Annette wrote, '-The labyrinth is about a very different experience of
what it is to be human.'
-'And once we enter, ordinary time and distances are immaterial, we are in
the midst of a ritual and a journey where transformation is possible; we
do not know how far away or close we are to the center where meaning can
be found until we are there; the way back is not obvious and we have no
way of knowing as we emerge how or when we will take the experience back
into the world until we do. There are no blind ends in a labyrinth, the
path often doubles back on itself, the direction toward which we are
facing is continually changing, and if we do not turn back or give up we
will reach the center to find the rose, the Goddess, the Grail, a symbol
representing the sacred feminine. To return to ordinary life, we must
again travel the labyrinth to get out, which is also a complex journey for
it involves integrating the experience into consciousness, which is what
changes us.' Jean Shinoda Bullen (The Same River Twice, Alice Walker)
The truth may reside as partially or wholly in the parts as within the
whole, speaking as among other things a painter, the smallest sketch
contains the 'effective' form from which all details may grow.
Elsewhere I have written of listening as an 'accompanying' art just so as
looking is an accompaniment to art. So I printed onto paper your reply to
my contribution, thinking now of it rather like an 'ink drawing' and took
it with me into the fields and reminded myself of the letters and how ink
drawings were sometimes interspersed in Vincent van Gogh's letters both to
his friends and especially his brother Theo.
Then, at a little distance - so to speak, I saw at the top of the page
little flecked figures, all leaning in concert. And I thought, how like an
alignment of people with somewhere to go, like a ship full of people, like
a choir of voices all singing one song, how like a flock of birdsâ^ĀĻa
letter, is it a pictured poem by another name?
A miracle of a kind?
"To me the sea is a continual miracle,
The fishes that swim - the rocks - the motion of the
Waves - ships with men in them.
What stranger miracles are there?"
Walt Whitman, Autumn Rivulets, Miracles.
Sam was then a figure in the landscape, not the landscape itself A man in
a field not a man afield) for the purpose of the posting. How one
introduces a real live person to a mere script is for me now an impossible
question. I cannot answer that for you fully. You will make your own
effort in the time ahead.
I was reading Herman Melville this evening, Moby Dick. Another poem of
transformation, a journey without and within. He introduces the Whale with
67 passages over nine pages of densely woven text from a history starting
with Genesis, through natural history and ending with 'Whale Song'. I
dared not write so much Annette. I have just noticed, thinking of oceans
and things that swim within that your name contains A(n)net(te).
Anita Jones, writing as a black woman and I will not say for other black
women, but of another fictional black woman offers this 'testament' in a
letter to the author Alice Walker, in the book The Colour Purple about the
character Celie. It seems to me to be an admittance, or anyway a partial
acceptance of the world of judgement, so be it -- a going down, but, then
an uplifting affirmation of what lives within and beyond the shell or
masks of appearances, the utter fact of being here and in that we are all
equalized and indeed in your most beauteous word, partake of our human
'communion'. So, Anita Jones writes,
'Celie summed up a general consensus when she said: 'I am poor, I am
black, I may be ugly and can't cook...But I'm here.' Amen, Miss Celie,
Perhaps in taking and accepting the hurt of judgement we can transform it
by our being here? Is that possible?
There are many ways of becoming/being in the world; there are many songs
Extract from screenplay narrative. The Colour Purple. Nettie
(Touching her face)
I wrote you because when I didn't I felt like I was choking on my own heart.
I know you didn't get my letters until it was almost too late to do any
good...but did you ever write to me?
I wrote you all the time.
(She hands Nettie the bundle)
Here your letter.
(Opens the bundle. Takes out the quilt, "Reads" the squares. Gets to the
last one now completed. It is a large rising purple sun with yellow/orange
rays, filling the square, filling life, Coming up.)
Is the film not about the destruction of beauty in life, and the remaking
of beauty in life?
All 'things' in the world are very, very old. All things in the world are
very much the same. Someone once told me that Jesus was said to be 'lame'.
Though it is not mentioned in the Bible to my knowledge. It was mentioned
he was a carpenter. As was his father. There are many ways to change.
String and candles and songs for the journey?
If you live near the ocean go listen for whales and the great fishes, if
you live near the desert go listen with the Aboriginal peoples and to and
with the animals, both can guide you. They know things we have long
In my room with me I have an image of a shark made by an aboriginal
artist, it depicts a creation myth. The most prolific theme in creation
myths is that of the 'liberation' and 'entrapment' most commonly of an
individual. So, may I offer you the idea that in the labyrinth we escape
for a while the net, we enter the unconscious and like the shark,
harpooned and seen 'struggling' as he 'angrily smashes himself' into a
thousand pieces achieving 'mergence' with the land he is yet to be reborn,
'emerged'; in the mythology he is freed to swim again in the ocean, having
created a myriad of new inland waterways in the course of his struggling
and suffering. (So much like our 'future Organisations', myths run deep?)
Of course Annette, writing from the heart as an artist or poet might do
and just as easily a scientist or engineer (so many labels for humans) one
doubts one's ability or desire to communicate at all. I wanted therefore
to end with something quite up to date, scientific, credible to support my
poetic ramblings through the hedges and fields of my response.
Aha, New Scientist. 25th September 1999. Robert Stickgold writes, shining
bright of the way we may learn in our dim sleep,
"- There are different ways to know something, and we're just beginning to
understand those ways.- It's the deeper more profound understanding that
needs sleep, when I think about how I would design a brain I would want it to
stop and look for distant associations. This is what most people would call
So, if you wish, close your eyes, dream. Come back and tell us what you
found there if you can recall. Then maybe we shall not need 'string' any
more. We will talk of whales, hedges, limping, stammering and birdsong and
many diverse, beautiful, fittingly polyphonical things. I will hope to
rise with the dawn, and you?
I hope I have met the 'challenge' of your 'passion' that was revealed in
my little vision created through yours in the fields by your slipping
words? If you feel I have side-stepped it forgive me, a martial arts
Master, who walks with a limp (;-) once taught me that -in meeting force
we may yield, in bending we may stretch, in stretching we may reach and in
reaching we may find all things interconnecting (and polyphonic) and in
this way, inward and outward are but the same by different names, therein
your union. Our union
You are the ocean.
You are the earth.
You are the sky.
Go find yourself.
You found 'me', find 'we'. (Muhammad Ali) (;-)
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