At the Edge of Whole and Part

'Subsume,' by user Squid ProQuo on Flickr

[Image: “Subsume,” by user Squid ProQuo on (Used here under a Creative Commons license; thank you!) The photographer includes almost no information about the photo or its subject, other than that it was taken in Japan in 2009. I haven’t seen any more information about this sculpture elsewhere, but I’ll keep looking.]

From whiskey river:

There is no way in which to understand the world without first detecting it through the radar-net of our senses. We can extend our senses with the help of microscope, stethoscope, robot, satellite, hearing aid, and such, but what is beyond our senses we cannot know. Our senses define the edge of consciousness, and because we are born explorers and questors after the unknown, we spend a lot of our lives pacing that windswept perimeter: We take drugs; we go to circuses; we tramp through jungles; we listen to loud music; we purchase exotic fragrances; we pay hugely for culinary novelties, and are even willing to risk our lives to sample a new taste. In Japan, chefs offer the flesh of the puffer fish, or fugu, which is highly poisonous unless prepared with exquisite care. The most distinguished chefs leave just enough of the poison in the flesh to make the diners’ lips tingle, so that they know how close they are coming to their mortality. Sometimes, of course, a diner comes too close, and each year a certain number of fugu-lovers die in midmeal…

Deep down, we know our devotion to reality is just a marriage of convenience, and we leave it to the seers, the shamans, the ascetics, the religious teachers, the artists among us to reach a higher state of awareness, from which they transcend our rigorous but routinely analyzing senses and become closer to the raw experience of nature that pours into the unconscious, the world of dreams, the source of myth… Our several senses, which feel so personal and impromptu, and seem at times to divorce us from other people, reach far beyond us. They’re an extension of the genetic chain that connects us to everyone who has ever lived; they bind us to other people and to animals, across time and country and happenstance. They bridge the personal and the impersonal, the one private soul with its many relatives, the individual with the universe, all of life on Earth. In REM sleep, our brain waves range between eight and thirteen hertz, a frequency at which flickering light can trigger epileptic seizures. The tremulous earth quivers gently at around ten hertz. So, in our deepest sleep, we enter synchrony with the trembling of the earth. Dreaming, we become the Earth’s dream.

(Diane Ackerman [source])

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The Tug of the Real World


[Image: one of numerous photos taken by Wally Gobetz (user “wallyg”) of a sculptural installation by Tom Otterness called — yes — “The Real World.” For more details, see this page on Flickr. Used here under a Creative Commons license.]

I’ve been away from computers (hence, more or less offline) for about a week. Consequently, I’ve not come up with a “whiskey river Fridays” post this week for the first time in, like, forever.

For your edification, such as it is, I offer as a substitute this link — which gives you a sample (not quite complete) of all posts in that category during the first two years of RAMH‘s existence. And if you have no idea what the “whiskey river Fridays” category represents, or why or how I’ve built the weekly series up over time, you can check out this explanation.

All the pages linked to from that paragraph are old enough that almost no one besides me has ever read them. Which is kind of sad, no? (Ha.)

Regular Friday posts resume next week!

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It’s a Matter of Leaning the Right Way

No idea where this walking sculpture is, or who created it. Anyone know?

[I have no idea where this sculpture is located, or who created it. Anyone know???]

From whiskey river:


Another morning and I wake with thirst for the goodness I do not have. I walk out to the pond and all the way God has given us such beautiful lessons. Oh Lord, I was never a quick scholar but sulked and hunched over my books past the hour and the bell; grant me, in your mercy, a little more time. Love for the earth and love for you are having such a long conversation in my heart. Who knows what will finally happen or where I will be sent, yet already I have given a great many things away, expecting to be told to pack nothing, except the prayers which, with this thirst, I am slowly learning.

(Mary Oliver [source])


On Living: I

Living is no laughing matter:
you must live with great seriousness
like a squirrel, for example–
I mean without looking for something beyond and above living,
I mean living must be your whole occupation.
Living is no laughing matter:
you must take it seriously,
so much so and to such a degree
that, for example, your hands tied behind your back,
your back to the wall,
or else in a laboratory
in your white coat and safety glasses,
you can die for people–
even for people whose faces you’ve never seen,
even though you know living
is the most real, the most beautiful thing.
I mean, you must take living so seriously
that even at seventy, for example, you’ll plant olive trees–
and not for your children, either,
but because although you fear death you don’t believe it,
because living, I mean, weighs heavier.

(Nâzim Hikmet [source])

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Just (at First) Beyond the Edge of Understanding

Apropos of nothing, except that it’s very cool, here’s the project known as MÖBIUS, a “stop-motion sculpture” set up in Federation Square, Melbourne, in May 2011. They describe it this way:

MÖBIUS is a sculpture that can be configured into many cyclical patterns and behave as though it is eating itself, whilst sinking into the ground.

If you’re curious how it works, see the Web site of its builder,”an award winning art and design practice” named ENESS. (There’s a “making-of” video a little over halfway down the page.)

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