temporarily finished stalking me, white duck boy tunie pursues foxy in the swamp.
you can see the sun porch roof panels just over rhodos to right
temporarily finished stalking me, white duck boy tunie pursues foxy in the swamp.
you can see the sun porch roof panels just over rhodos to right
sun porch. 6’ x 24’ concrete pad. eight sections of roof glass and eight sections of glass on south wall. master bath has window and master bedroom has door onto porch. also sliding glass and screen doors from middle of house. winter light heats porch up to 70 by 9:30 AM. open door to area and house can be heated from 56 F to 72 F by late afternoon.
because of cold summer evenings i grow the tomatoes, cucumber and basil in here. must water every day and be sure to close side doors before evening fog or chill rolls in.
laundry from yesterday is finishing drying now.
this makes for a good mud room, place to take off shoes etc. cat likes round bed when we have loud guests over. you can see her stairs out from cat door onto porch at lower right corner of side door glass. she can also exit porch to outside thru a door i close at night, after the chickens and ducks
"The incurable sentimentalist." Lindle studied Armstrong from across the room. "So far as I know, you’re the first certifiably sane one who’s proved too spiritually lazy to discipline his own emotions. And look where, it’s got you." His chuckle was self-assured. "Two hundred grand reward, alive or dead!" He shook his well-groomed head in mock sorrow. "Remember what I said to you once—see how you like the madhouse now?"
"He got no response. Armstrong stared at him with sphinx-like lack of expression.
"It’ll be a darned sight madder before long," Lindle prophesied. "I shall always remain amazed that anyone so fundamentally sane should choose to support the world’s lunatics. I have been lost for an explanation of this contradiction. It seems to me that either the psychotron was out of order and made a wrong diagnosis of you, or else we never did succeed in convincing you of the facts of history past and present. Personally, I lean to the latter theory. You are sane—but an incurable skeptic. I think your bullheaded actions since we last saw each other are entirely due to your inability to appreciate what you’re up against. You don’t believe even your own eyes!" He sat more erect in his chair. "It wouldn’t do you any harm to put some trust in them for once—and allow me to remind you that there is always time to repent."
Armstrong’s face remained blank; his lips did not part."
by Eric Frank Russell
as a guardian/parent, when it came to signing a standard legal form permitting the Dentist to change treatment midway thru procedure, i wrote “if procedure involves drilling into tooth rather than roughing surface as formerly indicated, i would like to be advised.” then i initialled that portion as instructed.
this got me an invitation to a hallway visit with the Dentist, who said “things may have changed since i last saw your child and i may have to drill further in than we imagined previously.” i said ”if you find significant change then call me, i will be in the waiting room.”
i made to return to the outer rooms, but was bidden not enthusiastically by the Dentist into the examination room and a chair was pointed out where i might sit. first the mirror went into my daughters mouth, then the bright metallic hook scrapped what surface bacteria laden solids could be removed from the site of the tooth of most concern (for this was but one of two teeth, indeed the tooth for which the Dentist expressed the most concern, the tooth that might need the unexpected drilling), air then was applied to dry the critical site, lastly a dye was carefully placed on the prepared site.
at this time the Dentist silently beckoned me to stand and approach. the gesture was a repeated curling and uncurling of the index finger from an otherwise clenched fist. “this indicates we will certainly have to drill” she said pointing with the hooked implement. the attendant held the smaller plastic handled tool with the tiny cotton head soaked with dye. i observed a perfectly round circle of just under a millimetre in diameter on the side of the tooth. where the tooth met the gums i could see a long stretch of similarly stained material where the tooth met the gums and wished my daughter had brushed better before the visit as the stain spread for just over 7 millimetres.
"so this dot indicates a cavity i inquired?"
