Firewood

 

 A typically German piece of work, some will think. A well known, admittedly sometimes embarrassing obsession with the phenomenon of order. There is no really pressing practical reason to stack up firewood as if it was a brick wall, however, it brings out a familiar, inherent quality of wood, doesn’t it. Deep analysis, the heroic search for order, the ultimate human dream, maybe another German character trait.

 There is no plan to arrange shapes, it all falls into place by itself. The kind of even surface of a wall merely creates a perspective, a point of view, a way of seeing things.

 To cut up trees, chop them into pieces and stack it all up again in a new order. What a silly endeavor. Sure, in order to dry well, it needs to be piled up, maybe also to not take up too much space and to be readily accessible. But I can’t help it, I’m fascinated with the look of firewood stacked up this way. I deliberately pile them up quite randomly, without any conscious intention of appearance, and then I look in amazement what comes out. Pictures, landscapes, structures that do contain the original, intricate message of a tree but show it in an entirely new context. It’s not the sad ruin of a perfectly beautiful tree but the creation of a new beauty that was already there but only hidden.

 Isn’t this how we always deal with reality? We cut it up and rearrange it. And then we believe what we see and forget that we made it up ourselves.

Perhaps not everybody is foolish enough to waste his time paying attention to this. But, on the other hand, if we would be more aware of doing this – all of us and all the time, not only some crazy lunatics –  if we would see it as an intrinsic attribute of our minds that rules our lives, we might often be a little more careful with our actions.

And there is another thing: Look at this one “bad brick”, the black one, how it attracts our attention. The black sheep in the family, the dissident, the rebel, the kill joy or the flaw that ruins the whole. Aren’t we crazy to listen to a mind “constructing” such arbitrary, subjective reality?

 ***

In Islamic culture the artists often deliberately put flaws into their work, ‘because only God can be perfect‘, they say. What a respectful, nice attitude, one can think. But then, what a childish, naïve, even arrogant view. As if we compete with God. As if perfection would actually even be attainable. As if reality would be just what we see, what we arrange for ourselves to see.

 Waiting for the flames to consume it all and make heat out of ideas.

                                                                          Klaus July 23.  2008

This entry was posted in 2008, Summers and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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