Thursday, May 3, 2012

Prayer and Art

from Scott Cairns podcast on Vocation, Poetry and Prayer.

"Less as a means as expressing what they already know and more of a process by which they come to apprehend what they do not know. Perhaps what they can never exactly know, but what in exhilarating joy they come to suspect. It is therefore very misleading for us to talk of literary writing in terms of expression.... the process must be understood primarily as a way to see." 

"If this disposition of Prayer as expression, or worse as petition merely, is all we know of the matter, ...we have yet to begin." 

photo by Mat. Ann
"The pursuit of art becomes worthless when it is reduced to being the expression of what you know or what you think you know. I want to insist that the pursuit of art becomes a vocation only when it is understood as a discipline, a devotion to a way. the medium of language or sound or pigment or clay or fabric, the stuff of your art, the devotion to a medium a craft whose pursuit leads the artist into making something worthy of attention... something worthy of repeated attention." 

 "The poetic however is necessarily something else: it is an occasion of immediate and observed, which is to say present presence, it is an occasion of ongoing generative agency." 

"The poetic then: the presence and activity of inexhaustible indeterminate enormity apprehended in a discrete space... It is poetic to the extent that it occasions further generation, that it bears fruit." 

"Like the holy mysteries then, the poetic is involved in communication, but not in the sense that that word has become misunderstood as the unidirectional distribution of information, rather in the sense that something of each communicant is imparted to the other, and necessarily in the sense that new creation is the desired result. Like the holy mysteries then the poetic, is utterly involved with presence, not merely its history but also its currency and its continuing life giving current."

(While Lu was writing her alphabet at the table next to me. She heard his introduction where he says in his youth he wanted to be a good writer. "Oh, did he say good writer? Is he talking to me? I'm being a good writer!" "Yes, yes you are!" I looked at her beautifully crafted letters and wondered at who she will be.) 

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