Things bound with waxed sail thread and resin

drawing of mountains, riversMy subconscious has been working on a thesis for me lately; broadcasting things which on the surface (flattened and simplified by my waking mind) appear disparate, but on closer inspection are stitched together by a continuous thread.

Its thesis is about crafting sensible (or at least legible, recognizable) solutions, guides, codes to amorphous and unformed problems. Striving to find concrete solutions to riddles or puzzles only hinted at. Trying to map a place whose geography and even location is ever-shifting.

A reminder that, sometimes, the answers one wants or needs are unattainable because one is asking the wrong questions. It’s telegraphing this to me visually; that’s how I best understand the world. And the message coming through: I must widen my frame of reference, my view, in order to ask the right questions.

‘Maps for cephalopods’ is perhaps the most obvious— my subconscious’ version of hitting me over the head; a wry attempt at a movie-montage or voice-over exposition— and its point at least two-fold;

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On drawing maps for cephalopods

Jellyfishes in Brooklyn Aquarium by Elizabeth DaggarWe were making aquariums out of materials that, while they looked appropriate, were perhaps not sturdy enough. There were three or four parts comprising each coffin-sized plexiglas case, but occasionally the filtration system was sending surges of too much water upwards at times, and we were concerned about leaving them in a room, filter on, alone. About malfunctions, accidental flooding.

Then there was one in which I was somehow creating maps or sets of directions for sea creatures; jellyfishes, crustaceans, cephalopods. There was something like a computer through which they could request help finding one another in the ocean, and my job was to fashion a map or drawing or set of instructions for each. My waking mind cannot conceive how this would be done, nor recall how I did it in that place.

To visitors who’ve recently discovered this place

self-portrait in EdinburghWordPress Discover did me the honor of sharing one of my recent posts yesterday, for which I’m grateful. I’m happy to say Hi! and thanks for reading my work. It means a lot when my words or images connect with people. So, thank you again.

As a number of you’ve just arrived via the portal of a recent Thunderstorm*, I searched through the archives to find other posts that have a similar tone, timbre, or general feeling. Below— a few bits n bobs that may also resonate.

Enjoy! Also, if you like drawings, urban / rural photography, explore the rest of this site.

The bird in my kitchen, and other prophecies

Some thoughts from April in Baltimore

Returning from Riis Beach after a light rain warned of a coming storm

From here I can see the curve of of the earth

A quiet wander through a green wood (part the first)

A Spring rain, soon forgotten

A telegraph from Elysium

Like smoke suspended in the calm

Scaffolding for memory

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*It is odd timing that a post I wrote about a thunderstorm gained a wide new audience so shortly after the dreadful Hurricane that has done and continues to do so much damage in Houston. I’m sure the last thing anyone there cares to think about is rain, or storms, for a very long time— my heart and sympathies go to all who’ve been affected there.

Spaces

Photo of old book pages

In the ellipses between
drops of rain
In the space between pale night’s end
and grey morning

I find you.
I find forgotten things.

Between lines of writing
in the pages of books
yellowing in drawers
and on shelves,
In the leathery slips
between their bindings—

And in the spaces
between the notes of songs
not yet written.
In the dry crack
precipitating the death
of an incandescent bulb,
that moment the knob twists
(an old brass lamp)

I hear whisperings,
stories long forgotten
and faded—
or things confused
with memories or dreams,

hauntings.

I find everything, and
nothing.

In the spaces between
things, now, I find
space.

Seeing things in similar ways, in black and white

photographs by Elizabeth Daggar
Cathedrals without ceilings
photographs by Elizabeth Daggar
Ornamental
photographs by Elizabeth Daggar
As above, so below
photographs by Elizabeth Daggar
Words on architecture

On noticing a sudden summer thunderstorm, late

From an artists studio window in Gowanus

Right now, after a very high heat index day (that’s how we talk about hot, humid days now), there’s a thunderstorm happening outside in the dark.

I missed the first hour of it. When I arrived home I took the day’s second shower, and then dinner. The air conditioning has been on, and music distractions. So I’ve had only the barest awareness of this summer storm.

But the record just ended, and I let it end (though it’s not even really a record, but a stream, a subscription, which is how we talk about music now).

I let it end and the thunder sounds big and powerful, like the things we used to know from stories.

I love the things we used to know from stories, and I want to bring them back. Stories are the reason we ever made it this far— as individuals, and as a species. Stories are powerful, like thunder and lightning.

(A summer storm sounds like the world existing, as it does, with or without us.)