For the sake of brevity I will focus my writing on a couple of lines from Judith Wright’s “The Five Senses”.
This poem throws me right into my philosophical mind. What is ‘out there’? And how do I know that what I perceive is reality? “Some pattern sprung from nothing”; my senses are presenting me with information and my ‘mind’ is organising this into a format I can understand. The jumbled sensations entering my brain through my various preceptors become “thread for that weaver” which informs me of my surroundings and allows me to function within my environment.
What is the “weaver”? A scientist or materialist philosopher may see it simply as the brain functioning like a super-computer. This analytical explanation may be acceptable, but I would like to escape the dry rational realm for a while.
HOORAY FOR POETRY!!!! I can relinquish the unwieldy shackles of cold hard logic and dive deep into the rabbit hole. Some things may never be explained by sensible deduction; sometimes we need to go beyond our rational minds and adventurously explore a more profound province. Leave our deliberate thinking brains behind and journey to the subconscious, the unconscious, the sensual and sacred.
So what is the “weaver”? Dare I say God? When I read this poem I cannot help but connect the mind to God. Does this make sense? Probably not. Can I explain it? Maybe; but even thousands of words will be just a paltry description of an internal experience. So even if I get to take a ride on a mystical train for a brief moment, how can I share that trip with others? Wittgenstein explained that philosophy suffered from the frustrating limitations of words; tragically it appears even the seemingly free domain of literature and poetry suffers from this crippling impediment. DAMN!!!
Visual art, dance and music can touch our psyches from another angle, but again the pure idea will be diluted in translation. A brilliant filmmaker can merge all these art forms and still fall short of transferring their unique reality to the audience. Each person will be ultimately alone with their unique interpretation of what their private “weaver” has put together for them.
Maybe we can take solace in the idea that we all recognize the “weaver” and this is one thing we all share. We can revel in our earnest attempts to impart our exclusive perception of the world around us.