The retreat
the discovery; 
the mark making gesture; 
the abiding with powers which in another circumstance might destroy.

In this process a new aspect of knowledge. A communication of this knowledge is returned to the social realm. It is spoken of around the fire and one by one, following steps which have by now become safer, the group becomes a series of individuals as they witness – alone for a moment – a power at once familiar and yet new. To experience directly this fresh understanding.

In the shape of our novel, so in the shape of the cave, the shape of cognition and being. Both thought and thinking about thought begin to change. 

The process of differences serves an internalisation and reordering of gesture. A movement through language is a tool for processing the different. Once gestures become connected (stepping down into a cave, moving earth into image, putting a hand against a horse’s flanks) so do these movements become aspects of a new knowledge. We partake in the changing world.

The novelisation of our imagination is an evolutionary expression of being. Gestures and creatures are related and formed into marks, the marks form gestures which allow one to approach creatures. Differences are set in relation to one another. Each difference and each act of relatedness may then be rediscovered in a newly invented society. 

A society exists for as long as it carries a unifying haptics amongst each of its parts. Gestures and scripts link the body. A narrative conveys one safely up until the very point of meeting a power able to dissolve and utterly dismiss that narrative. Now there is new knowledge, change is encountered, a new dance amongst new mark making. Change is encountered and this is either a new story or the end of all stories.

The novelisation of our cave is an evolution of imagination.

Ownership is a drapery
and the deep is an act of the imagination
which cuts

a hole in the drapery.

I see through a hole the clouds. The enormous volume of these clouds, stretched height and length, give to the panorama an assurance of the land’s enormity.

John Constable, “A Cloud Study, Sunset,” ca. 1821.

And the volume of the land below, stretched and pushed, still conclude in the vastness of rock below. The visible land drapes across an invisible mantle.

The roots underneath and the clouds above and my time as a smeared volume running between. 
There is a mereness to the meeting. 
We can peek; these the meek scales, these the timings we cannot attain; these are journeys already made, the length which continues 

beyond and outside of the seen moment.

Our imagination is continually absconding from the tumult of dimensions, but vastness is the duty of imagining.

Here is the urban drapery.

Here is the studded surface of attentiveness.

The chemical and the electronic gather as the armed do muster in the feld and as castle formed the manor. The robes of the legendary are not long enough to cover our immodest awareness.

Often the shallows are as impenetrable as the deeps. 

Often the greatest depths will flit away without note, entirely insubstantial.

Often the surface of a building will stimulate one’s memory. Memory is another drapery.

The imaginable shallows are a drapery of heavy grief, sometimes lifted in order to flirt with the disowned and unseen depths.

Vastness is the calling, the horrified call. And response to the call devastates chronological time.

These devastation are moments of transition.

We are in transit.

We are devastated

therefore the drapery has been lifted ruffled cut

or otherwise


other-wise is 
and will be therefore 
the irruption in moment. 

Non-time in time and no-place in this place. Therefore the irruption of moment in moment is this

and this is forever transformative.

The equations are as barbed wire
lines of denial

cutting across our way.

Both this way and the equations require roundness, and only once they 
no longer snarl and snag 
will the potency which can mathematically strip flesh from bone
transform to become a pattern of path lived under flashing

So much for supposition. 
In the meantime language is aligned to landscape and to body. As memory is lengthened by the corroboration of landscape and architectural theatre, so the images of words reside in the theatre, and so word-image is set alive by the way through a landscape.

In the meantime we are presented with a prison and a cryptogram; corporate ennui encultured as an aperitif for conspicuous consumption. 

The tangled wire is all around and boredom is stripped of the right to mean boredom.

Through the constant application of engulfment, conspicuously so, the round emptiness has been swallowed. It bowls along, and it voids all the voids. We avidly continue to avoid, this is the circulation of an exercise yard. 

