It feels like Sunday today. I'm in need of total Bach annihilation. And the organ blasted through the speakers will take care of it. It must be the Ascension Day yesterday that still weighs on me. Gertrude Stein also weighs on me. After her successful tour of America after 30 years of absence, she came back to Paris and decided that she didn't know who she was anymore. This was very unlike Gertrude, who was famous for her precision, and thus never posed questions as to the shifting signifiers of pronoun positionality. Who? Who is this person? And what does she move towards? I read these lines in William Carlos Williams on Gertrude Stein:

Movement (for which in a petty way logic is taken), the so-called search for truth and beauty, is for us the effect of a breakdown of the attention. But movement must not be confused with what we attach to it but, for the rescuing of the intelligence, must always be considered aimless, without progress.

This is the essence of all knowledge.

Bach might be an illustration of movement not suborned by a freight of purposed design, loaded upon it as in almost all later musical works; statement unmusical and unnecessary, Stein’s "They lived very gay then" has much of the same quality of movement to be found in Bach—the composition of the words determining not the logic, not the "story," not the theme even, but the movement itself. As it happens, "They were both gay there" is as good as some of Bach’s shorter figures.

Music could easily have a statement attached to each note in the manner of words, so that C natural might mean the sun, etc., and completely dull treatises be played—and even sciences finally expounded in tunes.

Either, we have been taught to think, the mind moves in a logical sequence to a definite end which is its goal, or it will embrace movement without goal other than movement itself for an end and hail "transition" only as supreme. (Imaginations, 350)

I'm still looking at the picture of Jesus ascending the sky, while using his finger to hold the sky, or point to it, or admonish the crowd. Who knows what master Garofolo was thinking?

Between ascent and descent, this morning in the bathroom I got greeted by Rilke: “And if I cried, who'd listen to me in those angelic orders?” And I'm thinking: who is this “I?” Who? And how does she handle it?


Manna Hojda said…
She handles it with grace, which is the specialty of all those who can fly. And you are a master.

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