Monday, January 01, 2007

Deep in the Lake

As the beautiful Full Moon in Cancer approaches with all of its depth of feeling, bodies of water are on the mind, especially lakes, at Raging Universe.
If you look on a map of Minnesota, you will see, in the upper northwestern corner, two lakes that are joined by a little cord of water. This is Upper Red Lake and Lower Red Lake. The Upper is the one we visited this past summer. I also think the pair of lakes resemble Pisces, the fishes joined together..... Joe
I remember when Joe returned from his trip. His description stopped us in our tracks, with its longing, sincerity, and elegant beauty. A spiritual return, as I recall. Something to do with rocks on the shore.
Such is the power of lakes.
 Illustration by Kam Mak

38 Comments:

Blogger jm said...

Red lakes, blue lakes
Red fishes
Deep in the lake, all our wishes
lie waiting
waiting
waiting


jm

1/1/07 4:45 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Another view of the lake.

We had preferred a table near the lake, half out of view
Well out of hearing, for a voice not raised above
A low, impassioned question and its low reply.
We both leaned forward with our elbows on the table, and you
Watched my mouth while I answered, and it made me shy.
I looked about, but the waiters knew we were in love,
And matter-of-factly left us blissfully alone.

There swam across the lake, as I looked aside, avoiding
Your eyes for a moment, there swam under the pink and red begonias
A small creature; I thought it was a water-rat; it swam very well,
In complete silence, and making no ripples at all
Hardly; and when suddenly I turned again to you,
Aware that you were speaking, and perhaps had been speaking for some time,
I was aghast at my absence, for truly I did not know
Whether you had been asking or telling.


Edna St. Vincent Millay

1/1/07 7:56 PM  
Blogger Tseka said...

Good stuff jm
Inspiring start to the year.

Thanks for the Edna St. Vincent Millay
i may have to go find her work again you have reminded me of how beautiful her writing is how multifaceted.

1/1/07 8:45 PM  
Blogger jm said...

You know, tseka. I never really got into her writing before. It popped out recently and I'm a little entranced.

She was interesting. A very successful poet who appealed to the general public. Yet I see that some of her work is advanced. It IS multifaceted. She had both respect and appeal.

1/1/07 9:22 PM  
Anonymous JuJU said...

I've just been reading a book about how (in prose) the ways people are shown to listen or not listen reveals so much about their characters and the situation. I would guess here that the narrator's distraction by the water rat and its somewhat slippery disquieting presemce does not bode well for the future of this love affair. Other opinions?
And where are those begonias located?
I like this poem too.

1/1/07 9:43 PM  
Blogger Tseka said...

A very successful poet who appealed to the general public. Yet I see that some of her work is advanced. It IS multifaceted. She had both respect and appeal.

Just the kind of example i am interested in at the moment.

I've been thinking about marketing.
The trend is for recreational shopping, impulse purchasing. People who amuse themselves by abusing the people selling, abusing the artist, as part of their shopping experience. Then going to lunch with pals after to re-live their power to humiliate, control. As my son says what can you expect from people who hold the money, yet their greatest adventure is sitting in front of a TV or bidding on e-bay. So...I have been thinking about this new target consumer. And more the catering to this consumer.

Just as you have been thinking about music-trains and other venues to reach your audience, several artist friends who have moved to a higher level than what is currently available in the marketplace are talking among ourselves about What is Next. How do we create it? Connect to the people who are meant to receive our work yet are disgusted by the venues.

1/1/07 9:51 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Juju! Yes! I know exactly what she's saying.

I completely agree it doesn't bode well, but I think this is an underlying theme in all love relationships. The longing for more. Something else. Mystical union, and probably with the self. I love this too. It says beautifully what is underlying.

What I also love is the question, "was he asking or telling." That says so much. Speaks of authoritative characteristics, and her longing to escape some domination, yet wanting his opinions. So beautiful.

You are so perceptive. I left out the first part about the begonias, but I'll post it.

I think we all "not listen" a lot. We're trying to relate our inner selves all the time and that is distracting. The water-rat I think rperesents this. The search for the self.

1/1/07 9:52 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Tseka. This is full. Let me get back to this in a sec.

This is such a joy to share literature on this level.

