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There’s a missing, in mist.
But the beauty lies in what’s not seen, scene, known.
What I look for, is what’s not there.
But what is there, but not seen.
There’s something beneath. All ways.
That’s what I look for.
Where sky meets water, mist conjoins, miracle — redound.
waves come back
[Origin: 1350 1400; ME redounden < MF redonder < L redundÄre to overflow, equiv. to red- red- + undÄre to surge (deriv. of unda wave; cf. undulate); cf. redundant]
Since I was young, I’ve been attracted to the alone. That is, places that are lonely. And, too, being alone. People say — how can you be alone? Isn’t it…lonely? How can you travel by yourself?
While I love being in, with other people, I also savor being alone. Being silent. Speaking nothing.
I think this came from a time when I was young, that being alone was common and that exploring, finding things, objects in nature, engaging in fantasy was a common examination and play. Pretending I was an ant by using a magnifying glass. Digging little tunnels, placing candles, imagining that I’m in there. Climbing trees, pretending that I was a kind of raptor, studying the ground below. But most of the time, alone. All one.
And that’s the way to be in aloneness — a kind of being in yourself.
And I think about that in this, the house built alone, far out there in the reaches of no where.
And, why — why out there?
Seeing these, studying these — I wonder how these people, these builders, create these worlds — in the midst of their work. Something to the aesthetic of contemplation of beauty, something to security — nestled protection?
Some place to experience majesty.
The beauty of experience is about that — sometimes there’s wonder in sensing these things alone.
In quietude, seen and sensed, this:
It’s okay, alone. Thriving, in the architecture of silence…
Liquid heat. Isn’t that something, the character of flame, found — licking and consuming; hungry and self nourishing?
Shooting fire is a compulsion (along with starting fires). I like the study of fire — watching it closely. But, like anything, it’s hard to shoot, it keeps moving.
And sparks, like…
Easy to be consumed.
Find fire, your self.
Note to Greg Furman | The figured wheel by Robert Pinsky
thanks for sharing this rich piece of writing, soulful, tormented, yet clear, in vista…
his sweet self
Which he hereby unwillingly and inexpertly gives up, because it is
There, figured and pre-figured in the nothing-transfiguring wheel.
Isn’t it so, then that the spinning wheel…
really changes nothing — because it is change itself? That it rolls and moves and crushes, ornamented and made of the minerals of being, dust motes in translation and trans — formations, that make that figure — wheeled — that is story itself; never the same, never finished, never done — or undone.
What life it has – lies within the moving form of the wheel, figured…
Wishing well, friend, wishingwell,
The Figured Wheel
The figured wheel rolls through shopping malls and prisons,
Over farms, small and immense, and the rotten little downtowns.
Covered with symbols, it mills everything alive and grinds
The remains of the dead in the cemeteries, in unmarked graves and oceans.
Sluiced by salt water and fresh, by pure and contaminated rivers,
By snow and sand, it separates and recombines all droplets and grains,
Even the infinite sub-atomic particles crushed under the illustrated,
Varying treads of its wide circumferential track.
Spraying flecks of tar and molten rock it rumbles
Through the Antarctic station of American sailors and technicians,
And shakes the floors and windows of whorehouses for diggers and smelters
From Bethany, Pennsylvania to a practically nameless, semi-penal New Town
In the mineral-rich tundra of Soviet northernmost settlements.
Artists illuminate it with pictures and incised mottoes
Taken from the Ten-Thousand Stories and the Register of True Dramas.
They hang it with colored ribbons and with bells of many pitches.
With paints and chisels and moving lights they record
On its rotating surface the elegant and terrifying doings
Of the inhabitants of the Hundred Pantheons of major Gods
Disposed in iconographic stations at hub, spoke and concentric bands,
And also the grotesque demi-Gods, Hopi gargoyles and Ibo dryads.
They cover it with wind-chimes and electronic instruments
That vibrate as it rolls to make an all-but-unthinkable music,
So that the wheel hums and rings as it turns through the births of stars
And through the dead-world of bomb, fireblast and fallout
Where only a few doomed races of insects fumble in the smoking grasses.
It is Jesus oblivious to hurt turning to give words to the unrighteous,
And is also Gogol’s feeding pig that without knowing it eats a baby chick
And goes on feeding. It is the empty armor of My Cid, clattering
Into the arrows of the credulous unbelievers, a metal suit
Like the lost astronaut revolving with his useless umbilicus
Through the cold streams, neither energy nor matter, that agitate
The cold, cyclical dark, turning and returning.