"yes, the dye indicates bacteria specifically." she allowed
"and one would drill until there is no trace of dye? i assumed
"yes," she confirmed
"lets dye the other side " i exclaimed, turning to the attendant with the cotton swab with sudden enthusiasmthe attendant looked at me horrified. at first i had thought no, merely hesitatingly: but no, she was transfixed with a sort of astonished horror at my behaviour. the attendant gave the Dentist a worried look. immediately i turned to the Dentist, “no, i don’t need to stain the other tooth” the Dentist assured me. “but what if the other tooth similarly might require drilling?” i went on “shouldn’t we use the scientific method and stain both teeth?” “i don’t need to stain the other tooth” the Dentist repeated. i began again to suggest that certainly it would be of interest to stain the other tooth, at which point the Dentist pushed firmly and rolled just under a meter back from the examination and requested we leave her practice."
Solitude slides so quickly toward inventive delirium and error that the site of knowledge production is never a relation between an individual and his object, but rather one between a growing body of researchers checking on one another and a carved out speciality, denned and accepted by them.
With the origin of science, the former imaginary subject of knowledge, taking refuge in his stove-heated room to conjure up the Devil and the Good Lord, or bent under his transcendental conditions, gives way to a group, united or dispersed in space and time, dominated and ruled by an agreement. This agreement has been said to be consensual, or else, on the contrary, to be endlessly traversed by polemics and debates. Both are true, depending on the scene of knowledge or the historical moment, and those who fight contract to agree, even more here than in the case discussed previously.
This war or this peace, in sum, is based on a tacit contract resembling the old social contract, and it brings together scientists, like the refined debaters, the soldiers, or the economic rivals of a moment ago. Before this tacit contract there was no more science than there was society before the social contract. At the most distant Greek origins of the most rigorous thought, the first scientists, whether assembled or dispersed, debated even more than they proved, jurists as much as geometers.
The subject of knowledge, thus defined as the bond uniting the participants in the scientific enterprise, is much less a matter of a common oral or written language, fluctuating and varied, than has commonly been believed. It amounts, rather, to a tacit and stable contract behind or under this language, a contract whose legal subject is the subject of science: virtual, current, formal, operational.
Let’s just list the successive incarnations of this subject: beginning in infancy, the individual enters into relation with the community, which is already bound by this contract; well before starting to examine the objects of his specialization, he presents himself before accredited examining boards, which decide whether or not to receive him among the learned; after having learnedly worked, he presents himself once again before other authorities, who decide whether or not to receive his work into their canonized language. There can be no knower without the first judgement, no knowledge without the second. Thus experienced by the former individual subject, me or you, an obedient receiver or transmitter and a possible inventive producer of knowledge, the process of knowing runs from trials to cases to causes, from judgements to choices, and so never leaves the juridical arena. The sciences proceed by contracts. Scientific certainty and truth depend, in fact, as much on such judgements as such judgements do on them.
The history of the sciences often merges with that of the pronouncements of courts—or of authorities, scientific and otherwise: this will become abundantly clear. The knowledge recognised as scientific ensues from this “epistemodicy”; I mean by this new word all relations of science and law, reason and judgement.
The tribunals of knowledge know causes, which are often conflictual, before knowing things, which are often peaceful, even if scientists know things before fighting about causes. In science, law anticipates fact as subjects precede the object; but fact anticipates law as object precedes subject.
Thus the legal contract that brings together scientists involves things; it discovers them, analyses them, and constitutes them as scientific objects. Once again a worldly world regulated by contract enters into relation with the worldwide world regulated by laws of a different kind. We don’t know how to describe the relations between these laws and the juridical laws of courts, which take cognizance of our causes or cases.
In other words, scientific knowledge results from the passage that changes a cause into a thing and a thing into a cause, that makes a fact become a law, de facto become de jure, and vice versa. The reciprocal transformation of cause into thing and of law into fact explains the double situation of scientific knowledge, which is, on the one hand, arbitrary convention, as is all speculative theory, and, on the other hand, the faithful and exact objectivity that underlies every application.
Consequently, the relation of law to fact, of contract to world, which we noted in dialogue, rivalry, and conflicts, renews itself unchanged in scientific knowledge: by definition and in its real functioning, science is an ongoing relation between the contract uniting scientists and the world of things. And this relation between convention and fact, unique in human history, so miraculous that since Kant and Einstein we have not ceased to marvel at it, has not been given a juridical name. It is as if the verdicts of humans coincide with those of objects. That never happens, except in miracles and sciences.
We’re talking about a law, thus arbitrary convention. But it concerns facts, established and checked—those of nature. So since its establishment, science has played the role of natural law. This time-honoured expression conceals a profound contradiction, that of the arbitrary and the necessary. Science conceals the same contradiction, in exactly the same places. Physics is natural law: it has played this role since its dawning. The cardinals who defended natural law were beaten at their own game by Galileo, who held to physics.
Who then can be surprised that the question of natural law today depends closely on science, which also describes the place of groups in the world? For, what is more, the scientific collectivity, a minuscule subset of the vast human plate, finds itself facing other collectivities with which it maintains classical relations, consensual or aggressive, to be determined by ordinary contracts.
Consequently, the basic combat situation reappears in knowledge. There, just as we noted previously, a collectivity united by an agreement finds itself facing the world in a relation, neither dominated nor managed, of unconscious violence: mastery and possession.
The origin of science resembles the origin of human societies as if they were sisters: the pact of knowing, a type of social contract, cooperatively controls the expressions of knowledge. But this pact does not make peace with the world, even though it is closer to it.
Why should we be surprised today to hear contradictory arguments about the beneficial or damaging effects of knowledge or reason, which has itself been passing judgements for more than two millennia? More than three hundred years ago, a much-vaunted Theodicy decided on the cause of sufferings and evil and concluded that the Creator was tragically responsible. We do not know before what court or in what forms to argue a similar case, a case where it is once more a matter of good and evil, but where the rational producer and far-sighted person in charge has long since rejoined the human collectivity. Epistemodicy, that is an exact and possible title of this book, though it is too ugly to be adopted.
Science brings together fact and law: whence its now decisive place. Scientific groups, in a position to control or do violence to the worldwide world, are preparing to take the helm of the worldly world.
The very being of beauty, nothing is as beautiful as the world; nothing beautiful comes forth without this gracious giver of all splendour. Amid the atrocities of the Trojan War, blind Homer sings of rosy-fingered dawn; from the pride of bulls comes the strength of Goya, whose paintings bemoan similar and more recent horrors. To anyone who detaches himself from battles because even average wisdom makes them seem vain, if not inhuman, or who does not want to pay for his worst desires with infamy, the worldwide world today offers the painful face of mutilated beauty. Will the strange and timid radiance of dawn be harmed by our brutality?
Out of the equivalence, the identity, the fusion of the worldwide world and the worldly world arises beauty. Thus it surpasses the real in the direction of the human and the human in the direction of the real, and in both cases sublimates both. Epistemology and esthetics, the latter in both its meanings, held forth about the harmony of the rational and the real without being able to explain this miracle, which, I repeat, astounded Kant and Einstein, others too, and left them speechless.
From an old word of the sacred tongue, which signified stain and profanation, insult, violation, and dishonour, we call the breakdown of this equipollence pollution. How have divine landscapes, the saintly mountain and the sea with the innumerable smiles of the gods, how have they been transformed into sewage farms or horrifying dumping grounds for corpses? By scattering material and sensory garbage, we are covering or erasing the world’s beauty and reducing the luxurious proliferation of its multiplicities to the desert and solar uniformity of our laws alone.
More terrifying than the purely speculative probability of a flood, such a wave of poisons poses, though in inverse form, the same problem of history, law, philosophy, even of metaphysics, that beauty’s enigma posed not long ago. In bygone days, the equivalence or meeting of two worlds, song of harmony and elation, marked the optimism and happiness of our ancestors—amid the horror of combats or debates, no one could deprive them of the world—just as now the rupture of these two worlds awakens our anxiety.
If our rational could wed the real, the real our rational, our reasoned undertakings would leave no residue; so if garbage proliferates in the gap between them, it’s because that gap produces pollution, which fills in the distance between the rational and the real. Since the filth is growing, the breach between the two worlds must be getting worse. Ugliness ensues from discord and vice versa. Do we still have to prove that our reason is doing violence to the world? Does our reason no longer feel the vital need for beauty?
