convergences Screen 12 | Calculations

Wm. Bayly's portable observatory

Wm. Bayly's portable observatory


Science and empire inspire this expedition.
They chart the unknown seas and coastlines,
claim in the name of the British Crown
whatever they find, and gather information.
Besides the specialists (Wm. Bayly, astronomer;
David Nelson, botanist; and John Webber,
Swiss landscape artist), many of the officers
have academic backgrounds. William Ellis
is a Cambridge man, James King has studied
at Oxford and the Sorbonne, and the surgeon,
Wm. Anderson, has a keen scholarly interest
in natural history and exotic languages. Yet
the impact of this encounter is economic.
A casual bartering between strangers here
will affect the politics of Europe, impinge
on the patterns of life on this coast,
and initiate irrevocable innovation.
Moving, shifting, the repeated genotypes converge and combine in endless variety to express the unique and individual forms of the actual: persons, situations, events, institutions, sub-cultures, states of mind. I sit on the porch listening to the sound of the creek in the evening stillness, dogs barking in the distance, and beyond that the monotonous murmur of city. As these words fall into the formal patterns of my given language, as the sentences stretch back along the page from the tip of my pen, and my heart continues to circulate blood to every section and component of my body without hesitation or complaint, as I breathe this air that is thick with the scent of sea and warm leaves, I wonder what is happening around you as you read these words.
Petroglyph

Petroglyph. West Coast Vancouver Island.


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