Here is another video of sailing and poetry from St.-John Perse. I misspelled Madrepores. They get really mad when you do that.
The rains have let up. I scan Port Madison’s northeast shore through binoculars to see the Farnham house, built above the old mill-site, where much of Bainbridge Island’s forests were milled in the mid-19th century. The house looks the same as when Judge John Farnham leaned on his hoe under his prize apple trees.
He first signed on the General Park Hill at the age of 12 and spent 3 years shipping cotton between South Carolina and Liverpool before trading in contraband silk between Shanghai and Hong Kong. He rounded the Horn in the rush of ’49 and headed north to Port Madison when loggers, ship builders and land speculators were rapidly displacing the indigenous Suquamish people. He commanded side-wheel steamers, worked as shipwright and, in an odd –if not downright ironic–turn of fortune, served as keeper of the Seattle Pest House.
This was when the Old Man House still stood; where creation was annually sung into being in the Winter Dances. It was the lofty, cedar temenos of the Suquamish tribe that was demolished by Albion’s brass-plated cannon of imperious might in 1870.
This is was the home of Princess Angeline.
After reading Jerusalem, I’ve come to see Blake’s Gothic, sweeping poetry entwined with the shadowy firs of Port Madison. A rummy wastrel turned Urizenic guardian of self-righteous law, Farnham became the very image of man’s fallen spiritual state, laboring eternally in the Satanic mills, separated from his Sophianic emanation and closed to the Divine Vision.
And I hear fair Angeline as the banished Jerusalem, still weeping over the bay for her lost and tender children.
Farnham’s end was tragic. He had begun exhibiting signs of odd behavior and was forcibly dismissed from office. He held out against the deputy sheriffs in the Port Madison courthouse (then the County seat) with a shot-gun for 3 days before being led away quietly–a man forsaken by his adamant God of Reason.
Ballasted with river rock, he boarded the Seattle ferry, planning to jump into the deep soundings off Elliot Bay. But the emergency crew fished him out and he died shortly after.
I honor John Farnham, respect his adventuresome spirit and outrageous character; whose salty yarn and prize apples are the true golden relics of another age.
Rain hammers the deck as the wind roars over the high bank of the south shore. Like big, blue wings, the tarp on the derelict boat rafted alongside billows in the gusts and shoots spray high onto Old Hand’s wheelhouse windows. Windward is a sorry sight–the once proud Herreshoff racing sloop now lies rotting through the long Northwest winter rains. I used to pride myself on my tarpological creations, but now they are blown to blue tatters before the furious onslaught of the Pineapple Express.
A kingfisher chatters high over the rigging as the whole boathouse sways above Old Hand’s starboard rail. At times like this, I wonder if I should have used 10″ lag bolts to anchor the posts onto the dock. But it seems to be holding fine.
This is the weather the otter likes. One slithers onto the float and lies momentarily atop my inverted Livingston dinghy before again vanishing into the green depths of Port Madison. It’s good to see them again–my pals the otters–if I could only get them to use the cat box. But they scoff at such refinements, and prefer to poop all over the lines I’d so artfully coiled on the dock. Such is the life of those who toil at sea.
After all the work creating my art exhibit, I went through a depressed phase, exacerbated by a lingering cold. This down time usually accompanies the completion of a project. It’s just part of the process. It’s only natural that we feel emptied out after such an expenditure of energy, and the empty feeling, far from being bad, is just what I need. Rather than feeling washed up, it’s better to make friends with the emptiness and spaciousness in order to be filled again with the creative spirit.
So now I roll and split great oak rounds near the old Ed Monk workshop, repair Old Hand’s diesel heater and go over current tables–making long, Springtime passages over the Salish Sea of my imagination.
WordPress, the largest platform Blogger… WordPress, la più grande piattaforma Blogger… WordPress, ce mai mare platformă bloggers
Originally posted on valeriu dg barbu blog:
Trilingual post: English, Italian and Romanian languages
WordPress is (still) one of the biggest blogging platforms in the world.
This is an indisputable truth and archi-known.
WordPress is divided into two branches, one free with limited functions, and the other for a fee and with good tools.
The free branch is not really bad, has parts very laudable, but, but, but, since June of 2013, began to appear more and more problems.
You do not count “the views”, stats, in honest mode (as proof, I have an external counter that gives me different from other statistics do wordpress, leaving the impression that wordpress, steal, …I checked and tested with the blogger friends …in addition, careful observations ..)
Until recently, there have been problems with the “Like”, now, do not stick in all blogs, these “Like”
On some blogs, when you want to leave a “Like”, will open a new browser…
View original 1,231 more words
But we had a nice opening last night. Many friends came showing their appreciation and support. Thanks to all.
In my next post I hope to give a more complete account about the experience of creating these works over the past 3 months.
