Paradox and Astonishment – Jean-Luc Marion quote

Some opening lines to ponder of a new book I (Kirk) am starting:

“In itself, perspective exercises a paradox…The paradox attests to the visible, while at the same time opposing itself, or rather while inverting itself; literally, it constitutes a counter-visible, a counter-seen, a counter-appearance that offers in a spectacle to be seen the opposite of what, at first sight, one would expect to see. More than a surprising opinion, the paradox often points to a miracle – it makes visible that which one should not be able to see and which one is not able to see without astonishment.”

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Poem – a way to name and remember

I‘ve been reading a book called An Unexpected Light by a friend, Dave Mahan. It’s about poetry’s ability to recall, challenge and change things—specifically in the Christian concept of ‘witness’. I came across this quote where Dave is summarizing the thoughts of theologian Paul Riceour:

poetic discourse’s advantage…is its capacity to ‘redescribe reality'[1]”.

The Philosophy of Paul Riceour
I like that. This echoes another quote I have heard attributed to poet Robert Frost—”Poetry is a way to remember what we would be impoverished to forget”. Poetry does that for me, and I think it does that for the average human being—helps us communicate differently in order to grow in understanding.

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Kirk’s eye


“…it’s not everyone God can trust with trouble…”

…words a friend sent to me days after my eye surgery. He had just shared some of his own recent health obstacles with me via our internet chat and we both were thankful that God was present even in adversity. I recalled Job’s words to his wife who attempted to persuade him to curse God and give up – Job replied, “Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?”

Up until early Saturday morning, I still had my own left eye. It hadn’t worked all that well since I was a kid, but still looked normal except for the last couple of years.

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Micheal and us.

Micheal O'Siadhail Complete poems cover

The cover of Micheal O’Siadhail’s book Complete Poems. The Portrait is by Irish artist, Mick O’Dea.

He had heard of the word “selfie” but had never taken one. In his way, he stated this question, “I suppose it’s a photograph you take of yourself?” Moments later Sarah and I took a “selfie” with Irish poet, Micheal O’Siadhail. His very first.

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Dazzle Gradually opening remarks January 31st, 2014

Kirk on opening night of Dazzle Gradually, January 2014

Kirk on opening night of Dazzle Gradually, January 2014

These were my opening remarks at our Arts Forum, Dazzle Gradually: The allure of Poetic Truth-Bearing, on January 31st through February 1st, 2014. The video at the end is a short summary of what happened.

Tell all the truth but tell it slant,
Success in circuit lies,
Too bright for our infirm delight
The truth’s superb surprise;

As lightning to the children eased
With explanation kind,
The truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind.
Tell all the Truth by Emily Dickinson

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