June 24, 2016

The Infinity of Lists

Behold this beautiful compilation of real and unreal:

the magnet, Agrigentine salt, asbestos, the Egyptian fig, the fruits of Pentapolis, the stone that follows the cycle of the moon, the meat of Naples that cannot rot, the baths of Pozzuoli, the upside-down bean, the gates of hell, the Holy Face of Edessa, the combat of beetles, hot sands, the windows at which ladies appear, water that never boils, silk, dolphins, mermaids, the fox, the equinocephali, bearded women, the phoenix, men with eight feet, nocturnal larvae, the crow’s egg in the stork’s next, and birds born of trees…

water that never boils... mermaids... and birds born of trees

These are mirabilia – miracles, marvels – that Umberto Eco draws from Gervase of Tilbury's Otia imperiala.

Eco gives us marvels listed by Aristotle, too, and a list of things liked and not liked by Roland Barthes, and animals in made-up categories by Luis Jorge Borges, and body parts compared to amber and despair by André Breton.

My love an otter in the tiger's jaws...
Whose back is a bird's vertical flight

March 7, 2016

New room

I can see the Lions from my window & I'm equidistant from Our Town and Tandem Bike Cafe.

March 1, 2016

Floral Journey

I found this book at the Mount Pleasant library branch:

I couldn't believe it existed. What a thing. Flowers + adornment + indigenous people's post-contact history.

The author Lois S Dubin describes how indigenous people across North America adapted floral beadwork–taught to them by Ursuline nuns, but quickly improved upon with their own techniques, materials, and styles–to convey and maintain private, spiritual, and wisdom knowledge.

I thought of kilims–the flat-weave carpets made by women across the Middle East, in which a lot of information is woven.

I thought of suzanis that I have seen in Turkey, made in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and other countries in Central Asia.

The pomegranates really jump out at me (I think that's what the round things are). And perhaps those are pomegranate flowers?

Here are drawings of pomegranate flowers, from a book Andy found for me at the book shop in Kerrisdale.

I have always been drawn to flowers. Recently I have been leaning harder into the interest, and looking and feeling around for the source and shape and theory around flowers' appeal to me and to others. Spring is of course a wonderful time for it.