Unreal Nature

June 21, 2015

The Pure Scission That Is Always Prior

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 6:17 am

… the man who is ready to translate is in a constant, dangerous, and admirable intimacy …

This is from the essay ‘Translating’ found in the collection, Friendship by Maurice Blanchot (1997):

… The translator is a writer of singular originality, precisely where he seems to claim none. He is the secret master of the difference of languages, not in order to abolish the difference but in order to use it to awaken in his own language, through the violent or subtle changes he brings to it, a presence of what is different, originally, in the original.

[ … ]

… The example of Hölderlin illustrates the risk that is run, in the end, by the man fascinated by the power of translating: the translations of Antigone and Oedipus were nearly his last works at the outbreak of madness. These works are exceptionally studied, restrained, and intentional, conducted with inflexible firmness with the intent not of transposing the Greek text into German, not of reconveying the German language to its Greek sources, but of unifying the two powers — the one representing the vicissitudes of the West, the other those of the Orient — in the simplicity of a pure and total language. The result is almost frightful. It is as if one were discovering between the two languages an understanding so profound, a harmony so fundamental, that it substitutes itself for meaning, or succeeds in turning the hiatus that lies open between the two languages into the origin of a new meaning.

[line break added to make this easier to read online] The effect of this is so powerful that one understands the icy laughter of Goethe. At whom, indeed, was Goethe laughing? At a man who was no longer a poet, nor a translator, but who was recklessly advancing toward the center in which he believed he would find collected the pure power of unifying, a center such that it would be able to give meaning, beyond all determined and limited meaning. One understands that this temptation should have come to Hölderlin through translation. For with the unifying power that is at work in every practical relation, as in any language, and that, at the same time, exposes him to the pure scission that is always prior, the man who is ready to translate is in a constant, dangerous, and admirable intimacy — and it is this familiarity that gives him the right to be the most arrogant or the most secret of writers — with the conviction that, in the end, translating is madness.

-Julie

http://www.unrealnature.com/

 

June 20, 2015

The Freedom to Move On

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:49 am

… it could be lightheartedly abandoned when the crops failed, when war threatened …

This is from the essay ‘The Movable Dwelling and How It Came to America’ found in Landscape in Sight: Looking at America by John Brinckerhoff Jackson; edited by Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz (1997):

… No matter how comfortable or convenient it may be, we know that the time may well come when we find it wise to change: this is perhaps the best moment to sell. Perhaps a new job demands that we move or the neighborhood threatens to deteriorate or the children have grown up and left home. So we look for another dwelling; and since other people feel the same, another suitable dwelling is not usually hard to find.

What I am suggesting is that the home and the dwelling are two separate things, though they usually coincide.

… there were from the earliest times two types of houses. The dwelling was, of course, much more numerous, but the other kind is the kind which architectural historians usually know more about. To greatly oversimplify, we can say that this second kind was in many ways the complete opposite of the first. It was identified with a family over generations — so much so that another term for a dynasty is house — like the house of Windsor or the house of Rothschild. It was as large and as permanent as possible because it was a symbol of power and status in the community. … [W]hereas the dwelling by its very poverty has few ways of preserving and providing for the long-range future, the mansion is deeply involved in both concerns. It is at once a monument to the history of the family and its power and wealth and a legacy for future generations to honor and preserve.

… For all their squalor, medieval peasant dwellings had a remarkable flexibility and mobility — not only in that they could easily be taken down and reassembled elsewhere, but also in that they could easily change function and change tenants. If their life span was brief, it allowed for frequent replacement. When the old dwelling collapsed, the new one was apt to be better and was certain to be cleaner. Finally, the temporary nature of the dwelling, its negligible material value, meant that it could be lightheartedly abandoned when the crops failed, when war threatened, or when the local lord proved too demanding. Its flimsiness protected the family from the dangers of staying put. If people could not fight misfortune, they could at least escape it by leaving house and environment behind.

… It is very tempting to analyze the dwelling entirely in socioeconomic terms; certainly, dwellings do not lend themselves to analysis in terms of architecture or folk art. But the real significance of the temporary dwelling, of the box house, to take one example out of many, lies elsewhere. I think it has always offered, though for a brief time only, a kind of freedom we often undervalue: the freedom from burdensome emotional ties with the environment, freedom from communal responsibilities, freedom from the tyranny of the traditional home and its possessions; the freedom from belonging to a tight-knit social order; and above all, the freedom to move on to somewhere else.

