Monthly Archives: March 2014
“Sometimes, on Sundays, I heard the bells…when the wind was favourable, a faint, sweet, and, as it were, natural melody, worth importing into the wilderness. At a sufficient distance over the woods this sound acquires a certain vibratory hum, as if the pine needles in the horizon were the strings of a harp which it swept. All sound heard at the greatest possible distance produces one and the same effect, a vibration of the universal lyre, just as the intervening atmosphere makes a distant ridge of earth interesting to our eyes by the azure tint it imports to it. There came to me in this case a melody which the air had strained, and which had conversed with every leaf and needle of the wood, that portion of the sound which the elements had taken up and modulated and echoed from vale to vale. The echo is, to some extent, an original sound, and therein is the magic and charm of it. It is not merely a repetition of what was worth repeating in the bell, but partly the voice of the wood”
– Thoreau, Walden
I am writing about storytelling as research methodology and method at the moment and came across these words from Amy Ku’uleialoha Stillman and Jeannette Mageo:
‘Through generating new meaning structures, members of a group who share intragroup memories enjoy the potential for creating new ways of interpreting and acting upon relationships with each other and the world they share. Much of this generative work is done through what Mageo  calls intertextual resonance: “When people hear a story or a story fragment, they also hear echoes of other stories.”‘
Instantly I was reminded of the time I shared with my friend Luke a story about an old feeling on country coming and paying me a visit. He too had felt something similar in the same place. As well as intertextual resonance, it makes me wonder whether there are actors (maybe entities in country) that appear in one story, disappear for a while and reappear somewhere completely different. Slipper and hard to describe things that we don’t always have the words to describe… barely perceptible.
Stillman, AKu 2001, ‘Re-membering the History of the Hawaiian Hula’, in JM Mageo (ed.), Cultural Memory: Reconfiguring History and Identity in the Postcolonial Pacific, University of Hawai’i Press, Honolulu.
My work is so often invisible to me. What was I expecting to see?
I give him such a verbal and written lashing, so it’s nice to find these words from Descartes which inspire me!
It might seem strange that opinions of weight are found in the works of poets rather than philosophers. The reason is that poets wrote through enthusiasm and imagination; there are in us seeds of knowledge, as of fire in a flint; philosophers extract them by way of reason, but poets strike them out of imagination, and then they shine more bright.
—Descartes (in Applebaum 1995).