Matthew T Grant


Tall Guy. Glasses.

My Tattoo

First of all, I don’t have a tattoo. However, if and when I do get inked, this is what I envision.

On my left arm, I want to get an old woodcut of a phoenix rising from the flames. In fact, the specific image I want is this one:

To me, the phoenix means, among other things, “What goes around, comes around.” I think of that in terms of “karma” (at least the pop understanding of such) but also in terms of the fact  that we tend (at least in our minds) to create the environment that we interact with. It’s a reminder that we’re part of what we’re reacting to, that we’re putting energy into situations, driving them, inventing them, influencing them, and that we need to understand and accept this non-duality if we are to live in alignment with reality (assuming that matters to us).

The phoenix also says, along with Heraclitus, “All is flux.” Everything is tipping over into chaos and emerging out of it. This idea is reinforced by the second tattoo I want, on the back of my neck, of a serpent (or dragon) eating it’s own tail like this one: Read the rest of this entry »

Let It Rot

457867889_6e0e2a9631_mSome mad scientists treated wood with obscure fungi to decrease its density and thereby change its acoustical properties. They then had some violins built with this en-funginated wood and the sound produced therewith rivaled that of a Stradivarius.

While I had always thought, wrongly, that the sound of instruments created by the Stradivarius family depended on the mysterious, alchemical processes they used to create their varnishes, it turns out that the real secret ingredient was the wood of trees which grew during the “Little Ice Age, a period of abnormally cool weather between 1645 to 1715.”

The intricate grains of some woods used in furniture and musical instruments are produced by various sorts of disease and infestation and, of course, some believe the flavor of meats to be improved by aging, which is really like a controlled rotting.

What in your life or work could be changed for the better by introducing the organic chaos of infection, decay, or even disaster?

Image Courtesy of dingbat2005.