March 08 2007
Text By Meera Sethi
When William Blake writes in “Auguries of Innocence” that it is possible “to see a world in a grain of sand/and a heaven in a wildflower,/Hold infinity in the palm of your hand/And eternity in an hour,” he is reminding us that great complexity may be found in the simplest ideas—and that even the most minute objects have within them space enough to hold the quality of vastness.
Look deeply, and in a single small motif you may recognize the deep and intricate patterns of the entire universe: the arrangement of leaves on an elm tree reflects an eternally recurring mathematical sequence, the tempo of a snowy tree cricket’s chirp is intimately and precisely linked to the very temperature of the air through which it flies.
It is not so strange, then—knowing that when we look up we see the stories of our lives written in the stars—that when we look down again we should also see the shape of the earth itself burned into the bottom of the wok in which we have just made dinner.