Sunday, 9 November 2014

Adam Zagajewski's 'Don't Allow the Lucid Moment to Dissolve': Clinging to Lucidity

Soap Bubble by Mike Haller. Used under Creative Commons license

I've been blogging for more than three years now, which may or may not be longer than expected. One thing is certain: very few things get easier with the passage of time, whatever people may tell you - if you're like me and motivation, momentum and good habits aren't your strong points, anyway.

I have recently been wondering what The Stone and the Star is for and whether it needs to change, whether or not I should continue, whether I should dial back on the Facebook and Twitter aspects and just blog, whether I should concentrate on having 800+ Twitter followers and not worry much about the blog...etc. The fact remains that while sometimes blogging feels more like a chore than like a release, it started all this (whatever "all this" is) and in my mind, the blog still seems to be framed as one of the core points of my creative life. The other social media aspects are more peripheral.

I was reaching for a poem which might articulate some of what I've been thinking about and I came to Adam Zagajewski's 'Don't Allow the Lucid Moment to Dissolve'.

DON'T ALLOW THE LUCID MOMENT TO DISSOLVE (Adam Zagajewski, translated by Renata Gorczynski)

In this poem, the "lucid moment" is about reaching our full potential - "the level of ourselves" and "[t]he stature of a man...notched/high up on a white door". When in conclusion Zagajewski says "On a hard dry substance/you have to engrave the truth", it certainly calls poetry and writing to mind; perhaps also the visual arts, carved like Michelangelo's painful and glorious statues; or music, inscribed on the page and written in sound on air.

Beyond these, so much that is important happens because people hold on to and make a record of lucid moments. The Bible writers and prophets, whether you believe their inspiration was divine or otherwise, certainly saw the crucial necessity of recording the lucid moment. Great scientists, explorers, human rights activists and others have glimpsed and reached for them repeatedly. The "lucid moments" become a kind of ladder, or a series of lights on the roadway ('lucid' comes from the Latin for 'light'). And while blogging about poetry isn't a great deal, it can also be a small way to hold onto and to reach forward with lucidity.


  1. I really like this one too, it resonates with me as well. I think anything that keeps us regularly focused on reality, or helps keep us in touch with essential truths, is a valuable and worthwhile endeavor. The blog may take effort, but do you find it has a stabilizing effect on your life? (It's Christina by the way, just using Yoshi's account to comment)

    1. Hi Christina, thanks for stopping in! I think blogging does have a certain stabilizing effect. It would probably be even more so if I did what some bloggers do and wrote regularly once or twice a week at the same time (or something like that), but that's unlikely to happen... Writing a few times a month is something at least. I enjoy it partly as something to go back to if I'm feeling uncertain about other things, or, frankly, if I feel like other things aren't going so well - it's good to go back and do something you know you're good at.

      The level of effort required varies. Sometimes it's easy and the entries almost seem to write themselves in my head first, without a lot of conscious effort or interference on my part before I then write it down. Sometimes it's more like "I have nothing interesting to say...aarrgghh" (the usual cry of the artist, anyway). I was worried this year that I didn't have anything of substance to say, I think. But I've managed to write some substantial entries lately, so that was somewhat reassuring.

  2. In the lucids moments we know better. The "knowledge" we get in these inspiring moments deserves to be stored, registered, written down... because it is of the utmost importance for our personal growth. The poet thinks that it has to be engraved in a hard dry substance. From a more "taoistic" point of view the goal of this truth, "revelations", is the inner self, the heart, soft and vivid, for want of more appropiate adjectives.