but doth suffer a sea-change into something rich and strange... Benjamin, Shakespeare, Taiyo Onorato & Nico Krebs


    Come unto these yellow sands, 
              And then take hands: 
    Curtsied when you have, and kiss'd 
              The wild waves whist, 
    Foot it featly here and there; 
    And, sweet sprites, the burthen bear. 
              Hark, hark! 
              The watch-dogs bark. 
              Hark, hark! I hear 
              The strain of strutting chanticleer 
              Cry, Cock-a-diddle-dow.

    Full fathom five thy father lies; 
              Of his bones are coral made; 
    Those are pearls that were his eyes: 
              Nothing of him that doth fade, 
    But doth suffer a sea-change 
    Into something rich and strange. 
    Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell: 
    Hark! now I hear them—Ding-dong, bell.

And this thinking, fed by the present, works with the "thought fragments" it can wrest from the past and gather about itself. Like a pearl diver who descends to the bottom of the sea, not to excavate the bottom and bring it to light but to pry loose the rich and the strange, the pearls and the coral in the depths and to carry them to the surface, this thinking that delves into the depths of the past - but not in order to resuscitate it the way it was and to contribute to the renewal of extinct ages. What guides this thinking is the conviction that although the living is subject to the ruin of the time, the process of decay is at the same time a process of crystallisation, that in the depth of the sea, into which sinks and is dissolved what once was alive, some things "suffer a sea-change" and survive in new crystallised forms and shapes that remain immune to the elements, as though they waited only for the pearl diver who one day will come down to them and bring them up into a world of the living - as "thought fragments," as something "rich and strange," and perhaps even as everlasting Urphänomene.

Ariel's Song in Shakespeare's Tempest & Hannah Arendt on Walter Benjamin

Other sea-changers, Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs