your intense fragility: whose texture compels me
“nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the colour of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing” ― E.E. Cummings
What can you see in the photo above?
Can you see what I see?
Everything in life has a texture.
Some of those textures are ones which we know so well,
feel without feeling,
because we have a memory of having felt them before,
and we can feel them without feeling them again.
We expect them to always be there,
feel the way we have always felt them to be,
yet when they are not there,
do not feel as we expect,
it surprises us,
leaves us wondering,
scrambling to make sense of what is missing which should be there.
“Its substance was known to me. The crawling infinity of colours, the chaos of textures that went into each strand of that eternally complex tapestry…
Every intention, interaction, motivation, every colour, every body, every action and reaction, every piece of physical reality and the thoughts that it engendered, every connection made, every nuanced moment of history and potentiality, every toothache and flagstone, every emotion and birth and banknote, every possible thing ever is woven into that limitless, sprawling web.” ― China Miéville
Some of those textures are ones which we don’t know at all,
a new sensation,
an unexpected feel to our touch,
whether our touch be with the skin,
or with our other senses,
it surprises us,
leaves us wondering,
scrambling to make what is unknown known,
for what is unknown inspires us with fear.
“Fear has a lot of flavors and textures. There’s a sharp, silver fear that runs like lightning through your arms and legs, galvanizes you into action, power, motion. There’s heavy, leaden fear that comes in ingots, piling up in your belly during the empty hours between midnight and morning, when everything is dark, every problem grows larger, and every wound and illness grows worse. And there is coppery fear, drawn tight as the strings of a violin, quavering on one single note that cannot possibly be sustained for a single second longer—but goes on and on and on, the tension before the crash of cymbals, the brassy challenge of the horns, the threatening rumble of the kettle drums.” ― Jim Butcher
In the picture above I see a face,
an eye looking at me,
lips open poised to speak,
maybe they are speaking,
but I can’t hear what they are saying,
are they echoing my thoughts,
echoing my words,
am I not hearing my own projections upon a reflection.
When our eyes see,
what do they see,
and why does our mind rush to decide what it is we are seeing.
We jump to conclusions,
then stick to them firmly,
even when the wind brushes the ripples,
painting a new image before our very eyes.
What do you see in the picture below?
Do you see what I see?
In this photo I don’t see a face,
I see the echo of a story,
textures of a tale,
a playful soul,
playing in the Sun,
playing with the Sun’s light-hearted humour,
playing with the textures of skin,
skin speckled by freckles,
freckles of pigment and of light,
trying to get the right angle,
to capture a moment,
a moment of fun.
“What do I make of all this texture? What does it mean about the kind of world in which I have been set down? The texture of the world, its filigree and scrollwork, means that there is the possibility for beauty here, a beauty inexhaustible in its complexity, which opens to my knock, which answers in me a call I do not remember calling, and which trains me to the wild and extravagant nature of the spirit I seek.” ― Annie Dillard
But others might see a selfie,
and spiral from there,
into the many textures of opinion,
which humans have amassed,
and other humans.
and other humans versus ourselves.
“I have scars on my hands from touching certain people…Certain heads, certain colours and textures of human hair leave permanent marks on me.”
― J.D. Salinger
A recently published study,
claims we are quick to judge others,
based on their surface layer,
the skin they are in,
we don’t listen to their words,
don’t see their story,
or perceive the texture of the layers beneath.
But we don’t need a study,
another layer upon a layer,
another texture upon a texture,
to tell us what we already know.
“In my experience, whatever happens clings to us like barnacles on the hull of a ship, slowing us slightly, both uglifying and giving us texture. You can scrape all you want, you can, if you have money, hire someone else to scrape, but the barnacles will come back or at least leave a blemish on the steel.”
― Nick Flynn
We see our own texture in others,
we texturise the world,
and the world texturises us.
“Symbolic of life, hair bolts from our head. Like the earth, it can be harvested, but it will rise again. We can change its color and texture when the mood strikes us, but in time it will return to its original form, just as Nature will in time turn our precisely laid-out cities into a weed-way.” ― Diane Ackerman