The Fuschia Tree
Editor's Note.
"When a man rides a long time through wild regions he feels the desire for a city. Finally he comes to Isidora, a city where the buildings have spiral staircases encrusted with spiral seashells, where perfect telescopes and violins are made, where the foreigner hesitating between two women always encounters a third, where cockfights degenerate into bloody brawls among the bettors. He was thinking of all these things when he desired a city. Isidora, therefore, is the city of his dreams: with one difference..."
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By J McDonald, Issue 16, Squares & Circles Issue, December 2012
We find something like a circle in the rings of a tree, in the structure of a cell, in the shape of our planet.  But we do not find the particular thing that we have come to call a circle outside of the realm of our own creation.  More than anything, it is a concept.  Something like the square exists in the columnar structure of certain soils, of volcanic basalt.  But where in nature can we find the thing that we have come to call a square?  All of the geometries that we have created are perfect, standardized approximations of shapes that we find in nature.  For how can we describe the unpredictability - the profound minutia of irregularity found in the shapes that exist outside of human creation - with mathematical formula?  How can we understand them?  We have created these idealisms of shapes in the same way that we have defined words as approximations of concepts that are far more intricate and irregular than those words can ever communicate.  Over time, our species has become more and more obsessed with the standardization of nature, with the subjection of it's logical complexity into the practical simplicity that we yearn for it to be.  Increasingly, we desire to create a world of perfect circles and perfect squares.

Also in this issue

  • A mosquito sits on the surface of the skin, inserts its syringe through layers of skin and draws out blood. Satiated, it flies away, leaving an itchy trace, a painful bump. Your mother will tell you not to scratch, that scratching makes it worse, that scratching will leave a mark.
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  • This sound piece is an exploration into the primordial shapes of a circle and square based on tantric philosophies. The evolution of the sounds heard within this piece mimic the nascent nature of creation.
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  • The journey from zero to shunya is an interesting one. From the nullness of zero to the stillness of shunya, the all-encompassing circle includes and excludes everything and nothing.
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Illusion: Seeing Beyond Seeing
Meaning: In Search of Significance.
Melody: A Different Tune
Rhythm: Ordering Time

Dhrupadi Ghosh is an old friend of mine. We have often had long sessions of adda late at night, discussing her dream projects since her college days at Santiniketan, where she majored in Sculpture.