Saturday, July 12, 2008

A Stroll in Whales

I've recently been busy putting together some work for a gallery show. I'm still working on the details, and I'll be posting the particulars here when the time comes, but basically it will be a gallery show for comics in downtown Chicago. The plan is to display some Burning Building work, and so far it's coming together nicely.

So, this has put the delay on getting the new comics posted on the website, but I've got that all taken care of now, and I just have to wait for my brother Adam to do the magical website stuff.

Hey now, there's a nice shot of man with his dog. Unfortunately It's not my dog. I'm allergic. However, I wish I could have a dog just so there would be more pictures like this. What a lovely picture.

So, I took the boy out for a walk to the park today and I must confess that I love being a dad. There are these moments when I'm with Van, and something happens that takes me back to that age. Today, I was pushing him home in his stroller after a nice time in the park. We were going down the sidewalk and it was a quiet summer afternoon. There was a nice warm breeze and as I pushed the stroller I became aware of a steady rhythm as the wheels bumped over the segments of cement. I looked down and saw Van lulling off to sleep, and the memory of falling asleep myself after an afternoon trip to the park was a real as yesterday. And so was that feeling of calm and simple happiness. As I finished pushing the stroller home with that regular rhythmic cadence off the sidewalk I couldn't help but think that this kind of serenity, with the warm tranquil stillness, must be what it feels like when Buddhists meditate.

Somewhat related to that, I'm reading Moby Dick right now. I've read a little of Melville before, and liked it, and I try to read classic literature to help me feel smarter than I am. Anyway, it's slow and very descriptive and I have to admit there have been moments where it's lulled me off to sleep. There was this passage I just finished though that I thought was so nicely written and original a thought, I wanted to share it somehow. So here it is:

"Whales are scarce as hen's teeth whenever thou art up here." Perhaps they were; or perhaps there might have been shoals of them in the far horizon; but lulled into such an opium-like listlessness of vacant, unconscious reverie is this absentminded youth by the blending cadence of waves with thoughts, that at last he loses his identity; takes the mystic ocean at his feet for the visible image of that deep, blue, bottomless soul, pervading mankind and nature; and every strange, half-seen, gliding, beautiful thing that eludes him; every dimly discovered, uprising fin of some indiscernible form, seems to him the embodiment of those elusive thoughts that only people the soul by continually flitting through it. In this enchanted mood, thy spirit ebbs away to whence it came; becomes diffused through time and space; like Cranmer's sprinkled Pantheistic ashes, forming at last a part of every shore the round globe over.

I think that passage is talking about young sailors being lousy at spotting whales. Come on, huh? That was three sentences! There's seven semi-colons! Seven! Now, that's writing!

1 comment:

Adam and Jeff said...

That's a way to reel in readers, Jeff; quoting long passages of Melville. Truly living up to the title of "Worlds Worst Blaahhg."