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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tea-bowl for Julie Conner-Daniels, #17 of 36, "The Tsunami Cup"

     "A time to lead and a time to follow,
      One's the seed, and the other's the father."

Tea-bowl #17. . . 

A bit of iron oxide brushwork, off to the right of the mountain are the effects of ash, crystals forming - they look a portentous cloud, an eruption, or cloud of bats coming from the mountain. Could this be the radioactive fallout from Fukushima reactor?

Coming around from the left, but not pictured, there's a 'tsunami' of grey frothy waves. That's why I'm naming this the 'Tsunami Cup'.

Truthfully, when a tsunami strikes, animals seem to know. Bats will vacate low lying caves. Dogs will seek high ground. Even cattle will find their way uphill. But the tsunami does take life. Human and animal life, and the lives of fishes as well.


Shall I ramble a bit on the number 17? 

17 is a prime number, of immense importance in the study of pure mathematics.

The most interesting thing, to me anyway, about 17, is that if an equation can be proved where n=17, then it is also likely true for all positive integers. A man named Feller at Princeton used to substitute 17 into all his equations, in order to give his students a really hard time! If it worked, then likely the equation would work for other positive numbers as well.

It was dubbed Feller's number. 

In I Ching divination, the 17th reading is 'Sui', or Following. Hence it's also a 'Followers Number'. ;)

'Following' and 'Succession' are linked ideas. A tsunami's waves are actually generated by the land, by the earth. The waves of the sea follow the waves of the earth. Indeed the waves of the water on this cup seem to follow or join with the waves of the land! But you'll have to drink tea from this cup to see that.

17 is the atomic number of the element chlorine, present in salt, which we get from the sea (sea-salt anyway!)


If we think of our 36 tea bowls as arranged in a circle, paired with the bowl that would be opposite to it were they all in a 64 bowl circle.

So the second reading is for this bowl, #17 we add 36 or and read hexagram #53.

Hexagram 53 in the I Ching is 'Chien', 'Development or Gradual Progress". From the Legge translation it's called 'Infiltrating', or 'Gradual Advance'.

After the inundation of the Tsunami, the period of gathering, making an advance is a welcome change.

The reading in the Wilhelm edition gives this as the judgement:

     Development. The Maiden 
     Is given in marriage. 
     Good fortune. 
     Perseverance furthers.

I haven't yet had a look at cup number 53. It's somewhere in the studio without any glaze on it. Must mean I'll be doing this again!

This bowl's been claimed by a dear cousin, Julie Conner.


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