Beauty demands peace; peace depends on a new contract.
The only strong or concrete reason that peoples and states have found to join forces and institute a lasting truce among themselves is the formal idea of perpetual peace, an idea that has always been abstract and inconsequential because nations have been able to consider themselves, as a group, alone in the world. Nothing and nobody and no collectivity was above them, and thus no reason.
Since the death of God, all we have left is war.
But now that the world itself is entering into a natural contract with the assembled peoples, however conflictual their assembly may be, it gives the reason for peace, as well as the sought after transcendence.
We must decide on peace among ourselves to protect the world, and peace with the world to protect ourselves."
i’ve been reading The Natural Contract by Michel Serres and found the quotes below to assist Serres argument which is always more than sufficiently redundant. in any case …
On February 3 Ross Wolfe @rosswolfe tweeted
"All civilized peoples begin with the common ownership of the land. With all peoples who have passed a (cont) http://tl.gd/n_1s095o8 (text follows)
"All civilized peoples begin with the common ownership of the land. With all peoples who have passed a certain primitive stage, this common ownership becomes in the course of the development of agriculture a fetter on production. It is abolished, negated, and after a longer or shorter series of intermediate stages is transformed into private property. But at a higher stage of agricultural development, brought about by private property in land itself, private property conversely becomes a fetter on production, as is the case today both with small and large landownership. The demand that it, too, should be negated, that it should once again be transformed into common property, necessarily arises. But this demand does not mean the restoration of the aboriginal common ownership, but the institution of a far higher and more developed form of possession in common which, far from being a hindrance to production, on the contrary for the first time will free production from all fetters and enable it to make full use of modern chemical discoveries and mechanical inventions." Engels, Anti-Duhring (1877)
"The large-scale destruction of machinery which occurred in the English manufacturing districts during the first fifteen years of the nineteenth century, largely as a result of the employment of the power-loom; and known as the Luddite movement, gave the anti-Jacobin government, composed of such people as Sidmouth and Castlereagh, a pretext for the most violent and reactionary measures. It took both time and experience before the workers learnt to distinguish between machinery and its employment by capital, and therefore to transfer their attacks from the material instruments of production to the form of society which utilizes those instruments." Marx, Capital (1867)
"Just as alone in his hermitage as yours truly, but miles from here, madam, south of us, in that strange Mediterranean devoid of tides, a colleague keeping watch off Vulcano Island, in the Aeolian Islands, also known as the Lipari, not far from the shores of Sicily, I’m talking about the days of the wooden navy and about places I imagine without ever having sailed there, a colleague, as I was saying, one fine morning saw, while he was tranquilly cleaning the lenses of his lamps with a shammy in his lantern room, an ugly dismasted hull come straight toward his rock. He gestured, shook his handkerchief, to no avail; the boat, holding course, came closer, closer…. My colleague rushed down the spiral staircase four at a time, took down the semaphore signs at a run, left by the door onto the rock, and unfurled all he could of the green, red and turquoise blue surface so that the imbeciles would turn as quickly as possible. ‘My word, everyone on board is drunk,’ he said to himself."
"He, my colleague, was the imbecile, when he realized, but then quite late for his ignorant landsman skin, that it was a matter of what was called in those days a ghost ship, not that of the Wagnerian circus, but of those unfortunate boats on which the crew was no longer able to reason with the small beasts and on which, entirely in reverse, said beasts feasted on the organs and bones of all the sailors, including the skipper and the ship’s boy for dessert. It even sometimes happened that a few last survivors lowered the whaleboat and left the rodents as the sole masters of the ship. Every man for himself! And here came the hull invaded by four-legged sailors with mustachioed snouts and pink tails drifting with the winds and in God’s hands. In those days, lookouts from every ship would steer clear of them, crossing themselves, when they encountered those ill-fated boats from afar."
"Come on, Monsieur Arhan, you exaggerate. I don’t believe in ghost ships."
