Shifting Landscapes

“Sometimes, when one is moving silently through such an utterly desolate landscape, an overwhelming hallucination can make one feel that oneself, as an individual human being, is slowly being unraveled. The surrounding space is so vast that it becomes increasingly difficult to keep a balanced grip on one’s own being. The mind swells out to fill the entire landscape, becoming so diffuse in the process that one loses the ability to keep it fastened to the physical self. The sun would rise from the eastern horizon, and cut it’s way across the empty sky, and sink below the western horizon. This was the only perceptible change in our surroundings. And in the movement of the sun, I felt something I hardly know how to name: some huge, cosmic love.”
Haruki Murakami, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

Shifting Landscapes, Shawn Saumell

Shifting Landscapes, Shawn Saumell

In November, on a bike-ride version of the Cedars Open Studio tour we stopped at an exhibition called Hyperlocal, by The MAC. There was a lot of good stuff there – but one in particular stood out. It was by Shawn Saumell and was called Shifting Landscapes. A small diorama of dried moss and flowers sat on a pedestal. An IV bag hung from the ceiling – slowly and steadily pouring out, not liquid, but a stream of sand. This was building up on the tiny landscape until, eventually, it would drown it in dryness.

Pretty cool stuff.

Take Me Out Of This Dull World

“Faeries, come take me out of this dull world,
For I would ride with you upon the wind,
Run on the top of the dishevelled tide,
And dance upon the mountains like a flame.”
William Butler Yeats, The Land of Heart’s Desire

Mural in back of Sandwich Hag, The Cedars, Dallas, Texas

Bristlecone

“There is a tree in California, a Great Basin bristlecone pine that was found, after an intensive ring count, to be five thousand and sixty-five years old.

Even to me, that pine seems old. In recent years, whenever I have despaired of my condition and needed to feel a bit more mortal and ordinary, I think of that tree in California. It has been alive since the Pharaohs. It has been alive since the found of Troy. Since the start of the Bronze Age. Since the start of yoga. Since mammoths.

And it has stayed there, calmly in its spot, growing slowly, producing leaves, losing leaves, producing more, as those mammoths became extinct,… the tree had always been the tree.”

Matt Haig, How to Stop Time

Mural outside of Sandwich Hag, The Cedars, Dallas, Texas