This phrase came to me as I was walking back from town with a Primark bag swinging from my hot and sweaty hand. I don’t like shopping at Primark but I do it because a) I don’t like shopping on-line and b) I can’t afford anywhere else. So I went in for a couple of vests and came out with an utterly delicious garment that I can’t find a name for.
Whilst whistling through the park and thinking how odd it was that the grass is so dry when a mere six weeks ago it was under water and the paths were so flooded they were indistinguishable from the streams, the thought came to me. Negative Capability Brown. I have no idea what it means but I’m damned well going to find out.
OK let’s start with negative capability. Coined by Keats, it means in essence the ability to immerse yourself in someone or something to such an extent that you become it. I take this to be equivalent to ‘absorption’ in meditation; a forgetting of self and an immersion in the other; whether that is another person, a song, a flower or a book. So, putting that together with Capability Brown, what do we get?
I’m not sure. A landscape gardener who becomes the garden, perhaps? I’m not sure that it works because 18th century gardening was all about imposing order and vision on the landscape, whereas the Romantic idea was to immerse yourself in nature and become one with it. So Negative Capability Brown would seem to be a bit of an oxymoron.
Anyway, enough of this banter and on to yesterday’s event, a sort of ‘pop-up’ memorial to Gaz Carnell of Fingerprints. A dozen or so people met outside the cafe to remember him; I did a poem and Chris Conway did a song; both of which were called ‘Fingerprints.’ There are videos but I can’t upload them at the moment; in the meantime here’s a picture of the garment. Is it a dress? Is it culottes? It ain’t dungarees…
No, I can’t do that either because the laptop and the phone have had a hissy fit and are refusing to communicate with each other.
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