I was going to put this picture in the big bang post I wrote earlier but it looked weird and out of place so I’m giving it its own post. The picture below is of Void #13 by Anish Kapoor. Here’s a link explaining a thing or two about it: Queensland Art Gallery
I’m very fond of Anish Kapoor. I love the way he uses materials to create a sense of either weight or lightness. He also manages to make things look like light is being sucked in to them. That’s a bit of an achievement in my book. His work makes me look again, and inexplicably. It’s very meditative. This is a good way of representing that void I’ve been on about. As good as any other I’ve seen anyway.
Hmm, I Wonder if there are any zen koans or poems about the void.
A quick web search throws up the old tradition of death poems, when a zen master would express his insights into the process of dying to his disciple. I just remembered this one, which I’ve loved for years:
The Ocean bed’s aflame,
Out of the void leap wooden lambs
I may well end up buying this very interesting looking book about zen poetry: Triumph of the Sparrow.
Part of the reason for writing the blog below regarding the big bang is the comparison with the Old Norse version of the creation and their subsequent view of existence. At the beginning of the Prose Edda, one of the first things we read the following account of the universe’s beginnings.
(By the way, I’ve cut and pasted most of this from here: www.sacred-texts.com For those parts of the text which come from older poetic sources (The Sibyl’s Prophecy) I’ve added the newer Penguin version as an alternative. This is because the newer text is more readable and the meaning feels slightly different. The older one has a poetic power, though. This distinction in use of language is significant in itself, with regard to my project, I think. The bits from the Penguin edition are in italics.
The older translation is from 1916 and is by Arthur Gilchrist Brodeur
The newer one is from 2005 and is by Jesse L. Byock)
One thing about this project that I’m really pleased about is the fact that I read ‘A Briefer History of Time’ by Stephen Hawking and thoroughly enjoyed it. It made my head go a bit funny. It had never really occurred to me but apparently space and time began with the big bang. They’re both entirely relative. That fact in itself is pretty mad. Time moves more slowly when closer to a strong gravitational force. This is part of how a hypothetical astronaut who travelled through the universe at light speed would be younger than their twin on their return to earth.