Our weather’s been a bit much lately. After staying cold forever (our summer didn’t start until well into May) June came on like a pizza oven, and we’ve set a variety of heat records. It’s no longer refreshing in the evening or the early morning, it’s just hot. With the loss of the cool nights, the plants are stressed, the pool is warmer. Happily there’s a break in the forecast; cooler nights are ahead.
In the meantime, the cats and I are staying busy indoors, waiting for our three boys, who arrive in just over a week.
Miss Fish knows how to handle a hot day.
This week, I’ve been photographing beadwork in service of the second volume of CGB; astonishing pieces are coming in at a nice clip.
Catherine Russell, from Vancouver, sent in a box of tiny beaded baskets. The patterning on each is very intricate. Building works like these is considerably more complicated than creating flat mosaics, or stained glass windows, because the basket is a self-supporting structure, and the beads must be added in a certain order. One must plan not only the placement of individual units, but envision an architecture and a thread path; the three schemes may not overlap visually, and so this type of pattern design isn’t something that everyone can do.
The basket above is only about two inches from tip to tip, and about one inch in depth; it sits in my palm like a hummingbird nest.
Below, a horned wrap bangle, beaded by Vee Pretorius in Scotland. It was built on our MRAW architecture, done in the style of the Golden Horned Sea Serpent, beaded by Gabriella van Diepen for CGB Volume I.
My friend Deb Bednarek, in Milwaukee, sent in a beautifully tailored Horned Cuff. The details are exquisite.
Each of these pieces presented difficulty in the shoot because of colourway; very pale or shiny things are hard to capture against a white background.
I’m humbled by the wave of work that is sweeping around Terra, horned and winged and layered, inspired (or not) by our book. It’s such an interesting system; all we have to do now is drop an idea into the living universe and clever, talented people from all corners of the world will take it in and return it to the collective translated through their hands and their aesthetics.
I’ve long felt that the Internet was a living expression of the collective consciousness; if we forget for a moment to guard our ideas, but instead think of them as acts of creation in themselves, we could place them into the ether, and watch them spiral into life, spooled almost directly from our imaginations into being, having passed through other minds, hearts, and fingers along the way.
Puzzling over Jack Wisdom’s work on chaos gave me a new way of seeing fields of disruption or initially inexplicable variances in systems. Studying the effects of any new drop of ideas into the collective has shown me that (like everything in the universe) our awareness and the Internet also move in waves; the web can be surfed; ideas can be skipped across it like stones or diffused in it like dye in liquid. Everything has life.
Thinking Jack through and trying to think through Jack opened something inside my soul, because it suddenly seemed likely that at large enough scale, all chaos is likely bounded; individual happenings may be dramatic, but they don’t in the slightest affect the dance of Creation. Chaos resolves to order, to rotation, into spirals, and everything that is seems to expand from and resolve back into one, whether it’s a vision of the universe or the cycle of one life; born alone into a moment, living an entire life, and going alone into death.
The shapes of the beadwork, the leaves on the trees, the shapes of my thoughts, the orbits of the planets, the fur on the cat, the waves on the Internet, the waves on the ocean… they all look very much the same to me, different expressions of the same idea.
When I was skimming the pool after the big storm a few days ago, I watched the basket go down to the plaster bottom, displacing water as it went.
I watched the bow wave disrupt the bits and leaves, I saw the whole system of swirling debris; I could see the field of chaos at the edge and the resolved shape of the wave, the curved pocket of the event, the spreading waves in the rest of the pool, the disturbance of the air on top of the water, the effects of these smallest actions rippling out into all of creation, having (but really not having) effect on the whole.