We were there that day with Bruno. In Rome, in the crowded Campo de' Fiori - Pooler Jones was there; Barber Perfect was pouting but he was there too. And so was Kenny La Roche. The Nolan took a long time to die and to muffle the angry noises of the crowd the Churches of Rome rang all their bells.
In March of 2002 Kenny La Roche began work on our latest offering - a model we are calling: Temple Bell. We've decided to do two things at once. We are going to prototype the model and flirt with its forms while we construct the Belfry or Clocher to our Cathedral. Like La Giralda - the mudéjar bell tower of the Cathedral in Sevilla - our Sé will have multiple bells, each with its own unique voice and identity. Over time, we are going to add 7 Temple Bell structures to the Cathedral Our Lady of the Ligne. The 7 Bells will depict the Iconographic Program of the 7 Alchemical Planets and their Elements. Whenever possible, Kenny La Roche likes to thin his own woodlots for the raw materials of our pieces. Using stock nourished from the geohistory of the 45th Parallel adds a dimension to the art which pleases an Alchemist with a chainsaw. Iwojima fells the first edition to our Clocher.
Traditionally, in mythology, Bells have enjoyed a fat semantics. First, and most importantly, Bells have been seen as a connection between heaven and earth, between the high and the low - they announce the presence of the Sacred while they scatter the powers of the Profane. Often, the tolling of bells is heard as the voice of god itself. Bells divide the day into its parts and our lives into theirs. Baptism, marriage, and death are the only times the bells toll just for us. The motions of bells describes the cosmic dance of the elements and in Hebrew lore bells are called the Quintessence - the 5th element in Alchemy and the goal of the Opus.
We need three 9' pieces to make our first prototype of the Temple Bell. The first two cuts will form the two vertical columns of the piece. The third cut may not have the same dimensions of a 4-sided milled post lurking within the diminishing radii of the tapering tree. So the third cut forms the horizontal or transom beam. The images of the Temple Bell model which I have created above depict a model with two transom beams which cross in an X. We plan on keeping the first prototype simple: 3 pieces of wood, each 9' long with a 7" crosscut square. The 3 sections will mortise & tenon into each other so that the horizontal can be used to hang a large Alpha Rock (300-500lbs) underneath. Verticals tipped in copper - their feet sheathed in steel. 4 plaques will be let in around the facing edges of the 2 verticals - they will give sigils & details & act as our voices so that the bells can make a little noise.
In Christian mythology bells mark the stages in the Alchemical ritual of the Holy Mass where the Profane gifts of bread & wine are transubstantiated into the Sacred body & blood of the redeemer. They hush us at the Consecration as they hushed the unruly at the burning of Giordano Bruno - they are both a summons to a mystery and a warning to proceed in deference to the proscribed ways of the ritual. The mouth of a Christian bell duplicates the Yoni while the bell's clapper acts as the Dorjé - the tongue of the preacher.
We began the day loading the cut logs into the back of Slag's truck using both his come-along and a lot of brute force. Muy macho art. Then we said "fuck it" and nailed our wheels onto each log & Pig Iron pulled them over to the Atelier. Half of all Art is learning how and when to spend matter on spirit so that the cost equals the gain & neither side feels gutted.
Every bell is a self-contained hermaphrodite - like Hermes & Mercury - having both male and female parts, both Yoni & Dorjé. In the end, that's the largest part of the bell's semantic field. A bell is a universal symbol of the fruitful combination of opposites.
Once we got the logs to the Atelier we rolled each log over on its belly so we could detach the wheel system and then we rolled them, log by log, up a small incline to the bed of the bandsaw which Slag borrowed from a friend. The cutting was easy and within a few hours we had 9 pieces milled and stickered in the field in front of the shop - enough for a couple prototypes at least. We take a lot of pleasure in trying to use and work our own materials from our own land along the Parallel whenever that is possible.
Giordano Bruno was born in the Campania region of Italy in a small village called Nola. All his life he was referred to as "the Nolan." In Medieval Latin there were two popular words for a Bell: they were called either "Nola" or "Campana." Everyone except Kenny La Roche has forgotten why.

The statue of the cowled monk Bruno stands on the exact spot in the Campo de' Fiori where he was burned as a heretic by the Pope himself in 1600. Bruno believed - and wrote - that there were an infinity of worlds revolving around an infinity of suns and that on those worlds was an infinity of minds all contemplating the same god. You can see why he was dangerous - and not just eccentric - and why Adventure Theology can lead to some very interesting ends.
That's La Giralda standing at the end of the lane brightly lighted and beckoning. The Hombre just discernible towards the bottom of the picture had no luck picking up the Senorita in cold Sevilla, but just after I snapped this picture and was taking down my tripod, Pooler Jones picked her up easily after singing her a Motet she knew. The Motet had 3 voices and Pooler sang them all at once - a trick he had honed in the Midi - Christ, she fell all over herself and once again I had to stand out in the cold while Pooler used my Hotel room to fuck some Euro-innocent too easily charmed by the Contrapuntal.

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