An Horatian Notion
By Thomas Lux
The thing gets made, gets built, and you’re the slave
who rolls the log beneath the block, then another,
then pushes the block, then pulls a log
from the rear back to the front
again and then again it goes beneath the block,
and so on. It’s how a thing gets made – not
because you’re sensitive, or you get genetic-lucky,
or God says: Here’s a nice family,
seven children, let’s see: this one in charge
of the village dunghill, these two die of buboes, this one
Kierkegaard, this one a drooling
nincompoop, this one clerk, this one cooper.
You need to love the thing you do – birdhouse building,
painting tulips exclusively, whatever – and then
you do it
so consciously driven
by your unconscious
that the thing becomes a wedge
that splits a stone and between the halves
the wedge then grows, i.e., the thing
is solid but with a soul,
a life of its own. Inspiration, the donnée,
the gift, the bolt of fire
down the arm that makes the art?
Grow up! Give me, please, a break!
You make the thing because you love the thing
and you love the thing because someone else loved it
enough to make you love it.
And with that your heart like a tent peg pounded
toward the earth’s core.
And with that your heart on a beam burns
through the ionosphere.
And with that you go to work.
My Friday was a little strange because they're still paving our parking lots (and apparently running very late -- none of the parking spot lines have been painted and people are freaking out because we can't move our cars back yet) so it was weirdly quiet with no vehicles coming and going. I was stuck in the house all morning anyway working on a review of Voyager's "Maneuvers", which I thought maybe would annoy me less after all these years but is still pretty annoying.
I did take a walk, but didn't see a single bunny and even the chipmunks were subdued because of all the paving and painting. We watched The Illusionist with Cheryl, which I'd only seen once and Paul didn't think he'd ever seen; I appreciate its performances and visual style, but it's not in my Top 10 as is true of some of my friends. Here are some photos from Seattle's Olympic Sculpture Garden, which has great views of both the Space Needle and the water: