Balanced betwixt just having begun to disperse and just about to come into being, this finely sculpted piece demonstrates and evokes its own subject matter, the elusive crystalline interval inbetween.

Between A & B

Eric Shapiro
© 2002

Consider the space between A and B. Resist the alphabet’s slippery momentum and rest upon the intervals. What you’ll find is what I’m driving at.

On our TV screens is increasingly rampant evidence of the technique we call “cutting.” Children often play a game where they try to see inside the cuts. They sit before their sets, eyes unblinking, trying desperately to witness what occurs in the instance when one shot switches to another. Somehow they always miss the conjoining occurrence. If only they knew how to see what they’d missed. They’d be on the Buddhist path.

Students of film grammar know that cutting is derived from the simplest rhythms of the human eye. To explain: I invite you to place this article aside and fix your eyes upon an object. Then, without moving your head, flex your eyes to another object, preferably to the left or right of the initial one. Repeat. You saw each object, but did you see the space between them? Perhaps as a blur, but not in crystalline detail.

This is because you were "cutting." Within that central blur lies something of the nature of ineffability.

Ineffability does not only apply to intervals. Alan Watts was fond of citing intervals to explain what we cannot explain. He penned whole books about what occurs between heartbeats, between seconds, and between lifetimes. By way of the interval model, Watts was able to coherently depict realms of anti-space. Intervals, however, are only one model.

When writing, I aim for tightness. I often joke that my ideal written piece would contain no words. In my fantasy, my editorial carving is so advanced as to yield a splendidly blank page. Needless to say, such revisionary persistence is absurd and pragmatically useless, yet I often yearn for it. Why? Of what value is a blank page?

For most of us, the realm of ineffability is safely tucked away, reserved for use by dreamers and psychotics. I propose a partial boycott of our "effable" hardware. Let’s make way for blank pages. Or, better stated: L t s m k w y f r b l k p g s. Who knows what we’ll see?

Eric Shapiro lives on the West Coast, and is author of Short of a Picnic, newly released, September 2002 from Be-Mused Publications. He can be contacted at


HOME || Unbecoming || Links