"Along time ago in China there were cities with high walls surrounding them, with huge, magnificent gates. The gates weren't just doors for letting people in or out but had greater significance. People believed the city's soul resided in the gates. Or at least that it should reside there. It's like in Europe in the Middle Ages when people felt a city's heart lay in its cathedral and central square. Which is why even today in China there a lots of wonderful gates still standing. Do you know how the Chinese built these gates?"
"I have no idea," Sumire answered.
"People would take carts out to old battlefields and gather the bleached bones that were buried there or that lay scattered about. China's a pretty ancient country - lots of old battle grounds - so they never had to search far. At the entrance to the city they'd construct a huge gate and seal the bones inside. They hoped that by commemorating them this way the dead soldiers would continue to guard their town. There's more. When the gate was finished they'd bring several dogs over to it, slit their throats and sprinkle their blood on the gate. Only by mixing fresh blood with the dried-out bones would the ancient souls of the dead magically revive. At least that was the idea."
Sumire waited silently for me to go on.
"Writing novels is much the same. You gather up bones and make your gate, but no matter how wonderful the gate might be, that alone doesn't make it a living, breathing novel. A story is not something of this world. A real story requires a kind of magical baptism to link the world on this side with the world on the other side."
"So what you're saying is that I go out on my own and find my own dog?"
"And shed fresh blood?"
Sumire bit her lip and thought about this. She tossed another hapless stone in the pond. "I really don't want to kill an animal if I can help it."
"It's a metaphor," I said. I said, "You don't have to actually kill anything."
(Haruki Murakami. Sputnik Sweetheart. 16)
- See: Artists
:: note :: ... the metaphor works for education too ... the fiction of Murakami has brought much joy to my summer reading ...
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
"Everyone stands alone at the heart of the world pierced by a ray of sunlight, and suddenly it is evening."(Salvatore Quasimodo)
- See: Poetry
:: note :: ... an overwhelming beginning overflowing with gratitude and appreciation ... practice the art of the beginner ... to all cry & reach across infinite space into the heart's deepest well where the moonlight resides guiding ... bless you ...
Monday, August 28, 2006
Monday, August 14, 2006
"... If we didn't enjoy the war on terror, it would collapse."(I cite | Enjoying Terror)
"'The first idea was 'OK, we don't go,' because it's impossible to put the rare instruments in the baggage [hold],'concertmaster and soloist Alessandro Tampieri told CBC News."(cbc.ca | arts&entertainment | Baroque concert saved by loaned instruments )
- See: Politics
:: note :: ... yes ... the power heirarchy has too much joy ...
Thursday, August 10, 2006
"In earlier times, festivals like Lincoln Center's existed to display what artists had created in the normal course of business. Theater and dance troupes would come from all over, bringing the same works they played for their audiences at home. Nowadays, festivals are everywhere, a globalized phenomenon like mass marketing, and pieces that have no effective existence in their home countries are manufactured for the sole purpose of migrating from festival to festival."(Village Voice | Theater |Bits of Pieces Crossbreeding cultures is fine, but what if nothing grows out of it? | Michael Feingold)
- See: Theater
:: note :: ... reading & experiencing this phenomena more and more which continues to confirm the marketing of theater whatever scale from small fringe to international spectacular ... quality sacrificed for marketing ...
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
"... [power] lies in the fact that [repetitive musics] cause the forgetting of what is being repeated and they make for a nonforgetting of time as a beat in place. Tradition is that which concerns time, not content. Whereas what the West wants from autonomy, invention, novelty, self-determination is the opposite - to forget time and to preserve, acquire and accumulate contents. To turn them into what we call history, and to think that it progresses because it accumulates. On the contrary, in the case of popular traditions ... nothing is accumulated, that is, the narratives must be repeated all the time because they are forgotten all the time. But what does not get forgotten is the temporal beat that does not stop sending the narratives to oblivion. "(Just Gaming
- See: Image
:: note :: ... the whole dada movement about spontaneity in process, work & performance lives & is continually documented ... it is a practice of devising and a response to the structural violence & separation of people from power ... an eternal response felt as much today as yesterday ... memory, tradition, history: slippery words ...
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
"Art can be a career, but it is also a way of life. What does that mean? What is the place of art in life? What does the practice of art mean to the artist's inner life, and what is the place of one's inner life in art that is made for others to see? This is something I want to think more about, and if possible hear about from you."(Two Artists Talking (CA & JM) | Saturday night: art comes from many places)
- See: Artists
:: note :: ... dialogue project ... seems (listening in as it begins) a bit formal/forced ... a few posts later warmer ...