"At the time of my Navy service, I myself saw, on land, a poor quartermaster, on guard in a sort of fallout shelter, come out one morning quite injured. A power failure had locked him in the cellar for the night, the airtight doors blocked by the automatic locks. Blindly and barehanded, for twelve solid hours he had to fight those beasts from hell, certain of which would jump on his face, attacking his soft parts and eyes, while others ate his calves. Fortunately, they weren’t very numerous. A swarming pack would have devoured him before midnight, completely raw. He spent two months in Morvan hospital."
"I’m getting back to my boats. When the hellish new passengers no longer had anything for their teeth to gnaw on - hawser, barrel, dried cod, biscuits or sailors - they would end up, starving, dying with open mouths, rabid, or by killing each other so as to eat one another, like cursed shipwrecked people. We kill one another, you know, madam, us and the rats, the only animals that murder within their species."
"You know," said old Arhan with a nervous motion of his pipe, "when there’s no longer anything but humans on the Earth, like the rodents of the lighthouse and boat, when we’ve destroyed every other living species, at the rate that this disaster is going today, who’ll eat what, I ask you, aboard our ghost planet? We’ll devour each other between brothers and sisters on this cursed ship. And drink the blood of our cousins. When is it due to arrive?"
"I am getting back, madam, to my Italian lighthouse. Letting go, at once, of the whole load of pennants, my colleague bolted flat out to lock himself in his stone tower at the very moment that this yacht of rotten wood crashed with a great noise on the lighthouse rocks - the entire rest of his life, the keeper heard, after this fracas of shattered sterns, the immense rumbling of the rats whose enraged mob cries drowned out, at a stroke, the background noise made by the sea, even calm - and that tens of thousands of animals, fasting since forever and a day, rushed and disembarked all together, like a syzygy tide flowing at Mont Saint-Michel, and galloped at his heels to devour him, pea coat included. He went through the door, didn’t have time to close it, didn’t succeed under the weight of the invasion in barricading it, climbed the steps fast as the wind with these millions of creatures at his heels, already trampling them, crushed two or three, finally reached the lantern room, slammed the iron leaf behind him, slid the three bolts, and, before collapsing with breathlessness and terror, battered with a bar the five or six intruders that succeeded in penetrating with him all the way upstairs into the glass cockpit of the lantern room. End of the first act."
"Scene now. A pretty sea, gentle wind, spring clouds, booms and ratlines broken in disorder at the lighthouse’s foot, and the entire hillock islet now covered with this moving swarming, of an innumerable depth, and above all - oh, my eardrums - the enormous rumbling of the rodents attempting to climb the tower, covering almost all of it, filling at least the totality of the volume of the spiral staircase…. Was the door of the lantern going to hold? Howling and sticky, a mass was pushing it and, behind the fragile panel, my poor colleague panting. That, madam, is the entire story: all of a sudden, without warning, alone against an army. You think you’re calm, cleaning your things with a nanny-goat skin, and, suddenly, the downpour of rats…. Who’d believe it?"
Through the whistling of the west wind that enveloped Creac’h like a flapping tunic, while said first lady was having coffee in the watch room, she thought she heard the shrill commotion of that appalling mob seeking to devour everything.
"The second act, Monsieur Arhan?"
"Scene, again. From the harbor master’s residence on land, at Milazzo I believe, without being able to guarantee it, it was of course impossible to see, in the evening, out in the open sea, the flashes of the lighthouse. Stuck next to the lenses, hungry, thirsty, without sleep due to fright, my colleague couldn’t light the lamp: the sparking device was outside the lantern room, on the side with the rats. Who, from the Sicilian shore, could have guessed the adventure? The officials raged, saying that the keeper was failing in his duties. ‘Is the bastard drunk?’ ‘No, sick,’ said his substitute colleagues, better-speaking than those slanderers. And the lighthouse remained in the dark. Navigation became dangerous again in the region, and the Strait of Messina sea lane - Charybdis and Scylla, madam! - wasn’t far from there. Something had to be done quickly, for no arriving ship could know that the signal had gone out. No AVURNAV at that time, nor radio or Internet, nor that infernal GPS that could, certainly, lead us to paradise."
