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Re: [xmca] Update on Tony Whitson
- To: firstname.lastname@example.org, "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <email@example.com>
- Subject: Re: [xmca] Update on Tony Whitson
- From: Robert Lake <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Tue, 13 Dec 2011 09:34:06 -0500
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Hi Tony and everyone, (Will someone please forward to Tony?)
Here is a poem by Cecil Day- Lewis with commentary from David Kellogg.
> There is a good poem about the relationship between meaning potential and
> actual meaning by Cecil Day-Lewis. It's metaphorical, of course! He begins
> by defining a sign for us, and pointing out that a tree is a sign too
> (because it stands for itself, or if you want to be physiological about
> it produces an image on our retina which is interpreted by our brains as a
> tree.) But it's a sign without a system, without much unrealized meaning
>* This tree outside my window here,
> Naked, umbrageous, fresh or sere,
> Has neither chance nor will to be
> Anything but a linden tree,
> Even if its branches grew to span
> The continent; for nature’s plan
> Insists that infinite extension
> Shall create no new dimension.
> >From the first snuggling of the seed
> In earth, a branchy form’s decreed.*
> You have to admit the Creator was original. He was certainly forceful in
> his creativity. But rather limited, when you look at it; in His later
> He kept repeating Himself with only minor variations, and most of what was
> new was not very good. Human creativity is a different matter!.
> *Unwritten poems loom as if
> They’d cover the whole of earthly life.
> But each one, growing, learns to trim its
> Impulse and meaning to the limits
> Roughed out by me, then modified
> In its own truth’s expanding light.
> A poem, settling to its form,
> Finds there’s no jailer, but a norm
> Of conduct, and a fitting sphere
> Which stops it wandering everywhere.*
> Human creativity, unlike nature, is an embarrassment of riches; we need
> rhyme (which you notice Day-Lewis adheres to quite rigorously) and meter
> keep us honest. As Adorno says, the bourgeoisie would like life to be
> austere and art voluptuous, but we would really be much better off with
> things the other way around: life full of actual meaning, and art full of
> things left unsaid.
> Now here Day-Lewis notes that there is a third thing--and it is the thing
> that Bakhtin wrote almost exclusively about, something that is neither
> system of meaning nor instance of meaning making, something that is
> signification nor purely individual sense: it is human relationships in
> their complex, meaty sensuousness.
> Are interpersonal relations more like intra-personal relations or are they
> more like societal relations? Are they more intra-psychological or more
> trans-psychological? Are more things to be left said or unsaid? Half said?
> Are these going to be austere or voluptuous? Will they depend on potential
> or upon realization?
>* As for you, my love, it’s harder,
> Though neither prisoner nor warder,
> Not to desire you both: for love
> Illudes us we can lightly move
> Into a new dimension, where
> The bounds of being disappear
> And we make one impassioned cell.
> So wanting to be all in all
> Each for each, a man and a woman
> Defy the limits of what’s human.*
> Voluptuous then, and almost intrapersonal--but this is a romantic, young
> person's view. Day-Lewis wrote this late in life, after many years of what
> we would have to call development. Human development is not like natural
> development; it means creating more potential rather than simply realizing
> it (and thus leaving less unsaid).
> *But when we cease to play explorers
> And become settlers, clear before us
> Lies the next need – to re-define
> The boundary between yours and mine;
> Else, one stays prisoner, one goes free.
> Each to his own identity
> Grown back, shall prove our love’s expression
> Purer for this limitation.
> Love’s essence, like a poem’s, shall spring
> >From the not saying everything.
> David Kellogg
On Mon, Dec 12, 2011 at 11:29 PM, mike cole <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> Herewith a poem that Tony may find satisfying to think with. It is usefully
> followed up by a visit to the website of the Cluny Museum in Paris and the
> tapestries that reside there, but it stands pretty well on its own.
> If this topic is interesting, there are some nice follow-ons.
> The Unicorn by Ranier Maira Rilke
> This is the creature there never has been.
> They never knew it, and yet, none the less,
> they loved the way it moved, its suppleness,
> its neck, its very gaze, mild and serene.
> Not there, because they loved it, it behaved
> as though it were. They always left some space.
