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A Spiritually Enlightening Online Magazine.     May Theme: "Roots"     Volume 1 Issue 4     ISSN# 1708-3265

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About the Cover
Featuring: bob harbinson

It is (c)1985 bob harbinson., scanned from an analog noah's negative.

It arose with the thought:



meaningless words define
spring time
in the dead forest.




My given name is dr. bob harbinson, but this is not me.
i'm a sort of tao artist/writer, weaned on eastern philosophies, cosmology,
particle physics, nowness, Heinz beans, rainbows, and more…

i went to view koi carp and catfish, but was arrested at the entrance.
It was around December 2528 B.E., and the air was humid, hovering in the shadow
of Chiang Mai's mighty Doi Inthanon.
i removed the empty Pepsi can thoughtlessly discarded on top of the trunk,
then stood back, and stared in awe.
i took 2 fast shots, lest the inspiration disappear before my eyes.

Here was an incredible example of Lanna Art, both for its concept and content,
- encompassing both death and rebirth. Far greater than the sum of any descriptive words,
it seemed to flow from the soil, carving itself and the rooted trunk back to life.
A kind of visual koan.
Something to see forever, but to understand only by looking away.
A form of organic magic, set off by the pink spots of flowers.
A kaleidoscopic reflection of Tao, resplendent and timeless.
Hmmm… A show of Zen in a Theravada society?

i looked away to set off home, turned the front door key simultaneously.
i am still under arrest, but got to see the koi another time.

Photo and words appear together with other stuff, in the Zenophilia series at: click here

Short background to Lanna Art. :

Northern Thailand used to be remote from centres of powers such as Ayutthaya and Bangkok in the central plains region.

City states were established, eventually forming a federation known as Lanna, with its distinctive style of culture. It has 4 periods:

  • Establishment of the Kingdom (1261-1355 AD),
  • Prosperity period (1355-1547 AD),
  • Burmese Colonial State (1558-1774 AD),
  • Thai Colonial State (1774-1939 AD).

The Art has been perpetuated by families of artisans, the major of which are:

  • Chiang Mai (13th-20th centuries AD),
  • Chiang Saen (14th-18th centuries AD),
  • Chai Prakarn and Fang (15th-18th centuries AD),
  • Nan (14th-19th centuries AD),
  • Haripunchai (14th-18th centuries AD),
  • Phrae and Lampang (15th -18th centuries AD),
  • Phayao (15th-18th centuries AD).

Thus, Chiang Mai is the only remaining center for Lanna Art production.

Peace and respect to you. -- bob.

You may contact bob harbinson via email or visit his website.

(c) 1985 bob harbinson





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