Saturday, February 04, 2023

Worlds Within Worlds

"It was from them [spiders] that I first learned of the intelligence that lurks in nonhuman nature, the ability that an alien form of sentience has to echo one’s own, to instill a reverberation in oneself that temporarily shatters habitual ways of seeing and feeling, leaving one open to a world all alive, awake, and aware. It was from such small beings that my senses first learned of the countless worlds within worlds that spin in the depths of this world that we commonly inhabit."

- David Abram (1957 - )
The Spell of the Sensuous

Postscript. The quote is from a remarkable book that has nourished my soul since I first read it in the mid 1990s (whose author, by coincidence, attended the same university as I did - Stony Brook, NY; I suspect we walked past each other a few times during our overlapping time there, though we graduated with very different degrees). It is part of a longer section in which Abrams describes an awe-inspiring encounter with a spider. Though spiders have no direct connection to the triptych above (which, for those of you wondering, is "just" a sequence of crepes that my wife prepared for our breakfast this morning), I had only last night started my 10th or 11th re-reading of Abrams' book, and had - by coincidence? - earmarked the page on which that wonderful combination of words "...worlds within worlds..." appears (page 19). Of course, while I almost certainly would have captured the same images whether or not I had been rereading Abrams' book the night before (since my eye is naturally tuned to seeing "ordinary-yet-not-ordinary" abstract patterns, I was instantly drawn to the crepes' tapestry of web-like forms), the serendipitous indirect enfolding of crepes and spiders brought an added joy to this morning's breakfast 🙂

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