Italo Calvino – Invisible Cities….. Newly arrived and quite ignorant of the languages of the Levant, Marco Polo could express himself only by drawing objects from his baggage – drums, salt fish, necklaces of warthogs’ teeth – and pointing to them with gestures, leaps, cries of wonder or of horror, imitating the bay of the jackal, the hoot of the owl. The connections between one element of the story and another were not always obvious to the emperor; the objects could have various meanings: a quiver filled with arrows could indicate the approach of war, or an abundance of game, or else an armorer’s shop; an hourglass could mean time passing, or time past, or a place where hourglasses are made. But what enhanced for Kublai every event or piece of news reported by his unarticulated informer was the space that remained around it, a void not filled with words. The descriptions of cities Marco Polo visited had this virtue: you could wander through them in thought, become lost, stop and enjoy the cool air, or run off.
The word Oriënt comes from the latin Orientem, which means rising, like the rising of the sun. It’s related to the English origin in that sense. So we can look back at an old maniërist idea that the Oriënt, the East as it translates in French, is actually the place of our origin.
Sean Lynch – Adventure:Capital…… Oh, wild ecstasy of the purse, source of fertility and plenty, everything here is possible. The river gods upon the bank notes… They were supreme harmonizers – magnificent physical specimens, handsome and wellgroomed. A source of fertility and plenty – sometimes trickling, mainly gushing! The bigger the note, the bigger their smile! What diplomatic hero’s for the pound! What ambassadors they are, what great exchange value on the dollar. Every transaction reminded me of the natural beauty of the rivers far below, the volume of the water they carry, the incline at which they flow and the speed of their current.
German writer Carl Schmitt wrote about spacerevolutions in his text Land and Sea empires, which is a sharp history of how Europe became a dominent force. The spacerevolution simply means that someone discovers something that alters our entire perception of space in general. Like a new continent or walking on the moon.
Some materials have universal immense healing qualities. Salt or Moroccan mud, lava stone, tea or even oysters or snail mucus transcend cultural use or economic value and thus are globally exotic. Nothing proves this better then the fact that all these materials know their place in the wellness economy.
Kakuzo Okakura – Book of Tea…… One of the first requisites of the tea-master is the knowledge of how to sweep, clean and wash, for there is an art in cleaning and dusting. A piece of metal-work must not be attacked with the unscrupulous zeal of the Dutch housewife. Dripping water from a flower vase need not be wiped away, for it may be suggestive of dew and coolness. In this connection there is a story of Rikiu which well illustrates the idea of cleanliness entertained by the tea-masters. Rikiu was watching his son Shoan as he swept and watered the garden path. ‘Not clean enough,’ said Rikiu, when Shoan had finished his task, and bade him to try again. After a weary hour the son turned to Rikiu: ‘Father, there is nothing more to be done. The steps have been washed for the third time, the stone lanterns and the trees are well sprinkled with water. moss and lichens are shining with a fresh vendure; not a twig, not a leaf have I left on the ground.’ ‘Young Fool,’ chided the tea-master, ‘that is not the way a garden path should be swept.’ Saying this, Rikiu stepped into the garden, shook a tree and scattered over the garden gold and crimson leaves, scraps of the brocade of autumn! What Rikiu demanded was not cleanliness alone, but the beautiful and the natural also.
Also, the garden is older then the field.