Armenonville

By the lake in the Bois de Boulogne
Small begonias had been set in the embankment, both pink and red;
With polished leaf and brittle, juicy stem;
They covered the embankment; there were wagon-loads of them,
Charming and neat, gay colors in the warm shade.

We had preferred.......


"brittle, juicy stem" says more about the dilemma.

The impossible predicament of love and its longings.

1/1/07 9:58 PM  
Blogger jm said...

The trend is for recreational shopping, impulse purchasing. People who amuse themselves by abusing the people selling, abusing the artist, as part of their shopping experience

OMG. How brutally true. I don't think this is new.

several artist friends who have moved to a higher level than what is currently available in the marketplace are talking among ourselves about What is Next. How do we create it? Connect to the people who are meant to receive our work yet are disgusted by the venues.

Count me in as one. We will figure it out.

What's coming with these new disgusting venues is freedom for us as well. We can bypass agents who usually deal with the shit, but we have to learn.

I think we are in the brainstorming part now, It will come clear if our desire is strong enough.

Whoever holds the money has the power and it is the age-old game of jumping through the hoops to get it.

I can only think of making the decision to keep self respect intact whatever the cost as a start. Prostitution has always been the means to get it. So if I stick to that, the money in the hand will buy nothing if they insist on playing that game.

Walking away from the deal, like you did. But it's much more. Maybe by consolidating our efforts will have a better chance. The game is powerful. ancient, and daunting. Goes back to the money lenders and the temples.

The artist sometimes thinks she's above this, too pure, and maybe she is and should continue to be so. It's our decision.

1/1/07 10:08 PM  
Anonymous juju said...

Oh -- its funny -- I didn't know there was more to the poem -- but that explains why I couldn't place the flowers. I think you are right on with your observation about the brittle/juicy quality of the stems reflecting relationship. And the mind escaping to go elsewhere. I can see the water rat as a search for the self, but to me it is also a little more ominous, an undercurrent of something uncanny and hidden and sexual drawing the narrator away from the lover. Of course the self may have its uncanny sides as well.
Thank you for this poem. It has definitely made an impression tonight.

1/1/07 10:14 PM  
Blogger jm said...

I started to get a handle on Edna St., and I will pursue this. She had a good life and yet her artistic tragic side is apparent. Let me look into it and see how she did it.

Targeting is what I've been thinking about most. Like the archer, the centaur, the arrow we've been talking about. I think if it starts from the right source within, the consumers will appear and the aim will follow.

I do think there is a secret stone of knowledge on this, and I AIM to find it. I want most of all to communicate myself genuinely.

There is a very good movie of an interview with Federico Fellini on this subject. I'll get the title. You would like this.

1/1/07 10:17 PM  
Blogger jm said...

And thank you for the addition juju. The added dimensions of our experience are the best part. So seldom can I share these things and I do love it.

1/1/07 10:18 PM  
Anonymous Juju said...

The arrow, the bridge, Saggitarius, the idea of the target. All this is so fascinating to me. Some time ago I was in a class where we were designing (metaphorical) houses that were bridges. The idea of living on the bridge. In this poem the water rat (I wanted to call it an otter) is the bridge, is the trajectory out from the closed world of the lovers --to us. Perhaps this idea could be considered too in the making of art.

1/1/07 10:28 PM  
Blogger jm said...

The name of the Fellili doc is "I'm a Born Liar".

He also made films that had popular appeal but he had complete control over the entire production, and stayed true to his vision. His first departure into his fantasy films were not met with enthusiasm but the public eventually went wild.

he was accused of being a puppet master on the set, and when asked about this, he replied, "nothing wrong with this as long as the master is good".

He said it in such a way that I knew he was right. In some ways I think this is how the marketing must be done. Under our control, without fear and shame.

He was a Capricorn with Venus in Sagittarius, and he was a perfectionist who knew how to control, but also had a great love of people and the skill to sell himself.

Sagittarius is perfect for this and we would be remiss in shortchanging ourselves in the upcoming promotion.

I think it starts with the belief.

1/1/07 10:33 PM  
Blogger jm said...

I wanted to call it an otter

Fascinating. Something about that rat. And relationship. Otters are so playful and harmless.

the bridge, is the trajectory out from the closed world of the lovers --to us. Perhaps this idea could be considered too in the making of art

Yes. I have a strong feeling about bridges. I'm on one now. The bridge out from his domination is what I get, plus the illusion of their love as the waiters behaved and the flowers represented. Yes, Absolutely.