… Not everyone can sympathize with this other, more popular tradition, with its rejection of environmental loyalties and constraints, but all of us who think about architecture and its many bewildering manifestations are in a sense duty bound to try to understand the new kind of home we are all making in America.

My most recent previous post from Jackson’s book is here.

-Julie

http://www.unrealnature.com/

 

June 19, 2015

In an Instant of Golden Sunlight

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:42 am

… We fear, and never in this century will we cease to fear.

This is from the essay ‘The Winter of Man’ found in The Star Thrower by Loren Eiseley (1978):

… Man, achieving literacy on the far Mediterranean shores in an instant of golden sunlight would take the world as it was, to be forever.

[ … ]

… “We fear,” remarked an Eskimo shaman responding to a religious question from the explorer Knud Rasmussen some fifty years ago. “We fear the cold and the things we do not understand. But most of all we fear the doings of the heedless ones among ourselves.”

… But surely we can counter that this old man was an ignorant remnant of the Ice Age, fearful of a nature he did not understand. Today we have science; we do not fear the Eskimo’s malevolent ghosts.

… Yes, this could be admitted, but we also fear.

… For what is it that we do? We fear. We do not fear ghosts but we fear the ghost of ourselves. We have come now, in this time, to fear the water we drink, the air we breathe, the insecticides that are dusted over our giant fruits.

… We fear the awesome powers we have lifted out of nature and cannot return to her. We fear the weapons we have made, the hatreds we have engendered. We fear the crush of fanatic people to whom we readily sell these weapons. We fear for the value of the money in our pockets that stands symbolically for food and shelter. We fear the growing power of the state to take all these things from us. We fear to walk in our streets at evening. We have come to fear even our scientists and their gifts.

We fear, in short, as that self-sufficient Eskimo of the long night had never feared.

… We fear, and never in this century will we cease to fear. We fear the end of man as that old shaman in the snow had never had cause to fear it. There is a winter still about us — the winter of man that has followed him relentlessly from the caverns and the ice. The old Eskimo spoke well. It is the winter of the heedless ones.

My most recent previous post from Eiseley’s book is here.

-Julie

http://www.unrealnature.com/

 

June 18, 2015

It Seems as if Nothing Is Going On

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:52 am

… It seems as if nothing is going on, but it’s the subtlest change, a complex shifting of the rhythmic and melodic patterns, and you cannot be impatient with it …

This first is from the interview with Sidney Levin in First Cut: Conversations with Film Editors by Gabriella Oldham (1992):

[ … ]

… just one small element can make such a difference. If you were to try to understand what makes editing powerful, and what makes an editor unique, you have to think in terms of those little tessere being placed in a large field. Take ten good editors, put them to the task of editing ten good scenes, and they’ll come up fundamentally with the same construction. But what will be different will be a little stone here or there that changes the entire color.

The following is from the book’s interview with Merle Worth:

[ … ]

… After the first rough-cut screening [of Raga] was over, Ravi Shankar said, “It’s musically perfect, but it doesn’t work.” He taught me something about Indian music and editing which, of course, filtered into my own life forever. He said I did what a lot of Western people do, which is to neglect the middle section of the raga because it appears to be so melodically uneventful. But in the middle section all the themes or the first section are being resolved and the seeds for the third section are being planted. It seems as if nothing is going on, but it’s the subtlest change, a complex shifting of the rhythmic and melodic patterns, and you cannot be impatient with it, you have to make it work. That was true in my own life. I’m terribly impatient with what seems like plateaus, and his comments changed my life.

How can you encourage students of editing to think this way about the material?

It’s not conscious. If they think it’s going to come in some conscious selections of material, it doesn’t. There is another reality that creeps into you when you’re looking at the material over and over again. It’s not cognitive in the conventional way that we understand the word. You are looking from inside the bloodstream of what’s going on.

[ … ]

… We [editors] build sound and image in ways that reinforce how unbelievably layered our existence is. We all move through life with contrapuntal responses to things, and we as filmmakers have the most exquisite tools to recreate that. What we do is make compressions of human experience. At our best, that’s what we do! [ … ] Editing is my form of rebellion in a society geared to demystifying the universe. This society, unfortunately, does not respond to much that is shimmering beneath the surface. I wouldn’t hesitate to spend the rest of my life putting some of the mystification back in.

