The map above was sketched while my daughter practiced piano.
The Illustration Friday prompt this week is immovable. At first I thought I wouldn’t participate. I like motion in my drawings. I went ahead and did a little research anyway and I came across the following excerpt from “The Poet” (1844) by Ralph Waldo Emerson .
“The use of symbols has a certain power of emancipation and exhilaration for all men. We seem to be touched by a wand, which makes us dance and run about happily, like children. We are like persons who come out of a cave or cellar into the open air. This is the effect on us of tropes, fables, oracles, and all poetic forms. Poets are thus liberating gods. Men have really got a new sense, and found within their world, another world or nest of worlds; for the metamorphosis once seen, we divine that it does not stop. I will not now consider how much this makes the charm of algebra and the mathematics, which also, have their tropes, but it is felt in every definition; as, when Aristotle defines space to be an immovable vessel, in which things are contained;—or, when Plato defines a line to be a flowing point; or, figure to be a bound of solid.”
Of course, I then had to read the whole essay. I love Emerson, but I kept thinking about the last few lines of the except. Plato’s idea that a line is a flowing point really appeals to me. When I draw my maps the “point” traces both time (the duration of the piece) and space (on the paper) as well as documenting my feelings. “Flow” is the perfect description. I did a little more research to find out what Aristotle meant by an “immovable vessel” and found this quote from Physics
“Just as a vessel is a movable place, so place is an immovable vessel. That is why when something is in motion inside a moving object (imagine a ship on a river), the container functions as a vessel rather than as a place. Given that place is meant to be immovable, the whole river is really the place for the ship, because taken as a whole the river is immovable. And so place is the nearest unmoved limit of the container”
So… if the pen-point is the vessel and the line is the place…. then imagine a little boat floating along that river-line at night while someone on board plays Chopin and the crew dances and runs about happily. How’s that for immovable movement?