Sunday, October 26, 2008

Currently reading The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard. So far, I'm endeared to his Sartrean ethos as much as to his continental sense of aesthetics. The book presents a phenomenology of architecture, namely how we comport ourselves in our houses and apartments and how our first childhood dwellings inform the way we imagine inhabited space. Published in French in 1958, and translated into English nearly a decade later, Bachelard admixes phenomenological and 20th century poetic beats like the most entranced dubstep DJ to whom you'd ever halfstep your sneakered feet:

"And all the spaces of our past moments of solitude, the spaces in which we have suffered from solitude, enjoyed, desired and compromised solitude, remain indelible within us, and precisely because the human being wants them to remain so. He knows that this space identified with his solitude is creative; that even when it is forever expunged from the present, when, henceforth, it is alien to all the promises of the future, even when we no longer have a garret, when the attic room is lost and gone, there remains the fact that we once loved a garret, once lived in an attic. We return to them in our night dreams. These retreats have the value of a shell. And when we reach the very end of the labyrinths of sleep, when we attain to the regions of deep slumber, we may perhaps experience a type of repose that is pre-human; pre-human, in this case, approaching the immemorial...In the past, the attic may have seemed too small, it may have seemed cold in winter and hot in summer. Now, however, in memory recaptured through daydreams, it is hard to say through what syncretism the attic is at once small and large, warm and cool, always comforting."

Bachelard, like Heidegger thinking on Rilke, posits the impetus for poetic inspiration in the home because the unconscious is housed there. While reading these first three chapters the other day, I remembered something Emerson said about poetic energies generating not in the home but in the transitional modes of leaving home or returning to it. I can't remember which essay, though. Maybe it's in "The Poet," but I skimmed this essay yesterday and couldn't find it.

Anyway. The weather is cool, and our old house has warm, west-facing corners in the afternoons, perfect for reading. Maybe later today I'll find a swatch of sunlight, and blow the dust off of the slim copy I've kept from college: Emerson: Five Essays on Man & Nature.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Parent-Teacher conferences next week. Somehow, all those grades must make their way from student papers to the grade book program by 3:30 today. 1st Quarter grades are due...can't wait for the second hand to drop over the six, join the three to mark 3:30. To mark the weekend. Our anniversary weekend. We got marriaged roughly one year ago, exactly one year ago Monday. Parent-Teacher conferences Monday-Wednesday. So we'll celebrate the anniversary this weekend. Here's a wedding pic illustrating the complications of our first dance:

Here's one with two of my best friends from high school and beyond:

Photos by Patrick Adams