the word and the leaf
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I numbered the leaves
on a twelve year old
Ribes sanguineum outside my studio.
It had 2116 leaves.
I counted them
because I was curious.
from the Arabic or Persian word, Ribas, which means "acid-tasting"
and refers to the fruits.
from sang (=blood: French), referring to the blood red colour
of the flowers.
|There are many ways of knowing, sensing, and comprehending.
The map is not the world;
the world is not limited to its description.
There is the word, the symbol, and then there is matter, the phenomena, the presence of life itself.
The two arenít severed,
the threads between them are alive.
|I was curious, I wanted to know.
What does knowing do?
Thereís a feeling of satisfaction,
but itís not complete, itís only a pause.
Iíve learned how many leaves there are,
on this small bush, in the year 1999.
So what does that tell me?
Itís just a clue.
The leaves are downy
and somewhat glandular,
giving off a briar-cat scent when touched.
In the spring they come out neatly folded,
opening like small green fans.
Clues, marks, hints, traces,
what am I looking for?
Finding the language for this helps to internalise it.
The orality of language,
thinking of it as food, as juice,
a way to turn what is other
into part of