My most recent previous post from Oldham’s book is here.

-Julie

http://www.unrealnature.com/

 

June 17, 2015

Not-Newness

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:49 am

… ‘not-newness’ is what permits artistic access.

Continuing through Walker Evans: the magazine work by David Campany (2014):

… In 1956 he observed: “[N]ostalgia has become debased to mean a kind of syrup savored by self-pitying people conjuring better days, funny hats and an innocence nobody ever had.”

In a caption for a series of photographs of Third Avenue antique stores he declared: “Nostalgia I disdain: pray keep me forever separated from an atmosphere of moist elderly eyes just about to spill over at the sight of grandmother’s tea set.” The witty line is quoted often, but the follow-up was more profound:

Design just a little dated will interest any artist. Design current is always terrible. Anyone who has tried to find a good contemporary lamp or clock will know what I mean.

Evans was not dismissing the aesthetic of any particular era, merely noting that ‘not-newness’ is what permits artistic access. The very latest of anything is impossible to contemplate. When photographed it tends to look emptily celebrated or rudely critiqued. The new may impress or horrify but contemplation requires time. This is why so much of Evans’ photography takes the form of quiet homage, pointing out things for which he felt a fondness. But the preference for the slow over snap judgment, for the just forgotten over the just made, was easy to misread. He insisted:

To be interested in what you see that is passing out of history, even if it’s a trolley car you’ve found, that’s not an act of nostalgia. You could read Proust as “nostalgia” but that’s not what Proust had in mind at all.

The purest expression of this is ‘Beauties of the Common Tool’ (Fortune, July 1955). A pair of $1 pliers, a crate opener, tin snips, a trowel and an adjustable wrench are photographed with immaculate plainness and reproduced one to a page, larger than life. Bold and simple, they are unchanging monuments to pragmatic design and manual work. Robert Frank helped to source the tools and construct a makeshift set-up in Evans’s studio on York Avenue. Each tool was balanced on a thin rod over a white background. On an 8×10 camera the exposures were around two and a half minutes with a small aperture. Proceedings would stop if a passing train vibrated the place. Frank was amazed at the perfect results: “I learned what it was to make a simple photograph.” The final prints were then retouched to remove all shadows.

evans_tools

My most recent previous post from Campany’s book is here.

-Julie

http://www.unrealnature.com/

 

June 16, 2015

Made To Serve in a Definite Way

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:43 am

… If motivated by the “play impulse,” a vigorous imagination would rekindle the legendary innocence and pleasure witnessed in “primitive” work …

Continuing through Renegade Regionalists: The Modern Independence of Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton, and John Steuart Curry by James M. Dennis (1998):

… [In his A-B-C of Aesthetics (1927)] Stein saw a good picture as “something that one looks into, but … keeps out of.” Whether an interior or exterior, its subject matter must constitute a “composed abstraction,” with some degree of distortion imposed upon “inventorial things.” Petals, leaves, and stems, for example, must unite across the surface as active components of a work. Whereas success in flat composition was quite common, a true painting, as opposed to an anecdotal illustration or stenciled pattern, must also be rhythmically arranged into a cohesive spatial order. The key to everything else is the “compositional relation of depth to the flat plane of the picture surface.” Diagonal (that is, perspective) planes should reciprocate with transverse planes, “like the successive layers of scenery on the stage.”

A picture could, in fact, be conceived as made up of transverse planes like successive layers of theater scenery, in which the object would be to emphasize the intervals, rather than, as in naturalistic stage scenery, to blend and so obscure them. These transverse planes are the means for creating a series of intervals and therefore for producing rhythmic movement in the deep dimension of the picture.

Wood_stone-city-iowa-1930
Grant Wood, Stone City, Iowa, 1930

… The rhythmically related intervals in Wood’s breakthrough painting of 1929, Black Barn, followed by those of his oil study for Stone City, Iowa, maintain a continuous back-and-forth movement, what Stein calls a “rhythmic throwback to the frontal plane.”

