Monday, April 01, 2013

Spring and All

Over the past few months, and with increasing intensity over the past few weeks, I've been feeling like something is ending, and something else is beginning. I've come very late, and very slowly, to an insight over the past ten, maybe fifteen, years. This blog has been a record of my process, as has my other blog, if from a completely different angle.

This month, both blogs will address the theme of Williams' Spring and All, which has helped me to realize what I've been doing all these years and why have not been doing a great many other things. Those other things would have been useful to me, both personally and professionally. But something else took priority. It was (and will no doubt remain) an obsession, but until recently I had not seen clearly enough what it was: the imagination.

I had long understood the importance of the image, however. I couldn't see the imagination for the images, we might say.

"I let the imagination have its own way," says Williams, "to see if it could save itself" (SA, p. 43). I've been rereading that passage again and again over the past few days. "I think often of my earlier work and what it has cost me not to have been clear" (p. 42). He talks of his "refusal" and "rejection" of "most things" (42) and of "trying to remain firm" (43). It's clear that he believes it was all necessary, all part of an unavoidable process. Nonetheless, also a kind of "hell".

And with the coming of spring...

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