a life of real good trouble

november-18 | #blackbobwalk #selkirk #wintersun
late afternoon, mid winter, chasing silhouettes and shadows

“In Gnostic societies and cultures, there’s a belief that on the night you were born, you had a twin that was thrown into exile—we all have one. And the business of being a functioning adult, with all the complexity that entails, is that at certain points in your life, you seek out the wild twin that culture at large wants you to ignore. So you gotta be in touch with your own senses to do that. You’ve got to be un-tranced. You’ve got to be woken up. You’ve gotta know what you stand for. You gotta know what you’re gonna defend. You gotta know what music you like, what colors speak to you—the whole thing.

“James Joyce used to use a fancy phrase for this: he calls it aesthetic arrest. And all aesthetic arrest actually means is, what are those one or two images that have utterly claimed your heart—claimed [it] beyond thought, claimed [it] beyond the temporary fashions of culture? And you are just forever in love with two or three things. And then the idea is, if you work out of them, if—to use that phrase I said earlier on—you let them have their way with you, then a life of real good trouble can be bequeathed to you.

“If you’re over the age of twelve and under the age of ninety and you’re not in some kind of trouble, what the hell are you doing?”

Mud and Antler Bone | Martin Shaw with © emergence magazine

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