Even in the scorched and frozen world of the dead after the holocaust
The wheel as it turns goes on accreting ornaments.
Scientist and artists festoon it from the grave with brilliant
Toys and messages, jokes and zodiacs, tragedies conceived
From among the dreams of the unemployed and the pampered,
The listless and the tortured. It is hung with devices
By dead masters who have survived by reducing themselves magically
To tiny organisms, to wisps of matter, crumbs of soil,
Bits of dry skin, microscopic flakes, which is why they are “great,”
In their humility that goes on celebrating the turning
Of the wheel as it rolls unrelentingly over
A cow plodding through car-traffic on a street in Iasi,
And over the haunts of Robert Pinsky’s mother and father
And wife and children and
Robert Pinsky – former poet laureate of the United States
From “History of My Heart”
Light and presence.
A couple of years back, in being with my parents at their home overlooking the waters of Lake Coeur d’Alene, I’d sat up, sometime around 5 am, out on their deck, looking into the trees, and painting the light as it came through the grand pines, that reach skyward.
And from that, I’d redrawn these visualizing a kind of spirit of light, coming through the trees, flickering the glimmering of the morning bound, rippled and water shimmer, warm light refracting.
I was there a week ago, from that, seen, scene, again.
I sense that spirit here, in these…
I visualize a tall figure, head — flaming and illuminated, the body, a veil of fire, scintillant in the waters. Can you see that?
I ponder, too, in a way, the nature of architecture and light — and spirit. What then, the inspiration of light in cathedrals — was it the light in the tall trees, reaching into the heart of the viewer: forest, mystery, the numinous, the illumed?
Some things go out, go out — and they are gone, they never come
back. Like the little ships of paper in Bali, the papered lit and
floating sky cylinders in memorial in Thailand, the fired and
floating vik drums of Scandinavia, the floating pyres of India, set
adrift on the shore of the Ganges. They go out, they don’t come back.
I believe, in way, that they do, they always come back — what energy
goes out, there, out there, at some point, it returns.
And perhaps that return is a memory — the hint of a fragrance, just
that moment, the recollection of a certain light — that is from that
“going out” and now, coming back. Water goes, water returns, rippling
in, ripple out. Light glints, memory beckons the recalled visual,
warmth, sense. Things go, and things come — they swing out, they
return. You are re-minded.
In a way, thinking about it, I find myself drifting to the spiritual
space of Japan, where there seems to be a meditation, in an ongoing
way, about the concept of flow, fluency, life’s incessant movements,
whether you count them as circular or otherwise…
And in the sacred work and fluent geometry of these environments,
there’s more found there. It seems, to me, that many of these places
are about fluency — things flowing from one form to another, in a
manner quite unlike anything I’ve seen in other parts of the planet
— any of the gestures to fluency, the outward flow, that I noted
Here, fluency is framed in the spirit of the space. Water comes, it
goes to one space, captured and observed in another, blessed in
another, praised in another. Loved, somewhere else. Loved, all ways.
There you go.
Come back to me.
. refluent \REH-floo-unt\ adjective
: flowing back
“Refluent” was first documented in English during the 15th century,
and it can be traced back to the Latin verb “refluere,” meaning “to
flow back.” “Refluere,” in turn, was formed from the prefix “re-” and
the verb “fluere” (“to flow”). Other “fluere” descendants in English
include “confluent” (“flowing together”), “fluent” and “fluid” (both
of which share the earliest sense of “flowing easily”),
“circumfluent” (“flowing around”), and even “affluent” (which first
meant “flowing abundantly”). “Refluent” even has an antonym derived
from “fluere” â€” “effluent,” meaning “flowing out.”
Time flows, your hands tell it, the passage
Pattering patterning | this morning Decatur; last week, NYC
There’s a pattering, the patterning of sound, this morning. I’m writing about sound, I suppose, because it’s pure black, this morning. You can’t see anything, out there — it’s all blackened sound.
But all morning, since sometime past midnight, it’s been raining. Here, that’s meaningful. The island house is designed as a kind of echo chamber for sound. The overhanging galvanized structure captures sound from above, and scoops it up from the waterline shore below. It focuses the sound in — raindrops, wind, coastal trickling, shore stones crashing in the waves, it’s all brought in.
I was in NYC yesterday morning.
