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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Hug that Mountain

Man's problem is: he's trying to hug a mountain. He can't get his arms around it. Maybe if the mountain were an iceberg and he could bear the chill and if he hugged it long enough it might melt and become smaller.

So with past work. How to come to terms with it? How to reconcile all that effort. Redeem it in some way. Make it worthwhile.

A lost cause. Past work is dead, but if it inspires new work, then that new work is new work until . . . it becomes old work. . .

Life is now. 'Baby come over here. Let's do that loving right now! Not tomorrow, not yesterday. Now!'

I've been watching Chris Marker's films with Peter recently: Says Peter, "I think when Marker comes to a city like Tokyo he doesn't just start filming right away. He kind of hangs around and explores, then slowly a plan emerges."

Molly meanwhile is writing an article on artificial intelligence. "What strikes me most about most of the people in the field is how limited their experience is. Limited to mathematics, and computer science."

Peter again: "My movies of different places seem the same. I want to start noticing what's different, or special."

-:-

Mark Potter (Sr.)
It's the day after Thanksgiving.

It rained all night. Big heavy drops fell from the tree branches and landed with loud splats at the foot of the patio. The river rose about a foot. In the morning it was still raining, faster, finer drops, infinitely more of them. A deer stood in Farmer's field nibbling at the green shoots of grass that still grew between the rows of corn stubble.

Soon the rain turned to snow. For a while it fell as sleet, then little hailstones, that bounced on the pavement, then heavy moth-sized flakes that spun and fell and split apart.

Dad and I drove downtown to buy oil to fill his car with, then a donut and coffee at Phillips Diner.  I told him about Brunelleschi's method of building the dome that covers the cathedral nave in Florence.

We drove home through the snow and brought the electric heater down from the studio. We drove the car up onto two piles of boards, then I went underneath on my back and asked Dad to hand me the ratchet. The socket was too big. "Get me another one. About half that size."

Dad handed me another socket. It fit almost perfectly.

"One size smaller."

I loosened the plug at the bottom of the engine block and unscrewed it with my fingers. Warm brown oil fell into the pan and over my hands like dark deer's blood. I thought of Clarence gutting the deer he'd shot at Brandreth, the heavy liver and the heart, still pumping. The auricular chambers were blown apart by the bullet. The buck died quickly, even so it had managed to run a hundred yards before it fell over . . .

Outside, the snow turns into rain. I open the back door and look out. The warm brown earth pours a false scent of spring, even though the weatherman says the first winter storm will be on us before the weekend.



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