7.9.09

Today Is Monday, Frieze Groups And Fish

Frieze borders are familiar decorative relief elements in Architecture as shown in this example of the 'Flying Fish' frieze on the Marine Air Terminal at La Guardia Airport.

Frieze groups are also common in folk art and textiles such as Native Indian blankets and pottery, and they crop up in all sorts of other forms and applications including robotics, human gait modeling, DNA sequencing, and music as in the song 'Today Is Monday', most familiarly commemorated in a children's book of the same title by Eric Carle.

It has been shown that the total number of possible frieze goups in 2-dimensions is 7.

The song 'Today Is Monday' is about a food for each day of the week, so on Monday it is String Beans and for Friday it is Fish!

Fish are an important source of Omega-3 oils and while there has been cursory evidence in the past regarding Omega-3 oils' benefits to overall health, recent studies have shown them to improve memory in the population in general and offer a promising therapy for those at risk for Alzheimer's if dietary supplementation is started early enough.

I will get to vegetables later, but for this post, I'll just talk about fish. The Christ was purported to have said, 'I will make you fishers of Men', there was also a well-documented 'fishing expedition' he had gone out on; and Christians have adopted the symbol of the Fish as one of their icons. Jonah was said to have been swallowed by a Whale, but literally he had spent some time in the belly of a 'big fish'; there must be more to that for the story to make sense.

Some say fish have less than a 3-second memory; but I have a goldfish and it seems to always know when mealtime comes around and if I forget to feed it, it makes faces up against the fishbowl in order to remind me. It appears my goldfish has a better memory than me.

Fish are associated with all sorts of things including fortune, being slippery, tall tales, dinner--and Memory.

7 Al-A'Raf

7:163 واَسْأَلْهُمْ عَنِ الْقَرْيَةِ الَّتِي كَانَتْ حَاضِرَةَ الْبَحْرِ
إِذْ يَعْدُونَ فِي السَّبْتِ إِذْ تَأْتِيهِمْ حِيتَانُهُمْ يَوْمَ سَبْتِهِمْ شُرَّعاً
وَيَوْمَ لاَ يَسْبِتُونَ لاَ تَأْتِيهِمْ كَذَلِكَ نَبْلُوهُم بِمَا كَانُوا يَفْسُقُونَ

7:163 Ask them about the City (town) by the Sea, if observing the Sabbath their 'fish' came to them on the Sabbath 'breaking the water' (heads above the water, in an obvious manner); and the day they did not observe the Sabbath (the fish) did not come to them, in this manner We reminded them (let them know) how they were transgressing.

Here it is, the running narrative-- if the denizens of this city by the sea did not get their 'fish' when they broke the Sabbath it probably means that they did not have any memory of those days or if the plentiful fish are an omen of good and plenty then it would follow that they had their means straightened in some other way on the days they did not observe the Sabbath.

18 Kahf (The Cave)

18:61 فَلَمَّا بَلَغَا مَجْمَعَ بَيْنِهِمَا نَسِيَا حُوتَهُمَا فَاتَّخَذَ سَبِيلَهُ فِي الْبَحْرِ سَرَبًا
18:63 قَالَ أَرَأَيْتَ إِذْ أَوَيْنَا إِلَى الصَّخْرَةِ فَإِنِّي نَسِيتُ الْحُوتَ وَمَا أَنسَانِيهُ إِلَّا الشَّيْطَانُ أَنْ أَذْكُرَهُ وَاتَّخَذَ سَبِيلَهُ فِي الْبَحْرِ عَجَبًا

(I think these passages allude to Moses and a travelling companion)

18:61 Once they arrived at the junction between the two, he (the travelling companion) forgot their fish and it took its way into the Sea in a swarming (manner, rapidly?, strange/remarkable way, as if tunneling)...
18:63 he said, 'Do you remember when we arrived at the rock (boulder, outcropping)? I forgot the fish and nothing made me forget it except for Satan (some provocation, something that 'bedeviled' him). Then I remembered how it took its way (course) to the Sea, Astonishingly (Awesome, Strange, Remarkable manner)!

