daily forward tumble


the practice of being creative everyday

air – the theme for December

December 1st, 2010 at 10:44

In Greek philosophy air is one of the four elements. Air can be both hot and wet and according to the Greek philosophers there were two layers, an upper layer called aether and a lower layer called aer.*

Air is an element I look at in a similar way as a child might react to our weather who’s never seen snow before. I get excited and my eyes open wide not sure what to make of it all. I marvel the idea of a month spent on the theme air. I had to actually think about what this element really means. So I consulted wiki and found the concepts above on air as a classical element.

I never really think about air, in the same way I don’t think about gravity too much either. Air is there and the absence of air would quite obviously be very noticeable. But in a way I am unaware of air the same way I am unaware of gravity. It’s just there and yet I know there must have been a time in my life when I learned about air the same way I learned about gravity. I don’t know if you ever thought about the way babies of about 7 months tend to chuck things off tables, chairs or any higher ground you name, just to watch some poor soul pick up that said object just for the same baby to chuck it again, straight away. That kind of game might be annoying to an adult but to a child it’s an essential process learning of space and how objects behave with gravity. And I am wondering what sort of activity babies develop when they become aware of air, any ideas? Then again, silly question really, air is the very first thing any live baby learns about when born. And unprepared for this realization so early in the morning I can feel a tear running down my cheek, drying, water evaporation into the air for my son never did that very thing, breath.

I do think what I know about air is to a large extend limbic or subconscious. Academic, I learned in school that air is made up of elements, oxygen and nitrogen mostly. Forgive me I don’t remember much else beyond that. I do remember air being one of the four elements in the philosophy of the ancient Greeks, and thanks to wiki I now know a little bit more about how air is also ki or Qi in Japanese or Chinese respectively. I have learned about Pavana and Vayu and now the music from Ravel will never be the same again even though I’m not sure if his Pavane has the same route as the word pavana and Prāna – breath in Hinduism.

I painted a watercolour painting this morning, kanji, 風 exploring something strange and beautiful while my husband was playing Ravel and the snow was being swept past my window in blizzard like conditions outside. The wind is the breath of the sky. It is very peaceful here today, at least indoors.

air – watercolour 8″x6″ (21×15cm)

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One Response to “air – the theme for December”

  1. Amy Says:


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