Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools
You are here: Home / Musings and Amusements / "Myriadicity"


by Ken Manheimer last modified Jun 30, 2023 06:13 PM
Filed under: ,
I like depth but sometimes need to widen my focus, notice more of what's around. I use "myriadicity" to refer to the myriad facets, layers, details, and compositions to notice, around and within.

NupastelHi! My name is Ken and I'm a depth junkie. I like to understand how things work and how they're interconnected. This way of looking at things is useful, but sometimes can get in the way of noticing what's immediately present around and within me. The depths are not the only story, and often not the full one.

Do you remember life as a child?
When you woke in the morning, and the morning smiled?
-- paraphrase of Taj Mahal

In my eagerness to delve into one puzzle or another, one of the most difficult challenges is the scattered myriadicity of everyday life - the plethora of details that require some tending, yet not so much attention to any one that I don't have time for the others. I find comfort in the cozy depths, and struggle with disarray at the surface.

I just realize that we start out in these very awkward ways, and we do look a little stupid as we draft, and that's all right... You have to be willing to go into the chaos and bring back the beauties.  -- Tess Gallagher

TurmoilIt is in what's unexpected where discoveries are found - even rigorous pursuits like science and mathematics require imagination to take in what's new and different.

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny...'
-- Isaac Assimov
In dealing with life's myriad facets, I often need to look beyond what I seek, ask "What am I not noticing?"
Seriousness always has to do with an established script, an ordering of affairs completed somewhere outside our range of influence. We are playful when we engage others at the level of choice, when there is no telling in advance where our relationship with them will come out - when, in fact, no one has an outcome to be imposed on the relationship, apart from the decision to continue it.
-- James P Carse, Finite and Infinite Games

Discovering humanity involves metaphor - a leap of understanding in recognizing what you have in common with others.


Those at the center can imagine what it is to be outside. The strong can imagine what it is to be weak. Illuminated lives can imagine the dark. Poets in their twilight can imagine the borders of stellar fire. We strangers can imagine the familiar hearts of strangers.
-- Cynthia Ozick, The Moral Necessity of Metaphor, Harpers 5/86

It's the spaces between things, the interconnections and emptiness, where perspective can be found.

You wish to see; listen.  Hearing is a step toward Vision.
-- St. Bernard

In painting, waiting is a very big part of the effort... Painting is not so much about decision. It's more about acceptance - of the fact that certain structures and orders and narratives really have their own saying, and all you have to do is listen.
-- Francesco Clemente, in this Charlie Rose interview

Both rationalists and mystics, alike, can mistake their situation when they allow their expectations to overshadow what's actually going on around them.

Nupastels on quality paper, you can see the watermark in lower center as part of the design. I digitally increased the contrast a little.

Everything in the world is wonderfully and magnificently mixed up. It is exactly like a woven tapestry. A tapestry to bring tears to your eyes...

True, it is very easy to get into a muddle, but there is one magic formula for keeping out of muddles. I'll sell you that formula, oh dreamer. There, take it. Here it is: look.. Look. Look. That's all there is to it. Look - and that's all. Look, even when you want to screw up your eyes. Look, even when you don't like what you see. Look, even when it's not what you expected. Remember, the world is never wrong. What is - is. Even if you hate something in the world and want to destroy it - look. Otherwise you will destroy the wrong thing. Get me?
-- Yevgeny Shwartz
please stare
worship a thousand tiny gardens
swim some luscious summer lake
& drive shadow's frantic storm


memory, i protest, is a promise
in bad faith.
like the residue of fading dreams
in morning's light, divorced from
the wisdom of their discovery,
memory fades, and shifts,
and yields to the highest bidder.
and in the midst of shadows,
earnest or disloyal, i still hope
to sometimes stumble
on simple truth,
and have it be familiar.


in finite mercy
is left handed.
it complements
obligation, liberty;
reverie, loss.

spins in mute splendor
as vacant gods
give and take
with unbridled generosity
nothing at all
and everything.


it's somehow encouraging
to know
that the gentle breeze
modestly threading
through traffic's frenzy
and dull roar
can be far more fierce
than man-made engines
ever could.


ish ka bibble
fit and fiddle
momraths outgrabe.

tu ra lura
whine and cheese,
celery and marmalade.
moments are
"recall the rain gift," she said,
"always shine."
a goddess whispers through cool beauty,
"why moan about the wind?"
language sleeps
and moments are a place, a dream...

see also Quotes Collection, Real Faith, and Silly Craft.

Nupastels on quality paper, you can see the watermark in lower center as part of the design. I digitally increased the contrast a little.

Document Actions