Saturday, July 23, 2011


Sometimes when you think you are done, it is just the edge of beginning.

Natalie Goldberg
How can we tell where one thing ends and another begins? We build curbs to show the difference between the sidewalks and the streets. But those are man made things. How can we tell where the shore line is? The tide goes in and out, the waves splash on the beach. We draw a line on a map, but it's imaginary. The shore line is in constant flux.

Drawing the human figure is a difficult task because of the uncertain beginnings and endings of various parts of the anatomy. Some people like to think of them as blocks. There's one block sitting on a smaller block and underneath that is a large block that spreads out and has longer, thinner blocks hanging off of it. That may help someone trying to understand proportions. But the human figure isn't made of blocks. There's another, better theory where the parts are seen as wedges connecting with each other. It's a much better idea I think because it allows for one muscle connecting to a bone underneath another muscle and making its appearance as the other muscle recedes. It makes for a fuller explanation of the human figure, and it is also closer to the way things are, naturally, in other areas of life.

I think of igneous rock wedged into stratified rock. I think of the roots of a tree wedging into the earth. I think of the song moving into its accompaniment. I think of the words of the poem moving into and pushing up its rhythm. I think of adolescence wedging into childhood and adulthood into adolescence. I think of the affairs of our nation where new theories and practices are wedging out the former, no longer useful ones. I think of a great idea originating in the bare bone thinking of some philosopher and gradually wedging its way into society and history. I think of the future working its way into a past that hasn't finished yet.

I think the wedging analogy is the truth about existence. When we reach the end of something, the beginning of the next has already formed itself from its primordial bones and is wedging itself into our lives.
Never give up.
DB - Vagabond


It's a long, hot, sticky summer, so here's a hot, sticky question for you. Don't let the recent New York State decision rob you of your thunder.

Same sex marriage. Should it be legal or not? If so, why? If not, why not?

12 answers so far.

You have until the last day of summer, but don't dally.
I eagerly await your answer.



Ken Riches said...

It is interesting to contemplate how endings can be beginnings, and beginnings are also endings. It is all a matter of perspective.

pacifica62 said...

The alpha and omega ---the beginning and the end.