These equations must be complete for that which they describe is already here. How is it that they bar our way to their own conclusion? Turn and turn again, this is the exercise. The snares and the stops; an algebra of liberation.

Suppose my voided centre glows in a soft expanding sphere which encompasses the limit and continues, merging and delighting in the delicate shimmer of your growing endless edge. 

Suppose infinite curls become infinite straight roads.

A breath expanded over these lines lights up like music, notation appears in each direction. 
A resonance returns we know not from where, and yet it sings. 

Thus by breathing do dimensions resound.
The knotted dimensions untie, this is the humming sound one can hear on very still nights. 

Now the wires snarl at their own dischord.

And there we walk

the Victorians are less than a metre below us. At the dump they rise up in order to be merely a scraping away.

We are built upon them and often build right into them. They persist in this fabric, the cloth of our constructed present. 

Beyond the metre there are others.
Below this scratched tissue there are others.
We are built up on them. These who persist in the seas, the bogs, along river runs; all the depth and all the changed.

Presently wet or archaic and arid; of some seepage are some and some are in the dust. The dust is the sum of it all, an unaccountable sum. The equation is baked under sun, a tremulous mark of all that was. 

All this powder of them, crushed in a rain drop. Some drainage may raise them up once more, the surface of the hidden at the centre of the root. We are fed on the unbidden and in our own food we now build.

This fogged memory teems with life. It is the ravishing solvent and the nurturing soil. We now build forgetfulness. We work up the shape of the real in a momentary lapse, even whilst using the material of the remembered as our clay.

And here we walk.
Our path worn down into remembering.

Those moments

when we allow.

And sometimes indecisions will decide us.

Those moments when we allow, sometimes, all that is hidden.

Moments of all that is plain, and we come to know. 
We came to know, unknowing. It is simple. 
In the suspended step, a flow curtailed, simplicity.

I have come to know and come to be known.

I have come to arrive at this moment, before the knowing, instigated and initiated; the ignited and the engaged.

The engaged between, this arrival at the to be knowing. An interstitial of things, to be knowing. The in between of things dissolving in order to become moments.

The numinous is hidden in the absolute. It is the absolute we face everyday. Everyday time, which throbs with its unwarranted night.  

I know I cannot chase this night. A blackness vanishing within itself. A luminous disappearing act, the swaying feint of the collapse. Time’s crumple zone, a moment sat in amongst moments and the absolute elusive


And so I wait. I wait with the thing. 

The thing has no problem waiting. Delay makes me twitchy. 
In my itch I prod the thing. It rocks back and forth, it moves as if it were a potential.

My great array of things objectively interfere with this moment of waiting. Busily I scratch and call this potential. The itch has a potential for calm, the charm of a soothed moment.

I touch things in their swaying motion.Things rocking back and forth relatively. The shaped oscillation undulates along the length of obscurity. My moment is a line slung from dark and hung in dark and I am unwavering clarity, in between.

Words do not 

seem to play a role

words do not seem to play in this thought.

The thought playing wordlessly.

Hoarding will not act. The hoard has no sentence to say.

Ordering refuses a role. This making order is not  sentient

And collecting and sharing are still not words.

If each term crosses where, or what, is the middle marker?

If in the present moment there is a field of memory, are we remembering or presently discovering?

Losing finding collecting losing finding. What is the loosing of information that it may become wordless play in thought?

Perhaps knowing only becomes knowledge after it has been rolled back and forth in the dust? 

The rain makes mud. Mud makes seeds. Seeds meanwhile are in the hub.

Sprouting is the crossing over, mud made green. This dusty here and now spouting pollen. Pongnation, pollination, words dusting our shirts.

Pollen is snared in a spiral of wind, a sneeze, asneese. This force blasts around in a moment, the moment partakes of consciousness’ travelogue. 

There is something in my imagination which insists on the play of conceiving, inwardly, what is, outwardly, too big to ever properly perceive.  

I brim over with cosmological schematics: the grand systole diastole of it all, big bang and big crunch. 

