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As long as we are alive, nothing is complete. We define this or that aspect of art, music, religion, life itself, and we kill it. In some way, small to great. Yes, poetry can lift art; art poetry. But neither can define or limit or stifle the other. There is always more. Much more. And the best critics know this. The most attentive, aware, tuned-in admirers of all the arts know this.
Nothing is written in stone, literally and metaphorically. The stone does not last. It crumbles and becomes something else. The metaphors are a bridge to another place and time, another way of seeing. Ancient sages recognized the multitudinous quality of perspective and embraced that for centuries. But we lost that, until the late 19th and 20th centuries when revolutions shook the arts and sciences.
Those revolutions were made possible by a return, a sneaking, stealth-like return, of humility in a sense. Paradoxically, the masters of those revolutions, the Einsteins, Heisenbergs, Kafkas, Schoenbergs, the Picassos, the James Joyces … were not what most people would define as “humble.” But in order to pursue their ventures, they needed to recapture the ancient past (Buddhist relativity, African ceremonial masks, Noh Dramas and a myriad cultural complexes) to don “the Other”, to live outside themselves and their hand-me-down assumptions.
In short, they escaped their egos at least long enough to create dynamic beauty that shattered the present again and again.
All great revolutions are both a return to the commons, to our shared human roots, and an explosion of tired, dated, outworn egos. On the individual all the way up to national and international levels.
The winds and the sea, the animals and the green, all tell us it’s time again. Prepare the way for another return, another joyous, riotous humbling!!