Memories sink back into the soft ground. Sweet must of hay mingles with the sea air. The cold morning fog washes in and out clusters of leafy hemispheres on spines of bark. The smelling salts of horse droppings snap yesterday’s dried twigs. I awaken here to a past I older than I experienced but feel it reach into me and claim me as its own. When the sun breaks through, it shines ancient as I drive away.
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.
Did you know that the potato inspired deer to grow antlers? Neither did I. But apparently potato hungry deer began sprouting their own antlers after countless years of tater munching. And certain northern European tribes that roamed in tandem with these wild deer had a trophy to bestow upon only the bravest of wanderers: the heart of the spud.
This phenomenon has also been documented in the Americas where the heart of the cactus was also bestowed as a trophy of bravery.
I do not remember the exact moment or place of this photograph. I vaguely remember and assume that I waited for the wave to crash. Or was it a boulder that fell into the sea? Either way it looks like fate now. After the fact. Every particle suspended in a moment. But it never was suspended in actual experience. In that sense, fate seems baked into memory. An inseparable part of it that fails to grasp the immense complexity of randomness. Generalized fate simulations of memory gloss over the myriad of differences under its cover in order to produce some cohesive sense of order. A gist in the mist. A referent to nature sold as an epic experience or a reflection of an aspect of consciousness that never quite happened in the actual way the photographer experienced it nor the viewer. A simulation of a hyperreal moment. A fated memory smashed by particles flying in all directions. Through the reproduction of the image, let us fold this back in on itself. Let us rework this “moment” randomly. Let us bring the mist back into the gist.
Now we are no longer in nature or under its referential control. It is released from any semblance to a fated memory or reality. It feels light and free. Nowhere in particular. More mist than gist. The random process mirrors the random moment. The iterations reveal that there wasn’t really any reference in the first place. No actual moment experienced and relived. Rather, hovering in a space without an atmosphere that Baudrillard called the hyperreal in his book, Simulations (1983): “Simulation is no longer that of a territory, a referential being or a substance. It is the generalization by models of real without origin or reality: a hyperreal.” In this sense, an angle on the illusion of Being can be held through what some people call manipulation of a photograph (or when they scoff at an image being “photoshopped”) when in fact every photograph is a manipulation to begin with (though the very word is too heavy with negative connotations as if it had some evil purpose, so “construction” perhaps fits better to a neutral sense of the process).
Look at the way she tumbles into forms in the sky. How she shrivels as if in a sweet agony for all she provides. Her nourishment to the cochineal. Her milk flowing for the wrens. Her surreal limbs an absurd perch for lizards. Her crooked windows perfect for spiderwebs to catch flying morsels.
This wild canopy cages the hill like gnarled hands rising out of their giant burials. These mad sculptors of fruit radiant with needles that mimic sunrays! What strange journey left these bent up propellers behind to worship the sun?
Down by the concrete river, the spirits arise from patches of datura where the spiral that became a pinwheel stretches itself again to take on the form of ghostly plant emanations pollinated by the consciousness of any wanderer who lingers long enough for the vegetal spirits to unfurl their psychoactive shapeshifting tendrils and guide the awareness toward the unity of all things through the merging of forms and the collective existence of iterative semblances.
The gentle bloom unfolds. Its fruit a shield. The flower a star. Its warm dough a heart. The petals a pinwheel. Its seeds a portal back into the unfolding bloom.
spongeous holes exhale stretching dendritic forms chewing gum stuck on a sole
Combustible swarms of potential energy possess the warm winds who scream for a sacrificial bonfire! Their anticipation whips up into a frenzy for the cyclical conflagration that will return the nutrients back to the charred soil. All we can do is await the spectacle to come and loathe its smokey purge of the flora and fauna we hold dear. What soft flesh is this that beholds such a sublime terror that marches forward so slowly then suddenly? That we know is coming yet arrives without warning?
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.