Walking into Paintings

Walking into Paintings

Last week, I showed Moonlight how to walk into paintings.

It’s such a simple detachment once someone shows you how. When you’re inside you can reach out to anyone looking at the work. You can reach them and speak to them. They won’t hear you with their senses but they will get your message. You can do that because works of art create their own psychic space, no more or less real than any other space. Some paintings do it better than others. For excursions, I don’t think that I’d recommend The Scream. Not to Moon anyway.

You immerse yourself in the landscape, in the world of the painting, in its sounds, in its life.

Moonlight learned where I go when I crave peace. I took her hand. We opened a book and stepped into a Monet. Dressed in white cotton. We wore straw hats tied with silk scarves. We carried parasols with Oriental patterns on them. In high-button shoes. We stepped softly through an infinite Monet. We crossed a footbridge. We paused to languidly gaze at waterlilies. We watched the fishing boats go out at sunrise. The light played through radiant clouds on haystacks and sparkling cathedrals. How wonderfully it changed throughout the day. We floated on the clouds reflected in lily ponds. We were pink and blue reflections on ripples of water.

We laughed. Moonlight was radiant with joy. I showed her that the place she often saw in her visions was real. It was tactile. It was aural. We felt the breezes and we became breezes. We felt the dew. We became the sparkling droplets on dark green leaves. We felt the warmth of the sun. We became pure lights. We radiated warmth. We gave life to flowers. To the pond. To each other. All of it was real. We wore long dresses of white cotton. We were flowers of every possible color. We held hands. We carried parasols. We flew kites. We walked across the meadow. In white cotton. In high button shoes. With silk scarves. We danced. We laughed. I shared the secret of the Muses with Moonlight. With love.

Moon Light in Starry Night

Moon rearranged some stars but when we left, we tidied up

Last night we walked into Van Gogh’s Starry Night. Moon rearranged some stars but when we left, we tidied up. Everything was just as we found it.

Floating on music is another acquired skill. I wanted to show Moon how to float on Baroque music. On Enya’s music. On Sarah McLachlan’s music. On Loreena McKennitt’s music. Finally, I believe that some humans may be capable of Soul Ballooning. Back home Soul Ballooning is a team sport.

Let the viewer stroll around within the picture, to force him to forget himself and so to become a part of the picture. (Vassily Kandinsky)

When you start a painting, it is somewhat outside you. At the conclusion you seem to move inside the painting. (Fernando Botero)

 

The Wild Swans At Coole By William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

The Wild Swans At Coole
By William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

William Butler Yeats Irish Poet

I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,
And now my heart is sore.
All’s changed since I, hearing at twilight,
The first time on this shore,
The bell-beat of their wings above my head,
Trod with a lighter tread.
Unwearied still, lover By lover,
They paddle in the cold
Companionable streams or climb the air;
Their hearts have not grown old;
Passion or conquest, wander where they will,
Attend upon them still.
But now they drift on the still water,
Mysterious, beautiful;
Among what rushes will they build,
By what lake’s edge or pool
Delight men’s eyes when I awake some day
To find they have flown away?

William Butler Yeats Irish Poet

 

 

“William Butler Yeats (1865–1939) was an Irish poet and one of the foremost figures of 20th century literature. A pillar of both the Irish and British literary establishments.” (Wikipedia)

Dirge Without Music By Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950)

Dirge Without Music By Edna St. Vincent Millay

Dirge Without Music (Excerpt)
By Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950)

“More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.”

Edna St. Vincent Millay

 

“Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950) was an American lyrical poet and playwright. She received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1923, the third woman to win the award for poetry, and was also known for her feminist activism and her many love affairs.” (Wikipedia)

Ode To A Nightingale By John Keats (1795-1821)

Ode To A Nightingale By John Keats (1795-1821)

…tender is the night,
And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,
Cluster’d around By all her starry Fays;
But here there is no light,
Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown
Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways.
I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,
Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs,

John Keats (Wikipedia)

John Keats (Wikipedia)

 

 

John Keats (1795–1821) was one of the English Romantic poets. “He was one of the main figures of the second generation of Romantic poets along with Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley.” (Wikipedia)