So how do we translate this to the bridge and the way out for our artistic expression?

I think you're right about the closed factor. I think artists are way beyond the interpersonal, and this is problematic. There is a loneliness is the pursuit of the transpersonal and the wider connection.

The water-rat. it swam very well,
In complete silence, and making no ripples at all

What about that?

1/1/07 10:43 PM  
Anonymous juju said...

I think the swimming well in silence goes back to your comments about Fellini working "without fear or shame." A kind of directness that has nothing to do with the proprietry and prettiness of what is above -- the polished leaf above the brittle, juicy stem. Its something else, a purposeful journey, that is in some ways so self-contained it draws us to it. I'm just wildly speculating here. But I think we're often drawn to or fascinated by those people who are sure in themselves and aren't aiming to please us, or needy of our approval. Of course there is also a kind of narcissism that is repellent that maybe very close to this, but I think they are (ideally) different things.

1/1/07 10:48 PM  
Blogger jm said...

I think there are many interwoven factors.

Confidence is a must. Especially for women who forsake much of their traditional role. The freedom to eschew the usual things people are concerned with, and the freedom to be ego driven and even obsessed with ourselves and our work. Men seem to have the go-ahead on this. It's vital. As an artist, one is up against the whole world, it seems, and it takes a unflagging application of might. Too much sentimentality and shame about the ego can cripple.

We can't do everything. A lot of sacrifices are required, I think. For me there's no question. It's easy to sacrifice. One lifetime is not enough to express what I want to. Even my own ambition marketwise sometimes seems like a distraction. The desire for validation from "them". I don't like it, but I feel it.

It's mostly internal. I think there is a battery and a drive that takes the artist to her destination no matter what the market conditions are. They really are meaningless, The work is outside time and trend.

1/1/07 10:54 PM  
Anonymous juju said...

Back to the lakes. Diving in.
Good night again.

1/1/07 11:00 PM  
Blogger jm said...

without fear or shame." A kind of directness that has nothing to do with the proprietry and prettiness of what is above -- the polished leaf above the brittle, juicy stem.

This is great. So well said juju. The brittle juicy stem says it. The brittle is the hard part for me.

a purposeful journey, that is in some ways so self-contained

Yes again. In fact, I was saying the same exact thing while you were. We're right.

Of course there is also a kind of narcissism that is repellent that maybe very close to this,

Absolutely. And it's a must. The shame and fear around this are the problems. The artist has to love his reflection. His work is himself. Others copy and take orders from others and don't know the value of narcissism.

It's perfectly all right for a female to preen and make herself up for hours in front of a mirror according to the latest dictates of fashion, but for a woman to dedicate her life to herself....well.

1/1/07 11:03 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Good night juju. Thank you for the brilliance.

1/1/07 11:04 PM  
Blogger jm said...

This Full Moon coming up in Cancer is monumental and I will be posting on it in the next few days. Some of these issues are involved.

1/1/07 11:06 PM  
Blogger Donnie McDaniel said...

"This Full Moon coming up in Cancer is monumental"

Did someone mention Cancer? Well here I am you raven haired beauty.

2/1/07 12:58 AM  
Blogger jm said...

Donnie

How nice to see you.

2/1/07 2:36 AM  
Blogger jm said...

Full Moon; 12 degrees 48' Cancer

USA Sun:
13 degrees 19' Cancer

Jm's IC: 12 degrees 23' Cancer

2/1/07 2:45 AM  
Blogger Donnie McDaniel said...

Good Morning JM. How are you this morn my dear?

2/1/07 6:17 AM  
Blogger Tseka said...

Nice dialogue here.
(American is dialog??? so says google's spellcheck like catalogue/catalog perhaps?)

In any case you women did an amazing integration of thoughts. I loved reading it this morning. I will be pondering the target, the stone and the bridge all day.

The river rat, i see him as the easy fluid escape from a place of some discomfort or boredom. One is supposed to be pleased by the courting male's attention, but perhaps his conversation felt more like an entrapment. A leaf floating from a tree would have been just as easy to hitch a ride on to escape. She is engaged in a love affair with the world but the man is only superficially part of it.