Wood_spring-turning-1936
Grant Wood, Spring Turning, 1936

Stein also stressed a trait that Batchelder discussed as good “curve sense.” Wood eventually applied it in such later landscapes as his great, green stretch of a painting, Spring Turning and in the rather vertiginous drawing of the same year, Plowing. In their wide-open expanses of space, the broad surfaces of undulating, earth-mother groundswells acquire decorative patches of warm brown soil at the hands of the plowmen. The painter, with the lasting encouragement of his foremost teacher and the theoretical approval of a contemporary critic, amplified and manipulated visual information that to him might have seemed too familiar. Surrounding “hill country becomes transformed,” abstracted beyond the picturesque:

The lines are made to serve in a definite way instead of rolling accidentally. By moving the pictorial planes backward and forward, masses are flattened or developed at will. The plasticity of natural materials is in fact almost infinite, if only one has learned to mould them [Stein].

Batchelder stressed the “curve of force,” or, to borrow John Ruskin’s term, the “infinite curve,” as expressive of growth, a sign of fecund vitality. If motivated by the “play impulse,” a vigorous imagination would rekindle the legendary innocence and pleasure witnessed in “primitive” work and in the work of medieval craftsmen. Romantic historicism aside, it was arguably a play impulse that activated the dynamic curve sense in Wood’s major pictures.

Wood_march1940_sketch
Grant Wood, March, 1940

Wood superimposed streamlined compositions over his system of “thirds,” an intricate grid pattern of precisely drafted verticals and horizontals intersected by diagonals. … Through exaggerations of man-made angles and rounded topography, it stylized the inherent nature of even the most desolate segments of eastern Iowa farmland into an appealing abstraction.

Wood_march1940_done

My most recent previous post from Dennis’s book is here.

-Julie

http://www.unrealnature.com/

 

June 15, 2015

Pent Up

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:43 am

… We should think of minimalism’s order not just as “stripped down” but as “pent up.”

Continuing through Pictures of Nothing: Abstract Art Since Pollock by Kirk Varnedoe (2006):

… In the Los Angeles aesthetic, reduction does not lead toward pragmatic concreteness, as it does in East Coast minimalism. Instead, it pushes toward a dissolution and disembodiment of experience. West Coast minimalism becomes purely retinal. This sounds like the kind of opticality described by Greenberg and Fried, but it goes way beyond that, because it is not an optical style of painting, it is an actual optical experience. It points toward uncertainty, as opposed to anything essential or concrete. One does not know what is concave or convex, present or absent, tangible or intangible. In Irwin, and in a lot of Los Angeles work, purification and reduction lead to a loss of certainty, a kind of ambiguity and disorientation that is exactly the opposite of Andre’s assertive engagement with weight and physicality, with a standard foot-on-the-ground experience.

… The version of the minimal aesthetic that you find in Irwin and some other Los Angeles artists concentrates on the empirical act of looking, on seeing what is actually there. In the Renaissance, the Florentines concentrated on the tougher, more sculptural aspects of art, while the Venetians concentrated on color, on capturing the look of light dancing on water. Similarly, if minimalism in New York is Tuscan — angular and hard-edged — Los Angeles posits a softer Venetian minimalism. Los Angeles artists are interested in time and movement. Instead of skyscrapers descending into cold water, you get long Pacific horizons, dissolving cloud patterns, slow changes in the long-term weather. The coasts offer two different kinds of reductionism, both typically American: on one coast, we get the pragmatist’s insistence on the concrete; on the other, we get the transcendental, Emersonian search for the absolute and the sublime.

Irwin_scrim
by Robert Irwin

[ … ]

… We should think of minimalism’s order not just as “stripped down” but as “pent up.” It has from the beginning displayed an urge toward compression that wants back out, that has in itself the opposite desire, for expansion.

[ … ]

… the impact of minimalism is not only felt in these private spaces for the elite; it has entered every part of our life. The very building in which we are sitting [for the lecture series upon which this book is based] — I.M. Pei’s East Building of the National Gallery, completed in 1978 — is certainly unthinkable without the broad, flat, unarticulated, unfenestrated form that is emphasized in the aesthetic of vastly reductive art of the early and mid-1960s. In the purification and simplification of this art, Pei finds a vocabulary of authority that can hold its own with the grandeur and pomposity of the classicism of the Capitol and the other buildings in Washington. Maya Lin’s Vietnam War Memorial, nearby on the Mall, is even more indebted to the aesthetic of minimalist sculpture.

My most recent previous post from Varnedoe’s book is here.

