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Monday, 28 January 2013

The Shining


File:Jigokudani hotspring in Nagano Japan 001.jpg

Japanese Macaques (Macaca fuscata), Jigokudani hot spring, Nagano, Japan: photo by Yosemite, 2005

Every day there are moments that do not seem to lead directly into the next moment. It must be those isolated moments, laid end to end, in which Zeno's arrow tries to cross the sky.

Since Zeno's arrow exists only inside his paradox, it can never land, and since, in those isolated moments -- the broken passages in the routine narrative, the interruptions in the neural traffic flow -- we too begin to take on the immateriality of a logical demonstration, there is no use in further discussion of that arrow.

A silence falls over the room.

All this is happening in a dream, or perhaps as if in a dream.

This is not the loud logical silence of a glacier but the muffled baffling silence of a dream. In the dream there is a forest, and in the forest there is water, and in the water there are monkeys whose bodies give off light.

A Japanese snow monkey relaxes in a hot spring in the Jigokudani valley in northern Nagano Prefecture in Japan. The macaques descend from the forests to the warm waters of the hot springs in the mornings, and return to the security of the forests in the evenings: photo by Nick Ut/AP, 11 February 2012


Japanese Macaques (Macaca fuscata), Jigokudani Onsen, Yamanouchi, Nagano Prefecture, Japan: photo by Fg2, 25 February 2006

Japanese Macaques (Macaca fuscata) (Nihon zaru) soak in a hot spring (onsen)
, Jigokudani Yaen Koen (Snow Monkey Park), Yamanouchi town, Nagano, Japan: photo by edamame note, January 2010

Japanese Macaques (Macaca fuscata) (Nihon zaru) soak in a hot spring (onsen)
, Jigokudani Yaen Koen (Snow Monkey Park), Yamanouchi town, Nagano, Japan: photo by edamame note, January 2010


Maureen said...

What remarkable photographs.

TC said...

However we may choose to read the expressions -- impassive, contemplative, anciently wise... or possibly just the slightest bit bored? -- it's hard to deny that does look a very creaturely way to get through the winter.

Nora said...

I can't stop coming back to this today (it's like my little arrow is a compass needle that tugs back no matter where I turn). Thanks, Tom.

Wooden Boy said...

The writing plays up the time we work with. We need a bit of Zeno's brassneck now.

The stage direction in the third paragraph throws us out of duration up to the heart of that beautiful, warm-blooded light.

Anonymous said...

interesting...amazing photographs!

TC said...

Paradoxes seem all too easily taken for granted these days.

That brassneck quality of the pre Socratic was surely intellectual nutriment for poets once, e.g. the young rebellious ex Catholic Donne -- ressentiment du paradoxe.

Internal spiritual torsions strung upon high tension lines charged with scholastic riddling and fiddling.

These hot tub monkeys look far too intelligent for that sort of foolery and bother, however.

tpw said...

Oh, man, such amazing photos. I don't want to get all anthropomorphic, but these guys seem a lot more intelligent than my next door neighbor.

TC said...

Ours too. Both sides, in fact.

TC said...

Our friend the poet Fred Smith provides this reality check:

"As for Japan’s snow monkeys, they’re an endangered species, too close to highways, hit by cars and trucks. As well as 'loved' too much by people. When all they want is to be left alone to soak in their pools of hot water. Have read they’re a cantankerous lot and not loveable at all."