Container for the Thing Contained

Flickr.com: 'Side of Building Shanghai,' by user 'DaiLuo'

[Image: “Side of Building Shanghai,” by user DaiLuo on Flickr.com. (Used here under a Creative Commons license; thank you!) From the photographer: “This is straight from the camera, nothing at all done — this is the side of a building in Shanghai. When you stand and look at it, it is difficult to see how they did this. It looked like a holograph.” I myself haven’t been able to discover any more information about the building, let alone how this display is/was created. Anyone know?]

From whiskey river:

A day is like a whole life. You start out doing one thing, but end up doing something else, plan to run an errand, but never get there… And at the end of your life, your whole existence has the same haphazard quality, too. Your whole life has the same shape as a single day.

(Michael Crichton [source])

and:

Just this, just this, this room where we are. Pay attention to that. Pay attention to who’s there, pay attention to what isn’t known there, pay attention to what is known there, pay attention to what everyone is thinking and feeling, what you’re doing there, and pay attention. Pay attention.

(W. S. Merwin [source])

and:

Drunk on Someone Else’s Love
(excerpt)

…I am not a Sunday morning inside four walls
with clean blood
and organised drawers.
I am the hurricane setting fire to the forests
at night when no one else is alive,
or awake,
however you choose to see it,
and I live in my own flames.
Sometimes burning too bright and too wild
to make things last
or handle
myself or anyone else
and so I run.
Run run run,
far and wide
until my bones ache and lungs split
and it feels good.
Hear that people? It feels good,
because I am the slave and ruler of my own body
and I wish to do with it exactly as I please…

(Charlotte Eriksson [source])

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A Skin of Mirror

[Video: “Eulerian Video Magnification,” by a team of researchers at MIT. For more information, see the note at the foot of this post.]

From whiskey river:

Keiji, a long-time Zen student, approached his master and said: “I don’t see how there can be any enlightenment that sets you free once and for all. I think we just get ever greater glimpses of Buddha-nature, the vastness that is our true Reality. It’s an ever-expanding process.”

The master replied, “That may be what you think. But what is your experience, your experience right now?”

Keiji was confused, “My experience right now, Master?”

“Yes. Do you know yourself as Keiji, having ever-expanding experiences of Buddha-nature? Or do you know yourself as Buddha-nature, having the experience of Keiji?”

(unsourced)

and:

No one has ever seen fish.
Fish secrete highly reflective compounds
That act as a skin of mirror.
It is thought the fishes’ sides
are painted in landscapes,
mountainous.

(Annie Dillard [source])

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Spark of Interest

[Video: “Musical Tesla Coils: Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies.” For more information, see the note at the foot of this post.]

From whiskey river:

What is it that you contain? The dead. Time. Light patterns of millennia opening in your gut. Every minute, in each of you, a few million potassium atoms succumb to radioactive decay. The energy that powers these tiny atomic events has been locked inside potassium atoms ever since a star-sized bomb exploded nothing into being. Potassium, like uranium and radium, is a long-lived radioactive nuclear waste of the supernova bang that accounts for you.

Your first parent was a star.

(Jeanette Winterson)

and:

I won’t get any poems written during these weeks either. It’s not the first time this has happened. And I won’t go on about it. There isn’t much to say. Victor Hugo once summed it up as follows (Karol Berger told me about this as we strolled through Paris, the sixteenth arrondissement). When someone asked him if writing poetry was easy, he said, “When I can write it, it’s easy; when I can’t, it’s impossible.”

(Adam Zagajewski)

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Right Looking

[Image of Fay Ray, by William Wegman (1988), found here, as well as elsewhere
on the Web (e.g., Style Me to the Moon)]

From whiskey river:

My Hand

See how the past is not finished
here in the present
it is awake the whole time
never waiting
it is my hand now but not what I held
it is not my hand but what I held
it is what I remember
but it never seems quite the same
no one else remembers it
a house long gone into air
the flutter of tires over a brick road
cool light in a vanished bedroom
the flash of the oriole
between one life and another
the river a child watched

(W. S. Merwin, The Shadow of Sirius)

and:

And now here’s the thing. It takes a time like this for you to find out how sore your heart has been, and, moreover, all the while you thought you were going around idle terribly hard work was taking place. Hard, hard work, excavation and digging, mining, moiling through tunnels, heaving, pushing, moving rock, working, working, working, working, panting, hauling, hoisting. And none of this work is seen from the outside. It’s internally done. It happens because you are powerless and unable to get anywhere, to obtain justice or have requital, and therefore in yourself you labor, you wage and combat, settle scores, remember insults, fight, reply, deny, blab, denounce, triumph, outwit, overcome, vindicate, cry, persist, absolve, die and rise again. All by yourself? Where is everybody? Inside your breast and skin, the entire cast.

(Saul Bellow, The Adventures of Augie March [source])

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Of Time, Things Small, and Things Green

Typestick Thank-You Card, from Green Chair Press (click for original)From whiskey river:

The Moment

Walking the three tiers in first light, out
here so my two-year-old son won’t wake the house,
I watch him pull and strip ragweed, chicory, yarrow,
so many other weeds and wildflowers
I don’t know the names for, him saying Big, and Mine,
and Joshua — words, words, words. Then
it is the moment, that split-second
when he takes my hand, gives it a tug,
and I feel his entire body-weight, his whole
heart-weight, pulling me toward
the gleaming flowers and weeds he loves.
That moment which is eternal and is gone in a second,
when he yanks me out of myself like some sleeper
from his dead-dream sleep into the blues and whites
and yellows I must bend down to see clearly, into
the faultless flesh of his soft hands, his new brown eyes,
the miracle of him, and of the earth itself,
where he lives among the glitterings, and takes me.

(Len Roberts)

Not from whiskey river:

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