In Wisdom & Metaphor, Jan Zwicky’s playing of gesture against gestalt is characteristically precise, clear and beautiful. All the essential left-side passages of this book are spare (but never stark) — pristinely unornamented — not out of aversion to ornament, but because ornament is unnecessary. The beauty of this book is in this freedom for ornamental need.
If I am understanding Zwicky correctly, gestures relate to gestalts in the way I wanted to say that conceptions (as mindmoves) relate to concepts. Gestures and conceptions both spontaneously conceive meanings in wholes taken-together.
But it is so much prettier to say “gesture” instead of mindmove. And linking that to the gestalt taking-together (conceiving) is just perfect. And by perfect I don’t mean merely flawless. I mean it is deeply complete. This is where the advantage of being both poet and philosopher shows.
So, a gesture is a disciplined intuitive murmuration — intuitions flying in formation in response to realities — realities that can be understood as alike in their yielding meaning in the same gesture.
I’m concerned, but not devastated in the least, that I may longer have any need to write the book I intended to write. The greed driving my writing — my intense need to give these sacred ideas a perfect form befitting their value — is, at least for now, satiated. I cannot believe how much I love this book.
I still have some important new ideas to communicate, but those ideas are more profane and can be said in more relaxed language. And maybe the work I was doing can still be useful, by forming these beautiful poetic truths into beautiful intellectual equipment for doing practical work in this meaning-parched, contempt-convulsed, dirty, fragile, precious world.