Year’s end

ann reading to pigeons

lsb swing

Animal Madness EofT

There are two days left to see Ann Hamilton’s Event of a Thread at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City.

I can remember the feeling of swinging—how hard we would work for those split seconds, flung at furthest extension,  just before the inevitable downward and backward pull, when we felt momentarily free of gravity, a little hiccup of  suspension when our hands loosened on the chain and our torsos raised off the seat. We were sailing, so inside the motion—time stopped—and then suddenly rushed again toward us. We would line up on the playground and try to touch the sky, alone together.

–Ann Hamilton, artist statement

It was an honor to be a part of these last six weeks…an entire square block of joy, shifting light and contemplation in the middle of Manhattan….swinging…pigeons…the sounds of the singers from Voices of Ascension every evening before close…how it felt to write in public, hundreds of people leaning over your shoulder while writing sheet after sheet on onionskin paper…

A few days before I left New York….Ann and the other readers read my “Mirrors and Proxies” chapter, as a concordance, aloud to the pigeons. I do not know if they liked it. But they did enjoy being read to. They always seem to settle down when the readers begin…

Happy New Year. And thank you too for being readers.

Year’s end

Neither the symbolic detail
of a three instead of a two,
nor that rough metaphor
that hails one term dying and another emerging
nor the fulfillment of an astronomical process
muddle and undermine
the high plateau of this night
making us wait
for the twelve irreparable strokes of the bell.
The real cause
is our murky pervasive suspicion
of the enigma of Time,
it is our awe at the miracle
that, though the chances are infinite
and though we are
drops in Heraclitus’ river,
allows something in us to endure,
never moving.

Jorge Luis Borges, translated by W.S. Merwin

(from Evencleveland)