Aesthetics of the Felt World, iii
Where do we keep our great knowledge?
In books, pages, scrolls…
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.
These, our living ways of believing ourselves—
noting the mighty, winged grip of
the spell of the sensuous.
Experiential realization of
how very much we will never know.
Our sweet human hearts dedicated to shamelessly inadequate
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
Living, breathing, felt world