Iron Key of Judgement
“… key of judgment”
The phrase comes from W.S. Merwin in his collection The Lost Upland.
He was talking about how some members of a small community looked upon another in that community. It is descriptive of a human tendency that we have all used and also fallen prey to without exception, I might safely say.
Criticism is as often meant to tear down as it is to build up and foster the growth or development of some part of our ideas or endeavors. The ‘key of judgement’ is used with or without substantial credibility. The credibility is often only the harshest ingredient of judgement’s demeanor, pounding an authoritative fist on the nearest hard and loud surface. Credibility is often just another loud, hard surface, a deflective armor that is all about defending an insubstantial position vehemently assumed. Met one of these, have you?
We hope and wish for fertile ground for our ideas and their erstwhile castles in the sky, nervously presenting a dream here, a utopia there. We look again at those seemingly positive and substantive banks of clouds and they’ve either shattered in the wind or gone dark with storms approaching. Time to deny those first dreams and begin to fashion something that will stand up to wind and weather, the prevailing winds and the ever-changing weather.
Sometimes these new dreams are lofted into a state of suspension, as we wait for some lengthy consideration that comes to such an abrupt end. The parade helmet is removed and beneath its decorative armor and shining purpose a mask stares with contempt at our perceived affront. How could we imagine that this would be acceptable, much less actually encouraged? Who has the time to waste on some anonymous cloud dreaming its insignificant and less than protean changes across the collective horizon?
The inheritance of possessions that is left after the all the decisions in key of judgement are tossed on the heap and trucked away, adds to a massive dream pile on the biographical midden of human existence. But don’t worry, you can always …