Saturday, July 07, 2012

Things that move me I

I've been feeling a bit  #~*^>\?^*#~ lately and know some of you have been feeling this way, too. Rather than attempt to explain (as if I/we could?) all that might be contained in  #~*^>\?^*#~ let me suggest it translates to something like COMPOST. I've been burrowing, yes (feeling more like an old crow dressed in mining gear and clasping a torch on a Hopeful Hunt For Things That Glint Or Shimmer In The Dark, than an earthworm luxuriating in its native soil). So saying, I am sloooooowly finding my way into a series of new projects. Part of this process inevitably involves revisiting old notebooks, emptying out drawers and doing a major studio-cleansing blitz. I've unearthed a good many abandoned and forgotten things that are not only proving to be useful digging tools but also becoming the ladder that's bringing me back up to the surface. The journey we're all on sometimes feels like a massive bridge-building process in which we're invited to blend grit with shimmer, steel with mist, lead with glass with gold. 

As of this Thursday, the sun's been eying the studio from a new angle as if tipping its hat at whatever wants to happen next. The day is bright, our patient harbour offering up the softest light. The tuis and bellbirds are all ebullient, harmonious song and I feel gratitude for mud and mirth. Both. 

Here are some of the things I've appreciated digging up - or simply noticing again. . . 



(In a recent collaborative project with my friend Rupert in Australia, he transcribed the DNA sequence of this tiny unicellular creature into Japanese musical notation then played it on his shakuhachi; one of my silent films provided the backdrop for his performance. I cried when he sent me this musical interpretation of a creature I've been enchanted by ever since I first encountered it in Antarctica in 2005. Gromia are members of a group of protists that form the base of our evolutionary pyramid.)

(Discarded page from my 2007 poetry collection, Open Book. 2007 seems like a hundred years ago.)

One of those images that just 'appeared' 
(The present making peace with the past? I wonder. Either way, Kotuku is our sacred heron)

Wax & glass - each circle a perfect promise

Edges. Perforations
Imperfect. Perfect. 

Blessings, friends. 


Porcelain pieces by Christina Bryer (SA) 


  1. Is there any link to listen to the GromiaDNA shakuhachi performance? I don't know why, but that particular instrument seems like an inspired choice.

  2. The bridge-building process resonates for me, as does a notion of archaeology; not looking for remnants of a known culture but one from which we managed to become estranged. Its artifacts catch us by surprise, as though being seen for the first time. Such remarkable treasures you've unearthed and our good fortune that you've shared them. I would like to be able to say I am on a hunt but it is more the truth to admit I simply wander, hoping to stumble across one of the missing links. Thank goodness they occasionally take flight.xo (((0)))

  3. Hi Andrea - I have a recording of the music, yes. It's not yet been layered into the film (which you can watch here - ) but it will be eventually. It is, shall we say, complex in its primitiveness, Rupert having cleverly scrutinized the code for patterns beyond the ATCG then interpreting those musically but with absolute faithfulness to the sequence. The shakuhachi was/is the right instrument, yes, with its inherent focus on the breath and the space between notes. If you're interested in hearing the track, let me know and I'll follow up on this? L, C

  4. Dear Marylinn, as always you synthesize the parts to make a whole; I love and appreciate the ways in which you do this. Wandering and wondering go hand-in-hand across the land (both inner and outer) and on their way come across great gifts and bounty. As Jane Hirshfield says in her poem 'The Fish' (today's TP), 'neither winged nor finned, we walk the luminous seam. . . " xo

  5. Hi Claire, I've been feeling, er COMPOSTY too at the moment - a touch of SAD along with a feeling of hovering at a cross roads. Might be time for me to go exploring those old notebooks and forgotten gems lost in piles...