exercise: N 2.3

N exercise 2.3 – ordinary and extraordinary

On my desk rests a perfect yellow square, except that it is not a square, for it has depth – dozens of identical perfect yellow squares lay just beneath the one on the top, holding it aloft until the next, on-deck, takes its place. The square on top has lines and curves upon its face, in red; some in shadow, some in grey light filtering through the rain, but each unmistakably red; these lines and curves are in three groupings, staggered in a staircase fashion, and together, these curves and lines, of which there are 15 – some distinct, some joined and overlapping – convey meaning. At some point the perfect yellow square with the 15 red lines and curves will be removed, discarded, and a new yellow square – even more perfect, for it won’t have the red on it – will take its place, awaiting etchings of its own.

Below my feet is a circle, except it has depth, too, if only minutely – a few millimeters are the most – and it’s wider at its diameter than three of my feet side by side. On its face, upon which I stand, is a wine-red backdrop covered with looping white patterns, calling to mind flowers and flowing water though the patterns look nothing like either of these things. They begin and repeat without end, these patterns, joining tightly at the centre of the circle / thin cylinder, the dead centre upon which my centre of gravity rests. This once was a placemat, or was intended as such when it was acquired from the home-goods shop, but now it lives as a mat to cushion my feet when standing at my desk.

Right now there are giant rocks shooting through space, and space is all around us, except for the tiny fragment of space where the environment is. We pay special attention to the environment. But there are rocks and chunks of ice everywhere; minerals agglutinated into nasty shards. They’re zooming around up there in the sky, but also down there, in the southern hemisphere’s sky, too. The sky is three-dimensional, at least.

I have a slab of plastic and glass that tells me everything I want to know, presuming I have the wherewithal to ask it. It’s inert until I touch it in its special place, and then it lights up like the dawn in an instant. It might chirp good-naturedly as a sort of welcome, a hello, had I not told it not to many months ago. Its plain black face catches the grey and grimy sun bouncing down from the buildings, reflects it back at me. Its bottom is white instead of black but of course it’s resting on its bottom – it can’t stand on its own. Or it is standing, and it stands on its bottom. There are tiny particles in there, tinier than I could see or try to draw with an end of my thinning hair, and they run the show, really. I just stand and watch and command. Sometimes I use a little wire to attach the slab to the wall and it likes that, it’s thankful, and so am I, because the wall will allow the slab to keep on moving, keep on blinking on when I touch that special place.

It’s much like the plants on my windowsill, except they don’t chirp and their wire to the wall is the sun. Sometimes I give them a drink of my tea, when the water isn’t too hot.

Logan Bright