Monday, April 11, 2016

Simone Weil series 1

All the natural movements of the soul are controlled by laws analogous to those of physical gravity. Grace is the only exception. Italics are inversions, except where they're the rule. A woman was singing in MacArthur Park; she slung her arm around a pole as if to resist a strong wind. I noted the men seated on benches beside her, tents on the other side of the park, objects placed on the sidewalk for sale across the street. The lyric is troubled when it speaks for more than one, but that is all we are on this sidewalk, needing not more pronouns but more angels. Or an umbrella. Depending on how it's lit, like her eyes or like the melody Stein says is too seductive not to be avoided. At the airport, the man's shirt read: “Shredding a / tidal wave of / whiskey on a surfboard / made of / don't care.” He kept leaping to his feet to dance, snapping fingers as he threw one arm across his body. He talked to no one who was listening, said he was moving back after 38 years, 15 of them in L.A. I thought he was the mythological homeless man put on a plane to Honolulu. After all, his carry-on was a tent. But he muttered something about Nanakuli. His gray hair was matted, his standard black glasses framed dark crossed eyes. As we landed, his body moved in waves, arm thrown out, the snapping of fingers faster and faster. The flight attendant called him brother.

Gravity and Grace, Simone Weil, translated by Gustave Thibon, 1947 / 1952.

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