-Julie

http://www.unrealnature.com/

 

June 14, 2015

Frozen and Stabilized

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:48 am

… Are the works of the Museum deprived of the world?

This is from the essay ‘Museum Sickness’ found in the collection, Friendship by Maurice Blanchot (1997):

… One has but to enter any place in which works of art are put together in great number to experience this museum sickness, analogous to mountain sickness, which is made up of a feeling of vertigo and suffocation, to which all pleasure of seeing and all desire to let oneself be moved quickly succumb. Of course, in the first moment, there is shock, the physical certainty of an imperious, singular presence, however indefinitely multiplied it is. Painting is truly there, in person. But it is a person so sure of herself, so pleased with her prestige and so imposing, exposing herself with such a desire for spectacle that, transformed into a queen of theater, she transforms us in turn into spectators who are very impressed, then a little uncomfortable, then a little bored. Surely there is something insuperably barbarous in the custom of museums. How did things come to this? How did the solitary, exclusive affirmation that is fiercely turned toward a secret point that it barely indicates to us, lend itself, in each painting, to this spectacular sharing, to this noisy and distinguished encounter that is in fact called a show?

… Manifestly, one must suppose that this prodigious development of the museum, almost universal today — one that coincides with the moment at which art attempts to make itself visible for itself, no longer an affirmation of the gods or the divine, no longer the expression of human values, but the emergence into the day of its own light — answers to a decision whose course we cannot suspend, whose meaning we cannot reduce because of our own personal tastes. In works of art, we already sense the infinite diversity of the conflict that divides them, exalts and ruins them: the need to be alone and always closed in on themselves, visible-invisible, without sight, and, as Rilke says, separated from us by a void that pushes us away and isolates them; but also a need to be in relation to each other, a need to be, each in itself and yet all together, the manifestation of art, to be unique, self-sufficient, but also to be merely the moment of a greater becoming while making perceptible to us, real and already complete, the space in which this becoming is endlessly carried out.

… Are the works of the Museum deprived of the world? Are they turned over to the insecurity of a pure absence without certainty? When the term museum signifies essentially conservation, tradition, security, and when everything collected in this place is there only to be preserved, to remain inactive, harmless, in this particular world — which is that of conservation itself, a world of knowledge, of culture, of aesthetics, and which is as far from the questioning of art as the archival work that assures the life of a poem is far from the poem itself. This equivocation is not fortuitous. It is no accident that what gives itself as “pure presence” is immediately frozen and stabilized in a permanence without life and in the rotting eternity of a solemn and indifferent void.

My most recent previous post from Blanchot’s book is here.

-Julie

http://www.unrealnature.com/

 

June 13, 2015

The Shifting Focus

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:39 am

… the more modest variety space explorer lives next door, and what we notice in particular about his activities is the rubbish-strewn landscape, the disregard of time-honored esthetic values, the reckless driving.

This is from the essay ‘The Abstract World of the Hot-Rodder’ found in Landscape in Sight: Looking at America by John Brinckerhoff Jackson; edited by Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz (1997):

… in the new, more or less solitary sports, there is usually a latent, not entirely unpleasant, sense of danger, or at least of uncertainty, producing a heightened alertness to surrounding conditions. Without much experience, without the presence of others to help and advise, without a stock of traditional skill, the sportsman, whether on skis or aloft of in a boat or on wheels, has to develop (or revive) an intuitive feel for his immediate natural environment. Air currents, shifts of wind and temperature, the texture of snow, the firmness of the track — these and many other previously unimportant aspects of the outdoors become once more part of his consciousness, and that is why mountaineering, even though it entails a very deliberate kind of progress, has to be included among these new sports. None of them, for one reason or another, allows much leisure for observing the more familiar features of the surroundings. … [T]he new style sportsman is reestablishing a responsiveness — almost an intimacy — with a more spacious, a less tangible aspect of nature.

An abstract nature, as it were; a nature shorn of its gentler, more human traits of all memory and sentiment. The new landscape, seen at a rapid, sometimes even a terrifying pace, is composed of rushing air, shifting lights, clouds, waves, a constantly moving, changing horizon, a constantly changing surface beneath the ski, the wheel, the rudder, the wing. The view is no longer static; it is a revolving, uninterrupted panorama of 360 degrees. In short, the traditional perspective, the traditional way of seeing and experiencing the world is abandoned; in its stead we become active participants, the shifting focus of a moving, abstract world; our nerves and muscles are all of them brought into play.

