Sunday 8 January 2017

John Cage's diary up at the pond

Reading John Cage's diary does not preempt cleaning out and patching the pond, which is what we did today.
Diary: How to
Improve the World (you will
Only Make Matters Worse)
Up at the pond, we pull out our parrot weed and limit our bogbean, we squeeze out our Tec 7 onto prepared ovals of black plastic and cover over holes caused by, perhaps, slipping a coracle into the pond and pulling it out, or by shifting of substrate, revealing of small stones cracked into this shape by ancient fires, and rubbing of black plastic against same, we sharpen our awareness as to the limitations of our efforts. We might just as well, like John Cage, pluck our patches from our local beyond, juxtapose our bogbean prunings on the compost heap like cavaliers on holiday, throw muddy great diving beetles over the fence, leave this year's frogs back into the slime if that's where they want to go.
Old reasons for doing things no
longer exist. (Sleep whenever/ Your
work goes on being done. You and it no
longer have a means of separation.)
Some kinds of reading—of the pond and John Cage—meet and draw breath. What is a very small frog doing out and about at this time of year? Older bullfrogs are nearly ready for the season of singing and procreation. We pondworkers are entirely superfluous. With our waterlilies and our management and even our good will.
Do nothing for one reason only. Think
it with respect to a large number of
other reasons, preferably reasons
that seem contradictory.
A small spider climbing between the page and the desk light. John Cage would like that. Covert operations of chance and nature. The need for a skein to an upper level, and a quick escape back down. Hanging in the balance when I open the window for a taste of night air alongside Mozart (played by Mitsuko Uchida).
monks take turns: one of them reads out
loud while the others are eating.
They call it "the greater silence."

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