This would allow for the three long black lines to suggest the Nile itself,  but then why do the lines end so abruptly?  That seems an
unreasonable assumption, does it not? Is the river then at low ebb?  Hardly likely if the dates are drying, because drying must occur toward
the end of a growing cycle, before the flooding is about to begin.  Thus we conclude that we are not looking down from far overhead at
all.  In fact, we are neither looking down from close up nor up from below the ground, nor from any side.  So where does that leave us?  
Perhaps we are not really ‘looking’ at all.  This painting is not an attempt to capture anything remotely resembling celluloid reality. Instead,
we are invited to consider something much more subjective, more evanescent,  transitory, ephemeral. In short, something abstract.  Try
for a moment to imagine what you would think of this image had you not been made initially aware of its title.  How much more baffling
would it have been?  Instead, given a brief linguistic clue—the title—we enter a maze of conflicting inpressions as we attempt to impose an
interpretation that makes sense in some logical sense.  Yet due to our inability to determine a vantage point, the image simply defies
conventional logic.  What then is really going on?  Are we not immersed in a cryptic memory now, already, of a time long ago, of a past so
distant as to evoke only a whisper of its former physicality?  Across that distance, we are reminded of an African sun beating down upon
an immense plain between two mounded mountain chains, through which the life giving waters of a spectacularly blue river wend their
way to a distant delta, branched and abundant with a florescence of reeds, flowers, trees, tall grasses…  And there along its banks an
agrarian civilization destined to endow the world with its enormous tombs and whole cities of graves in their surrounding Necropolises,
ancient, sarcophagal, forgotten and buried by a span of time vast and indifferent, unsympathetic, yet hallowed by an untold number of the
dead.  Fertile and abundant due to an annual flood that deposited its rich alluvial soil, that fecund earth tilled, yielded up its grains, dates,
and grapes.  Does not
“Dates Drying Along the Nile,”  function as an engram of that memory? Does it not evoke, however fleeting, brief
impressions, glimpses, long forgotten facts from elementary classrooms, river scenes, cultivated fields, brown hands and painted faces,
robed maidens, Pharonic tombs, majestic architecture in stone, Sphinxlike, with great columns, stellae, ornamental hieroglyphics, palaces,
long lines of toiling workers, stone masons, camels, triangular shaped sails on Dhows, slaves, wealth, riches, gold, jewels, mummies…”
Dates Drying Along the Nile” crowds that rich tapestry of the past into a spatial complex like loaves of multi-colored bread, assembled
symbologically as in a readable grammer employing space, dimension, shape, color and arrangement to elicit a recall of all those lifelong
images we have learned to associate with Ancient Egypt, now encrypted in multi-dimensional pixelmaximus design.                           
Dates Drying Along the Nile
Let us begin with the notion that we are far
overhead looking down upon land somewhere
along the banks of the River Nile.  From such
an elevated perspective, what would we see?  
Clearly, we would not be able to see
something as small as a dried date without the
aid of powerful binoculars; I suspect we can
all agree about that.  But what could we see?  
The topography of the carth, its contours,
high and low points, its rivers, valleys, such
gross features would undoubtedly be readily
apparent to the naked eye.  Do any of these
features seem to be represented in
“Dates
Drying Along the Nile”
?  I think not.  Of
course, one might be inclined to assert that the
clusters of shapes to the right and left of the
three vertical black lines are intended to
represent cultivated plots of land, perhaps laid
out after the yearly flood said to innundate the
flood plain annually.  
Dates Drying Along The Nile: A Grammer of Engrams in Dotty’s Micrographs
Part V   By Eucalyptus Ike  

Newsletter of the LA Underground Art Scene

                      Newsletter of the LA Underground Art Scene
Eschatological Religiosity in Willows: Another Idiotic Perspective?  
