Walking the World: On Form and
Water in Flowing Movement
Glacier Stream, Fall Storm
(1) Form emerges out
of movement; it is the outward       
envelope of the rhythmic pulse
of life.

The river creates itself
the boundaries of the bed
that order and give
structure to its flow.

(2) Life-like mechanical simulations of outward patterns of movement
do not mean that we have necessarily understood or discovered the inner
workings of the generation of organic form. The computer programmed
to make a rubato while performing Bach does not do so because it is
actually listening, or because of the rubato's perceived meaning within
the movement of the piece as a whole. Nor have the stunningly beautiful
computer displays of fern-like fractals necessarily captured the essence
of the fern's inner formative movements.

What the program programs is the intellect manifest in past performances;
what it necessarily leaves out is listening itself—or intelligence—which
is not of the past, but always now, of the present moment.

(Photo: Fall Storm, Glacier Run-off;  The braided central flow of the river is emerging from
beneath the main body of glacier ice. Notice the rounded form of the terminal moraine, showing
clearly the glacier's continuing retreat. The photograph was made from a position nearly a vertical
kilometer above the valley floor. Remarkably, just 80 years ago, the entire area pictured here was
still covered with a massive sheet of ice. Standing here, one can't help but sense the power—you
hear the sound of rushing water everywhere—of life on Earth manifesting, finding form, for
the very first time.)

The five miniatures above introduce Walking the World, a series of metaphysical essays which
explores the relationship between our thought or consciousness as a whole and how we think about
or perceive the natural world around us. The setting is the European Alps, where I've had 
the opportunity to live for extended periods of time since 1982, and where many of the photographs
of this exposition were made. In the journal-like essays of
Walking the World, I'm on a long
mountaineering trek from the historic central Gotthard area of the Alps, through much of the Cristallina,
on to the Monta Rosa, the great Cervino (the Matterhorn), and then south, to Gran Paradiso.

To see a map of the watersheds of this area, go to AstheRiverRunsMap

For the fall Picture/Poem Display, I've excerpted passages from Walking the World which I thought
might work nicely together with the selected images. If you would like to read one of the longer essays
in its expanded form, go to
Above Treeline.

Also, you might like to look at a related little thought-poem, DAM, from a series called WOODCUTS.
You'll find another, very different, musical, longer, complementary poem, at Little Stone Man.

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(created: XI.30.1999 ) (Last update: III.7.2002)