Flat

For the first time this season, the beaver pond freezes over.  Transparent, fractally tessellated ice coats the water.

The finer approximation of flatness, the greater the surface area we specify, the rarer it becomes.

Sublimated water crystals have the greatest chance maybe.  The problem: only two dimensions make flat real, three end it.

Colder. The clarity of peri-freezing ice solidifies translucent, that impossible frictionlessness now gone.

A beaver swims under thickening ice.  Head bumping the underside, breathing the air pockets there, the thump thump, thump echoes.

Slice of Life With Photo

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This is reblogged from CK MacLeod’s (nee Zombie Contentions) where I was a contributor for a while writing under the unlikely nom de zombie “bob”.

Nature Preserve Pond
Nature Preserve Pond

Walking in the Nature Preserve yesterday, I didn’t see this.  The colors were there, and it was morning, but instead of clear light, steady rain alternated with downpours.  This picture suggests what I saw a few years ago.  I have seen nothing close to this again.

Binghamton University own the Preserve and the Biology Department uses it for a laboratory.  So what  I did see was a 40ish woman knee-deep in the pond, scooping up the water into a bus tub, with 15 or so young people, not dressed for the weather watching her.  She heaved it to the edge of the pond and all but yelled, “What do we see?”

Inaudible.  “Yes, water spiders!  Where did we see water spiders last week in the river?”

Inaudible. “Yes clinging to the rocks!  She then thrust her hands at head level and spread her finders as if she was about to grab onto the last rock.

The young people stood mute, perhaps flashing back to the life and death struggles they had witnessed only a week ago.

“Yes it’s so much easier for them here…they can just relax…near the pond edge the weeds make it harder for the fish to eat them.’

Amphibian Digitism

Salamander
Amphibian Digitism (Click pic to enlarge)

the object has a similar interiority and a different physicality, and this I call animism….

the object is devoid of interiority but possesses a similar kind of physicality, and this I call naturalism.

Phillipe Descola – Beyond Nature and Culture

If I describe my first shamanic journey on my own behalf, not Coleen’s journeying for me, mediating an entourage of power animals and beings, not her extractions of misplaced energies, not her soul retrieval journeys, but my own journey, not with the powerful bear, or the gregarious wolf or the insightful owl, but with beings I won’t name and with salamander then there’s only this:

Salamander vibrates between animism and naturalism and so even before the Manhattan Project, before digital computers, salamander was and is digital.

Salamander collapses subject and object, figure and ground, living not just in the ground and the water but of ground and water like pouring water into water.

The object has a similar interiority and a similar physicality and this I call digitism.