Saturday, December 19, 2009
Why I Love This Stuff
Next to my bathtub I have three reading choices. A long outdated (Madonna and A-Rod) People magazine, a more recent issue of Yoga Journal, and The Dictionary of Alchemical Imagery by Lyndy Abraham. This third thing is the one I reach for. It's not a New Age thing at all. It's this woman's Doctoral Thesis at Cambridge University and to write she she ventured into the depths of the Vatican's secret libraries and cruised the coffers of ancient memory to dredge of these defitintions of things I never used to think about.
Things like: alembic/limbeck, the red dragon, albification.
I read this book with remarkable pleasure.
For me, it's like reading the poems of Shakespeare. . . only maybe even better.
I feel this is my own private world, a book few others venture to pay nearly $40.00 for on Amazon (used: $29.45). It's a language I share with these ancient minds. . . women and men who influenced great poets and composers. . . Goethe. . . Rilke. . . Jung. . . they challenge me, stretch my mind, and I marvel at their creativity. . . and expand my mind with every word I read.
What I like best about it, it never becomes something rational.
Reading this stuff, like reading great poems, keeps me always in that metaspace--like love, like dreaming, like doing a really good crossword puzzle and it all starts coming together as though you don't even have to read the clues anymore because your mind has become one with that of the puzzle designer--where my mind is cruising just under its own surface.
I laugh out loud when I read it. It's a laughter like: damn, you guys were good.
For all the darkness and spookiness clouding around alchemy all these years, reading it is pure joy. Joy in language. Joy in life. Joy in the mysteries of the human mind and the joy of getting deep into symbols and stirring stuff up from thousands of years ago.