My friend +nomad dimitri noted that I have a “consistency of vision”. Looking over at my coffee table, I see he might have me pegged; together sit two objects, that I acquired more than a quarter of a century apart, from different continents, one natural, one manufactured—and they match. Perfectly.
Over the winter holiday in 1989, I travelled to Kyoto with another teacher. We hit all the typical tourist attractions we could in three days. As we waited for the train home, I did some last minute shopping in the station arcade and found a tea set that I had to have. I thought it looked like a stone covered in lichen. I couldn’t believe at first that it was actually pottery. My companion was unimpressed with my choice and complained that the teapot didn’t have a proper lid. To me it was a work of art. To her, it was not fit for purpose.
A year ago today, I was walking alone along an empty gravel road outside Porvenir, on the island of Tierra del Fuego, Chile. As is my habit, I looked around for a stone as a keepsake. The first few I picked up turned out to be just gravel imported in when they laid down the road. Not of the place. So I wandered a bit afield, near a little stream, trying a few until one felt right in my hand—a touchstone, a worry bead.
When I arrived home and unpacked, I set it on the table. When I turned to pick it up again, I noticed that it matched perfectly the color and textures of the Kyoto tea set. Like mates separated at birth who had finally found their way to each other.
Mar 19, 2016
+1 I would argue that this consistency, this ύφος, extends past objects, to aspects at our core. On a beach at Koh Phangan a few years back, I run into emotions from another beach, in Greece, when I was 8 years old. Or, if you will, I run into the little boy I still was.
Mar 19, 2016
M Sinclair Stevens
+1 +nomad dimitri Oh, I like that idea. I have a strong sense of place and am sensitive to how environment can affect our emotions and perceptions. You’ve just reminded me of something, on recurring themes, I wrote elsewhere, in which I think I expressed it better.
“The objects of the present remind me of objects in the past. As such, they take on a depth unseen by other people. Every object has two natures. An object is simultaneously itself and a symbol of something else, an association made by the person perceiving the object.”
“If I expand the concept to include events as well as objects in this discussion, then it explains why I often experience the world on multiple levels. I experience the past and present simultaneously. The past intrudes verbally as an echo or visually as ghost image. These shadows of the past provide dimension, give a greater depth to experience than when I perceive it on the singular plane of the present.”
“Does my layered worldview create multiplicity and fragmentation? No. What it does is provide a connection with the past so that I am more whole. The scope of my experience is not just the present moment but a larger moment, where the past, present, and future are interwoven.”
Mar 19, 2016
+1 +M Sinclair Stevens we are so fluid, made from fluid, feel like fluid, ephemeral, changing and yet…