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June 2011

June 2011

Fragments. Moments. Oxbows.

The river returning to bed. Cutting sediment. Breaking flow. Never for a second the same.

Slightly curled phylogons naturally slip together; revealing why moments tend to stack and synchronize.

Tree logic: plant more trees.

Phylogons nestled and slipping through time.

Sun above the clouds.

Things upset, settle down, ready for another round.

Digging deep. Sod. Topsoil. Sandy layer. Clay. Shale. Lots of rocks. Establishing new growth is a chore.

Sudden summer storms. Soaked in simple struggles.

Why is it that as soon as it becomes something it needs to become something else?

A quiet moment at the camp out devoted to a quick sketch.

Transmission. Bonding. Lessons of the spirit. A look into yourself. Where's home?

I know enough to know to be mindful but I don't know enough to be mindful.

Mother and daughter. Living in other stories repositions the center of the world.

A rabbit and a snake. In Vedic Astrology the rabbit is associated with the Moon. In one version of the story it is because the Moon moves across the sky the fastest. In another, the shape of a rabbit is recognized instead of the face of the man in the moon. The same tradition also has a myth about Rahu and Ketu, two snakes who become planets. They personify time (past and future) and become enemies of the Sun and Moon. They attempt to swallow the Sun and Moon during eclipses. I improvised this drawing out of the blue last night and was pretty surprised at the imagery; which if you follow this site is pretty unusual stuff. I had never heard the stories and I did not know that there would be a lunar eclipse this afternoon.

In the air? Suppressed emotions? Secret language? Too subconscious to source?

Studies for staring into a crystal ball.

Flow through the phylogons completes what A. N. Whitehead calls "the formality of actually occurring."

Not to point to the thing but to the nothing the thing points to.

Land & water boundaries.

Something breaks and something else is whole.

Orbital inflection point. A time to summarize and make new plans. Chapter one is done and I'm installing a narrator's voice in chapter two. Enough vagueness and inference. Not that things aren't abstract but there is a first person to be heard from. Words in service of independent goals; in sync or not with the images. The cycle turns, marked by change.

Blasting in. I want to dig up a story. Something from the core. Something I didn't know I had inside me. Written in plain words with interesting characters, movement in time and an exciting climax. A story that creates a feeling that something has occurred, something is accomplished, that something of value has been obtained or that the journey has been worth it. Or at least be entertaining.

Chapter one was like a dream; gathering generalizations from a distant floating perspective and each sentence distilled to its essence. Now I will look directly at the world and speak more verbosely from inside it. So begins a deeper look into the creative process as it unfolds. I'll be as surprised as you by the evolution.

The phylogons are forming a cycle. The story starts here. No beginning. No end. A place outside of time. Centuries equal seconds. If the cycle remains symmetrical there is nothing to write about. But cracks are forming and soon, what Paul Klee called the "cosmogenic moment" will occur.

If I rushed into this plane now, before there is sufficient complexity, I would be omniscient. And where is the mystery in knowing everything? For the sake of the story I'm choosing to watch this cycle evolve until a character comes along. Then I'll jump into that POV and be ignorant by choice. Since this world is timeless it won't be long before that happens, I'm sure.

Chapter two begins with a creation myth. A story about both the mechanics of creating this fictional world and the creative process that makes it possible. How can something be the source of itself? A creation myth about creation is a self reflection if I've ever seen one and that's how feedback gets started.

Klee's "cosmogenic moment" in our terms means that there is a first phylogon; a first moment or a first on the stack. Astrophysicists start their story with a similar singularity called the "big bang." In the Upanishads, consciousness simply wakes up like we do each morning. We can't know we're awake if we're asleep, right? How does that first phylogon come to be?

Order from chaos. The creation myth again. How is it that something always occurs? Then again without that something, there would be nothing to think about it. These creation myths are too reductionist. Yes, yes, yes, there is a singularity, a moment of creation. And it is dramatic. But really, the confluence before and the richness afterward are short changed if they aren't considered equal. Isn't every moment a moment of change? And in the timeless view, all moments occurs simultaneously.

And what about the story we're reading now? When will it reach a special moment? One thing that is certain is that the story cannot escape the author. So while we slowly turn and examine the details of the grand manifestation, a man is sitting in a chair in upstate New York typing words into a machine. We'll know more when he does.

What came before the beginning? The same thing that comes after the end! At the quantum scale we can't use Newtonian mechanics to explain motion. Similarly, our theories of linear time are paradoxical when there is no beginning or end. Is time circular? How can that be? Let's start at the beginning by not thinking of the beginning as a single point. Let's visualize instead a time of turbulence that has to be passed through; like a space capsule reentering the atmosphere. Creation is a time of uncertainty, danger, and loss of communication with the outside world. Just like a typical day in the studio. Then finally splashdown! Ideas travel from thought to reality through chaos. We wake up from dreams and find a world of things. And we barely remember the dream.

Okay, all this theory and overview are fine for a while but a story travels in the world through events and specific personal details. I want descriptions of places and characters. Are we headed that way?

I think I hear music and dancing up ahead.

What is the character of chaos? Our creation myth needs a character. Who will embody the chaos of the creative process for us?

When I return to NYC I feel my past. Why do I only feel like that when I am there? I imagine the feeling is not kept inside me but in the collective intelligence that is often called 'the spirit of the place.' Arriving evokes that spirit.

Does a similar spirit exist in the chaos that knows us all when we return?

I think the phylogons are guiding us. They seem to be organized in a new way. A tilted grid? A patterned textile? Who is coming? Can you guess? We catch the quickest glimpse - we are still in chaos, remember?

A dancing form spins through the mist; a defier of order, a time traveler, a trickster, a fool; someone who moves outside and through the cycles, an acrobat of reality: a harlequin.

We have a fundamental problem when making Art. We must find a material that will accept and convey our imaginative energy. Our ideas must mix with matter.

Now we have a character, the harlequin, available to act out our story. But how does he enter the plot? What is he made of? A complex cosmogenic moment is needed to interface worlds.

The harlequin, ever enthusiastic and athletic, takes matters into his own hands and eagerly dives into the phylogons. But the diamonds of his costume become entangled with mountains and oceans. There is a serious problem with size. The harlequin is still an archetype and largely living in my imagination. He is too big to walk on Earth. How can we make him smaller? If we find enough details about who he is and why he is here we could know him as an individual human being.

The harlequin goes to sleep as a mountain range and wakes up with a river carved into his back. He stomps earthquakes. He farts volcanoes.

He enters further in the world. If he is born on Earth in the twenty-first century there will be records: measurements of his body, the time, the place, who conveyed him, etc. And he must have a name. When his thoughts ask for these things to appear he is startled that nothing happens. He panics. He notices that human minds are separated, not only from each other but from higher flows. He sees that he will be dependent on others he can't control. Can he back out now? Mild claustrophobia. A little more panic.

The situation is more clear now. He lies back down to have a rest and consider the things he will give up to be human and the things he will get. How strongly does he want to act out our story? And what alternatives exist?