Volume 1. Chapter 15. Shapes

Animals in mountains

Animals assume the shapes of slopes, the textures of trees and rocks, ridge lines along spines and shoulders, limbs descending to claws, caves their mouths, their eye sockets, breathing quietly and listening.

Flowers in a wheatfield

Cornflowers in a wheat field, propeller and rocket flowers, feather flowers, eye flowers, balloon and basket flowers
 flourish and produce seeds to perpetuate their kinds.

Jeweled monster

A jeweled monster sells censors. It’s clear you won’t want to anger it. Its censors are morning stars, flails, maces, that is, medieval weapons, which it swings from awkward limbs, causing more harm, potentially, to itself than to others, as it tries to defend its right to be different. It stumbles in your direction and fails to articulate its prices.

Surfaces suggest solids

Architectures are built from two-dimensional plans. An elevation of stonework suggests a succession of windows and doors, ceilings and floors.

Color perception test

Instead of the digit 6, we see a fish in water, intended to blend in with its environment, but it could be many minnows in the shape of a fish, each scale wrinkle in the water.

Landscape with trees

You could no more take away the trees than you could take away the hills. At one time, the hills were pushed up; at another time, the trees grew. If the trees were once planted in rows, you couldn’t tell it now. Now they grow where they need to grow.


Sails replicate waves. Streamers stream in a breeze to move lines that depict rigging and keels, as masts stand against a horizon that heaves.

City by the water

Water inundates the city as air inundates the sea. Buildings and boats float, scored for the same rhythm.


Blue bows cut their own shapes through blue waters. Beaks of whales and dolphins, oars of rowboats, and knives of fishmongers cut and slice with low resistance.

Musical theme

Map a rhythm and musical theme or intervals of a musical key into a visual two-dimensional field to see simultaneously like God or at least realize something somewhat as interesting as Bach.


Plants would talk to us if we could only see. They’d signal their concerns with vegetable hieroglyphics. Fish would talk with us as they talk among themselves, if we knew to listen. They would want to help us see what we’ve been missing.


At times I’ve thought the parts of my life made sense, but then sister, mother, father passed away. Memory and being seem to coincide in ache and pain, while I’ve become what I’ve loved.


The individual must integrate with structural necessities while experiencing space and time only in fragments. He can’t help but keep separations from his connections.