Towers and Natures

2 08 2008

A strange version of the tower card and one more classic.

Childe Roland to the dark tower came, what ringed, what beringed.

What does this have to do with anything.

but

He must be wicked to deserve such pain.

is perhaps easiest to suggest.

Or wild cats in a red-hot iron cage—

I decided last night that I am a Romantic—hopelessly anachronistic. I hate the idea of genetic modification, of nonhuman critters especially (e.g. hairless rats with compromised immune systems), because there is no perfecting nature, it is perfect already.

A great black bird, Apollyon’s bosom-friend,
Sail’d past, nor beat his wide wing dragon-penn’d
That brush’d my cap—perchance the guide I sought

Although, may I say, this perfection is one of wild random chance, bloody brutality and horrendous suffering. Do not seek in nature the end of suffering, for much of what is there is an open wound.

But, still, our disconnect, our arrogance, is ugly and nature, ourselves included in that (no pristine nature, mind you) is beautiful. Complicated, messy, twisted and vining. I never believe the grasp is possible, the reach, encompass, control realizable. It is a slippery thing and will slip away at last.

[and, by the way, may I recommend the art of Alexis Rockman. For those of you in Seattle, there is a piece in the Fisheries building at the UW. For those of you elsewhere, check the web,
your bookstore, etc.]
(italics are from Browning’s Childe Roland)

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