"From Blank to Blank":

Excerpts from a Work in Regress




To objectify any self is to objectify all selves, including your own. The fluidity of identity is arrested, it stagnates then crystallizes, and growth becomes impossible.

Posted on Sunday, August 22, 2010 at 10:04AM by Registered CommenterMark Forrester | CommentsPost a Comment

The Forms of Thought


"Things are not as clear-cut as they seem. They are neither circumscribed nor separated from each other by lines. Lines are drawn in the mind. There are no lines in nature."

          —Stephen Batchelor, Buddhism Without Beliefs


in nature there are few sharp lines: there are areas of
      more or less dispersed;
disorderly orders of bayberry; between the rows
of dunes
irregular swamps of reeds
though not reeds alone, but grass bayberry, yarrow, all . . .
predominantly reeds:

I have reached no conclusions, have erected no boundaries,
shutting out and shutting in, separating inside
      from outside: I have
      drawn no lines

          —A. R. Ammons, "Corsons Inlet"

Posted on Wednesday, January 13, 2010 at 09:42AM by Registered CommenterMark Forrester | CommentsPost a Comment

Poetic Metaphor


Poetic metaphor is at the exact center of my belief system precisely because it undermines the possibility of exactness and a center.

Posted on Wednesday, November 4, 2009 at 04:27PM by Registered CommenterMark Forrester | CommentsPost a Comment

Looking at Nothing


"Is it possible to see absolutely nothing? Or do you always see something, even if it is nothing more than a blur or the insides of your own eyelids?

"This question has been well investigated. In the 1930s, a psychologist named Wolfgang Metzer designed an experiment to show that if you have nothing to look at, your eyes will stop functioning. Metzer put volunteers in rooms that were lit very carefully so there was no shadow and no gradients from light to dark. The walls were polished, so it was impossible to tell how far away they were. After a few minutes in an environment like that, the volunteers reported 'gray clouds' and darkness descending over their visual field. Some experienced an intense fear and felt as though they were going blind. Others were sure that dim shapes were drifting by, and they tried to reach out and grab them. Later it was found that if the room is illuminated with a bright color, within a few minutes it will seem to turn dull gray. Even a bright red or green will seem to turn dull gray. "

                —James Elkins

Posted on Monday, January 26, 2009 at 10:28PM by Registered CommenterMark Forrester | CommentsPost a Comment

One Man Wanting

"Death is at all times solemn, but never so much so as at sea. A man dies on shore; his body remains with his friends, and 'the mourners go about the streets;' but when a man falls overboard at sea and is lost, there is a suddenness in the event, and a difficulty in realizing it, which give to it an air of awful mystery. A man dies on shore—you follow his body to the grave, and a stone marks the spot. You are often prepared for the event. There is always something which helps you to realize it when it happens, and to recall it when it has passed. A man is shot down by your side in battle, and the mangled body remains an object, and a real evidence; but at sea, the man is near you—at your side—you hear his voice, and in an instant he is gone, and nothing but a vacancy shows his loss. Then, too, at sea—to use a homely but expressive phrase—you miss a man so much. A dozen men are shut up together in a little bark, upon the wide, wide sea, and for months and months see no forms and hear no voices but their own, and one is taken suddenly from among them and they miss him at every turn. It is like losing a limb. There are no new faces or new scenes to fill up the gap. There is always an empty berth in the forecastle, and one man wanting when the small night watch is mustered."
         —Richard Henry Dana, Jr.,
          Two Years Before the Mast

Posted on Thursday, February 28, 2008 at 09:13PM by Registered CommenterMark Forrester | CommentsPost a Comment