To live one's life as a work of art. The Zen rock garden: pine needles blurring the raked lines of gravel, moss on the stones. Aeneas' fallen branch in the ruins of Apollo's Temple at Delphi. The wind from all History singing upon an Aeolian Harp, completing, over and over, Kubla Kahn's lost verses. The Chapel at the Monastery of Christ in the Desert: woodstove, high mullioned windows like Japanese screens, the canyon cliff beyond, rays of sunlight filled and outlined by pinon incense. Gerard Manley Hopkins' Windhover with its elegant structure of building alliteration: "Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here Buckle!" The line gathering such momentum that with that Buckle all the nouns collapse into each other, springing free on that immaculate AND to sing with ecstasy. Coleridge's best words in their best order. That one's actions/ experiences are the best actions in the best order. That each day of one's life creates another well structured poem. "The mastery of the thing!" "I would build that dome in air."
To live each day as as elegantly as a Japanese Tea Ceremony. With the sacredness of ceremony, but containing the dynamic gestural beauty of a sketch by Picaso, embracing imperfection, Tanizaki's shadows, wabi-sabi, the knot in the carved bowl of wood, the scar on the beautiful woman's face, the stumble, stop and smile of the Flamenco dancer and the slow Vico ricorso back into structure and God. The music is the silence, never ending, Cage's anechoic realizations of the heart beating and the brain buzzing.
To wake up in the moment, but as an anti-Roquentin, no longer willing to merely exist with the nausée of things as they are: the quiet and sinister accumulations of dust and dirt, the detritus of the flesh decomposing towards death. The piles of soiled laundry, hairs clogging the sinks, urine staining the porcelain of the toilet bowl, grey spheres of fuzz collecting in all the corners, scraps of food fallen under the table, stains on the carpet, the bookcases piled with unorganized papers and volumes read and unread, boxes full of ephemera, coins scattered on tables, dirty dishes filling the sink, glasses fogged over with the smudges and smears of touch, the odor of rancid sweat, of ancient garbage, of god forgotten and forlorn, of bones and a skull in a torn brown paper grocery sack in the corner, threatening to burst into flame under a stack of pizza boxes behind a fallen army of wine bottles and beer cans.
To begin again... to live intentionally. With Purity. With Simplicity. With Grace.
Holy Words, Mantra, Prayer awakens with cracked whispers in the mouth, the exhalations of breath, the sigh and aged ecstasy, on embers in the skull.
How many more times will I work through these words / worlds? No longer a curse, but a blessing.
There is no longer joy or determined resolution, just a getting up and hauling one's bones back on to the saddle of the Ox.