Thursday, May 14, 2009

water is forever

Alex, one of my best friends (Familiar Stone!), showed me this crazy and fascinating relationship between two Chinese characters. It was quite a long time ago, but since then it keeps reoccurring in my mind. The character on the left means water and the character on the right means forever. And I mean it's pretty obvious that it's no coincidence they are so close in shape. Chinese characters are at many times pictographic and they tend to have a close resemblance to how the word would look if it were not a word at all, but a picture. Here's three more examples:

What made the ancient peoples who invented these characters decide that forever was an extension of water? The written language of China is said to go back 5000 years. And 5000 years ago, it was more than probable that most people, when standing on an ocean beach, would really have had NO idea what was beyond the horizon. That massive bowl of water would have, at least in their minds, gone on forever.

I've also heard that panels of experts do agree that most life on land, including humans, originated in the oceans. Did the ancient Chinese have a natural inclination or insight to believe this? Just think: once we were fish.

Well, enough of that, here's a jammin song from western Africa in the 70's:
Orchestre Poly_Rythmo de Cotonou - Mi Ni Non Kpo

No comments: