I think in fact I am going to turn to the thing closest-to-hand, which in the current instance is that I am reading a volume of Borges' selected poems in parallel translation; unlike my recent rant about Bly's translations of Neruda
here the translations are a joy. They were prepared by a group of approximately eight different translators (I have on loan a copy of the di Giovanni edition
), in close collaboration with Borges himself, and it is an absolute joy and clearly a labour of love.
(The other thing I am reading at the moment - well, I might as well make it what-am-I-reading-Wednesday, I suppose, slyly participating for possibly the first time ever - is Lightspeed's Women Destroy SF
special issue, which again is a collaborative work: 109 women directly involved in bringing it to fruition, and over a thousand submissions. Again: it is a labour of love.)
-- I think, in fact, what I am attempting to tease out here is not the specifics of any one piece of art, much as the Borges poems are breathtaking both in their choice of words and in their ideas; instead I think what I am seeking is the concept of playing catch with art
(thank you, elisem
), of collaborating in the creation of beauty.
Thus, of course, my adoration for Elise's work
, too; that it is created to hold stories, and part of the joy is finding the story that goes with the art (or at least that will sit with it for a while). That the tangible object is beautiful is a bonus: the same is true of intangible objects. The feeling of being part of a puzzle of a hundred or more people, breathing and moving in time to fit complex transient shapes together -- there is nothing
like being part of an orchestra: in the playing, Purcell's chords are played away
This is, slowly, a perspective I am managing to bring to bear on organised religion: that it's a collective attempt to codify what we've worked out about how we work
, by muddling through, to put it in a form that we'll be able to remember. Thus "count your blessings" - despite how often it's said dismissively, as a challenge, whatever - resurfaces as my ten good things
; thus everything happens for a reason
; thus the focus on the universality and inevitability of both imperfection and love
; thus ritual, thus remembrance, thus honour. (No Glory Save Honour
, explained over the next few pages of that comic.)
So. Fact and fiction and poetry, all wrapped in beauty: how earnestly we try across time to take care of one another, to give the best advice we can, to work together and to make love
: the collaboration, not the thing itself.