Friday, July 18, 2008

All that is solid ...

Days of mid winter. Edges subsumed within ambiguity. The splendid brooding moments of the hills. Interior and exterior speak different languages to one another. Bachelard's "increased intimacy" ... that which comes about when the house is "besieged by winter."
In Antipodean Hyperborea.
Form gives way to fluidity. Mere tonal shifts. Nothing solid, just liquidity. Not the high relief of the mythical bright light of these southern lands. The light that limned the hard-edge school of painting. The light that fooled the first immigrants, their mental datum suddenly askew, as their sense of perspective was gauged from the misty folds of England, Scotland ... where the atmosphere would shorten distances, dampen them like a muffler closes down sound. Those misty lands where the Picturesque stalked every hill and dale, the theatre of landscape, with the coulisse neatly stacked, fading into blue. Lord Lyttelton said, when they reached the top of the Bridle Path, up here, above Christchurch, on the crater rim, that those fond of the Picturesque would find the view out across the sparkling sharp light of the Canterbury Plains, 'exceedlingly repulsive.' That light ... they were lost in that deceptive clear light. They set out to walk to places they believed were near, and find that they were miles out, completely miscalculated within the clarity of the southern sky. But, just now, the bright light is so far away from the enfolded dimness of these days, just a memory of the immediacy of things, searing. Now it's never quite daytime.

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