Sunday, August 4, 2013

Why rhythm is the essence of life

Three Sheep dancing
CC Jean Stimmell: 2011 Stinson Beach CA
I ended my last post by saying that artists, by the very nature of who they are, tap into a deeper, richer place beyond mere words and abstract thought. By way of example, I used the following quote by Virginia Woolf, proclaiming that creativity, the essence of being human, is a matter of rhythm, not words:

“Now this is profound, what rhythm is, and goes far deeper than words. A signal, an emotion, creates this wave in the mind, long before it makes words to fit it; and in writing (such is my present belief) one has to recapture this, and set this working (which has apparently nothing to do with words) and then, as it breaks and tumbles in the mind, it makes words to fit it.”
Rhythms of the wild goose: Spring migration: Sewells Falls
Today, reading Brain Pickings,[ii] I ran across this quote by Henry Miller that reinforces this notion of how important rhythm is to the real art of living:

"Those who are trying to put the onus of responsibility for the dangers which threaten on the shoulders of the ‘dictators’ might well examine their own hearts and see whether their allegiance is really ‘free’ or a mere attachment to some other form of authority, possibly unrecognized. … Those who are preaching revolution are also defenders of the status quo — their status quo. Any solution to the world’s ills must embrace all mankind. We have got to relinquish our precious theories, our buttresses and supports, to say nothing of our defenses and possessions. We have got to become more inclusive, not more exclusive. What is not acknowledged and assimilated through experience piles up in the form of guilt and creates a real Hell, the literal meaning of which is — where the unburnt must be burnt!" [iii]
Rhythms of Spring
Blue Herons building their nest: 4/10/11
The Rhythm of Life, Death, and Rebirth
Abby, an older dog,  gave birth to her first and only litter of puppies–
and then declined and died before the end of the year

[i] Woolf, Virginia. The Letters of Virginia Woolf Volume 3: 1923-1928. (1977), page 247
[ii] Brain Pickings is most amazing weekly digest of intellectually stimulating articles that I have only recently discovered. It is the brainchild of Maria Popova who, in her own words, is “an interestingness hunter-gatherer and curious mind at large.”
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