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Thursday, December 09, 2004

Fragments and cubes

I'm mulling over fragmented selves after a conversation with my father. Some of his fragments include running his company at a distance for 20 years (he mostly works online in UK while the company is based in Mombasa) at the same time as doing the accounts of a local golf-club - where they think he is just a retired businessman who does their books (and getting free golf).

Thinking round the idea of finding order in my own fragmented life reminded me of a (non-related!) article by H.Masud Taj (I blogged his "Between two tongues" in September). In his article "Guarding the Centre, Generating the Circumferance" he paints a spectacular picture of all the mosques in the world forming a global concentric system and oriented to a single centre. The centre of the concentric system is the Kaaba (the cube in English). "Each time a goup of Muslims gather in prayer or build a mosque, each time Muslims follow the Prophet's practice of sleeping on the right side with their faces towards the Kaaba ... in each instance a fragment of a circumference is being put into place." Without even noticing "the faithful barely perceive that with their bricks and thier bodies, they construct and constitute an international installation, the mother of all Monumental Art."

I'm fascinated by H.Masud Taj's claim that, as an ordering device, the Kaaba is a project that is "redefining the world in its own image". I ponder on the shape some of us are creating with our fragmented lives - in contrast to this emerging cube.


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