"At the end of the night of waiting, still hoping that the keeper would relight, they fitted out some dingy or other to go and have a look on the scene. And they saw, yes, the leaning, ripped-open wreck, almost upright on the rock, the foremast fallen across, the beam demolished, the boom broken, in the midst of scattered planks; and on the aft wall: Danae, from Liverpool.” “No!” exclaimed old Arhan, “my colleague’s tower didn’t receive a shower of gold that morning, but a flood of cries! For they also saw, no, rather heard, the infernal pullulating; the lighthouse moving with life and vibrating with deafening howls. I have difficulty believing what the witnesses said on their return: the rats, having climbed clutching one over the other, were piled up along the tower and were forming, outside, from top to bottom, up to the lantern room to which they couldn’t hoist themselves without slipping, a kind of colossal vibrating column, howling to the skies from starvation.”
"Impossible to disembark, as you can imagine. They crossed themselves, the way the lookouts who passed that horror formerly did on the open sea; they returned to land and wondered what to do. What would you have done, madam? What would I have done myself to fight against that tide, to defeat the invincible armada?"
Arhan left the first lady of France in suspense for a moment.
"The third and final act?" she said.
"Then, the stroke of genius: I no longer know which quartermaster, the son of a butcher from the neighboring village on the coast, rushed into the harbor master’s in the morning, shoved the guard aside, and, stuttering his sentences, so much were the words crowding against his teeth, suggested that a tugboat should set sail at once (‘An idea my little sister had,’ he said, ‘you know, the piquant brunette, the one in love with the keeper, who’d so much like to marry him.’) with a barge crammed with bones and rotting meat in tow. His father would get them at the renderer and bring them right away with the horse. The harbor master, understanding nothing of all this, considered the sailor crazy, but embarked with him on the barge. Everything had to be tried."
"They got underway to the ghost lighthouse; arriving within sight of it, they maneuvered in circles, slowly, so that the barge, at the end of the towline and full to bursting with the remnants of the rendering, would land, in its turn, by gently hitting the rocks; it touched them, caressing them with its quarter on land. Drawn, lured, intoxicated by the abominable odor of meat as infernal as their rabidity, the rats, seeing the end of their Ramadan, undressed and emptied the lighthouse in a lightning-fast stampede, hurtling down the stairs, freeing the islet, racing in carnage to the boat and, piled on, filled it to the brim at the risk of sending it to the bottom. Then, the quartermaster, having a quiet laugh, cut the cable, and the rats, mustaches, paws and mouths red with the blood of the rotting meat, became the sailors of a second ghost ship, wandering once again with the wind and on the pretty sea. Onto which the tug’s pumps then poured tons of gas in a stream."
“‘Take the torch, sailor, and set fire to those pests, God dammit!’ ‘I too remember,’ recounted later the owner of the tug and barge, having shouted that order, ‘I remember the infernal clamor emitted by that swarming and scorched city, plunged in crimson flames that shot up, instantaneously, as high as the lighthouse. Fanned by a gust of wind, the giant and reeking fire ship drifted out into the open sea for a long time; vanishing behind the horizon, in front of the setting sun, one would have thought it a second erupting Stromboli. The girl in love had a good idea. Love doesn’t only move the stars, it also lights volcanoes.’”
"They plied the oars toward the lighthouse, where they picked my colleague, gone mad, up off the floor of the lantern room. For a long time, he remained in an asylum where his ears still resonated with the innumerable rumbling of the rats pushing in mass behind the shaky bolts ready to come loose."
"For a long time he didn’t dare open when someone was knocking at his door."
From that day on, the lady of the waterside feared seeing the rebirth, come from the western horizon and making for her, of a ghost swarming with little beasts.
