10 February 2007

The elephant hand

I was trying to make sense of the second paragraph of Ryan’s post where discussion of individualism segways into crevaces and pillars, and it made me think of the Hindu elephants. This is a watercolor I’ve seen in Philly throughout my life, of a Rajasthani ‘composite elephant’ comprised of different animals. The one pictured is from the British library:

Elephants are pillars in Hindu sculpture as the guardian deities facing the eight compass directions are mounted on them. Thus there is no difference between a particle and a pillar.

Hindu myths say elephants were formed of water, and the elephant hand of Shiva, the one that points down at the highest foot, is the one that says that the elephant always steps into new terrain first, that the ego is a blip on the radar, but the self which is part of the whole of the universe is eternal.


Ryan W. said...

I really want to rent a segway sometime. they can be rented on the mall. I wonder if there are laws against operation under the influence. I would like to have a roving segway party w/ drinking from bottles in paper bags.

Ian Keenan said...

I got ticketed for operating a Caterpillar under the influence of Clayton Eshelman. The cops around here all get complimentary subscriptions to American Poetry Review.. It’s South Jersey, you know how things work..