Light and Dark (North V)

Let’s return once more to my fifth stop on the way north, the Portland Arch Nature Preserve.

DSC 5388

The quality of darkness and light changes with contrast and  sharpness. When many shades of gray are present, we perceive them as a guide for depth, assuming that darker colors prefer the background.

DSC 5385

In images with strong contrast, however, the black becomes the substance, and the white the ether, the insubstantial. For some reason, our understanding of an image flips from the rational to the symbolic. We give up on perceiving reality, but instead accept that a more mystical interpretation of what we see is possible.

DSC 5367

This relapse into dualistic-mythological thinking is reinforced when the contours become blurry. We prefer to reject doubt, and are therefore happy to accept our first impression as truth.

DSC 5353

It is difficult to navigate a reality that is perceived like this, as the substance, the dark, to which we could hold on to as real, is at the same time more ominous and frightening, while the light that attracts us will not hold us.

DSC 5345

Introversion (North I)

When I explain 4-dimensional geometry to the layperson, I usually begin with forward, sideways, upward, and, then, inward as the fourth direction needed. It helps a little.

DSC 5643

Earlier this month I went a few hours north to explore places I haven’t visited before, which is may way to begin an introspection.

One of the stops was the Portland Arch Nature Preserve, which features one of the rare arches of this state.

DSC 5662

To move inward, we begin with the broadest perspective, and then slowly refocus on the essential. Aren’t these rocks something?

DSC 5667

What was familiar begins to appear strange.

DSC 5670

The clearly structured 3-dimensional world begins to dissolve into abstract patterns of color and light.

DSC 5675

Are we getting closer to the core of things when we give up our grounding in a rationalized universe?

DSC 5657

And do we merely turn upside down when we walk under the arch, or do we also turn inside out?

DSC 5685

To paraphrase Heinrich von Kleist: Crossing under the arch a second time has helped to fall back into the state of rationality.

DSC 5678