Part IV    By Eucalyptus Ike
At first glance, Dotty’s title for the dot painting you see to
the left strikes one as a curiosity.  One says to oneself:  
“What could he have been thinking?”  Has he perhaps lapsed
into the initial stage of catachrestic narcosis?   How does
one ascend from this blobular concretion to the abstraction
that dead souls are being comforted? And to the notion that
a Willow Tree could perform such a function?  Let us
pretend for a moment that we know what we are talking
about (when obviously we don’t).  First, it is terribly
unimportant to note that the painting is based on a slide, in
fact a botanically prepared cross section [micrograph] of a
diffuse-porous wood.  It emulates the pore pattern scattered
across the growth ring with little difference between early
and late wood pores. (In cross section vessel cells appear as
pores.) This happens to be true of beech, birch, cherry and
willow, to name just a few.  [Readers who insist on more
detailed elucidation of this trivial information are invited to
peruse the pages of The Encyclopedia of Wood.] Now,  the
gray masses in the photo all represent the early and late
stage pores, while the smaller yellow-gray masses
represent  the finer strength- giving fibers surrounding
them.  The lines or ‘rays’ across the pores and fibers
represent storage tissue.  Hence it seems abundantly
obvious that we are meant to see a cross section of willow
wood at microscopic magnification.  Given this structural
detail, it seems likely that, if we are to take Dotty literally,
the gray masses, the pores with their white edges, are
intended to represent the abodes of deceased souls.  
Willow Tree Comforts Deceased Souls
Oddly enough, some of the gray masses even appear to present human heads or faces in silhouette. I admit that this takes a
considerable leap of faith.  Putting aside the obvious question for a moment (what are souls doing inside trees?), let us pause
to consider some additional details about willows {Family: Salicaceae}.  As its Latin name suggests, from the willow can be
derived salicylic acid, the principal ingredient for aspirin.  [Ah ha!] This fact was known even to the Romans who used it to
treat both pain and fever.  Recently, it is even considered significant in the treatment of heart disease.  Furthermore,
numerous myths and folktales invest the willow with unusual or supernatural properties.  Early Greek writers, for example,
believed the weeping willow represented grief, mourning or love forsaken.  Other folklore attributes good luck in pregnancy
or childbirth to willows.  Love smitten witches were said to disappear into their hollows, and re-emerge as hissing cats.  
Many believe willow rods are excellent divining rods, for identifying underground water.  Even stranger still, woven willow
mats have played a surprising role in stabilizing the sea defenses of the Dutch and in the foundation of ancient Salisbury
Cathedral, which was built on an English marsh. Clearly then, we have established that willows can provide comfort… to
the living.  What about dead souls?  Consider the implications of naming a tree a “pussy willow.”  What does that mean to
you? Now,  those of you who know what a pussy is probably know what a pussy is for.  I do, so I suspect you do too.  If
so, don’t we agree as a result that babies come out of pussies?  Now when those babies come out, don’t they already have
their souls intact, one per customer? Surely no one would be willing to assert that babies are born without souls? If so,
where else would you get one? You can’t just pick one up at your local Ralphs Supermarket or Target department store.  
You make a baby, you get a soul thrown in as part of the bargain; it’s just part of the deal.  Now the question is, where do
all these souls hang out before somebody diddles a pussy in order to make a baby? Surely that pussy isn’t the place where
souls are stored? That seems a rather messy and inconvenient location to me. But, I frankly don’t know; do you? Now,  if
you don’t know, and I don’t know, and nobody we know knows, and nobody else knows that we ever heard of, then none
of us can rule out the possibility that they hang out, temporarily, even if only briefly, in willow trees, until they get a new
assignment, so to speak.  Apparently, Dotty thinks it works like this.  Souls have to be recycled because there are not
enough of them always on hand to go around,  due to population growth and all.  And since we can’t store the available
supply in all the pussies walking around, there must be somewhere else where they are stored until we need them.  Maybe
probably a real pain in the ass to have to provide comfort to all the sniveling, egotistical little shitty souls that end up
looking for free lodging while they wait around for a new pot head to be planted in.  Does that make sense to you?  It
certainly does to me…       
Massive disinterest in Ike’s preview of Dotty’s paintings has resulted in even more outrageous efforts on his part to attract the attention he obviously doesn’t deserve.