online: 25 october 2012
modified: 24, 25 october 2012

24 october 2012 beyond science or fiction

a view from Kenwood

...sitting in an alcove or cave of bramble, lime and hawthorn... and noting a resolve to explore the space beyond both literature and science (and science fiction)... i watch a mild-looking rat approaching my foot until a movement of my hand frightens it off...

...and now having eaten a slice of apple cake... and looking about this place... i see occasional birds and people apparently emerging from the surrounding vegetation... and apparently disappearing into it...

...on the way here i visited a human sundial composed of numbered stone slabs set in a lawn... with a central stone on which one can stand and read the time... from one's shadow pointing to a number... the city towers are concealed by mist... and everything looks damp... and of varying brightness according to distance... sign or thought of literature or science as my thoughts drift wherever these sights direct them... a bald man jogs jerkily along the near horizon against a misty background of trees and leaves already yellow... as mild sunshine illuminates each leaf of tree or blade of grass without any dazzle or brightness but strong and uniform illumination... through cloud...

...the unconscious sculpture of hanging branches still holding half their leaves reminds me of a time when attempted sculpture led me to see all three-dimensional things as spacious universal art of visual meaning... a bird calls quietly in four or five repeated notes... and then again... again... until a semi-silence ends its mild performance... (resembling that of the rat)

on the way back:

...walking beneath the yellow leaves of Lime Avenue... and treading upon leaves that have fallen.... i glimpsed the Barbara Hepworth sculpture through bushes and branches... and moved nearer to see it properly... and yes... it's as strange and sublime as i remember it... carved so clearly and yet so slightly it still resembles a slab of uncut stone... yet shapely... and now it gives me a new conception of space... a clue to what exists beyond realism... art in a landscape... 'beyond science or even literature' (a thought of recent days)... i pause to copy out the inscription:




and for completeness i also looked at a nearby sculpture by Henry Moore:





...a more powerful presence than i recall... of strange coherence (of empty spaces being of equal visual strength to cut-off limb-like forms)... there are no words for it... the visual language of sculpture and architecture... of cliffs and caves and stones and bones etc... and spaces being as real as solids... how would it feel to be the wing of an aircraft... or a piece of soft rag... or a leaf... or a bird... or yes how does one feel in the shape that one is... (without clothes or with)... as inhabiting a body... or else from without as seen in a mirror or photograph or video...

...but it was the sculpture by Hepworth not Moore that (in its greater subtlety) seemed to show (or remind me of) a possible new writing of all this being the presence of non-literal reality...

...and when i returned to the city (barely able to maintain these perceptions) there was the nearly full moon... high above rooftops... and trees... and street lighting... and for the moment the moon's presence seemed to bring the visual world back into life and to reduce 'the meaning of life' and all such questions to the little worlds or fictions that a 'scientist' or a 'writer' or neurotic idiot may mistake for the whole of all this or all that or the sublime mystery... and the danger... crack! crack!


© 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 john chris jones

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