Wednesday, March 28, 2012

on the beam

If you Google "slipping glimpser", you get a lot. Chances are you looked it up because you read the below excerpt of a quote by de Kooning, and wondered how many other people liked it. I'd read it before. Things like this keep me from posting, sometimes. So much is already out there, why be repetitive? I've probably repeated my own words enough as it is. My mother and I were discussing the easiest way to shell hard-boiled eggs. A Googling elicited pages of tips, tutorials, videos, until we were both overwhelmed by the info and realized we already knew enough about shelling eggs. I felt like this when, a while back, I planned to write about Demuth's painting "I Saw the Number 5 in Gold" and its allusion to Williams' poem, the backstory, and how much I liked it. But a simple search turned up someone else's comprehensive blog post, so I read that, enjoyed it, and fixed myself a sandwich instead. Still, this blog functions as a repository for my own notes, and I've been feeling off-balance in the world for a while now, yet kind of okay with that. Slipping, falling, finding support; it might do me in, but it builds endurance.

"Y'know the real world, this so-called real world,
Is just something you put up with, like everybody else.
I'm in my element when I am a little bit out of this world:
then I'm in the real world- I'm on the beam.
Because when I'm falling, I'm doing all right;
when I'm slipping, I say, hey, this is interesting!
It's when I'm standing upright that bothers me: I'm not doing so good; I'm stiff.
As a matter of fact, I'm really slipping, most of the time,
into that glimpse. I'm like a slipping glimpser.
I get excited just to see
that sky is blue; that earth is earth.
And that's the hardest thing: to see a rock somewhere,
And there it is: earth-colored rock,
I'm getting closer to that.
Then there is a time in life when you just take a walk:
And you walk in your own landscape."

-Willem de Kooning, 1960

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