Tuesday, December 02, 2014

THE ARUM LILY, PRELUDE TO A THOUGHT



The detritus of a night’s drinking and eating, talk, bad jokes and good laughs, are spilt across the black tablecloth. The music in the background and the guests have long since vanished, taking with them all their noise, their words, their good philosophies, and all their better explanations.  The curtains, blood red velvet, are drawn. Three wine glasses stand together in a little family group, for we were the last to let them rest. Dregs in two, each one is clouded with fingerprints just to prove to me that it all really turned out so marvellously well.


Both of you retired to your bed I do not know how many eons ago, but I am too overtired to sleep so instead I am gazing into nowhere and toying with all those clever retorts that as usual always occur to me too late to be used. I am toying with memories of when there was more future than past in my life, and I know there are thoughts I can escape from, that I can re-educate, and thoughts that will return with exquisite stubbornness. These of this particular moment, I realise, are simply the same as ever they were, but pondered with more pompous vocabulary, a reflection of the company we keep, but I am thinking in words, the prelude to a thought.


A beam of light from some other universe, outside, over there, which I do not wish to investigate, shines at a slight angle through one of the claret stained glasses and throws a dash of sepia tinted infinity across the dark tablecloth, a galaxy for a thought. This is the thought. I am out of myself; I might even be out of body. What then, am I a spectator to?





He is mesmerized but a little sad and at a loss for words. That moment is when the images come. The Arum lily dances here and it dances there. The images are charged with content, contradictory content, juxtapositions of beauty and the not so beautiful, they flow in and out of each other, they are intimate with each other and he appears to be living in a film, or some obscure novel, in a dark corner, in the dark shadows of a stale, empty room, a room that has become a cell delineating the limits of his particular imagination. There are, of course, intrusions from outside, visions, perspectives from outside, from the other side of the drawn curtain, but they are processed inside that skull, his skull, in that dark corner, in that dark cell.

So he understands that this particular instant of imagination is charged with symbols. Simple symbols these, which need no encyclopaedia of symbolism to be interpreted. Simple symbols these, which do not dictate an interpretation such as Freud’s symbolism tended to do. Give the poor man Jung’s free association, simple symbols that fade in and out of understanding as one scene in a film fades into another, as one word is born into a sentence and dies into the paragraph to be assimilated into vague memories of an obscure, half-forgotten novel, a novel born again as a script for this incoherent film of a slice of life.


I am myself again, of course and, of course, nothing is quite as complicated as simple things, simple thoughts. It is impossible to explain beauty, you simply point it out. Beauty seems simple. Beauty might well be different for each and every viewer, but, to each and every one of them it is beautiful. The reasons behind the drive to destruction, the desire to sully beauty, are seemingly complicated. Reams of treatises have been dedicated to finding an explanation, to finding an excuse to excuse humanity its irrevocable attraction towards destruction. Behind every drawn curtain, mine, yours, a hundred, millions, under every burning light bulb, mine, yours, a hundred, millions, there is beauty, but the beast has hidden itself in the shadows, just to afford beauty the delicacy it needs to become sublime.

In the blink of an eye.