The Forest in the Garden

Ought to be a whole hierarchy of smaller chairs scattered throughout the bamboo garden, running the gamut from toddler-sized to ant-sized. I've ruined the illusion of scale of course, though I doubt it was very convincing. The chairs don't quite look like the kind you sit in. The irrigation gadget, if you can see it, might give it away, or the size of the lion statue, which may somehow look the size that it is. People worry about including scale references in photos in a technical or scientific context, but there are so many clues that to truly confuse the eye an extraordinary level of control over the scene is necessary. It works best when there's hardly a scene at all. The bamboo, conrete patio "stones," chairs, lion statue, soil, cement wall, fallen leaves, and irrigation lines provide a thicket of contextualizing scale data.

I rarely speak in that kind of "ought," don't generally look at something and imagine the way I wish it were. I'm not a visionary. One needs visionaries, but they can be exasperating company, never stopping to see or accept anything, always moving themselves into the scene to fix it. A visionary rejects knowledge. My silly little dream of what I want this cafe patio to be replaces what inspired it, the two undersized chairs. Of course, dreams of what could be are hardly the only things to swoop in to mediate experience. It's not that the visionary gives up the object (whatever that is) but gives up thinking, delays it. He is constantly dreaming up ways to improve the world and persuing those ways, so that he need never arrive. The thinker, on the other hand, is constantly keeping action at bay through contemplation, adjusting his understanding of the world to it. The world will happily never meet the visionary's expectations, and the thinker's understanding will happily never meet the world. Both are deeply entrenched. Neither ever reach anything because their criteria are broken, but then if they did reach something, then what? There would be nothing left to do or understand whatever the hell I'm going on about.

4 June 2012