I was in the city, as well, for the phenomenal (literally) raining of later this past week, 8.8.07, when the tornado struck Brooklyn (the first in 118 years — both my Dad and I’d wished to have actually seen that…scene). The subways flooded out, transportation chaos emerged, and grand pools greeted corner leapers at the intersections. There were, as well, the warning spatter patterns of fast-running cars splashing explosions on the sidewalks, racing by. It only takes this happening to you once to realize the danger of walking too close to the street and having a puddle exploded on you, a car rushing by…
The marked mine fields of the great arcing water splatters on the concrete walk will awaken you to that. Once, and hopefully you’ll stand warned.
Now, thinking of the sound, and the delicate texture of this morning’s call of rain is cautiously tentative, by comparison to that; there’s no breeze, and it comes quietly, pattering, vertically from the darkening skies.
5.30am, the view North, NYC’s Central Park.
Last week, however, was a wholly different view. Lightning cast great jags on Central Park, just north of me — at the New York Athletic Club. And it was so warm grey dark, this appeared only as lightening exposures — you couldn’t see anything else — and that you could really see only across to the adjoining buildings, in distinguishing anything. And what you could see there, was remarkable. It was, literally, like the buildings had been converted into great water sculptures. Like rivers were flowing down the side of the masonry.
Amidst the storm 5am.
Fountains had been set, overnight, to cascade down the buildings. The rainstorm water flow, striking the storey to storey windowsills, was splashing like some ill-planned water installation, gone awry — water came down with such force that it smacked outside the sills and exploded off the buildings in continuous arcs. Of course I had the windows wide open, to bring in the storm, and went to the roof tops of the New York Athletic Club to see more. Drenching, in seconds. Fresh from the river, my clothes soaked.
Now being here, the delicacy, versus the overwhelming gushing of earlier in the week, there’s no comparison of meaning.
From the roof of the NYAC, later morning — 6am.
Good to watch, and listen to, the weather.
Meanwhile, a great moth in the studio batters itself, barely avoiding the candles, lit here. I feel like that traveler, sometimes, arching around the light. At least I’m there, looking at it…
wishing well | tsg | decatur island
Dense, the sound.
I was so tired, this morning.
I’d arisen at 3.30am –NYC. That, after 3 hours of sleep; I’d worked till midnight. Past then, I suppose, half past. Then I’d boarded in Newark, flying away before 7am, EST. I got into Seattle 5.5 hours later, taxied to Queen Anne, then bolted northbound.
When I arrived on the island, getting organized, setting myself up, there was a rough, dense, scratching sound — a scruffing, roughing, scuffing sound. It was like there was something stuck, ruffled, somewhere locked in, ruffling.
And what was it?
I’d searched, around the house, looking.
And then, finally, found it.
Ravens scratching. And what again the call? What again, what a gain — pay attention, foolish one. Look, listen, and you might find some thing out — some thing…
tsg | decatur island.
inspissate verb : to make thick or thicker
“Inspissate” is ultimately derived from Latin “spissus” (“slow, dense”) and is related to Greek “spidnos” (“compact”) and Lithuanian “spisti” (“to form a swarm”). When it appeared in English in the 17th century, “inspissate” suggested a literal thickening. There is also an adjective “inspissate,” meaning “thickened in consistency” or “made thick, heavy, or intense,” but that word is used even less frequently than the somewhat rare verb.
I’ve been setting stones in balance for decades. I like the idea of setting stones as, just that, finding balance. You set them, they align, the gravity pulling them, the string reaches to the center of the earth.
And sometimes, they stay in alignment. And sometimes they fall — and you have to rebuild them, if that’s what you’d like to do. Or you can leave it be, and contemplate what’s been done, and what’s changed. Things are built, find their balance, then fall. It’s the way things go.
Gabrielle, my youngest daughter, is now exploring this too. And these stones still stand, some weeks after she made them. Standing by the water, they are there like sentinels; and that’s beautiful. That she made them.
Love that in her, that exploration; that willingness to discover something shared, between us. And her finding her own balance, in the beauty of her own evolution…
Jack Lenor Larsen at his apartment
55 Park, NYC
There are influencers in life — people that connect with you, and connect you with others, that are profound change agents in your experience. I can recount a number of them — people that generously did things for me, with me, that changed me forever.
I walk back through four and more decades, in my mind, and think: who changed my life?Surely I’d count my parents as key inspirators.
In no sequence, then…try this yourself.
I remind my self of — each and every story, every encounter:
Ivan Chermayeff | NYC designer
Lloyd Reynolds | Professor / Reed College, Portland OR
Steve Jobs | Apple founder
Mircea Eliade | Professor / University of Chicago
Adrian Frutiger | Type designer (Univers) Bern | Sw.
