Alaskan Rainbow photo: Joseph Rolph 2005
What are a "rainbows" varied meanings? What can be some of the varied referents assigned to this sign?
What Constitutes a Rainbow?
1. suspended water molecules, e.g., raindrops, in the air
2. angle of light, e.g., sun, interacting with water molecules
3. viewing the resulting interaction - a physical perception, i.e., positioning of eyes relative to the interactions with light and water molecules
4. recognizing and assigning meaning to the interaction - a mental conceptualization, i.e., creating a culturally meaningful experience
Is not a "rainbow" a transitory intersection composed of all those participating (water, light, angle, your perception, your conception, and ??), a momentary event always in the making?
And we ask: how fundamentally different is a "rainbow" from a "tree" or forest of trees, or any other phenomena, other than a "rainbow" is on a rather rapid time scale, while the "tree" is on a slower time scale?
Noah builds an alter to God after the flood, and receives a sign from God of their covenant. Painting: Joseph Koch 1803
A symbol can be a "shining through of the sacred," an hierophany, a "swirling."
the transitory confluence, the convergence of water, light, angle, your perception, your conception, and God
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