Backburner Journal

Since the winter, I had thought of the mound. It had become a sign, a closed thing. A rounded mass projecting above a surface.  A quantity.  From charcoal stacks that left their traces in the woods, to the  broad hill above us and one beyond with a tunnel cut through it. And smaller heaps of matter discovered through each day, all merged. And with each word describing, its antonym emerged the strongest, forming pairs. To enter the mound, I saw it doubled, reaching above and beneath.


I pressed flour into a basin, compacting into the volume before turning it out onto a tray. An immaculate smooth form and a dome which remains on my desk, the upturned basin beside it. This form is temporary. Unstable and yet perfectly still, like no one particle would ever move of its own accord. Like the patted flat sides of the sand mound resembling Mount Fuji in Ginkaku-ji in Kyoto. The garden of the Silver Pavilion is maintained in an unfinished state, part way between concept and realisation.


There are images where, depending on the angle of the light source, concave and convex dimensions switch. Together these seem whole, and there is a level space between. 


In summer, and in passing along the top road, I find a series of mounds. Piled grit static, a rest before transfer. In-between shapes hold their own form, each particle as a magnet, matter drawn to matter.  Think of its inside, a solid shape hollowed. Disbelief at its solidity. And seeing its other half beneath, into the earth and out of sight. Its shadow, echo. And when the matter is moved to become flat and dispersed, its contours might remain, peak like a murmur or vibration. 


Then we were inside it. Curved ceiling over us and beneath.Two shapes that made a whole. Within the hollow, the dual pull. To drop down low and to rise up, out. I stood and pressed my open palms against the ceiling. My body was straight, taut, feet spread flat and hands so. Press against each limit, the force of each goes back through my arms and hums in the middle like a resonant ‘A’.


Moving through river. Crawl through shallow water. It skims my back, hands down on the wet rock. Forward further, hands fall into deeper water. I offer them down but the ground has dropped away. The slip of recognition. Jolting to it from the foreseen. I continue, bringing my body over the abyss, move across the pull beneath my torso. 


In a ball, the body curved. Arched back and knees pressed down. Being the circle and within it. Back like a dome and its echo down. 


Ground as a fold, above and beneath. Or from the waist.


We pour sand through our fingers and watch it pile. Sliding over itself to settle out climbing.


A tap on the back, and he points to a space between lines. A brighter circle sat apart from itself and it almost shone. And on every new page, an inverse plain. Solid shape and hollow. Seeing the spaces, seeing in two. The mound as a cut out, its shadow pulled down, extend from the fold its polar reach. It spoke from these lines. Shadows give cues to help you see. The height drew forward and the background sunk and with each glance they switched. What I was seeing was unstable and prone to change.


I pressed two shells together in my palms. Concave to concave, a pocket between. A temporary space, and around it, two components are magnetically drawn and repelled, whole in tension.


Sited between the top and bottom of a steep verge, a bungalow. A landslide tore through it, the earth ran. Rumbling beneath foundations and sending the top towards the bottom, towards flatness. Inside it, the lady sits. Mound, un-mound. The thing and not the thing. Its opposite of being, the action in reverse. I write by taking away.