Friday, January 25, 2008

Oak Leaves on the trail

Oak Leaves on the trail
Originally uploaded by jhhymas
I'm still working on the ten-best lists. It is really fun! Here's a quote about the past, which fascinated Joseph Cornell. And which fascinates me, too, although now that I have experienced refrigeration, indoor plumbing, light for reading at night and antibiotics, I wouldn't really want to go back.

I like the word "hyacinthine"

To conjure, even for a moment, the wistfulness which is the past is like trying to gather the hyacinthine color of the distance. The past is only the present become invisible and mute; and because it is invisible and mute, its memoried glances and its murmurs are infinitely precious. We are tomorrow's past. Even now we slip away like those pictures painted on the moving dials of antique clocks: a ship, a cottage, sun and moon, a nosegay. The dial turns, the ship rides up and sinks again, the yellow painted sun has set, and we, that were the new thing, gather magic as we go.

Mary Webb, from the foreword to Precious Bane,
as quoted in the Joseph Cornell Album by Dore Ashton

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