When we were small they would say “these children are the ones who lack imagination, initiative, they need telling what to do…” This was a long time ago and we cannot possibly trust our memories that much any longer., years of sitting in rooms with a psychotherapist have taught us the fraility of our memory. Still i remember the science laboratory with the bench desks, the bunsen burners and the melting of small lead ingots which were then dropped into cold water and when sufficiently cooled taken out, transmogrified into strange shapes, insects, animals, the heads of men, newly invented and unnamed objects, sometimes sculptural structures of horrendous future events that we hope will never happen. On other days we would burn magnesium flares, create small explosions, distill water…. We humored our adults, hiding behind what they believed were scarcely understood events but which in retrospect were a reflection of their own ignorance. The same shapes and events we found represented in other natural and cultural objects, water dripping into a puddle, idle doodles on a school notebook, a fountain pen leaking (why did they like fountain pens for children at schools?) Each leak was an ambiguous signifier, one made all the important because of the way it combined both a figure and discourse, the density of a substance and the illegibility of discourse. Vaguely between the abstraction of a hieroglyphic written discourse and the solidness of a figure, whilst they merge into a singular figure, one with the topological distinction of Hjemslev singing in the bath to his sister. The ambivalence was to be the spectre haunting us for many years, the meanings hidden in the figure-discourse have vanished with the crumpled up paper discarded into the red wastebin….
When we were taken to the clothing shop and he would sing for us, pencil beating time, cloth swirling, patterns marked. parka chosen, boots, shoes, a pack… the way our parents looked after us in this strange adventurous shop promised a life of adventure, deserts, mountains, forests, strange cities on the edges of Ethiopia, perhaps even the last stronghold of the Mongolian emperors in Shangri-La. The purchases reminding us of a promised future on the ocean with furious breezes pushing the yacht towards a distant horizon that would vanish in the dusk, hardy sun burnt women laughing at nature. We only had to look at the growing collection of bags, touch the fabulous garments and we were ready to board the amphibious planes and fly towards the Himalayas via the south seas, flying around the edges of the cyclones, watching the lightning strikes, the decaying ports on the southern shores of the dying empires. A child smiles.
The plane lands and taxies to the dock, the yacht draws up to the stone jetty, a car is offloaded from the hold. We walk ashore, we drive, we explore the cities, the urban centre, the edges of the port district, the suburbs with the motorways that snake northwards to the capital, searching for the secret of the city which is who we landed here. Nothing is ignored, the crowd standing on the portside looking at the floating plane, another that is gathering in the public square before the still empty stage where actors will be performing Romeo and Juilette shortly. As darkness falls we watch the lighted windows that look down on the narrow streets and squares; the geo-social meaning of the city can be anywhere and anything. We document, photograph, smell, eat street food from stalls that are probably given us poison. Then as we search further afield until we walk out of an alley and come face to face with a shop, it’s proprietor looks at us through the curved glass, his distorted stare looking at us, we realize that we have found the meaning we were looking for. Behind him shelves of books and patterns, in front of him unpacked boxes containing nothing anyone of us knows about - he leans forward further as we approach the shop trying to keep us in the most distorted field of vision, we have come to pay him a visit, perhaps buy some charts, a few books, mostly just to talk about earlier purchases from when we were younger. We rummage around the shelves until late in the night, talking to him about Shangri-La, the port of Sete on the coast of Italy, the political economy of Gambela, whilst outside the shop sleet begins to fall…
Years pass, living, we have wandered far from the moment when we were judged so severely by our teachers, are we still constituted out of lack as they said so many years ago? We now look uncertainly at the sky as a few lonely clouds pass across the sun, we still attempt to glean meaning from the random patterns nature generates around us. Still we are worried now that there are meanings that we cannot understand because the ripples in the sea are a language caused by the giant sentient thunder clouds far out to sea. And of course, we listen attentively to the music coming from the open windows on this hot evening as the sun sinks towards the horizon, doors openning and closing with crashes and bangs, the rhythm of the architectural machines echoing around the spaces, we walk back towards the dock, we walk back towards the stone jetty, the space inside an unfamiliar dockyard city on the coast…
visitors on the day of my arrival. we put a message up at the general store and their keepers came by eening with headlamps and etc