Archive for January 14th, 2022

A Place to Stand

GC Myers- The Understanding 2021

The Understanding– At the Principle Gallery

Wherever we go, there seems to be only one business at hand—that of finding a workable compromise between the sublimity of our ideas and the absurdity of the fact of us.

― Annie Dillard, An Expedition to the Pole

In her essay, An Expedition to the Pole, Annie Dillard compares the search of her fellow Catholic worshippers to the great Polar expeditions of the late 19th/ early 20th century. Both were seeking an idea, a concept of something distant and barely imaginable.

She called it The Pole of Relative Inaccessibility.

Or in other words, the sublime.

But whatever one seeks, as Dillard points out above, there is always a constant rationalization between the power and beauty of our search and the reality of ourselves– what we truly are as humans and the limits of what we are capable of being. 

It’s a hard and cold calculation, this compromise. And it most likely differs for each of us.

For me, it comes down to finding a place on the earth where I can simply stand and feel no desire to search any longer. To simply be and have a comfortable acceptance of the place where I stand, an understanding that I am as near my own Pole of Relative Inaccessibility as I can ever be.

To feel at peace, to feel that I have pushed to the edges of my limits and my search has been worthwhile in simply knowing that I sought something in my time here on this planet.

In the end, perhaps we all need some our own Pole of Relative Inaccessibility.

I don’t know…






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