Floating City VII

Ma Yuan-The Waving Surface of the Autumn Flood c1222

There, among the canals, every twist and turn
Leads to the unexpected, yet another splendour,
Riot of decadence, symbolic decay, hinting at danger;
Look upward though at the sun illuminating the water
Flowing past the grandeur hidden in vaults
Towards the ever present Island of the Dead,
Flooding the damned Cities of the Plain
Further still rushing beyond the Pure Land
To cascade inexorably onto the Other Shore.

Here, in this place's essence of impermanence, I taste eternity.

Floating City IV

Xia Gui-Remote View of Hill and Stream c1180-1230

The surface of the canal is stilled momentarily
Glass like textured colour of perfected clarity
Drifting pellucid azure and liquid wisps of white
The grey of gargoyles on the bridge where I’m standing
Looking into depths of this quicksilver mirror
Marvelling at the pastel vision of innocence
Decadent dream of a long vanquished Empire
My reflection stares back past and beyond
A transitory tranquillity falls like water into water.

Persistent Rumours of Encroaching Ice

DSC00470 Encroaching Ice-Thea Kiros

Do you live in fear of Judgement Day? Are you feeling all alone in the face of Armageddon, isolated before the Apocalypse? Do you dream of any of the following:

A). The end of the world by flood

B). The end of the world by famine

C). The end of the world by fire

If the answer is yes to any of the above, do you believe that the causation will be:

1). Nuclear annihilation

2). Ecological catastrophe

3). Divine eschatological judgement

Or is it the case that you are more concerned with  the Violent Unknown Event*, or perhaps you can no longer ignore the persistent rumours in your head of the encroaching ice? Maybe it is the ultimate  heat death of the universe, as per the Second Law of Thermodynamics (that is, of course, dependent on whether the universe can be considered a closed system), that troubles your peace of mind?

Regardless of the exact nature and cause of Ragnarok, the collection Motion No. 69 is perfect material for the End Times. Although even a kabbalistic reading of its dense pages will not yield a definite date (however certain clues suggest that the world will end on a Wednesday, to at least break up the week), it does offer the possibility of a recurrence, this time with feeling.

* Or VUE for short-See Peter Greenaway’s 1980 documentary The Falls.

Transformations

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Nadia Maria
As I noted in my previous post on the brilliant Brazilian photographer Nadia Maria, Heavenly Bodies, she derives much of her inspiration from the fleeting visions glimpsed before sleep and from dreams themselves, hence the dark evocative atmosphere she portrays so poetically in each image. Nadia Maria manages to capture perfectly the sense of imminent transformation that we all experience when we dream, where nothing is as it appears to be and everything has the potential to become something other. Here on the night-side the uncertain self is confronted with all the sublimity and terror of being.

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