This is a recent post on one of my favorite blogs, cross-ties. After I read it —-
At the end of the first stanza of The Parakeets at Karekare, Allen Curnow refers to “a scene waiting to be painted.”
Apt, I’d say; apt in a way that I reckon all of us understand. But, in fact, it’s not true — not literally true.
[Gerard Manley] Hopkins (GMH) touched on something similar in the final stanza of his Hurrahing in Harvest: “These things, these things were here and but the beholder | Wanting …”
There’s a clue here — in the word, ‘wanting’. Used in this way, the word indicates that the encounter between “the beholder” and “these things” is something absent but desired. Desired by whom?
Desired by Possibility itself!
* * *
and inspired — by possibility? — I picked up my camera and went out on the off-chance that I would encounter some scene, somewhere, waiting to be painted, some scene with but the beholder wanting —
And this is some of what I came home with:
and finally, this, in which I glimpsed the principle of the Japanese shakkei, a “borrowed” view:
I can only hope that, as a beholder, I am not too much wanting.
The intention, at least, is there —