Just sharing a path through my wonderlust, not in a kind of stalkery ‘I wonder what it would be like to be with that person’ kind of way like in this definition (well, sometimes I’m like that) but in a walk through the areas of interest I have had during the Masters program.
I started looking at amongst other things (drawing, writing, crockery) the weather, the sky, and in my own way trying to read it to understand its poetics, its vastness and the expanse of it. Not only in terms of its bigness but also the amount of information available in a simple weather app that through satellite positioning would tell me the specifics of what I was experiencing in that place and in that time. Sometimes also the contradicting of such information, the mismatch where technology told me I was standing in the rain but I was feeling sunshine.
When I realised I couldn’t understand it, I looked to the past and a chance find among the books on a shelf led me to weather lore, ways that people had or have of predicting and understanding their environment, the relationships between humans, animals and the weather. I tested some of these for myself, again never finding understandings or conclusions but again finding spaces between what was intended and outcomes. Where my inability to force a cricket to sing or the boredom of a clear sky spoke to other ideas like a faulty machine (the blue screen of death) and the crickets silence which both delighted and frustrated it’s waiting audience.
Yet another chance finding was through a browse on Trademe. A finding of more knowledge, (like lore) wisdom passed on in a different form, time and the spoken word compressed into a neatly wrapped package. Small compartments of knowledge that had never been plucked, their promise never fulfilled. I hold these items like a talisman in the hopes that like a talisman I can gain power from them simply by their being in my possession.
The inability to access the contents (yes, I know I could break the plastic but the wisdom might leak away) made me think about the mystery of knowing something is there but never finding it, or more clearly thinking there is more to be had but not seeing it. Texts like Notes are a record of research, of memory, of thought but one that remains locked away and secret. When the roll is done, it will also be sealed in plastic. Unreadable, archived, inaccessible.
The death of someone locks them away in much the same way, they cannot be consulted, all they leave behind is a puzzle, a space that cannot be understood. Where there must be more to be had but its mystery lies in the inability of seeing it. But traces still remain, genes are passed on, cells are reused, houses are emptied and sold, and objects hold not only memories but the marks and scuffs of their former lives.
Wood as a material runs through many lives, at first a flower, a fruit a seed, a tree through the hands of man becomes processed and built into many shapes. Wood can be reused and still holds the traces of what it has been, saturated with salt from the sea, marked by the scars of many hands. Even when it shows no visible tokens it still carries with it a purpose or an idea, like wood for a coffin, or wood that was a bed, a door, a sheltering wall, charcoal, cinders, ash and smoke.
Wood also still carries what it can be, future purposes, potential unrealised, it is a building block. A beginning as much as an end.