Is this a meta-island? Or a meta-lake? Can nature be self reflective? Look down these photos from Taal Volcano in Taal Lake in the Philipines to see: “An island within a lake within an island within a lake within an island within the ocean.” And we can add one more island, as the earth is often called an island. We often compare space to water with metaphoric language like “The earth floats through space.” Couldn’t we also call the solar system an island? Could interstellar star dust be called a lake? What about a galaxy floating in dark matter? How far out could we zoom?
Are all these lakes in islands in lakes examples of mise en abyme? The phrase coined by Andre Gide literally means “into the abyss,” and describes the work within the work, for example, the play within the play in Hamlet. It certainly seems like you could zoom forever in or out of the abyss in this sequence. Can’t we find a puddle on the littlest island? Isn’t there a rock in the puddle? Isn’t there a drop of water on the rock? Isn’t there a fleck of dust on the drop? Isn’t there a cluster of molecules on the fleck?