Petrichor: the smell of rain

rainy day in Cuba (08 August 2011)

rainy day in Cuba (08 August 2011)

A writer – and, I believe, generally all persons – must think that whatever happens to him or her is a resource. All things have been given to us for a purpose, and an artist must feel this more intensely. All that happens to us, including our humiliations, our misfortunes, our embarrassments, all is given to us as raw material, as clay, so that we may shape our art. (Jorge Luis Borges)

The sinews and ligaments of this post – its interconnections, if you prefer – are somewhat tenuous. (Our ability to stay alive is tenuous.) There is no great need for the reader to make any real effort to fathom any of it.

Jorge Luis Borges: an Argentine writer of (among other things) short stories “interconnected by common themes such as dreams, labyrinths, libraries, mirrors, animals, fictional writers, philosophy, religion and God.” (Wikipedia: Jorge Luis Borges)

According to Bella Jozef, his work embraces the “character of unreality in all literature”. (Wikipedia: Jorge Luis Borges)

The image was shot in Cuba Mall, Wellington, in the last month of winter 2011. The word “petrichor” refers to the smell of rain on dry ground. The word derives from two Greek words: “petra” = stone; “ichor” = the blood of gods and goddesses (from a video titled 48 things you didn’t know had names on mentafloss.com).

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4 thoughts on “Petrichor: the smell of rain

  1. Stefan, I am familiar with what informs the method when you write – the reader forms their own connections and you share something of the disparate origins of the bits you provide. My comment is not intended to be critical of such ways of writing, far from it.

    What I also have some confidence in is how you write; not the pen. Here in this text you practise a minimalism that seems overkill. The reference inside your text includes a call to use what unfolds, to see everything that is offered to us as a resource. What I find noteworthy is you seem to invite us as a reader to follow such a guide and then hide and cover over you, the one who holds the pen. Put simply I think your message is under-cut.

    Perhaps what your post does is not minimalist; it seems truncated and thus unfinished. This character does not come from a method of let all interpretations unfold, it appears as unfinished because what can give the text a sense of wholeness inside that openness is missing – pens don’t author a text, people do.

    • Thanks for commenting, Peter. The intentions which this post endeavoured to fulfil included not only a determination to post something but also a willingness to allow the posting of anything I might choose to post. Minimalist? Possibly. Incomplete? Maybe. Whatever else, I did (metaphorically) smell the rain.

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