I feel that an assembly line in a factory would be emblematic of multiplicity. Each person, or machine, has their own job that is performed repeatedly all day. We see the whole, however. Not just the individual tasks. The creation of, let’s say, a car can be overwhelming. Just like a novel that continues on to what seems like infinity, a car could take days to make. It’s crazy to think it takes that long to make the car when hundreds are finished every day due to the speed of the assembly line. Multiple people working on multiple tasks creates multiplicity.
I feel that it’s only natural to continue with the fortune teller theme using tarot cards as the emblem of visibility. Tarot cards contain only pictures on one side. This leaves them at the mercy of their interpreter. Once again, one must have the ability to create a story from what they see. Cards can be interpreted in different ways. For example, death doesn’t necessarily mean death of the body but it can be a transformation of the soul or a rebirth, if you will. True, with these loose interpretations, the cards will always be right. What is more important than the future being told is the precise way in which someone reads the cards, intelligently and creatively. Like Calvino as a young boy making up stories for pictures without words, the tarot card can be interpreted however the reader pleases.
The creator of the puzzle intended you to “read” it a specific way. There is only one way to solve it and if you don’t have the precise numbers, you can not finish it. Yet, there are thousands of different puzzles, all with the same make up of 9 x 9 squares. They all tell a different story.
The setup of the E-lit piece, Faith, actually reminds me of a Sudoku puzzle the way words are put together on a grid. They move around to form different combinations, finally resting on the full version of the poem. If the words were placed differently, it would not make sense or would be incorrect in the world of the puzzle. Still, Faith experiments with placement until it finds the right path.
Speed is relative to the size of the beholder. To the human eye, an ant’s legs move fast, so fast that they almost look like they hover around rather than walk. To an ant, they are just moving at their normal pace. They see the details, we see the big picture.
Have you ever seen a leaf mysteriously floating across a tree limb? The tiny ant with all of its strength carries it along. It takes a careful eye to see the explanation behind the levitation.
In the E-lit example we only receive as much as the writer wants us to know. He knows his stories to a greater detail but chooses to only disclose certain information. We see the big picture, he, like the ant, sees the details.
When I picture Lightness, I picture a warm, carefree summer day of my childhood. This is why I have chosen a glass of homemade sweet iced tea as my emblem.
My dad’s side of the family is southern. I’ve never been without a porch swing which, might I add, was always in motion. I’ve grown up surrounded by family and good neighbors. Sweet tea is a staple of the South. I actually went to a restaurant in Hastings, a town near my father’s house, which served nothing but sweet tea. No soda, no coffee, just sweet tea. That’s all anyone orders there anyways. Once you travel out of the southern states, you can’t order it anymore. “I can bring you hot tea with a glass of ice on the side” says the waitress who obviously does not understand. No thanks. This is where the complexity lies. If there isn’t at least 2 cups of sugar completely dissolved in the pitcher, it’s no good. There is an art to making it that not everyone can achieve.
The simplicity of childhood, living way out on a dirt road, playing hopscotch and swinging from the rope swing tied to the biggest branch of that magnolia tree: these are all present in a single sip.