… The discoveries of science, and in particular the insights of artists and architects, have made us familiar with changing concepts of space and matter and motion; without always understanding the theories, we accept them as best we can. But what is our reaction when the man in the street tries in his own way to explore the same realm? We profess sympathy with the uncertainty, the inability to communicate, of the contemporary artist; why do we express little or none for the hot-rodder and his colleagues? Because his unconventionality comes too close to home; the artist and the physicist can be left to themselves (or so we think), whereas the more modest variety space explorer lives next door, and what we notice in particular about his activities is the rubbish-strewn landscape, the disregard of time-honored esthetic values, the reckless driving.

My most recent previous post from Jackson’s book is here.

-Julie

http://www.unrealnature.com/

 

June 12, 2015

Like an Insect Singing

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:29 am

… “What did you find,” I asked, “specifically?”

This is from the essay ‘The Fifth Planet’ found in The Star Thrower by Loren Eiseley (1978). In this story, Eiseley and Williams are looking for remnants of a twenty-ton meteor explosion seen over the high plateau country of the American west. They are housing in the cabin of the sheep herder, Radnor:

… He was a born teacher — if he wasn’t an astronomer I’d have said preacher and been closer to the truth — and he set out to convert Radnor. He aimed to convince Radnor of the importance of meteorite observation, which might have been all right too — there’s no real harm in it if your mind runs that way — but then he added that last devilish touch that only a fanatic like Williams would have used to corrode the soul of a good sheepman.

It was unethical, to my mind, immoral really, because it is the kind of thing which the innocent amateur isn’t ready to withstand. He hasn’t built up to it with the necessary preparation. You take him, addlepated and open-mouthed, and let him look into space until his brain is reeling. Then you whisper over his shoulder something about life out there in that void, and the only way we can ever learn if it exists. And you speak — oh, I knew old Williams well, you know — of the freezing dark that surrounds us and the loneliness that comes to the astronomer in that room under the slit dome. You speak of the suns going by, and the great fires roaring in the solitude of space. You speak of endless depths, great distances all cold and still and empty of the life of man. And then far off, like an insect singing, you begin to whisper the hope of life on other planets, and whether it is true or untrue, and whether there has ever been or will be things like ourselves out there to share our loneliness. And then you tell again, how the secret may be found.

[ … two years later … ]

… “I don’t look any more,” [Radnor] said, and then repeated it. I dropped into a chair and he sat uneasily facing me on the porch railing. A sort of tension was building up steadily between us.

“I don’t look any more because I know,” he said. “I know about it already. ‘Seek and you shall find,’ the Book says. It doesn’t say what you will find; it just says you will find. Up here there are ways. Williams knew them.”

I looked past him into the night. There was nowhere else to look except out on that great windswept plateau. A long streamer of green light shot across the horizon. The stones are still coming in, I thought wearily, but with the other part of my mind I said to Radnor, putting my words carefully together, “I don’t follow you. Do you mean you found something?”

He ignored the interruption. “I believed in the Plan,” he said, “what some people call the Divine Plan. I believed in life. I believed it was advancing, rising, becoming more intelligent. I believed it might have been further along out there” — he gestured mutely. “I believed it would give us hope to know.”

I heard him, but I put the question bluntly. After all, it might be a matter for science and scientist is what I called myself. “What did you find,” I asked, “specifically?”

“The Plan is not what you think,” he said. His eyes in that strange light were alien and as cryptic as before. “The Plan is not what you think it is. I know about it now. And life — ” He made another gesture, wide, indifferent, and final. There was a greater emptiness than space within him. I could feel it grow as we sat there.

I did not ask that question again. You can call me a fool, but you did not sit there as I did in that valley out of time, while star falls whispered overhead, and a fanatic talked icy insanity at your elbow. I tell you the man frightened me — or maybe it was space itself. I got the feeling somehow that he wanted me to ask again what he had found. And by then I didn’t want to hear. Why? Well, that kind of experience is painful, and you try to forget afterward, but I think he must have hit some weak spot in my psychology, probed unaware some unexpressed deep horror of my own. Anyhow I had a feeling that I might believe his answer, and I knew in the same clairvoyant instant of revulsion that I would not bear to hear him give it.

-Julie

http://www.unrealnature.com/

 

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