“Things are not what they appear to be: nor are they otherwise.” (The Surangama Sutra)
The image is a detail of “Invisible City”, created in 2003 by Anton Parsons, and located on Lambton Quay, Wellington, at the intersection with Grey Street. But I have reoriented and cropped my image to emphasise the illusion of steel balls falling.
The Wellington Sculptures web-site notes that “The stainless steel of this sculpture seems to glow with an inner light. The magnified Braille text suggests a message, but the artist chooses to deny us access, raising issues of communication in the contemporary world, and the difficult interface between the disabled and the rest of the community.”
Anton Parsons explains: “Invisible City is an appropriate public work because it functions on several levels: Aesthetics – even without understanding that the dots on the two boxes are braille text, Invisible City is an aesthetically pleasing object – it doesn’t have to be read to be appreciated. Tactile – it is made to be touched. Surface – Invisible City is polished stainless steel, and reflects its surroundings. When looking at it you see a reflection of Wellington.”
On Good Friday I sat in church, watching and listening as most of the congregation followed the priest around the fourteen Stations of the Cross. The woman with the walking-frame, stoically devout, completed the circuit with the others, while her white-muzzled black dog hobbled back and forth up and down the nave, stopping to receive attention from some of those who, like me, had remained in their pews.
Meditations translated from the words of French poet Paul Claudel were spoken gently by a man known for his work as a broadcaster. Between the meditations, periods of silence were terminated by spells of difficult and discordant organ music – some strident, some morose – which I could have done without.
I had earlier told the woman who had welcomed me that my parents had been married in this church, and that I had been baptized here.
I will return to St Peter’s on Willis on Easter Day, looking forward to the Eucharistic ritual I have not shared in since Midnight Mass at Wellington Cathedral on Christmas Eve.
The tradition of moving around the Stations to commemorate the Passion of Christ began with St. Francis of Assisi and extended throughout the Roman Catholic Church in the medieval period. It is also observed in Lutheranism and Anglo-Catholicism. It is most commonly done during Lent, especially on Good Friday (from Wikipedia: Stations of the Cross).
Wikimedia Commons includes a page with links to images of twelve of the fourteen Stations of the Cross by sculptor Jean-Bernard Duseigneur. (This page gives his name as Jean-Baptiste Du Seigneur, and he is elsewhere known as Jehan Duseigneur; eg, on Paris Sculptures.) Born in Paris in 1808, Duseigneur studied at the École des Beaux-Arts, and in 1831 achieved renown when he exhibited Roland Furieux, often regarded as the first romantic sculpture (now in the Louvre). Soon afterwards he turned almost exclusively to the production of religious works (adapted from a brief article in Wikipedia).
PS – Easter Day: The old black dog, Emma, was there again today; she, like the other “regulars”, was wearing her name-tag.
August: third month of winter, mild,
wild wind, high cloud, soft light, drizzle.
Looking for a sheltered spot.
Perching on the edge of a pool
between library and art gallery,
I eat lunch and feed the sparrows.
This image is one of a series. View all five here.
You knew – you must have
known – how deeply you could cut
with that knife of yours.
Life is dropping crumbs
(which the birds will eat) – no point
hoping to get out
counts for a great deal, you know …
but then, who’s counting?
Strictly speaking, only the syllables are correct. Does it still count as a haibun? But this piece (seventeen three times) playfully (suggestively) (arbitrarily) offers up a sampling of the cuts and connections that came to mind whilst reading something else. (And here I give thanks to Derrida.)
Never regret. If it’s good, it’s wonderful. If it’s bad, it’s experience. (Victoria Holt)
One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. (Carl Jung)
The wild geese do not intend
….. to cast their reflections,
The water has no mind
….. to receive their images.