Friday, December 28, 2012

imagine yourself here

photo courtesy of Adventure & Landscape

Kent & I are going trekking from January 5th through 8th in Jujuy province, Argentina with the Adventure & Landscape folks. Originally, we were to trek from Tilcara to Callilegua, high desert down to tropical rain forest, with donkeys & horses for pack animals, but no handlers could be found willing to risk their animals on the wet side during the present rainy season. The new plan is to trek with llamas for pack animals from Tilcara to Abra de Punta Corral.

Google satellite map of Tilcara (A) to Abra de Punta Corral (B)

I fitted myself out with kickass trekking equipment when I was in California this past month, & for the past two months, we've been trekking training in the mountains west of here & the Quebrada de las Conchas north of here. Kent & Roan are going on an overnight hike/camp this coming weekend, but since they didn't hire a pack animal for me, I can't go.

Poets & fans of edgy work, check out Tao Lin's I Livetweeted Getting Robbed & Watching The Hobbit Alone At 9:45PM In Manhattan On Christmas Eve.

every morning I head out to garden with the idea of working no more
than two hours — not exhausting myself — yet here I am again, exhausted

limping, too, I need a hike; maybe EmilyP would hike with me tomorrow
EmilyM & Jane are coming over today, each for half of a ripe watermelon

In his chapter titled "Problems About Objects," Louis Menand (see my 27 diciembre 2012 post) quotes Pater & Bergson on the topics of sensation, aka experience with duration, intuition, reflection, impressions, language, & image; also Eliot on the absolute.

from Walter Pater’s The Renaissance (1873):

At first sight experience seems to bury us under a flood of external objects, pressing upon us with a sharp and importunate reality, calling us out of ourselves in a thousand forms of action. But when reflexion begins to play upon those objects they are dissipated under its influence; the cohesive force seems suspended like some trick of magic; each object is loosed into a group of impressions — colour, odour, texture — in the mind of the observer. . . . Every one of those impressions is the impression of the individual in his isolation, each mind keeping as a solitary prisoner its own dream of a world.

We instinctively tend to solidify our impressions in order to express them in language. Hence we confuse the feeling itself, which is in a perpetual state of becoming, with its permanent external object, and especially with the word which expresses this object. . . . Not only does language make us believe in the unchangeableness of our sensations, but it will sometimes deceive us as to the nature of the sensation felt. . . . In short, the word with well-defined outlines, the rough and ready word, which stores up the stable, common, and consequently impersonal element in the impressions of mankind, overwhelms or at least covers over the delicate and fugitive impressions of our individual consciousness. To maintain the struggle on equal terms, the latter ought to express themselves in precise words; but these words, as soon as they were formed, would turn against the sensation which gave birth to them, and, invented to show that the sensation is unstable, they would impose on it their own stability.

from Henri Bergson’s “Introductionà la métaphysique” (1903):

the image has at least this advantage, that it keeps us in the concrete. No image can replace the intuition of duration, but many diverse images, borrowed from very different orders of things, may, by the convergence of their action, direct consciousness to the precise point where there is a certain intuition to be seized.

from a T. S. Eliot article, "Leibniz' monads and Bradley's finite centres," in the Monist (1916):

The Absolute responds only to an imaginary demand of thought, and satisfies only an imaginary demand of feeling. Pretending to be something which makes finite centres cohere, it turns out to be merely the assertion that they do. And this assertion is only true so far as we here and now find it to be so.

Today our west-facing patio became a screened porch. More pix here.

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