Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Overheard: on the sublime.

[Memory serves poorly at best to string together the conversation that occurred, as I was in the room briefly and for another purpose. So I present to the reader a group of comments, as best I remember them.]

On the sublime.

That an artist, really, is speaking another language. And yet by some mystery we'll pass judgment on something we've never seen before in a mere five minutes, or even just a glance.

But we couldn't decide to love or hate another country after the first two hours there; at that point we've barely experienced it. It takes time to become in tune with ways, culture, language.

A challenge; to spend a whole hour with a piece one enjoys.

[This calls to mind the notion of meditating on something.]

A comment by a person who often spends five or ten minutes, this time spent twenty and was astonished and happy at what came of it, what new subtleties were discovered.

[This also calls to mind a favorite bowl. When I first saw it I was repelled by the apparent sloppiness, and illustration of a supermarket shelf. But as I saw it subsequently I became intrigued, and bought the bowl when it was for sale. It continued to intrigue me even as I came to appreciate the subtleties; this is not a piece easily grasped. But the time spent together becomes the key for appreciating it.]

Friday, January 18, 2008

Chuang-Tzu - and Julie, too.

The purpose of a fish trap is to catch fish. When the fish are caught, the trap is forgotten.
The purpose of a rabbit snare is to catch rabbits. When the rabbits are caught, the snare is forgotten.
The purpose of words is to convey ideas. When the ideas are grasped, the ideas are forgotten.
Where can I find a person who has forgotten words? That person is the one I would like to talk to.

Another translation:

The fish-trap is a tool to catch fish. Once the fish is caught, the fish-trap is forgotten. A rabbit-snare is a tool to catch rabbits. Once the rabbit is caught, the snare is forgotten. Language is a tool to hold ideas. Once ideas are conveyed, language is forgotten. Where on earth could I find a person who has forgotten words to have a word with him?

I want this post to be about what's conveyed, but add here a word of discussion. The second quote is provided because I suspect it's truer to the original, and that the first was mistyped. But the first quote has a little bite - which I enjoy and find humorous - so I prefer the first version.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008



Where does one moment end and another begin? To me there are no such divisions. We attempt to freeze time but actually time is like flowing water. We say, "Here is the Mississippi River" or "here is the Atlantic Ocean." But the water pays no mind to our silly little divisions. It flows where it will and is always in a state of oneness. Time is the same. Any divisions are artificial devices, illusions. Just ask yourself, "When does one moment end and another begin?" What can possibly separate time from itself? - Nigel Thompson

And thought of this, which to my mind has the same sense as the above:

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Excerpt, Revised:

"Yet I daily jump into the senseless fray, hoping for a few moments to brush up against a more meaningful reality, to create something lasting that kisses that great silent ocean."

Saturday, January 12, 2008

A Gift

(No need to overthink this one. It's a Clementine. Isn't that enough?)

Thursday, January 10, 2008


Wednesday, January 09, 2008


"Five senses; an incurably abstract intellect; a haphazardly selective memory; a set of preconceptions and assumptions so numerous that I can never examine more than a minority of them-never become even conscious of them all. How much of total reality can such an apparatus let through?"
- C. S. Lewis

(Today's Peace Quote)

Monday, January 07, 2008

The tendency of things to last.

I am very happy to have at last completed my photo-making area. I was probably expecting something less bulky, with more finesse, but the current setup works well. Photos over at design-realized (links to right). Pretty spiffy, no?

More photos of a different sort to share; I was back up at my beloved Great Lakes building on Friday. This is the boathouse, built in 1904, architect Jarvis Hunt. They don't make 'em like this any more - solid masonry construction.

This is an old photo, from before the windows were taken out, parapets selectively destroyed, boats removed &c.

Upstairs at the far end from the above photo. Building has a concrete roof held up by a lot of these trusses... original 1904 wood floor now exposed. Really, I just love the space in here.

This used to be the utility room on the first floor, below the image above with the truss. Walls are gone and so are much of the guts, believe it or not. It's very dear. The front part of the building got a steam bath one weekend courtesy of a steam leak, so now all the paint's coming off. Dear, isn't it?

This is the original stair. You don't get that kind of detail on risers anymore. It's steel framed wood.

On the first floor, looking toward the back of the building. The original roll-up door fell into the water, so it's now boarded up. Again, love the space. The mezzanines used to be used to store boats, back when Navy recruits learned how to row.

As we left, we saw a doe, which stayed there as we walked by. What a relaxing place to be. But for some reason I live in the city. Riddle me that?