Those treasures, that furniture, that luxury, that order, those perfumes, those miraculous flowers, they are yourself.
Recently I photographed the objects of the fire ex-situ.
I felt I was pulling ghosts out of boxes, brushing them off and sticking them into the light.
I wore gloves from the lag to prevent my possible exposure to poison oak–remember, I believed the objects the source of my unpleasant reaction so many months ago? So now I am afraid to touch them with bare hands.
Not that it is dangerous, or even painful–but the itch is horrendous and makes everything less pleasant.
The objects dropped ash all over the floor. But I believe they are quite beautiful.
And there is a difference, a great difference, between how they appear now and how they appeared when I first stumbled upon them in the region where the fire had reduced the chaparral plants to ash.
The beauty is because of what attaches to them, and because of the fire and the ash and because of the quail.
mirrors, the metals, the upholstery, the jewelry and the crockery play for the eyes a silent and mysterious symphony
And the poison oak. With its own beauty and shine.
Their beauty is an inversion of Baudelaire’s declaration of love. For him, Nature is reformed by the dream, where it is corrected, embellished, remodelled.
This is, of course, wrong. From the capital N nature to the reformation of that which is not human or made by humans. The treasures of the world have no more value than an old burned up can of pepsi beyond what the ghosts and the dirt confer.
Not a romanticism of the pure and clean nature–apart from humans. This is not existent and is not true. A romanticism of the hidden places everywhere where the creatures that are not humans live their lives, in the chaparral, in the depth of the sea, in the middle of the Amazon and in the soil of my back yard–that is a species of earthworm, see?
I shall learn poetry here.
quotes are by Baudelaire and Keats