online: 29 july 2011 modified: 27, 28, 29 july 2011 27 july 2011 animated world
...here at the 39 steps... a glow of hidden sunset in misty sky... to familiar sounds of a twin-engined jetplane returning to airport and of a distant electric train still taking people from work places to dormitory suburbs... while before me are ferns, trees, brambles, nettles and other plants that never move except to grow taller. and closer, until each summer they become crowded in their search for the sunlight that powers their growth through photosynthesis...
...and now the softer sound of a slow moving gardening jeep from the lane beyond and beneath the vegetation.... and from above the much louder and more determined sound of another twin-engined jet... not descending but going somewhere... followed by the even louder air-tearing sounds of the four engines of a jumbojet climbing from airport through denser air to the stratosphere that is its economic height and element...
...amidst these distant sounds of power and velocity and altitude continues the slow growth and transformation of the ferns and leaves of grass beside me.... which also tremble in the slightest movement of the air in which we dwell (without much protective clothing) and seldom notice that we are immersed in it... though its pressure at ground level (the bed of the atmosphere) is about 15 pounds per square inch (or about one kilogram per square centimetre)... enough to crush a plastic bottle from which the air has been removed... but not enough to squash the animal body...
...walking down a steep hill i pass close to a brightly self-illuminated road sign saying
SLOW DOWN DOWN
that seems to be switched on by dangerously fast-approaching traffic (and is perhaps inspired by poetic influence to repeat its second word... i don't ever remember seeing a deliberately repeated word on a road sign or other public message)... to me the whole thing is a refreshing portent of automatic artifice... or *animated world*...
...yes, this entry is perhaps the first (of several hundred in this diary) to embody signs of both natural and artificial rhythms as complementaries... not opposites...
i looked again at the animated road sign and saw that it has three states:
1: switched off when slow vehicles pass
2: diagram of school crossing with words SLOW DOWN, when faster vehicles pass
3: no diagram but SLOW DOWN DOWN for extra fast vehicles
the sign switches on when fast vehicles are about 50 metres away
...and of course i see this animated road sign as yet another element of the spontaneous evolution of the benign traffic automation that i've been expecting for a lifetime!
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