Leonora Carrington

Houses are really bodies. We connect ourselves with walls, roofs, and objects just as we hang on to our livers, skeletons, flesh and blood stream. I am no beauty, no mirror is necessary to assure me of this absolute fact. Nevertheless I have a death grip on this haggard frame as if it were the limpid body of Venus herself. This is true of the back yard and the small room I occupied at that time, my body, the cats, the red hen all my body all part of my own sluggish blood stream. A separation from these well-known and loved, yes loved, things were “Death and Death indeed” according to the old rhyme of the Man of Double Deed. There was no remedy for the needle in my heart with its long thread of old blood. Then what about Lapland and the furry dog team? That would also be a fine violation of those cherished habits, yes indeed, but how different from an institution for decrepit old women.

Leonora Carrington, The Hearing Trumpet, p. 13



From “Autobiography of Red”, Anne Carson

And you are an atheist too? said Geryon.

I am a skeptic. You doubt God?  Well more to the point I credit God

with the good sense to doubt me.

What is mortality after all but divine doubt flashing over us?  For an instant God

suspends assent and POOF! we disappear.

It happens to me frequently.  You disappear?  Yes and then come back.

Moments of death I call them.  Have an olive,

he added as the waiter’s arm flashed between them with a plate.

Thank you, said Geryon

and bit into an olive.  The pimiento stung his mouth alive like a sudden sunset.

Anne Carson, Autobiography of Red, p. 94

The Baburnama


“Hindustan is a place of little charm.  There is no beauty in its people, no graceful social intercourse, no poetic talent or understanding, no etiquette, nobility, or manliness.  The arts and crafts have no harmony or symmetry.  There are no good horses, meat, grapes, melons, or other fruit.  There is no ice, cold water, good food or bread in the markets.  There are no baths and no madrasas [Islamic schools].

Aside from the streams and still waters that flow in ravines and hollows, there is no running water in their gardens or palaces, and in their buildings no pleasing harmony or regularity.

The peasantry and common people parade around stark naked with something like a loin cloth tied around themselves and hanging down two spans below their navels.  Under this rag is another piece of cloth, which they pass between their legs and fasten to the loincloth string.  Women fasten around themselves one long piece of cloth, half of which they tie to their waists and the other half of which they throw over their heads.

The one nice aspect of Hindustan is that it is a large country with lots of gold and money. . . .”

The Baburnama: Memoirs of Babur, Prince and Emperor, translated by Wheeler M. Thackston (1996)

Walking in the World: Zhuang Zhu and Frédéric Gros

A Taoist sage said: ‘Feet on the ground occupy very little space; it’s through all the space they don’t occupy that we can walk.’ …

Zhuang Zhu also meant that the feet as such are small pieces of space, but their vocation (‘walking’) is to articulate the world’s space.  The size of the foot, the gap between the legs, have no role, are never lined up anywhere.  But they measure all the rest.   Our feet form a compass that has no useful function, apart from evaluating distance.  The legs survey. Their stride constitutes a serviceable measurement.

In the end to say that it’s through what remains to me of the journey that I can walk makes obvious reference to the Taoist void: that void that isn’t empty nothingness but pure virtuality, a void creating inspiration and play, like the play of letters and sounds that makes the life of words.  Walking in that way articulates the depths of the space and brings the landscape to life.

Frédéric Gros, A Philosophy of Walking, pp 185-186