The Via Negativa is a road well-travelled, at least in Dave Bonta's cyber-corner of it, even if in the real world it is hidden in Plummers Hollow, a Pennsylvania mountain woodland richly populated by a great variety of animal, vegetable and mineral wildlife, every specimen of which our Dave knows personally, addresses by proper name, and often photographs, films or writes poems about. I say our Dave because he's a friend among good friends, first encountered in the blogosphere, then in New York in 2007, then last week right here at home. Here he is looking at the cyclops-eye of my camcorder while we talk - a rambling conversation which he recorded and which will eventually appear on Via Negativa as a podcast.
It takes a very good reason to lure this hermit-ish poet/ philosopher/ naturalist away from his porch in the woods and the excellent reasons which brought Dave to the UK for two weeks were a book, a reading and an exhibition. The exhibition: Clive Hicks-Jenkins' 60th birthday retrospective at the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth, beautifully documented on Clive's Artlog. The book: The Book of Ystwyth for which Dave contributed poems; and the reading of his poems, along with the other poets, as part of the festivities around this prestigious event. You can see more about all this on Via Negativa including links to other bloggers who have written about it.
I enjoyed Dave's visit so much, savouring the peaceful attentiveness he gives to everything, a rare quality that I can learn from. The attention I give to the world is often agitated by ego-driven judgements and coloured by emotions - not the best way to use one's perceptive faculties.