What's It Wednesday

What's it Wednesday

by Dawn Farmer

It’s a very special Wednesday – our wonderful friend J.S.O’Brien has given us a photo to consider. Have a guess…

Categories: What's It Wednesday

20 replies »

  1. I thought abacus too, but felt that the balls were too close together to be of much practical, abacussian use.

  2. Those bead curtains you hang up in your first apartment thinking they’re all cool. Then you find them, peed on by the cat, 15 years later in a storage closet.

  3. The beaded curtains and car seat cover were damn good guesses. I’ll have to try a close up of them sometime. But the winner is Tina. This is a wooden foot roller/massager — a truly wonderful invention. The warm color comes from shooting on daylight film under tungsten light.

    I doubt I would have guessed this if I hadn’t taken the shot, myself. Good eye, Tina!

  4. J.S. OBrien – thank you for sharing your gorgeous photograph!

    I hope you’ll grace us again with your work. Lovely stuff.

  5. Food massagers. Curtains. Seatback covers. Pshah! The prayer beads guess was closest, but even that was wrong. They are prayer BALLS. Used by the TI in a juggling ritual, made popular about 450 years ago by various nomadic (mostly French) gypsy circles that traveled between Marseille and San Sebastian.

    These groups did not have any particular meeting sites or buildings within which to perform their rituals. All they had were wagons and a few mules. So they developed a whole series of mobile techniques to develop concentration and pattern recognition skills. Most notably, there was the Tarot. Some meditated by staring into crystal balls. However, some of the more dexterous practitioners juggled. They could easily juggle for an hour at a time sitting on their wagons or even while on horseback.

    Through the use of the wooden balls in the picture, they were able to reach a meditative state similar to those achieved by Tibetan monks. However, while the monks’ state of mind is all about stillness and oneness, this gypsy ritual was all about dynamics and inter-connectivity. When they were not in use, they were stored in a wooden box, hidden in secret compartments within the wagons. The perfect roundness and shine of each ball is a testament to their constant use.

  6. Since I’ve never been to Vegas, I’ve never actually seen the real Cirque du Soleil. Unfortunately, that is a HUGE gap in my TI knowledge.

    • You’ve never made it to Vegas? How the heck has that happened? It’s just a few hours away from you, dude! Stop off for a day or two on one of your trips back and forth to Colorado.

  7. I have absolutely zero desire to go to Vegas. As far as I’m concerned, it is an abomination that should be razed to the ground. At best, it is a gas station stop on the way to and from CO.

  8. Ubertramp – I thought I was the only person that felt that way about Vegas! I’ve been a few times. The environmental cost of that place is staggering, actually heartbreaking. A beautiful fragile landscape destroyed by the crap humans insist on building.

    • I agree with both of those statements, but it’s still one of the only places you can see Cirque, Blue Man Group, and all those other shows. And for a while there, it had Star Trek – The Experience.

      Vegas won’t survive when the Colorado river (very likely) nearly dries up later this century.

      • Vegas is the capital city of the Kingdom of Ambivalence, as far as I’m concerned. That it’s an ecological abomination is unarguable. But it’s also a monument to postmodern spectacle. And dammit, it’s just FUN.

  9. I took my 16-year-old son to see Vegas on our way to LA one spring. After we had been there for an hour or two, he turned to me and said, “Dad, this is the worst place in the world.”

    I have to agree.

    Sam and I were there together one time (I think you were there, Sam), eating in the expensive restaurant halfway up the Eiffel Tower when one of our colleagues looked out at the moon hovering over the strip, and said, “You know, they do that well.”

    Seems like the essence of Vegas to me.

    • There’s an argument to be made that Vegas is the essence of what America really is.

      I don’t think the people who make that argument mean it as a compliment.