-face of stone-cast shadow diagonal cutting the brilliant sun. The creek behind my childhood home with crushed wild strawberry blossoms and shale. The giving, eastern white pine in the front yard, whose every sap-bleeding crook and crevice my fingertips and knees and toes knew and knew and knew…

And if we have no recourse to return to these places, where do we go then?

Fleeting and mercurial memories? Decimated troves of photos, lost shoe boxes, curled and brittle?


We read and remember, honoring former witnesses and scribes,

pages crisp and crumpled

the evidence of their devotion.

The shrinking of millennia into moments by lovingly observed marks on paper.

We make our own mnemonic devices.

Writing.

Recording

Drawing.

These, our living ways of believing ourselves—

noting the mighty, winged grip of

the spell of the sensuous.


Nature and

Culture

Experiential realization of

how very much we will never know.

Our sweet human hearts dedicated to shamelessly inadequate

Words, art.


Love poems to the cultivated

Love poems to the wild

Book-learning simulacra of the

limitless but not infinite,

world they describe.

Image, prose, symbol, design.

All poetry keeping the material of knowing ready for the retelling

memories of crushed golden grasses become whiffs of cellulose.

At our best we are

shameless about our inadequacy to bear full witness to our

brutal, beautiful

Living, breathing, felt world

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