More running narrative--I always liked this story about the 'junction where the two meet' (2 what? rivers? people?--some juncture) and the travelling companion plays it so straight because it is so obvious that Moses was specifically looking for this place and needed to find where it was and the poor kid just got distracted. Was it by a bad memory that it took the Devil himself to let slip away--in such a vertiginous fashion? (A note of interest to the armchair geologist/geographer: Little Rock, Arkansas derives its name from a natural outcropping/stone formation 'la petite roche' or 'the little rock' that marks the juncture between the flat Mississippi Delta region and the Ouachita Mountain foothills.)

37 Saffat (Arrayed; Lined Up)

37:142 فَالْتَقَمَهُ الْحُوتُ وَهُوَ مُلِيمٌ
37:144 لَلَبِثَ فِي بَطْنِهِ إِلَى يَوْمِ يُبْعَثُونَ

37:142 So the fish swallowed him (Jonah) the while he was wrongful (blameworthy- I think because Jonah might have given in to his anger, but if he was good enough to be God's viceroy, 'they' must have really stoked him)...
37:144 ...there he would have remained inside its (the fish's) belly until the Day of Decision (Judgment, Resurrection).

Jonah is a very sympathetic character because, I think, of all the Prophets that have ever been sent anywhere, he was the only one that the people he was sent to did not persecute him, moreover they openly accepted him and his message, and that's why they became previledged. And its okay by me if he was 'consumed by the memory' (the big fish that ate him) of whatever forced him to turn on his heels and flee (he found them to be 'qawmin fasikoon') I can empathise fully because I know it was not cowardice.

68 Qalum (The Pen; Writing Implement)

68:48 فَاصْبِرْ لِحُكْمِ رَبِّكَ وَلَا تَكُن كَصَاحِبِ الْحُوتِ إِذْ نَادَى وَهُوَ مَكْظُومٌ

68:48 ...so await patiently your Lord's Judgment and do not be like the companion of the fish when he cried out (called out) when (while) he was repressed (consumed, gloomy, in despair)

Time and again, Scripture--when carefully read and understood properly-- tells us how it can be such a monumental struggle to be patient in adversity; surely there must be some benefit to the exercise; stiff upper lip and all that... (did You even hear me crying--a word, a whimper?) But the Memory...

Major themes; 7 Al A'Raf (consider Al Aaraaf(Edgar Allan Poe 1829) and the character Nesace 'little island' in Greek _association to 'cancer' and frieze groups); 18 Cave (Time perception); 37 Saffat (Ordering/Ranking/Arranging); 68 The Pen (Teaching, Knowledge Transfer).

2 Al Baqara (The Cow)

قَالُواْ سُبْحَانَكَ لاَ عِلْمَ لَنَا إِلاَّ مَا عَلَّمْتَنَا إِنَّكَ أَنتَ الْعَلِيمُ الْحَكِيمُ 2:32

2:32 they said: "All Praise is Due (to God)! No knowledge have we except for what You have imparted to us. You Are The All-Knowing, The Wise."

38 SAAD ص

كِتَابٌ أَنزَلْنَاهُ إِلَيْكَ مُبَارَكٌ لِّيَدَّبَّرُوا آيَاتِهِ وَلِيَتَذَكَّرَ أُوْلُوا الْأَلْبَابِ 38:29

38: 29 (my own interpretation without the benefit of a reliable dictionary) A book Revealed to you (as a) Blessing (with) mounting (to assemble/assembling/arranged) Signs (as) to Remind (lead to) the Origin of The Portal (the Kernel?);
classically interpreted to mean: A book Revealed to you, full of Blessings, so that those of understanding would take it to heart (reflect on it)

(I love you for it, but can't you Please just come get me?)

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