“The Goddess“ by Denise Levertov




Paul Gauguin, “The Seed of the Areoi”


THE GODDESS, by Denise Levertov

“She in whose lip service
I passed my time,
whose name I knew, but not her face,
came upon me where I lay in Lie Castle!

Flung me across the room, and
room after room (hitting the wall, re-
bounding—to the last
sticky wall—wrenching away from it
pulled hair out!)
till I lay
outside the outer walls!

There in cold air
lying still where her hand had thrown me,
I tasted the mud that splattered my lips:
the seeds of a forest were in it,
asleep and growing! I tasted
her power!

The silence was answering my silence,
a forest was pushing itself
out of sleep between my submerged fingers.
I bit on a seed and it spoke on my tongue
of day that shone already among the stars
in the water-mirror of low ground,

and a…

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The Lightening Message of Grace




Kanji symbol for cherry blossom


Linden tree fossil

In his book On the Way to Language (1959), the philosopher Martin Heidegger includes a philosophical dialogue between an “Inquirer“ (I) and a Japanese man (J). This particular exchange really stirred my imagination, though I do not speak or understand Japanese at all:

“I: What is the Japanese word for ‘language‘?

J: (after further hesitation) It is Koto ba.‘

I: And what does that say?

J: ‘ba’ means leaves, including and especially the leaves of a blossom-petals. Think of cherry-blossoms or plum blossoms.

I: And what does ‘Koto say?

J: This is the question most difficult to answer. But it is easier now to attempt an answer because we have ventured to explain ‘Iki: the pure delight of the beckoning stillness. The breath of stillness that makes this beckoning delight come into its own is the reign under which that delight…

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Blog Post 8: Reconstructing Karakhamun


South Asasif Conservation Project Blog

One of the largest conservation tasks of the season is reconstructing the west wall of the Second Pillared Hall in the tomb of Karakhamun. The worst preserved wall in the hall, it consisted of only one section of stone with the lower part of a standing figure and a column of an offering list.


When the outlines of the decoration of the whole wall were lined up on the floor our conservation team began rebuilding the wall itself. Two blocks of new limestone were placed on the sides of the original block in situ . A few steel rods placed above the original stone secured its safety.


The weight of the upper blocks rested on the steel platform and allowed the conservators to build the wall up to ceiling level.


The lintel above the entrance to the side room was the next challenge. Another set of steel rods created supports…

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