Friday, October 7, 2011

What's The Matter With Margaret Gridley?

What’s the matter with Margaret Gridley? Margaret Gridley is logical.

                  - Philip Whalen

What’s the matter with Margaret Gridley? Margaret Gridley is human. What does it mean to be human?

It is human to want blankets for sleep. It is human to want to sleep. It is human to get dressed in the morning and go look for a job. It is human to look in a mirror and wonder if one is attractive. It is human to find mobility in feet. It is human to walk. Even better to drive a car. A car with a wheels of ivory and an engine of gold. Tires of Brazilian rubber. Ornaments of Rumanian chrome. A dashboard with the numinous promise of electroluminescent polymers and a finely calibrated instrument cluster.

Margaret Gridley loves her instrument cluster. Who wouldn’t? It escalates the sugar of vision.

Margaret Gridley is companionable and occasionally amatory.

Margaret Gridley is equitable and witty.

But enough about Margaret Gridley. I want to talk about neckties. Who wears them, and why.

I prefer the bolo. It slips on easily. No knot necessary. And there is a shine in the movement.

Like that of the soul. As it slides up and down the braids of heaven.

The Navajo believed the soul to be part of a divine being called the Holy Wind. The Holy Wind suffused the universe, giving life, thought, speech and the power of movement to all living things. Their sandpaintings are full of symbolically expressed motion: whirling snakes, rotating logs, streaming head feathers, whirling rainbows and feathered travel hoops: magical means of travel.

Easy to see why Pollock was so enamored of Navajo sandpainting.

When language was born, the sea strained to come out of the mouths of people in the form of words. Words as waves that floated boats of meaning.

Illogic can't be taught, though it can be taut. - Michael Schein.

Taut as a surfboard. Tart as a tart. Torn as a tear. Tender as a fender.

I cannot keep my subject still. It wants to wander. Forever wander. Meander.

The question of form is inextricably mingled with expression.

From Latin ex, out, plus Latin pressare, to press. To press out.

Expression is a pressing out. Form is the form that form assumes in being pressed into existence. Paint on a canvas, words on a page.

Pigment is squeezed from a tube. Words are squeezed by lung into the chamber of the mouth where they are shaped on the palate and extruded into the outer air. Air mingling with air. Sound mingling with sound. Form mingling with form.

Japanese zuihitsu: following the impulses of the brush. Starting at one place, ending up at another. Like life.

The effort, generally, to get to the energies, and not end up with dead tripe.

No one can put their finger on it. It’s partly empirical, in the sense of air, and sound, and clarinet, but mostly, essentially, diaphanous emission, the trembling of gauze in a quiet African room.

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