Monday, August 16, 2010
"The barren desert that I was, I wanted to populate with words; I wanted to weave a veil of writing to hide the hollow sockets of my gaze; I did not succeed; and the stubborn void of the page contaminated the world that it completely evaded."
Pierre Michon Small Lives
Monday, August 09, 2010
And then there's Gary Snyder:
"It is a perfectly simple, ordinary activity to be silent, to pay attention to your own consciousness and your breath, and to temporarily stop listening or looking at things that are coming in from the outside. To let them pass through you as they happen. There's no question that spending time with your own consciousness is instructive. You learn a lot. You can just watch what goes on in your own mind, and some of the beneficial effects are you get bored with some of your own tapes and quit playing them back to yourself."
Re-reading a book of interviews with Beat writers and poets, I realized many talk about breath and meditation and how it pertains to the writing practice. Here's Allen Ginsburg lecturing an NYU class in the mid-90s:
"So the basic classical practice is paying attention to the breath leaving the nostril and following the breath until it dissolves, not controlling the breath, just any regular old natural breath that comes along will do. What you are adding is your awareness of the breath rather than any control...When you notice you are thinking, label it thinking and take a friendly attitude toward your thoughts. That is the nature of the mind to think thoughts."
Thursday, August 05, 2010
"What technology really does is make our days seem to move too slowly, the nonstop flicker and flight of all our mechanisms stranding us within what, by contrast, becomes an even more static present. We, in other words, devise the illusion of our own discomfort even as we continue to make life easier. We resist our mechanisms even as we go on inventing them."
Charles Siebert Wickerby