> And in that clear unpeopled space they saved
> it lightly reared its head with scarce a trace
> of not being there. They fed it, not with corn,
> but only with the possibility
> of being. And that was able to confer
> such strength, its brow put for a horn. One horn.
> Whitely it stole up to a maid, -- to *be*
> within the silver mirror and in her.
> On Mon, Dec 12, 2011 at 4:29 PM, David H Kirshner <email@example.com> wrote:
> > Mike,
> > I'll help with the archives work.
> > Meanwhile, the only tangible thing I can think of that might bring Tony
> > some pleasure is poetry.
> > If anyone has a suggestion of a poem that seems relevant to Tony's work,
> > or Tony's current situation, or to XMCA, or to what Tony brings to XMCA,
> > send it on, and I'll forward to him on our behalf.
> > David
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]
> > On Behalf Of mike cole
> > Sent: Monday, December 12, 2011 10:21 AM
> > To: Deborah Rockstroh
> > Cc: Laboratory of Comparative Human Cognition Internal List; eXtended
> > Mind, Culture,Activity
> > Subject: Re: [xmca] Update on Tony Whitson
> > Great to hear from someone closer to the scene who would like to pursue
> > the suggestions made by people so far. Perhaps everyone could start by
> > going to Tony's web page, since he suggested it through you, Deborah.
> > Its a pretty chaotic time for all of us, but the web allows us to pursue
> > the matter in our own moments if not our "own ways."
> > As soon as possible, we at LCHC will organize a systematic look at the
> > xmca archive, but that takes time and labor and coordination, which
> > makes the web page a common sense common goal.
> > Anyone who would like to help pulling the relevant information from the
> > archives, please contact me.
> > mike
> > On Sun, Dec 11, 2011 at 9:49 PM, Deborah Rockstroh
> > <firstname.lastname@example.org>wrote:
> > > That's a lovely suggestion Mike, a very thoughtful way to keep Tony
> > > and his interests in the forefront of our minds, at the very least;
> > > and perhaps such discussions might trigger something to assist in his
> > > recovery. I think David Kellogg's suggestion about attempting to
> > > communicate with him in Chinese has potential too. Tony has
> > > contributed much to these conversations and my thoughts and prayers
> > > are with him and his family at this time also.
> > >
> > > He often directed us to his blog, so perhaps that provides an
> > > additional avenue for understanding and framing his interests?
> > > http://curricublog.wordpress.com/
> > >
> > > Deb
> > >
> > >
> > > Deborah Rockstroh
> > > Southern Cross University, Coffs Harbour Preferred email:
> > > email@example.com
> > >
> > >
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]
> > > On Behalf Of mike cole
> > > Sent: Monday, 12 December 2011 3:20 PM
> > > To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> > > Subject: Re: [xmca] Update on Tony Whitson
> > >
> > > There is a pretty large archive to topics tony has commented on in the
> > > past few years at lchc when I google search. I am not competent to
> > > download them all and order them but if it were possible to do so, we
> > > might be able to take up some topics that are of interest to Tony as a
> > > foundation of communication if he is so inclined.
> > > mike
> > >
> > > On Sun, Dec 11, 2011 at 1:06 PM, Martin Packer <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> > >
> > > >
> > > > On Dec 11, 2011, at 2:00 PM, David H Kirshner wrote:
> > > >
> > > > > "Tony is not able to independently log on to this account yet or
> > > > > read comments with understanding, but he seems to understand
> > > > > spoken language perfectly, so we are reading the emails on this
> > > > > account to Tony as they come in.
> > > >
> > > > This seems a powerful example of the way that compensation, that is,
> > > > treatment and recovery from neurological damage, requires an
> > > > external, social, moment. LSV wrote that "Research into the
> > > > compensatory functions that develop in these disorders also shows
> > > > that the objectification of a disturbed function, that is, bringing
> > > > it outside and changing it into external activity, is one of the
> > > > basic roads in the compensation of disorders".
> > > >
> > > > I hope that we at XMCA might together provide that external activity
> > > > that will help Tony in his recovery.
> > > >
> > > > Martin
> > > >
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*Robert Lake Ed.D.
Social Foundations of Education
Dept. of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading
Georgia Southern University
P. O. Box 8144
Phone: (912) 478-5125
Fax: (912) 478-5382
Statesboro, GA 30460
*Democracy must be born anew in every generation, and education is its
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