Lets just say for now that I came to realize I bit off far more than I could chew, though I did this deliberately–as a sort of audacious challenge to myself.
There always looms the possibility that the painting was better left at an earlier stage, or that the work may not bear the test of time. At times I wondered if a painting might be veering perilously close to maudlin tripe, or the whole concept totally misguided.
But I really don’t worry about it. It’s best to have the courage to make a clear statement. I think age and experience has taught me to trust the process and to carry through despite such doubts about relevance, skill level or (in this case) my understanding of Blake’s gorgeously bombastic, prophetic poem.
These blog posts have been an integral part of this exhibit’s creation. Thanks to all who have been following and commenting.
My art show goes up in a week and now the most difficult part has arrived–the Artist’s Statement. But in this odious task, which I’ve always dreaded, I may have a small advantage. I’ve actually been working on it since I began this series, some three months ago. I only need glean the relevant bits from my blog posts and tidy them up. Right.
Blake saw Albion (universal Man) held in deadly sleep, in thrall to satanic, scientific-materialism that separated him from Jerusalem, his emanation, and the Heaven within himself.
The Gnostics taught that soul is imprisoned in matter; that Gnostic experience is a return to Divinity through overcoming the demonic forces (Archons) who hold humanity in bondage to dense spheres of matter. These teachings informed much of Blake’s work.
His work also reflects the Neoplatonic doctrine that acknowledges the primacy of the spiritual world and sees nature as the “vegetable glass” reflecting spiritual truths. Post-Cartesian science that recognizes only natural phenomenon perceived by the senses as sole measure of truth is the fundamental error which precipitated Jerusalem’s’s fall.
Jerusalem tells of Los’s struggles with Urizen (reasoning power) to re-establish harmony among the four Zoas (universal, four-fold man,) and the building of Golganooza, Los’s great city of art and science.
…and fourfold the great City of Golganooza: fourfold to the north ,
And toward the south fourfold & fourfold toward the east & west,
Each within the other toward the four points: that toward
Eden, and that toward the World of Generation.
The Zoa’s correspond with the four Buddha families who inhabit the vast edifice of spiritual architecture in the Tibetan Book of the Dead.
…at the northern gate of one’s skull is Vajra, Dark green, snake headed, and holding a bell.
O you, the four female gatekeepers…
Perform the rites which obstruct the doors leading to rebirth from the intermediate state!
Like the Buddhist masters, Blake saw that salvation lay in the recognition that God, Angels and Demons reside in the mind. Christ’s resurrection was not a single event of time, unique to a single individual, but as expression of the universal Christ-spirit within. This interiorization of the mysteries is part of the evolution of consciousness and the realization of the Divine Human. For Blake, Jesus is imagination, and lamented “Abstract thought warring against imagination.” The tragic effects of Urizen’s reign were evident in the squalor and slavery of the London cityscape where was enacted the cosmic drama of spiritual redemption.
Los is the fiery, artistic genius whose task is to restore Jerusalem and re-establish harmony among conflicting aspects of Albion; an inner kingdom that has been usurped by the soul-denying power of Urizen. The soul divided into warring entities is a sign that Albion has fallen into a sleep that closes the doors of spiritual perception. Caretaker of archetypal images, and fluent in the language of correspondences, Los forges celestial links in his fiery furnace, and illuminates the inner, demonic specters that would banish Jerusalem forever.
Strange. For all my efforts to loosen up, I seem to be heading in a more classical direction. When solid form threatens to vanish in an atmospheric haze, I recall Blake’s admonition to delineate everything a solid line. William Turner advised enclosing all shapes with a glowing red line that can move easily from cool shadow into warm, brilliant light. Gauguin used this technique to unify his compositions and bind his luxuriant forms to the picture plane.
Here, I use it to construct Blake’s towering edifice of Golganooza, whose:
…stones are pity, and the bricks, well wrought affections Enamell’d with love and kindness & the tiles engraven gold, Labour of merciful hands..
This Golganooza is built with primary colors on a scaffold of charcoal lines set along the Golden Mean proportion. The challenge is to integrate illusory depth with the shapes on the flat surface into a dynamic, interwoven whole. This is what makes it so complicated.
Painting doesn’t proceed only with big, creative leaps by the likes of a Picasso or Pollack. There is also a slow evolutionary process at work, and painting, like any other discipline, moves toward ever higher levels of complexity.
The dichotomy between abstraction and realism is a false one. It’s all abstract in a sense. What is bad is intellectual, materialist abstraction devoid of feeling and humanity–removed from art’s most exalted purpose:
To open Eternal Worlds, to open the immortal Eyes of Man inwards into the Worlds of Thought: into Eternity ever expanding in the Bosom of God: the Human Imagination!