The aesthetics of life (i). What life 'is like'. On Rosebud.

I do not wish to rush this blog, to hurry to conclusions that should rather be drawn together from reflections on its subject matters. But at this point I should make a few comments that will I hope become more important later on.
What is it like to live life, and what gives it content, a content we would dearly love to hold on to forever, if we could bear the thought of eternity? There is a secret to life that you will rarely find in the pages of even the greatest novels,perhaps not even in the most profound music. It is the hidden art of life, the knitting together of which creates a dynamic that we can hardly describe, let alone analyse. It is born from the phenomenology of life, our point of view that can have no general theory simply because it arises from pure subjectivity, like all art. I believe it is a general phenomenon that is shared by all of all persuasions about religion, and none. Let us name it and thus bring it a little into the light.

I recently sat in a railway station waiting to change trains. It was in the late afternoon of the summer, and the weather was not kind. A young man sat on the platform with a guitar and played rather a sad ballade. On the platform opposite, a couple embraced; and as they did so, a goods train, with all its noise and power, slowly moved in front of them as it pulled out of the station. None of these events was extraordinary; but their combination created a strangely still moment of the utmost beauty. It was gone in an instant, like all experiences of the sublime are. Or think of a nostalgic memory from childhood, walking along the edge of a wood in the late evening as dusk turns to night; or the sight of a child's bicycle lying in the sun in a meadow; or the glimpse of droplets of water in a spider's web in the dewy early morning. A woman walks past a shop, her legs moving in strange concord with the ticking of the clock inside. What strange symmetries are formed in these, crafted in light and shade. How we cherish them, and long for them still when years are past and we remember them, insignificant though they were. Even under duress can such moments come to us; opening the curtains to the morning on the day of an interview, or visiting a desperately ill relative in hospital. All the shape of life is formed around them. They are indeed the fragments we shore against our ruins. At such moments of the sublime, time slows for an instant, and they hang like insects in a warm summer evening; still for ever and yet instantly gone, flitting away into twilight. Such small, simple things.

In Citizen Kane, which is truly great despite its fame, the poor damaged anti-hero lies on his deathbed and whispers of such a moment, held close despite a lifetime of self-destructive sorrow. It is a moment that stands as one of the pinnacles of western art, a glimpse of what it truly is to be human, and to know it. The children's author "BB" knew it too:

The wonder of the world
The beauty and the power,
The shapes of things,
Their colours, lights and shades,
These I saw.
Look ye also while life lasts.

Postat av: Johannes Jäger

"the humble power of the simplest things" Heidegger
thank you for your texts.

2007-12-27 @ 12:55:09
Postat av: winhammea

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2013-09-12 @ 01:31:49

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