“Ineluctable modality of the visible….”—Stephen Dedalus, A.K.A. James Joyce, circa 1906, at the age of 25 or so, ruminating on the abstrusities of Life.
Lots of guitar playing and digital photography manual reading these days and then bang! one line from Ulysses and I’m squarely back in the hub of the Omphalos Cafe. But then there’s nothing square here, as there’s nothing square in Life (” …but that the mind makes it so”—Shakespeare).
Ineluctable modality of the visible? What the f…?!
Oh well, it’s no easy book to read, especially with all the reams of nonsense written about it. Part of the canon, as they say. The platitudes will be hauled out for their yearly airing in less than a month now, June 16th, Bloomsday, where all things average will be trumpeted.
Here at the Cafe we quietly celebrate Dedalusday. Here the Poets gather in welcome obscurity, smile and whisper sweet “Aum’s” to each other. It’s a break in the yearly round, a retreat from the friction of contact with the world. Not that contact with the world isn’t Life itself, but how wonderful it is to fly free of it all for even just a short time!
” —The ways of the creator are not our ways, Mr. Deasy said. All human history moves toward one great goal, the manifestation of God.
Stephen jerked his thumb towards the window, saying:
—That is God.
Hurray! Ay! Whrrwhee!
—What? Mr. Deasy asked” —James Joyce, Ulysses
There it is. The misunderstanding. The Poet conversing—but not communicating—with the world.
Where is the intersection, and how communicate what—when all is said and done—cannot be communicated with words?
Ah, but it’s all in the acceptance, the embracing of it all! Which, incidentally, brooding Stephen is on his way towards in James Joyce’s classic recounting of his own death and resurrection.
With acceptance even the friction falls away. Life is a wonder and a gift. It cares little to nothing about me or you. We are one with its flow. Thought, relative latecomer on the scene, only serves to remove us from that realization.
It’s a smile and a whispered sweet “Aum” to you.
Life is ALL there is…