Saturday, March 03, 2007

Coming Too Close to God, or How Art Knows the Meaning of Life. My attempt at explaining.

Tonight, I saw my second butoh show, Jyu Ningen Zu. I cried AGAIN. I cannot begin to describe the show, just details of

how the shadow of her hand momentarily looked like the shadow of a toothed snake, or a dragon, on the talcum powder in the bowl on stage,
how their footprints were black in the spilled powder and white on the black rubber mat of the theatre floor, creating a pattern that seemed to mirror the Japanese character painted onto the backdrop,
how suddenly we saw a headless woman dancing,
how his Oriental face seemed to simultaneously be that of a newborn, and an ancient, and an extraterrestrial, and the face of mankind condensed into one face,
how the powder bowl left a perfect blank in the spilled powder, like a black hole, like a negative sun, and how, incredibly, he managed to leave a footprint in it later

and impressions of
bodies talking and saying the unsayable things,
beautiful ugliness,
expanding the mind like lsd or Tarkovsky, as in "let's look at this bit of lichen floating in this puddle for a few minutes or aeons until we really see it and understand the meaning of everything",
leaving me afterwards needing to run home and hide
because

everything:
shop windows with hat shop dummies wearing fur hats which I hate, Nike trainers in glass display cases
the city of my birth, in its full between-seasons ugliness
bus indicator lights, on-off, on-off
the digital clockface on the side of a building (20:41, +1 C)
the names of shops (TIMBER HEART. NEW LOOK.)
suddenly wears a face of indescribable beauty and meaning, benign and terrible

and because

I am wearing God on my non-believer face and the passers-by will see Him, or I will see Him in their eyes

and because

my too-open soul cannot take any more seeing, no, no, don't show me any more, I can't take it, it's all too beautiful

5 comments:

kurt said...

I remember you worried a while ago about the years piling up.

You shouldn't worry at all. Your heart and brain are, obviously, still in prime condition.

I had a long answer to the Auster thing below, but was too tired to finish it. I think it boiled down to: having to forget bad things hinders the accumulation of good things that would make memories add up the way it seems they should. Like garbage on a snowball.

I hope I am not too tired now, spouting nonsense, to be pushing this button...

Anna MR said...

Thank you, Kurt - took me a while to work out it was you, what with the funny mess the system seems to make if the title of one's post is overlong.

Garbage on a snowball is somehow suddenly reminiscent of a comet - you know how astronomers describe them to laymen as "dirty snowballs"

happeningfish said...

Wow. That's all.

nmj said...

anna mr, you have a way of describing things that makes me feel as if i too have experienced every detail...alas, i find the all too beautiful sensation is always so fleeting - enjoy it while it lasts, hon.

Anna MR said...

nmj, Fish, kisses to both of you.

The "butoh trip" itself lasted an hour or so, which is incredible, as time ceased to exist. The after effect wore off in about the same time, and included a physical comedown (I kid you not) with symptoms such as waves of nausea, tingly fingers, cramped shoulders. I don't know whether I dare to watch a third butoh...