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24 June 2017
Morning Sedition

Welcome to Citizen Arcane
(The Words of a Blind Man Describing the Sun)

Zen Enso

(All is flux; nothing abides.)

(This image graces the covers of the hand-made, limited-edition greeting cards I made for the Winter Solstice, and I thought that both it and the accompanying text were equally appropriate here as the inaugural posting. So I have included the card's contents as the first posting.)

I took this at the Vomitorium 2005, an outdoor theatre performance in New York City's East Village drawing parallels between the Roman Empire's insatiable consumption and George W. Bush's America. Complete with excessive food ingestion and induced vomiting, just like the Romans. (Hey, it's New York.)

Intermission featured dancers swinging pots of fire.

Given the low light levels and a recalcitrant flash, I shot using a combination of manual and automatic. When the flash failed to go off for this shot, the shutter speed dropped like a stone; as a result the film was exposed for well over a second.

Believing the shot ruined, I was pleasantly surprised, both by the result and by the steadiness of my hands.

Since the sixth century, Zen has been represented by a circle. The wheel variant of enso says that life revolves in circles yet everything is mutable. We find ourselves at the same spot this time every year, yet things are always changeable, if we choose to act.

A scholar named Wang
laughed at my poems.
The accents are wrong,
he said,
too many beats;
the meter is poor,
the wording impulsive.

I laugh at his poems,
as he laughs at mine.
They read like
the words of a blind man
describing the sun.

— Han Shan


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