Donald Jackson | Calligrapher to the Queen | London
Tess Gallagher | Poet / Port Townsend, WA
Sam Hamill | Founder, Poet, Translator / Copper Canyon Press / Port Townsend, WA
Jim Olson | Architect / Seattle
Dr. Richard Evans Schultes | Ethnobotanist / Harvard University / Cambridge, MA
David Kindersley | Stone cutter | Cambridge / Uk
Joseph Campbell | Myth master / NYC
Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi | University of Chicago
Hermann Zapf | Type designer / Darmstadt, Gr.
Karlgeorg Hoefer | Type designer & artist / Offenbach, Gr.
Dr. Hans Halbey| Museum director / Offenbach, Gr.
Friedrich Neugebauer | Calligrapher & bookmaker / Salzburg, Austria
E.O.Wilson | Professor / Harvard University
Elaine DeKooning | Painter / NYC
Herb Lubalin | Graphic & type designer / NYC
Milton Glaser | Graphic designer & illustrator / NYC
James Hayes | Calligrapher / Woodland Park, CO.
Idries Shah | Sufi scholar & qutb / London
Dale Chihuly | Artist / Seattle
Dr. Annemarie Schimmel | Islamic scholar / Fogg Museum / Cambridge / MA.
Villu Toots | Designer / Tallinn, Estland
Paul Brainerd | Aldus founder / Seattle
Scott Oki | Technologist & Philanthropist / Seattle
William Cumming | Painter / Seattle
Jacob Lawrence | Painter / Seattle
Ray DaBoll | Designer / Newark, AR
Pir Vilayat Khan | Sufi / London
William Burford | Poet / Dallas, TX
Kenneth Callahan | Painter / Seattle
George Tsutakawa | Painter & Sculptor / Seattle
Gordon Wasson | Banker & entheogen scholar / Danbury, CN
Pierre Dinand | Perfume bottle designer / Paris, Fr.
Harold Balazs | Artist / Mead, WA
Richard Sapper | Industrial designer / Milano, It
Tony Callison | Architect / Seattle
Guy Anderson | Painter / La Conner, WA
Roshi Harada Shodo | Zen Master / Osaka, Jp
Richard Meier | Architect / NYC
James Turrell | Artist / Flagstaff, AZ
Will Carter | Fine printer / Cambridge, Uk
Chris Anderson | TED / NYC
And Jack Lenor Larsen. These are some of the people that I’d connected with, over the past 40 years — amazing people that I’d reached to, in the interests of learning more, visiting them, being with them, talking to them, writing to them, or working with them. And some were clients. And others were teachers. And others who I just connected with — all with instances of linkage that were profoundly changing in my perspective —my sighting of things.
The keystone, to any of this, is the sense of absolutely undying curiosity. Surely there are more, many people and influencers, that I never met, that changed me forever. But these are the closer ones to my experience in the living world. And this world is mostly the space of creativity and intelligence.
What I learned from Jack was a deepening of the love of the international, the crafts scene, the character of the artisanal endeavor. And that’s when I first met him — in Portland, the Oregon School of Arts & Crafts. On the Board there, as well as Board of the American Crafts Council. I’d been commissioned to create the identity and the signing — I did them both, drawing the drawing the logotype with a brush, in all capitals, loosely packed together — almost as if an unskilled renderer had drawn the art. These were then applied elsewhere. Ceramics, weaving, paper, signing the other modern buildings — all of porcelain enamel. And since that time I stayed in touch, speaking with him, visiting now and again, being out at Longhouse, listening, learning, examining. Sharing…
Jack turned 80, it was just last weekend — a celebrity bash, I surmise. And he had a party at the Longhouse Reserve, his estate in the Hamptons:
The point to his efforts here, at Longhouse, is a kind of conceptual containment to everything that he is — a man of profound connoisseurship, in the classical if not Chinese tradition. One learned in the historical, the artful, the unassuming in a sense of scholarly understanding and thoroughness of study. So being with Jack is like being ambushed — the knowledge, the experience, the connections, it comes at you from all sides. Anywhere he’s been, he seems to triangulate on the best connections, the most interesting people, the most amazing things. He goes in, he comes out. With magic.
And the legacy of his work, his inspirations, the influences and what he’s brought to market are remarkable, detailed, fascinating and endlessly curious and diverse.
http://www.cowtan.com (see Larsen)
Yoko Ono’s contributions to the party?
Yoko Goes To Hamptons
There’s more, all ways.
And more is rarely enough.
TSG | queen anne hill