It is but nothing of course, squeezed between this system of many worlds and the next multi-verse along (of which we can say nothing other than we have met there).

Many verses sung become one song. Some verses are hummed in the dark. This tune behind tune is simultaneous radiation and coagulation, without a word, dark matter nurturing the space within each thought. 

Dyslexia is meant to indicate a “trouble with words”, therefore in many respects we are all dyslexic because words are trouble.

But let us hover in this stillness of a collision. 

A single aspect of the multitude, stopped in a snot expulsion. 

This infinite porridge gradually coalesces into a thick, complex, and quite promising universe. There is a quiet promise even in this universe, it it making my nose twitch.

Beyond Zero

For as above, below; below; above.

There has always been a Theory of Everything.

Time goes forward, from one moment to the next, from day to day, year to year: our experience appears to confirm us in this linearity. That is to say, time is usually considered to flow, it is an arrow

it moves us.

It moves with us through space even as it is but another expression of space. And this movement of space has thrown time’s arrow out: a fixed direction, the universe’s expansion. All clocks go forward from the big bang.

Now, it is also expected that one day, the mass of the universe being what it is, unless we lose some of the dark matter not yet found, the universe’s combined gravitational pull will eventually put the brakes on its expansion, hence slowing time, to eventually reverse the process. So

We will start jumping out of graves and diving back into wombs, returning to the trees and eventually the seas. The calculation and consequences of this big crunch, big bang in reverse, remain open to debate. And of course, from our point of view, debate only. However, maybe mathematician’s intuition counts for something here when they posit the symbol:

That central juncture could well be big bang and its looking glass cousin. 

Whichever phase the universe might be in


our standardised sense of this experienced time flow will persist in couching that experience as one of progression. As long as time is a linear construct within and/or of space so it will remain impossible to go in any direction other than forward.

Thus and

in subjective terms =
Theology aside, there is no memory we might securely presume will persist to experience time’s arrow boldly going in both directions. (No memory other than the universe’s own elusive tracings.) In other words, it will not be like rewinding a video, Indeed, who is to say that our current measurement of a universe expanding is not in fact a mirror observation of the reverse? Right now we could be rushing toward our birth yet the mechanism indicated by    


does not allow an easy recognition of such a possibility.

We should consider further where our time is leading us. What could be the target, no matter in which direction our time arrow might be pointing? Would it be fair to say that both 


are intent on reaching 0? 

The imperative of an entropic system.

Yet if the big bang

 is also its own mirror image

then might not that simultaneous crunch and bang make of the universe an oscillating system; two universal timings balanced around a mutual cataclysm.

0 cannot be stable, 0 cannot be the conclusion to this – unless some of the universe (dark matter) is missing and we drift infinitely on into a state of No Heat and No Energy wherein even drift will become, eventually, No Thing. 0.


was a statistical blip, a glitch in some presumed constant,0, or both

are united in this self-organising system:
A meta-self-organising entity.

a closed system?

If so there can be no infinity. A bound infinity is not forever, it is simply local. On the other hand, the parts may be greater than the whole.

Time could be delineated as 
 and this time is experienced and measured, unique and normalised – it is also standardised 

Our moment might become GMT, nano-seconds, pico-seconds, hours or minutes and time is money. Calendars and years in which there is working, playing, surviving, and negation; seasons and decades to be weighed and sold, to be smuggled out, to be treasured. Thus      
 when placed under a managerial regime. Not that naming controls per se,
but the control mechanism does flow out from it, This naming and measuring is the basis for regulating activity, for feeding ourselves, for agriculture, government, and for the exploration of space. Yet activity is not forever regulated: 
 because of our attention.
Yet it also changes via our inattention, boredom, consumption of sugar, alcohol, or numerous other metabolic eruptions.
It went on forever
I stood outside of time
Everything happened so fast

