So I have been inside for three weeks now, as most of you have too. Keeping myself busy and upbeat is easier on some days than others, as we worry and make the best of things. Baking, making and thinking, reading poetry and experiencing the eerie silence at night. I sleep restlessly, listless in and out of strange dreams and wakefull moments, wake again and meditate, laugh at shared jokes and wonder what to teach today?
Here is a slightly acerbic poem I wrote recently, but most of the time I am calm.
my lungs are breathing in your bullshit
the waning of your efficacy stimulates the bleeding from my brain that you facilitate
leaning into you, looking closely
lotus leaves no longer unfurl
never revealing beauty
beauty comes from care, leaking effluent over my floor sullies future trust
The below images are from the once a day exercise for me and the dog.
The tree is deciduous, I can tell this from the leaves as they are falling now in October, autumn. It is probably not very old as the trunk is not broad but delicate and the tree itself only stands about 20 feet tall. This is what I can ascertain from an initial visual check, and this is where the investigation becomes a conversation. I start to notice the the way the trunk has a bend in it, slightly leaning to one side then a slight curve and back in the opposite direction, it feels feminine, slightly willowy - and I begin to ascribe meaning I take a visual encounter, a cursory look then this grows with intent, but the visual is always emphasised, I look, I decide, this changes I look again always adding more information, either from memory or external stimuli. I might notice the smell of the leaf mould, hear a patter as multiple leaves fall to the ground I might make a connection with the protest reported on the news yesterday and wonder if this tree will fall prey. Moving on to the question how did this tree arrive here? Planted, managed an ancestor of the post-war planting and re-planting or a newer addition, as an attempt at re-diversification of the woodland to encourage more species than just sitka spruce - that were planted as fast growing and easy crops to help with re-building and bolstering the economy in afore mentioned post-war Britain? I come back, look again and realise its size and position in relation to my own form, size shape in relation to the tree and wonder on the scene, where does this tree fit into the multi layered vision before me? I notice the play of light allows my tree (it is mine now) to be more prominent, now at this time, in this part of the wood. It feels performative and fleeting, but I am projecting now, anthropomorphising, this helps serve the purpose of placing myself relationally into the wood around me, I become a part of it. At this point I think of it all being unreal, surreal somehow as I consider particles the quantum that that links us within this place, every place, a discrete part of all, through us around us, making us and degrading us.
This all began, in a way, when the photons hitting my retina began to excite in such a way that piqued my interest in this particular scene, in this place at this time. I admit to having a sort of extra-interest in the light before me as photography is my primary motivation but these scenes that create themselves in conjunction with or in conversation with me grow. They also continue to grow afterwards, either in the form of a photograph with its own agency or legacy, and also in my mind as a kind of half scene, incomplete but in a way mirroring the actual lived experience. As I re-read the above paragraph of explanation of a few moments in time I realise that all of these flowing/connective/flowing conjectures are many incomplete facts, musings, images brought together, an attempt to connect the incompleteness of experience. I could attach this type of non-narrative to any moment, any scene and the realisation of the incompleteness of not only vision and seeing would be apparent but also of experience in a broader sense.
when discussing this in relation to vision Tom Cornsweet says ;
“For instance, we talk as if there are things, objects around us that are fixed and solid—that table, this book—things that are there. We say we see this book, but we actually interacting not with the book but rather with the light reflected from the book. Further, the properties of the book are not at all what our senses tell us. It is made of gigantic quantities of tiny bits, ‘subatomic particles,’ that are constantly in motion, with big spaces between them and forces that pull the bits together and push them apart.We talk as though in between objects there is just space, maybe filled with air and sometimes light, but the spaces are actually packed with streams of waves of all kinds of energies, which we know about only because of the accumulation of scientific information gathered from devices that detect things we can’t. Therefore, from our experiences, each of us has put together a concept of the world that is based on a severely restricted portion of the information that is actually present in the physical world, and most of the physiological that have evolved in us support that often misleading concept of the world”.
Cornsweet, T. (2017) Seeing : How Light Tells Us About The World. Oakland. University of California Press. (Pages 1-2)