Sunday, January 11, 2004

(You'll be glad to know that westerners have recently acquired from an
Indonesian village a 50-ft python. 580 lbs or something. the only
worthwhile news to be read is generally to be seen at

There is a rabbi here who sailed around the world for 8 years or so-
solo. Before that he did crab fishing in the North Sea out of Alaska
or Scotland, don't remember. He describes very well the tenebrous
nature of the individual at midnight *riding* the frigid Fathomless
Depths churning beneath you (screw smarmy "existential" metaphors of
Abyss; MAELSTROM exists), as the rain pummells your sleep-starved body
- from all sides.
I personally imagine runes, Alchemical symbols made of animals or the
Aleph Bet flashing to mind as the lightning and thunder meet the Man,
on (the) Sea, on (his) Vessel; "The Artifact"...lightning and thunder,
of course, joining when the storm is over the observer, who for a
moment "stands" on the most unstable of "ground". The rabbi also
visited lots of strange places like Java, Polynesia, etc, and has lots
of bizarre connections to make to discussions in Gemara (the talmud,
sort of).

I want to go to yeshiva in Yesha (YEhuda and ShAmron; in english, Judea & Sumeria; in "CNN", the "West Bank"), where there is more desert to speak of, and Israeli Bedouin trackers who can teach you to track a grain of sand across the sky. I've been reading Loren Eiseley, can you tell? There's alot of fascinating triangulation in the process of tracking, of following the route of the land to sources of water, the route of pressed soil or overturned leaves, scents in the air to food sources. I feel like talking about hunting, or maybe letting someone else with the proper voice speak;

"Hunting in my experience - and by hunting I simply mean being
out on the land - is a state of mind. All of one's faculties are
brought to bear in an effort to become fully incorporated into
the landscape. It is more than listening for animals or watching
for hoofprints or a shift in the weather. It is more than an
analysis of what one senses. To hunt means to have the land
around you like clothing. To engage in a wordless dialogue with
it, one so absorbing that you cease to talk with your human
companions. It means to release yourself from rational images of
what something "means" and to be concerned only that it "is". And
then to recognize that things exist only insofar as they can be
related to other things. These relationships - fresh drops of
moisture on top of rocks at a river crossing and a raven's
distant voice - become patterns. The patterns are always in
motion. Suddenly the pattern - which includes physical hunger, a
memory of your family, and memories of the valley you are walking
through, these particular plants and smells - takes in the
caribou. There is a caribou standing in front of you. The release
of the arrow or bullet is like a word spoken out loud. It occurs
at the periphery of your concentration." [pp.199-200]

Barry Lopez. "Arctic Dreams: Imagination and Desire in a
Northern Landscape".


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