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honoriartist


honoria in ciberspazio

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Yesterday's anniversary
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honoriartist
Yesterday was a walking meditation on all that mail art has brought to me.
Bill Wilson posted this yesterday on the Ray Johnson Bunny Club at Yahoo.

The Nineteenth Century and After

Though the great song return no more
There's keen delight in what we have:
The rattle of pebbles on the shore
Under the receding wave.

---W. B. Yeats

Honoria has written so sensitively and generously on this anniversary of
what, from an ordinary perspective, is the dying of Ray Johnson---an act that
was not so much a suicide as a return to his true home, a return to the only
place he could truly live like water-in-water, although it happened also to
entail his drowning---that I was able to find at least a phantom delight in her celebration of Ray as the source of her delight in mail-art. Her message
brought back to the surface a poem by William Butler Yeats, where he
acknowledges the loss of religions, myths, and narratives of coherent systems that gave a delusory yet consoling wholeness to images and ideas about life. For Yeats, the oceanic wholeness of "the great song" will never return, yet he bears witness to the rattle of pebbles on the shore: "There's keen delight in what we have." I think of mail-art, not as a unified song in which the beginning and the end imply each other, thus closing on itself like an ouroborus, but as like "the pebbles on the shore." The open structure and randomness of mail-art do not provide the false consolations of structures that close in harmony, but they do offer the consolations and delights of a structure that is true to the open structure of events that we might decide to take a chance on: Bill

The Nineteenth Century and After

Though the great song return no more
There's keen delight in what we have:
The rattle of pebbles on the shore
Under the receding wave.