Light Does Not Move in Straight Lines

Two hundred years ago, the poet and scientist Goethe observed that if light is measured with Newton’s prisms and measurement devices what will be found will match the method of measurement. After two centuries it all looks like this:


Children’s Playhouse and Tree Corpses, Orchard Hill

Newton has given us a wild ride, hasn’t he!

As an antidote, Goethe proposed looking at things with human eyes. Today, I am packing to go to that place for six weeks. Specifically, Iceland. You can follow that journey on (and here, of course.) Before I go, though, I’d like to set the scene with some images of water. It is amazing stuff. Here’s just a hint of what I walked through in Iceland in the past …

Water over Ryolite and Ogre Bones in the East Fjords

That’s where I’m headed. Yes, it’s an image made by a device, but one I think that has gone a bit further than Newton and might be closer to Goethe’s intent. The science that digital cameras propose does not lead to mathematics. It leads to:


Nest Building in Borgarfjörður Estri

It is possible, however, to unravel images without building tree forts with fireman’s poles and dead trees. Art is one way, but what is art? The world of galleries and performance halls and government grant agencies are valuable social strategies. Art, though, is about gestures:

P1020310Bridge to the Dwarves, Seyðisfjörður

The question What is a bridge? is also a good one to ask! (And as impossible to answer as the one What is art?)

In my last post I observed that the line came before the word. Let’s look at that again. Check out the tree in the image below …

P1260207Tree? Lines?

This is an image of human consciousness … and an image of a stream in the spring. The words “tree” and “line” are only markers of human observation in time.

Now, look at it once more in this short video …

Look at the Light.

Talk about Spirit, eh!

In one method of observation, this is the line flowing in time. Call that a novel, if you like. In another, the story in which that human narrative takes place is also a human one. It has a sense of what is human, and what potential exists for relationships with the earth, that is far different than, say, this:


A Human-Dog Toy

Abandoned in the invasive weeds. Everybody went ‘home’.

If you’re home on the earth, though, you don’t ‘go’ home. You give yourself, perhaps. You follow, as I did this day:


Waterfall with Traveller, Seyðisfjörður

The idea of creating art with the earth is a seductive one. Look again how water and the tree interact:

Tree, Filmed by Water

So to speak.

And the sound track to these short films? Ah, here’s the tech crew:

gullThere is no boundary between humans and gulls. It’s a matter of dimensions.

P1260306Gulls by Another Name

Line, Plane, and Depth, together.

To represent these patterns in Newtonian science, complex mathematics are being invented, today. There is another way, and that is one reason I’m going to Iceland. Here is one more reason…


Borgarfjörður Estri

Words begin in wordlessness and with any luck end there, too.

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