Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘collections and collecting’

Frequent visitors to the old Riverblog may have noticed my penchant for posting images of wheels and tires that I find at the Falls of the Ohio.  Far too many automotive tires find their way into the river and many of them wash up here where they comprise omnipresent elements on the shoreline.  In addition to being more physical junk…they have also insinuated themselves into my imagination much as Styrofoam has.

When I see a wheel…I see an abstract portrait of our kind.  Through the cleverness of our minds we have invented such a simple device for first harnessing the power of nature to eventually “mastering” it.  It doesn’t surprise me to read that many experts consider the wheel to be our most important mechanical invention.  If you dispute this think beyond the ox cart and potter’s wheels…try imagining our world without gears, cogs, time pieces, jet engines, and the hard drive of your computer and more.

From what I’ve been able to find out, the wheel has been around for about five thousand years.  The oldest depictions come from Mesopotamia, but other cultures seem to have “simultaneously” invented the wheel too.  A lot depended upon domesticating draft animals to provide the power necessary to move a load.  In the New World…the ancient Olmecs knew of the wheel and used it on pull toys, but since they lacked draft animals their use of this invention was limited.  In more recent times, Industrialization and the harnessing of other energy sources has greatly and forever expanded the role that wheels play in our lives.  We have come a long way since the Neolithic.

Apart from objects, wheels also have other rich associations.  In many cultural contexts…wheels are also potent spiritual metaphors.  The Yin and Yang symbol can be thought of as a wheel.  The flag of India features a wheel which represents Dharma or the law.

The cyclical nature of things has me thinking about the changing of the seasons.  Spring is giving way to summer and it looks like our Memorial Day weekend is shaping up to be a beastly hot one.  Time is flying by.  Although I’m not a fan of auto racing, the annual tradition of the Indianapolis 500 is also set for this weekend.  I couldn’t help noticing that one of the symbols associated with this race track is a tire with wings!

When I go to the river, I bring a canvas collecting bag to store my finds.  I have more than one bag which I usually store on the front porch of my house to await later sorting.  As I have mentioned before…I have a very patient wife who with usual good humor, puts up with my obsessions!  It is this cycle of sorting through the junk that is the inspiration for this post and I had three full bags that had among other objects, toy wheels that have caught my eye.  I knew I had been picking them up of late, but hadn’t realized the collection I had formed until I laid them out.  With the exception of the odd skateboard wheel…my collection comes from toy trucks and vehicles where the heaviest load they have borne has come from the imaginations of children.  I like how they look visually and apart from that…I’m not sure what I will eventually do with them all!  Perhaps I will make some other metaphorical vehicle some day?

 

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: