Saturday, October 18, 2014

Frame of reference

The framing suggests one direction of gravity; the framed, another.
Dark silhouettes in the foreground give no additional hints. Overhead dangling backpack-straps give light context. Distant lake suggests. The sound, if you could hear it, would give away the whole game: giant gears, grinding in track-inset teeth. We climb a mountain.
The view is well worth the auditory attack of the train experience. A clear sky, clouded only distantly and intermittently by sports more active than mountaintop viewing: paragliding, helicopter tours, gliding. (A glider buzzed our lookout point, profiting from the mountain's updraft.)
My instinct, looking out over such a well-curated landscape of diverse blue, light green, dark green, road, city, and house-tiles, is to figure out the ruleset and try to optimally manage my resources. Because this view, if nothing else, makes it clear that all of Switzerland is a giant (German-style) resource management game. Sheep for wood?
Frames of reference affect perception. The general approach adopted by tourists is this: seeing something is good, seeing more things is better; higher vantage points see more things; higher vantage points are better. The flow of tourists led here, to this sky-scrapingly high cablecar over a cliffside and down to the village below. Higher is better. But lower has cows, and those cows are wearing cowbells, and those bells are ringing. Audible from a distance (thought: "is that a cowbell?"), from an approaching street ("who's ringing those cowbells? is it a parade?"), and in the pasture itself ("oh, cows are ringing the bells.").

This post's theme word is fangast, fangast, "fit for marriage." Mostly gone are the days where fangast denominated a certain number of cows.

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