calcify

Have you ever felt
the sensation
of chalk
between
your fingers,

the way the
softened powder
rests within
the groves of skin?

You smooth
your hands together,
conjure clouds
of powdered air,

and I think of
how your love
feels just like
this ashen dust.

Your residue
once lingered
in the cracks
within my palms,

but I’ve let your love
be calcified—
to be taken
by the breeze.

5

photos by Nick Brandt that show an eerie lake in Africa turning animals into stone. Lake Natron in northern Tanzania is a death trap for birds and bats who appear to slam into it due to its surface’s extremely reflective nature. 

Temperatures in the lake can reach up to 60 °C (or 140 °F) and the water has an extremely high soda and salt content which causes “the creatures to calcify, perfectly preserved, as they dry.” Via

6

The lake takes its name from natron, a naturally occurring compound made mainly of sodium carbonate, with a bit of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) thrown in. Here, this has come from volcanic ash, accumulated from the Great Rift valley. Animals that become immersed in the water die and are calcified.

"No one knows for certain exactly how they die, but it appears that the extreme reflective nature of the lake’s surface confuses them, and like birds crashing into plate glass windows, they crash into the lake."

(via geekologie)

6

Calcified animals found washed up on the shores of Lake Natron in Tanzania and posed as they would be found in real life. The animals become “calcified” as their bodies become encrusted in sodium carbonate or bicarbonate when the water level of the lake drops.

This deadly lake receives its harsh composition from the neighboring volcano, Ol Doinyo as alkali-rich natrocarbonatites from the volcano enter the rainwater run-off, polluting the water. There is no calcium in the lake, however there are inflowing freshwater channels that precipitate and mix with the high pH alkaline water which also contributes to its very unique composition. 

The systematic looting of language can be recognized by the tendency of its users to forgo its nuanced, complex, mid-wifery properties for menace and subjugation. Oppressive language does more than represent violence; it is violence; does more than represent the limits of knowledge; it limits knowledge. Whether it is obscuring state language or the faux-language of mindless media; whether it is the proud but calcified language of the academy or the commodity driven language of science; whether it is the malign language of law-without-ethics, or language designed for the estrangement of minorities, hiding its racist plunder in its literary cheek - it must be rejected, altered and exposed. It is the language that drinks blood, laps vulnerabilities, tucks its fascist boots under crinolines of respectability and patriotism as it moves relentlessly toward the bottom line and the bottomed-out mind. Sexist language, racist language, theistic language - all are typical of the policing languages of mastery, and cannot, do not permit new knowledge or encourage the mutual exchange of ideas.
—  Toni Morrison, The Nobel Lecture In Literature, 1993    

Lithopaedion

A rare phenomenon which occurs most commonly when a foetus dies during an abdominal pregnancy and calcifies on the outside as it is too large to be reabsorbed by the body. This protects the mother’s body from the dead tissue of the baby and prevents infection.

It is not unusual for a stone baby to remain undiagnosed for decades and it is often not until a patient is examined for other conditions or a proper examination is conducted that includes an X-ray that a stone baby is found.

thewomanofscandal asked:

Hi there! Recently I've been taking class Classic Backgrounds of English Lit and the Prof chose metamorphosis as the prevailing theme for the semester. Most of his choices have been pretty standard: Ovid, The Odyssey, Orlando, Twelfth Night, etc. However there was one choice that kind of threw me for a loop: Pride & Prejudice. Though I adore Austen, I'd honestly never considered it metamorphosis novel and I wondered if you (as a great lover of transformation) had any thoughts about it?

easy! because okay. pride and prejudice is metamorphic through and through. but the transformations are less concrete / visually manifest than, say, kafka’s insect or the odyssey's man-thwarting witches.  

the clue is the title: the crux of it is the mutual, inch-by-inch then all at once transformations of elizabeth and darcy, the falling away of their pride and prejudices. it’s the idea that humans can undergo profound metamorphosis catalysed by love (and money, the novel’s other fixation, because in austen’s world a person changing social class is an equally dramatic rupture).

the abstract but radical nature of transformation — how a life can be ruined or mended by a word, a look, the briefest of touches — is a concept the narrative goes back to again and again; and actually dramatises, because austen’s novel is a study of the intricacies of manners and etiquette and intimacy, of that strange insular drawing-room world hinged upon small and great shifts of surface and substance. and when these changes happen, it’s women who have most to gain or lose.

(actually. to get one degree more meta, pride and prejudice is a transitional or metamorphic text: austen’s novels are published at the same time as the work of blake, wordsworth, byron, et al. but she’s writing something profoundly different, at a moment when the novel is rapidly changing; and austen’s text underwent dramatic changes during its creation, from an epistolary novel called first impressions to the third-person free indirect of pride and prejudice. and austen herself is a chimera, a creature of changing times: a woman of leisure was not supposed to make a living at all, particularly not from authorship, which wasn’t considered a respectable means of income for a woman of her class.)

some people consider pride and prejudice to be tame and quaint and effervescent, but it’s actually a disquieting novel about instability, transition, faultlines in the old bastions of power, shifting social hierarchies—and women’s terrible vulnerability to changes of fortune. 

6

"I unexpectedly found the creatures – all manner of birds and bats – washed up along the shoreline of Lake Natron in Northern Tanzania. No-one knows for certain exactly how they die, but it appears that the extreme reflective nature of the lake’s surface confuses them, and like birds crashing into plate glass windows, they crash into the lake. The water has an extremely high soda and salt content, so high that it would strip the ink off my Kodak film boxes within a few seconds. The soda and salt causes the creatures to calcify, perfectly preserved, as they dry."

Nick Brandt 

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Photographer:

Nick Brandt


"Calcified Fish Eagle"

Lake Natron

2012

"Calcified Bat II"

Lake Natron

2012

"Calcified Swallow"

Lake Natron

2012

"Calcified Dove"

Lake Natron

2012

"Calcified Flamingo"

Lake Natron

2012

"Calcified Songbird"

Lake Natron

2012

Lake Natron in Northern Tanzania

"Lake Natron in northern Tanzania is one of the harshest environments on Earth. Temperatures in the lake can rise to 140 °F (60 °C) and the alkalinity is between pH 9 and pH 10.5, almost as alkaline as ammonia. Animals who enter the water are almost certainly doomed, save certain kinds of fish that have evolved to survive in such a caustic environment.

While working Africa photographer Nick Brandt stopped by the lake to discover several dead animals on the shoreline. Birds and other small mammals that end up in the water gradually become calcified, turned to stone in the deadly water. Brandt tells NewScientist, “I could not help but photograph them. No one knows for certain exactly how they die, but it appears that the extreme reflective nature of the lake’s surface confuses them, and like birds crashing into plate glass windows, they crash into the lake.”


http://www.hastedkraeutler.com/artist_press.php?a=nick_brandt&i=58938