“Against life’s worst onslaughts, nothing avails, not even art. Especially not art.” – John Banville
When I took my field trip to Library Pond to get away from some bad news – (not so bad as to qualify for life’s worst onslaughts, so don’t worry) – I was nursing the hope that my raw feelings would reveal something out in the world which might be invisible otherwise. It was pretty ballsy of me to imagine that such transcendent magic – rare as the philosopher’s stone – would visit me at all, never mind turning up behind the public library in Verona, WI. Couldn’t it be enough just to take a nice walk and distract myself with bird-song and mosquito bites?
It is dawning on me – in my dimly lit, self-involved consciousness – that to see something new means letting my visual world fall apart. No matter how intently I look outside myself, that vital inner gesture cannot be found until I make it. Fearful though I am, what choice is there but to let this disloyal hunger erode my thinking and arranging down to its quicksilver foundation? And to keep hope – keep crazy-in-love-hope – that through the fallen-apart places, where nothing avails, beautiful may enter in.