The blog is founded on the idea that Blanco never spends too much time writing a post, unless it is an article, review or poem that has already been prepared or published elsewhere (i.e. recycled work, of which there is an irregular smattering). In other words the motivating principle is of spontaneity, of always allowing myself, in my writing, to move where the mood takes me, so I do not necessarily end up in a place where I thought I was going: I would go so far as to say that was the whole point of the blog – to begin a thought process and see where it takes me. This will sometimes mean that the title of the piece only makes sense in terms of something that appears towards the end, or is a fleeting thought that arises as a consequence of something in the blog that is not fully explored.
So what we have is a kind of diary, alongside a series of reflections – precisely as the subtitle proclaims – on the mutable universe. Like most things concerning the genesis of the blog, the words came without conscious forethought: but ‘mutable’ is key here: I want the blog to act as an archive – very much in the spirit of the work of my friend, the painter Lluís Peñaranda – of mutability, of fleetingness, of transience. The transience of those things that we explore, and the transience of ourselves.
Actually, the most apt description of what we have is labyrinth. A labyrinth is not only a metaphor for the questing self, and a means of self-transcendence: it is also a way of getting purposefully lost, of going up blind alleys, of plunging deeper into one’s own lack of knowledge and coming back with something unknown, of finding surprising routes to places we never intended going. Of noting that the exit to the labyrinth is sometimes marked Entrance to the Labyrinth.
And of observing what goes on inside the labyrinth when the geography will not stay still.
To be continued.
I set out on a journey, but the geography would not stay still, and I ended up somewhere I hadn’t intended going.
‘Restless Geography’ from Sad Giraffe Café (2010)
I really enjoyed this, Richard. Made me think of David Grossman who has the words “I had no idea I was going to write this” in a frame above his desk.
I am a pedant but labyrinths do not have blind alleys. There is only one way through a labyrinth with no choices or chances to get lost- as your picture show. It is mazes that have those characteristics… and Borges’ labyrinths too are generally mazes as in the forking paths..
Yes Alessandra, I was wondering as I wrote it who was going to be the first to raise this. I am aware of the difference, but chose (from a wish not to confound the terminology) to risk a looser interpretation of labyrinth. More fool me. But it does raise the question of why Ariadne needed to lay a thread for Theseus, as there was only one possible way out.
I guess we should take Borges to task as well. There was a wonderful exhibition on Labyrinths in Barcelona last year, with quite a strong Borgesian accent – but comprehensive. I have the catalogue if you are interested.
Yes would love to see it. I have a longstanding interest in labyrinths caused by large doses of Borges absorbed when still impressionable
Some differences between the path in and the path out of a labyrinth are time, direction and experience – sometimes benign but nor always. As a devotee of the labyrinth during a chaotic period in my life it eventually became essential for me to observe that the exit door while tantalizingly known to me, much more than a ‘where’ offered the question ‘how’. Other paradoxical choices also arose while in its dimensional psyche – in my case a dewy lawn in Oxford. The pilgrimage became a disorderly state where the key offered by Ariadne’s Thread mercifully and eventually opened onto other myths.
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