Lot's here to think about. Thank you.

2/1/07 8:05 AM  
Blogger Kadimiros said...

Ambivalence, on some level.

2/1/07 8:31 AM  
Blogger jm said...

the easy fluid escape from a place of some discomfort or boredom.

Yes. Tuning him out. Love affair for looks and not substance. Boredom says it perfectly.

Ambivalence, on some level.

Which is part of much experience eventually. Maybe moreso with women This is up for change in the country now.

2/1/07 2:14 PM  
Blogger jm said...

American is dialog??? so says google's spellcheck like catalogue/catalog perhaps?)

That's funny. I keep wanting to spell them the English way. Both are right. Land of the Free, after all!

2/1/07 2:42 PM  
Blogger Kadimiros said...

"Which is part of much experience eventually. Maybe moreso with women This is up for change in the country now."

Well, more clarity from anyone would certainly ease things around that person. :-) People can have ambivalent feelings...or not, to various degrees, and possibly unrecognized. Experiences just tend to follow people's lead, and if their energy is confused, so will be the events they attract. Judging from bad date stories I've heard from friends, unresolved confusion can lead to unpleasant results. Live and learn, I suppose!

2/1/07 5:31 PM  
Blogger jm said...

People can have ambivalent feelings...or not, to various degrees, and possibly unrecognized.

It's like the chem lab. Hormones and all the chemicals in constant flux create these feelings all the time. They come and go. The doubts actually serve a purpose. They creates some detachment and ultimately a clearer perspective.

The same situation can be 100% right one moment, and 100% wrong the next. Such is the ride of changing feelings, ruled by our silver moon.

The trick is not to fear the ambivalence, but use it.

I don't think we have control over these love affairs. The relationship is an entity in itself with a path of its own. One might thnk s/he ends or begins them, but I don't think so.

2/1/07 5:42 PM  
Blogger jm said...

I think the story of Psyche and Eros is applicable here. The longing to merge with the love object and the inability to see it.

2/1/07 5:59 PM  
Blogger Kadimiros said...

"The trick is not to fear the ambivalence, but use it."

Fear not, it's just an experience!

I'm not sure what question there might be about relationships and control or lack of it.

I don't think the relationship continues exactly without the people giving it energy. They're not exactly separate, so the issue of control sounds confusing to me (if control implies separation). I'd have to hear something less abstract to discuss it.

I do think that people can feel empowered to choose to have more clarity in and about their relationships. Learning from experiences helps in that. Whether a relationship continues or ends, well, clarity in itself doesn't say, I suppose.

2/1/07 6:19 PM  
Blogger jm said...

I agree that the relationship responds to the energy of the participants. But I basically think that it's almost like a third person with a consciousness of its own. The combination of the
two systems. I think the clues come in awareness of this other....the third. Astrology helps clarify, but experience will do the trick with observation.

2/1/07 6:43 PM  
Blogger jm said...

I'm not sure how much control we ever have when others are implicated. Events happen and we seem to control them by being in synch sometimes, but it's the great philospophical question. What's in charge?

2/1/07 6:45 PM  
Blogger Kadimiros said...

I guess I don't think about relationships in terms of control, so.... You dance as well as you can, try not to step on each other's toes, and hopefully it works out well with the partner's steps.

As far as I can tell, relationships tend to end when they have served their purposes.

If we're separate from the power of life, then we're definitely not in charge. Or maybe my friend is right when he says that other people are other faces of the same divine energy. That's how he experiences it, apparently.

It looks different from different points of view. Hence, philosophical arguments. Maybe all views and experiences, however divergent, are essential parts of the mix.

Now I'm wondering how to tell when the poet is talking about having dinner with a man rather than with a woman, seeing as she had many affairs with both. :-)

2/1/07 7:34 PM  
Blogger jm said...

I guess I don't think about relationships in terms of control, so.... You dance as well as you can, try not to step on each other's toes, and hopefully it works out well with the partner's steps.

And you're one of a small group on this. Advanced. Well said.

As far as I can tell, relationships tend to end when they have served their purposes.

I agree.

2/1/07 10:11 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Now I'm wondering how to tell when the poet is talking about having dinner with a man rather than with a woman, seeing as she had many affairs with both. :-)

You're right. No gender mentioned.

2/1/07 10:12 PM  

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