Kathleen Raine - Rock.

There is stone in me that knows stone,
Substance of rock that remembers the unending unending
Simplicity of rest
While scorching suns and ice ages
Pass over rock-face swiftly as days.
In the longest time of all come the rock’s changes,
Slowest of all rhythms, the pulsations
That raise from the planet’s core the mountain ranges
And weather them down to sand on the sea floor.

Endures in me record of rock’s duration.
My ephemeral substance was still in the veins
of the earth from the beginning,
Patient for its release, not questioning
When, when will come the flowering, the flowing,
The pulsing, the awakening, the taking wing,
The long longed-for night of the bridegroom’s coming.

There is stone in me that knows stone,
Whose sole state is stasis
While the slow cycle of he stars whirls a world of rock
Through light-years where in nightmare I fall crying
“Must I travel fathomless distance for ever and ever?”
All that is in me of the rock, replies
“For ever, if it must be: be, and be still;
endure.

by Kathleen Raine


Kathleen Raine was a friend of Jacob Bronowski, a fellow member of an avant-garde crative circle at Cambridge during Bronowski's studies there in the late 1920s. Raine

recalled having tea with [Bronowski] and [James] Reeves, feeling overwhelmed by his hyperintellectual speaking style and his habit of referring to himself 'with the editorial "we".'
(Sandefur, p,29.)

Like Bronowski, Raine would go on to become an expositor of William Blake, although it is not clear whether Raine was directly responsible for Bronowski's interest in Blake (p. 88).

This poem was included in a volume of science-themed poetry our family had when I was a kid, titled Imagination's Other Place. I still own the book, and this is still one of my favorite poems.
Kore

Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Calculus.



Science was my first religion. I always wanted to understand how the world works. My parents were open-minded people, but we were a troubled family; I had a difficult time in school and performed poorly in the classroom.

In my teens and young adult years, I became increasingly interested in Judaism and began studying Hebrew. I respected the Jews - the nerdiest people on Earth! - for maintaining their tradition and values in the face of oppression, and even in modern times rebuilding a nation and an army. Learning to follow and practice the Torah way of live - albeit VERY imperfectly! - helped me stay sane and has kept me balanced and grounded over the years.

These days I'm more grounded and more disciplined than when I was younger, and I don't have the distraction of a lot of dysfunction and drama in my personal life. So I'm looking forward to investing some effort in learning science and mathematics.

Bronowski's London, Bronowski's century.

Working-class London in the 1920s was one of the epicenters of the economic and social revolution of the twentieth century, a revolution that within Bronowski's lifetime would not only see the gas lamps and horse carts replaced with electric lights and automobiles, but would also see man walking on the moon, polio cured, and the atom turned into both a weapon and a source of light and warmth. Few stood to gain more from this revolution than the poor immigrant Jews in London's East End. Although many of them also resisted the influences that modernity had on Jewish tradition - corroding their culture and tempting youth to stray from their fathers' faith - most at least saw technological innovation and economic opportunity as paths to a better life.
- 'The Ascent of Jacob Bronowski', Timothy Sandefur (2019, Prometheus Books), p. 19.

Sunday evening post.

I stayed at home in Hillsboro enjoying the fine weather and having an enjoyable and relaxing weekend.

A friend had a distinctly less pleasant weekend - he was assaulted in Portland and admitted to the hospital overnight with a brain hemorrhage. Word is he's going to be OK, though, and is being released tomorrow. Details later.