Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Rocks in Repose


Is this a picture of real rocks or a photo of an artist depicting rocks? Illusion or reality? Reality or illusion?

In preparation for the coming year I've stepped into gear. After reading Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose I opted to take her reading list to heart.

Ryunosuke Akutagawa's book Roshomon threw me right into the complex relationship of reality and illusion. Akutagawa is aware of the "precarious balance of illusion and reality."

Savor Akutagawa's sentence: "His appearance caused no more ripple of unrest than a drop of water in the Japan Sea."

I've now moved on to Donald Barthelme's Sixty Stories. His stories turn reality into a suspended trapeze artist. I fell in love with the beginning of his story 'Game'. "Shotwell keeps the jacks and the rubber ball in his attache case and will not allow me to play with them..."

Prose arranges her list alphabetically so I'm set for months.

My Bible Study group selected Amos and Hosea for the fall. To prepare for this I've selected Abraham J. Heschel's book The Prophets as additional reading. My own theology keeps expanding. It's a symphony with parts. How can there be an exclusive path? Heschel says that when he marched in 1965 from Selma to Montgomery, "I felt my legs were praying."

When I stood in front of these rocks I felt that I stood on Holy Ground.


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