Such a variable experience of 
 cannot be correct.
To observe

and term it
is to describe
as flat of steady state background radiation. There can only be one rate of expansion for the universe and everything else must be delusion, a hallucination of fluctuation over consistent and constant time. Such an obvious account of the obvious. And yet still it is a granular universe rather than a smooth and steady state. In fact, we inhabit a decidedly lumpy place which somehow pivots around the singular uniqueness that is our allowed and possible existence. There was a probability of gravity and gravity was admitted. One collision (with what), a reorientation of photon, the grand cumulus of gravity beginning the inevitability of one split atom. A sky was acceded to, the heavens seeded with stars, and the stars shed planets, and the planets cooked gases and the gas made water and water allowed life….

Our naming 
is a collision,
a division that admits for further subdivision. Our variable and subjective experience of 
is in and of itself fission.
Within the macro scale
movement from
there is actually another entirely different progression towards 0. The infinity which is

understood as
 which is not infinite but bound,

may in fact be infinitely fractionalised. 
Therefore our experience
of time is moving away from 0. Further, it would seem that finally we can admit to a supersedence of a linear notion – or notation – of 

is understood as an attempt, or a probability of an attempt to revert to that original state, 0, then we must immediately realise this to be a flawed progression. The movement is not towards 0 but to a rapid spiralling out into fractal infinitude. A quantum action that will move relentlessly towards 0 while never being able to reach 0 as it is already and always beyond 0.

While not flush with

 a multitude of infinities are generated from its progression, from the gravitational disruption of our interactions with it, and from out of this infinite matrix of possibility we still have the surprising paradox, perhaps the only paradox: Apparently we are able of selecting only a finite number of singularities and stringing them out along

This poor selection we call “Our Time on Earth.” Eternity is to be found tangentially to time, it is not the product of infinity. Our time out of the earth is infinity probable, yet it is eternally actual in the life of consciousness.

In modelling the world we understand it. In modelling we interact with the world, in interaction we gain new models. In all this everything is changing all the time: the world, the model of the world, ourselves (our model of ourselves), and the quality and quantity of interaction along all axes.

What possible reason could anyone possess for attempting to establish the shape, and thus by implication also its beginning and end, or otherwise, of the universe? There is no pure research.

A new paradigm may be counted as an evolutionary factor in how the human brain and nervous system develops physiologically. A different quality of vision generates a different quality of living. The ability to see the tool held within the flint, the extension beyond the tool, to imagine the Earth with an orbit, to calculate such an orbit and then to become one with the orbiting… Evolution as a process may prevent our complete stagnation, it might be the vital undertow to any rationality. While not rational in and of itself the evolutionary, to be touched as a model rather than an actuality, offers a limited guarantee against an ultimate death. Evolution is an event in consciousness, therefore it partakes of the eternal rather than negotiating with infinity.

(That things have to be this way; that we as species are deemed evolved and rational and able, is a claustrophobic notion. Expanding the paradigm will only take us up to that claustrophobic point whereupon demolition is urgently required. There is panic, a need to breathe more easily. To puke up old knowledge and clear the smell by removing its previous frame; to set one’s sights, once more, upon the furthest horizon. Which is? What is the shape of the universe?)

Outside of the closed system, there can be no perfect paradigm. A closed system will always open. A model of perfection is transitory and hence perfection can always be improved upon. Actual perfection is elusive, it is far more common to encounter the model. Sometimes, therefore, the model of perfection becomes confused with the unattained, elusive actuality. 

To further and further expand and investigate our modelling of the universe is an action founded on desire. 

In the most pervasive presence we sense the most elusive essence. 

To confirm a lived experience that evolves into multiple singularity. 

To reject entropic degradation of matter by rediscovering it in a self-organising dynamic (many selves and many dynamics).

To seek the liberation of immaterial actuality. 

Eternity is to be found tangentially to time, it is not the product of infinity.

Original first published in Inventory: losing, finding, collecting. Vol.2 No.3 1997.