Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Lonely Hunter

Knowledge is power. – Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

If knowledge is power and power corrupts- if eating of the tree of knowledge was the original sin- then can enlightenment come only at the price of damnation?El Club Dumas by Arturo Perez Reverte

The wandering artist continuously lusts for the next dominion. The challenge of change and the passion for success are unequivocally bound for the artist that wants no other career. No other philosophies but those discovered along the path to enlightenment. Not so much forgetting one’s origins, as improving the future. But will these discoveries actually impede the visual interpreter from finding solace with those left behind? Or is the artist’s need to maintain a state of arrogance too excessive an infringement upon what another might traditionally understand as the only authority – humility to maintain the status quo.

The moves, the change, the desire to learn from those that are foreign from our own beginnings – these cravings upset the conventional lives of Joe America. Exploring tolerance and meandering through society can set the stage for distrust with the locales. Skepticism regarding my true intent. Can I continuously attempt to overcome the label of “outsider”, in each new place? Is this the approach of the traditional anthropologist - or the artist-as-anthropologist? This is not me. This is me. Will it always remain my own choice?

Is the destiny of the travel artist, ultimately the fate of the lonely hunter? A passion designed to forever search-out a quarry that will never be found, not unlike the poem by William Sharp (writing as Fiona MacLeod) - though the poem searches out a person and I a place. Does this condition of constant relocation stipulate that I am shut-off, in my state, from mankind? From the very societies I wish to encroach? The cultures I long to be influenced by – the places and people, I selfishly wish to leave with my own mark, before departing. I partake in the pain of these alien civilizations; attempt to contribute to their joy, but as a matter of self-infliction never consent to remain – always imagining the next adventure. Where is the damnation for this knowledge of unfamiliar cultures and ideas? Or is the realization of so many traditions and an inability to choose - the actual damnation? – DN

The Lonely Hunter by Fiona MacLeod
Green branches, green branches, I see you beckon; I follow!
Sweet is the place you guard, there in the rowan-tree hollow.
There he lies in the darkness, under the frail white flowers,
Heedless at last, in the silence, of these sweet midsummer hours.
But sweeter, it may be, the moss whereon he is sleeping now,
And sweeter the fragrant flowers that may crown his moon-white brow:
And sweeter the shady place deep in an Eden hollow
Wherein he dreams I am with him -- and, dreaming, whispers, " Follow ! "
Green wind from the green-gold branches, what is the song you bring ?
What are all songs for me, now, who no more care to sing?
Deep in the heart of Summer, sweet is life to me still,
But my heart is a lonely hunter that hunts on a lonely hill.
Green is that hill and lonely, set far in a shadowy place;
White is the hunter's quarry, a lost-loved human face:
O hunting heart, shall you find it, with arrow of failing breath,
Led o'er a green hill lonely by the shadowy hound of Death?
Green branches, green branches, you sing of a sorrow olden,
But now it is midsummer weather, earth-young, sun-ripe, golden:
Here I stand and I wait, here in the rowan-tree hollow,
But never a green leaf whispers, "Follow, oh, Follow, Follow !"
O never a green leaf whispers, where the green-gold branches swing:
O never a song I hear now, where one was wont to sing.
Here in the heart of Summer, sweet is life to me still,
But my heart is a lonely hunter that hunts on a lonely hill.

2 comments:

p.t. said...

Guess Tolstoy pretty much sums up your dilemma Daniel "There are only two stories in all of literature - a man goes on a journey, a stranger comes to town."Thank you for the opportunity to view your new work. It is wonderful.

Sarah said...

I ran across your words looking for this poem. I'm not sure which is the bigger treat - but I feel you and I understand your words, have held them in my hands myself. Yes, your work is lovely and your sentiments too, probably because you have spent an inordinate amount of time with them, the only changing things that remain with you in your changing landscape. best of luck with everything.