Shiva
Muthiah

2018—2019

At the borders of the Umwelt

“Only in silence the word, only in dark the light, only in dying life: bright the hawk’s flight on the empty sky.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin, from A Wizard of Earthsea

One late summer evening I’d finished my work day just as the sun settled into twilight. As its soft glow slowly faded, the shadows grew a murky purple. Bursting from darkness, I caught a fleeting glimpse of Chimney Swifts racing by. So fast, they were barely a blur. So at home in the air that gravity seemed nothing but rumor. So different from my chair bound body.

The Umwelt is the world created by the nature of each creature's perception and abilities. Living in these separate worlds, is real connection between beings possible?

I believe it still is, at the borders.

In these pictures I’ve attempted to walk the border that separates our worlds.

In the fading light of that summer evening I flew with those birds, skimming passing breezes, loving falling, tracing the swifts and eddies that rose from the sunbaked earth to the ever expanding sky. Soaring to meet the sun’s last rays into the clouds and above them, to sleep, on the wing under the stars.

The sacred pools in the borders between things. Between valley and mountain. Between beings. Between Light and Shadow.