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..."
Read More
By Avni Doshi, Issue 16, Squares & Circles Issue, December 2012
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. She does not tell you that scratching brings an exquisite pleasure. Moan silently if you dare to scratch, in your mind. Scratch the itch never letting on how good it feels.

Because the round bubble of irritation that forms won’t keep its perfect sphere for long, Scratch long enough and the mound will unearth the liquid red underneath. Like a biosphere of unbidden earth finally contaminated by the world outside, the bite will shift its shape, bisected by the pressure of the nail, by the pleasure of halving itself.

The wholeness begins to decay, leaving behind derivations of what once was. They are remainders barely recognizable, overlapping in a Venn diagram with what they were before. Covering and subsuming all other entities, swallowing them up within its curves. Once inside, it is difficult to find a way out. Within an orb so full, so perfect, there is no flat line to draw a door, to cut out a human-sized rectangle and hang the sign EXIT over it.

That is why we return to the nail again, to that point of pressure, which so pleasurably severs the circle, transferring fluids from one side to another, bringing forth that ecstatic Ah.

AdityaPande traces the patterns of the body. His circles, abstracted and piled upon one another, are a jaggedregister of bodily parts. Bodily and yet so far a distance from anthropomorphic. Instead, the diagram expands and contracts, searching for radical beginnings and endings.

Radix: to the root.

Circling round and round, he fills the void within the space, patting it down tightly, violently, with compulsive repetition. Walling himself within, is the hole half full or half empty?

The body is a map of imperfect circles. An iris in an almond, flecked with light. A breast, and at its center,an areola, plotted on the skin like a stamp of pigment. Like a cork soaked in wine and dabbed on a white cotton napkin. The nipple when seen from across a room can be nothing more than a circle placed within a circle, yet walking closer in a straight line, never taking your eye off your object, will reveal that the surface is irregular and discolored. There is no perfect seam to its rim. Instead it meanders back and forth, creating an uneven perimeter. Like the white of an egg, dropped into a hot pan. The edge runs ever so slightly, bubbling up in parts.

Once you are so close that the edge begins to run, the nipple is suddenly something different. It is a landscape, full of ridges and puckering textures, a bump and an errant hair. Reminiscent of the earth, full of mountains and valleys.

Look closer still, so that lashes brush skin, into its center. With telescopic magnitude, a vast expanse unfolds. Planets circle one another, aligned by their gravitational pulls. Heavenly bodies create rings of desire around each other, never to touch and never to look away, as BrionyFer suggests, in “an elaborate sex game of the inanimate.”

A word to the wise: be careful of where you insert that nail, or where you bisect that circle, for as good as it feels, chances are you may never be able to find that perfect shape again.

Avni Doshi is a writer, curator and critic.

Also in this issue

  • In Search of the Circle.
    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.
    Read More
  • The Primordial Circle and Square.
    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.
    Read More
  • Zero to Shunya.
    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.
    Read More

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.