At birth, the child carries the womb out and unfurls it, but it keeps unfurling as the child grows into an adult, and never ceases unfolding until the material is rolled back up like a rug put back into a box with other rolls in deep storage. Patterns interlock across endless fabrics knitting themselves together into a greater common rug known as existence. The inside is always the outside. No matter how deep one unfolds into the experience of consciousness, a surface awaits, for the interior is its own exterior. The womb was never left behind but carried out with the other countless re-wombings that populate the planet, the greatest womb through which all of her wombs birth themselves into a singular consciousness segmented only by the illusion of corporeal cells called bodies. The spin of the great mutual unfurling of all wombs coincides with and inhabits the greatest womb hurling through the deep space of greater wombs yet to be eventually carried through the vacuum of a black hole again otherwise known as the rebirth canal.
From the sea’s memory whose immensity I cannot encompass, she takes a mass of limestone and with one tool – a drop of water – she brings forth a sculpture of all she has ingested and turned inside out in a new formation. Seamounts and guyots miniaturized. Carcinomorphic legs dangle within the stalactites. She carves in with trilobite strokes across the pregnant columns. She freezes in time the way she gushed over countless rocks with flowstone. Amid an astroidal firmament, batoids swirl on the vaulted ceiling whose cetaceous slabs dive down into the abyss. Textures from ancient reefs and sponges crawl under the floor. Cambrian plants rise again in stone. Burrows memorialized in soda straws. The whole chamber curling into a giant nautilus. In the darkest crevices, mimoids gestate. And she finishes it with the simple drip that fills the hollow of her new instrument. The sound of one drop into her fathomless memory. A sound she makes across innumerable planets. Her cephalopodous existence stretches over the galaxies that emerge from her womb.
Nature draws with fissures and cracks. On this desert canvas, she illustrates the complexity of her fractal design. She brings to my mind cracking into a hard boiled egg on an egg cup, or the terra cotta pottery I’ve accidentally dropped and the pieces I’ve had to collect, or the time I heard her drawing on an icy lake underfoot. She is always drawing everywhere and at once for everyone. Could we imagine an existence without such illustrations?
Clearly, Earth is not her only canvas. Where else must she be drawing right now on Earth analogues out there? What other intelligent creatures on other planets are marveling at her polygonal work right now and wondering about if other creatures like us are not doing the same?
We see miniature trees everyday off in the distance. Such a common site gets easily dismissed. But a photograph can cross back over that threshold and aside from any tilt-shifting emphasize this feeling of the miniature.
I think this taps into feelings I have for what is smaller than me. And the tendency to see small things as cute. Protective feelings arise over these baby trees. It’s the deep satisfaction that can come from caring for an aquarium or crafting a train diorama.
Whenever we peer into a microcosm, the observations run simultaneously with the realization that we just might be in a microcosm to a perspective beyond our awareness. Perhaps this is at the base of the religious belief in a higher power. I often wonder about beliefs as side effects or reactions to such phenomenological occurrences as an optical effect.
Would we take better care of things if we saw them as miniature? Maybe it’s time to walk around looking backwards through binoculars at things that are difficult to have compassion for, in order to help out.
Next time a conflict arises, should I just miniaturize the source and care for it instead of miniaturizing myself into an unnecessary struggle? Just like a Buddhist monk might miniaturize desire itself in order to miniaturize suffering?
Or maybe in the future, AI will read our emotional responses and adjust them to a calmer state for better decision-making by employing this feeling of the miniature, while controlling our evaluations so that the decisions made are best for its purposes. The same kind of therapeutic brainwashing seen in cults only turned into an algorithm, for our own benefit of course.
In my favorite film, Solaris, by the phenomenal sculptor of time Andrei Tarkovsky, an alien planet is sentient. More than that, it reads the psychology of anyone who crosses its threshold and has the power to make clones from whoever the person is fixated on. When I take exposures of nature, I often think of Earth in this way (are we not its DNA clones in a sense?). That it is a sentient planet experiencing itself through me. That I am its witness. That any image I expose of it is the image it projects. And through the fog of my consciousness, its primal forms emerge like these ghostly trees.
My favorite quote from the book: “Are we to grow used to the idea that every man relives ancient torments, which are all the more profound because they grow comic with repetition? That human existence should repeat itself, well and good, but that it should report itself like a hackneyed tune, or a record a drunkard keeps playing as he feeds coins into the jukebox…”