Palimpsest! Just the sound of this fascinating word palimpsest conjures up the manuscripts of ancient worlds,
with rare and precious writing surfaces like parchment or papyrus, written upon over and over again. Of course,
these texts of the past were often still legible.In the current era, the graffiti encountered in blank public spaces  --  
also sometimes in short supply  -- frequently tells a similarly many-layered story.

It's an interesting problem to ponder:
when we create, how much of the past still shows through?
On the one hand, we take a clean slate, as the expression goes, for granted nowadays, simply reaching
out without interrupting our work for a fresh sheet of paper. But in a more subtle sense, this may not
be as easy as we first think. And also, it may not be as purely visual in nature. As a musician, I've
frequently walked into a performance space and at first experienced this presence of the past effect
as a kind of lingering echo of previous musics. One of the first things I always want to do then
is clap my hands as loudly as possible as a form of ritual house cleaning, as well as way of
honoring the persons and sounds who have preceded me. Silence is indeed a prerequisite
for any serious music making to begin. And in the current culture of the Western world,
some would say that it  -- the blank page of silence  -- has become the most 'rare and
precious writing surface' of all.

iris unfolding
A Rush that's
a Sedge
 rudbeckia Black-eyed
Susan Summer

(Photograph was made Saturday, the 22th of June, 2002)

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Photograph by Cliff Crego © 2002