Vija Celmins “Untitled” (Big Sea #1) graphite on acrylic ground on paper

I just came upon some lovely gems in this book that E. loaned me, and I had to share them because they shift my thinking in a life-giving direction.  I suppose the twists and turns in the plot of life are what make it so exquisite.  Russell Arthur Lockhart calls these unexpected movements, “wrinkles,” which he contrasts with that which is completely flat and known:

Russell Arthur Lockhart calls them wrinkles, which he contrasts with that which is completely flat and boring:

According to the dictionary, the word explanation:

was imported from the Latin word for explanare and is really two words: ex- meaning “completely” and planus meaning “plain” and “flat.”…The spirit of the word would be in opposition to wrinkles.  That’s why when we explain something we want to get the wrinkles out, to flatten out, make plane.  Which is, of course, exactly opposite our wish in a story: there the wrinkle is essential, a story without a wrinkle is too plain.  A story pulls us into its wrinkles, its twists, turns, folds.  

Drawing by Egon Schiele

When a story unfolds completely we are left a bit sad, missing something of the tangle the story had drawn us into, wishing for another.  Now we can fold ourselves into them…allow the wrinkles of the dream of poem to catch us and pull us into the story or we can try to take the wrinkles out and make plain…One can explain something only by reducing it to our amplifying it toward something we already know, something we can number like the definitions in a dictionary.  But this misses something quite essential and that something is contained in Jung’s idea and feeling about the symbol-producing qualities of the psyche.  He said often enough that a symbol was the best possible expression of something not yet fully known.  We should never tire of hearing this, for it is what would animate our psychology and save it from the state of stony orthodoxy, if we could hear it deeply enough.
-Psyche Speaks: A Jungian Approach to Self and World
by Russell Arthur Lockhart

Between living and dreaming
there is a third thing.
Guess it.

-Antonio Machado



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