Japonaiserie

Japonaiserie (19 March 2015)

Japonaiserie (19 March 2015)

Whilst the arrangement of the items in this photograph (taken today in Cuba Street, Wellington) has little or nothing to do with Japanese art, my ‘seeing’ was certainly influenced by it.

The Dutch post-impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh used the term Japonaiserie to express the influence of Japanese art.

In a letter to Theo, his younger brother, Vincent wrote: “One of [Jules] De Goncourt’s sayings was ‘Japonaiserie for ever’. Well, these docks [at Arnhem] are one huge Japonaiserie, fantastic, singular, strange … I mean, the figures there are always in motion, one sees them in the most peculiar settings, everything fantastic, and interesting contrasts keep appearing of their own accord.”

“The West moistens everything with meaning like an authoritarian religion which imposes baptism on entire peoples.” (Roland Barthes, in Empire of Signs)

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Re: numbering

space numbers (03 October 2014)

space numbers (03 October 2014)

Have I photographed these numbers before? If so, it was years ago.

As far as I am able to deduce, these time-worn stencilled numerals signify one of the spaces in a church parking area – a space which had been numbered 19c but was subsequently renumbered 20. My penchant for deconstruction renders the image endlessly fascinating.

According to the Popular Mechanics website, The 13 Most Important Numbers in the Universe include the universal gravitational constant, the speed of light, the ideal gas constant, absolute zero, etc.

Of Mere Being, by Wallace Stevens

Life: it’s so unreasonable. But now … I find more nourishment in the questions than I ever managed to suck out of what passed for answers.

word pond

Of Mere Being

The palm at the end of the mind,
Beyond the last thought, rises
In the bronze distance.

A gold-feathered bird
Sings in the palm, without human meaning,
Without human feeling, a foreign song.

You know then that it is not the reason
That makes us happy or unhappy.
The bird sings. Its feathers shine.

The palm stands on the edge of space.
The wind moves slowly in the branches.
The bird’s fire-fangled feathers dangle down.

Wallace Stevens (1954)
from Opus Posthumous

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Come into the present moment

pasted poster (05 Dec 2012)

pasted poster (05 Dec 2012)

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Give up waiting as a state of mind. When you catch yourself slipping into waiting … snap out of it. Come into the present moment. Just be and enjoy being. (Eckhart Tolle, in Practicing The Power of Now [p53])

The fundamental tendency of matter

Legion (cover)

Legion (cover)

The human brain, three pounds of tissue, held more than a hundred billion brain cells and five hundred trillion synaptic connections. It dreamed and wrote music and Einstein’s equations, it created the language and the geometry and engines that probed the stars, and it cradled a mother asleep through a storm while it woke her at the faintest cry from her child. A computer that could handle all of its functions would cover the surface of the earth.

The hundreds of millions of years of evolution from paramecium to man didn’t solve the mystery, thought Kinderman. The mystery was evolution itself. The fundamental tendency of matter was toward a total disorganization, toward a final state of utter randomness from which the universe would never recover. Each moment its connections were becoming unthreaded as it flung itself headlong into the void in a reckless scattering of itself, impatient for the death of its cooling suns. And yet here was evolution, Kinderman marvelled, a hurricane piling up straw into haystacks, bundles of ever-increasing complexity that denied the very nature of their stuff. Evolution was a theorem written on a leaf that was floating against the direction of the river. A Designer was at work. So what else? It’s as plain as can be. When a man hears hoofbeats in Central Park, he shouldn’t be looking around for zebras. (William Peter Blatty, in Legion [pp104-5]) 

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Originally published by Simon & Schuster in 1983, and subsequently turned into what Rinker calls “a more than satisfactory sequel … Exorcist III (which, mercifully, has nothing to do with Exorcist II: The Heretic).” Legion appeared in a Tor paperback edition in 2011 (Tom Doherty Associates, New York).

Ex nihilo omnia fiunt – everything from nothing

ensō

ensō

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Everything is nothing with a twist. (Kurt Vonnegut, in Slaughterhouse Five)

On the surface, Kurt Vonnegut’s tricky little aphorism seems simple.

Mapping “zero” onto the “ensō” of Zen, the possibilities are endless.

I’m a fan of ex nihilo omnia fiunt … and I love this juicy brush-stroke.

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PS: I’ve no idea whose it is – the ensō, I mean. 

PPS: Using Google Images, I found the following link: http://www.jingshen.co.uk/index.html , but it doesn’t attribute the image.