'A pebble is not a thing that's easy to define', wrote Francis Ponge, and then he continued to rif on the occurance of rock, stone, pebble, gravel, sand, dust – over time. Today A.M. has been hard at it, 'it' being the work of revealing the cottage, the once-a-stable for horses. Today her efforts made me think of archeologists with their brushes and small spades. While last week she gathered stones and the remains of other inhabitations from all around -– and surrounded a patch of ground for annuals, perinnials (herbs/flowers) –– this week the shovel revealed a layer of a previous life for the cottage: the paths walked, the ground that surrounds. And the rif continues, rift - that's a geological term for sure.
'All rocks are descended through scission from the same gigantic forbear. One thing alone can be said about that fabled body, namely that once past the stage of limbo it never again held up. / Since the slow catastrophe of cooling, the history of this body—having once and for all lost both the capacity to be roused and to recast itself into one complete entity—will be but the tale of perpetual disintegration. Yet this is the moment when other things begin to happen: with grandeur dead, life immediately demonstrates that they have two things in common …' and here I have to interrupt the intensity of 'The Pebble', a complex, heavy collation of thought-prose, a difficult pleasure, dark like outer-space where all the planets and rocks and stars endlessly abide in various arrangements of molecular dimensions. Ponge ends his musing (a must read experience, over time, Ponge being a reader and maker of signs) with a proposed charge of quicksand! by his reader-critics. Language does this, the going with the flow of thoughts takes one into places that both bury and reveal, disintegrate even while regenerating.
'I'll say no more, for this idea of disappearing signs leads me to reflect on the faults of a style that relies too heavily on words.'
—— Francis Ponge, "The Pebble" The Nature of Things (Le Parti Pris des Choses) translated by Lee Fahenstock, Red Dust, New York. 1942/1995