Winter Stars By Sara Teasdale (1884-1933)

Winter Stars By Sara Teasdale

I went out at night alone;
The young blood flowing beyond the sea
Seemed to have drenched my spirit’s wings—
I bore my sorrow heavily.
But when I lifted up my head
From shadows shaken on the snow,
I saw Orion in the east
Burn steadily as long ago.
From windows in my father’s house,
Dreaming my dreams on winter nights,
I watched Orion as a girl
Above another city’s lights.
Years go, dreams go, and youth goes too,
The world’s heart breaks beneath its wars,
All things are changed, save in the east
The faithful beauty of the stars.

Sara Teasdale (1884-1933)

Sara Teasdale (Wikimedia Image)

 

Sara Teasdale (1884-1933) was an American lyric poet.”In 1918 she won a Pulitzer Prize for her 1917 poetry collection Love Songs. It was ‘made possible by a special grant from The Poetry Society’ but the sponsoring organization now lists it as the earliest Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.” (Wikipedia)

The Solitary Reaper By William Wordsworth (1770-1850)

The Solitary Reaper By William Wordsworth (1770-1850)

Behold her, single in the field,
Yon solitary Highland Lass!
Reaping and singing By herself;
Stop here, or gently pass!
Alone she cuts and binds the grain,
And sings a melancholy strain;
O listen! for the Vale profound
Is overflowing with the sound.

No Nightingale did ever chaunt
More welcome notes to weary bands
Of travellers in some shady haunt,
Among Arabian sands:
A voice so thrilling ne’er was heard
In spring-time from the Cuckoo-bird,
Breaking the silence of the seas
Among the farthest Hebrides.

 

Part 1. Verses 1 and 2 of 4. Graphical illustration in digital media of classic British poetry by William Wordsworth (1770-1850).

The Solitary Reaper By William Wordsworth-Part 2

The Solitary Reaper By William Wordsworth (1770-1850)

Will no one tell me what she sings?—
Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
For old, unhappy, far-off things,
And battles long ago:
Or is it some more humble lay,
Familiar matter of to-day?
Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain,
That has been, and may be again?

Whate’er the theme, the Maiden sang
As if her song could have no ending;
I saw her singing at her work,
And o’er the sickle bending;—
I listen’d, motionless and still;
And, as I mounted up the hill,
The music in my heart I bore,
Long after it was heard no more.

Part 2. Verses 3 and 4 of 4. Graphical illustration in digital media of classic British poetry by William Wordsworth (1770-1850).

What do flowers know?

One of the flowers in my chain-link fence, Omaha. Dancers performing a Mozart Requiem Mass

One of the flowers in my chain-link fence, Omaha. Dancers performing a Mozart Requiem Mass

Upon the death of my neighbor in Omaha

 

A chain link fence
separates my dwelling from my neighbor
I barely knew her
we seldom spoke.

Last night my neighbor came on the evening news
they said she was a teacher
renowned for her gardening
loved by her students.

Reporters and cameras covered the street
fire trucks with
their rotating lights struggled
to penetrate the oppression
acrid smoke ensnared everything.

Tiny flowers on wispy vines
cling to the fence in such profusion
they almost hide its existence
they have strange hours
these evanescent flowers
that only remain open in the morning.

The flowers bloom for the first time each year
as the summer season is about to die
bloom explosively
early in the morning they appear
only before first light
they appear.

Lavender, magenta, rose red, and white
small fragile stars with five petals
flaunt their vivid colors.

The fence flowers are more profuse
than ever late this afternoon
this is strange
it never happened before.

Just before the sun reaches its zenith
the fence flowers
always quickly tighten into cones
become invisible in the dark vines.

Fire erupted in my neighbor’s house
as she slept unaware
smoke choked the life out of her
just before first light.

No one knew until it was too late
only the fence flowers witnessed it
bright, silent witnesses
lavender, magenta, rose red, and white.

When smoke enveloped the flowers
as they awakened
at first light
did they inhale the fragrance of a soul
with an inscrutable sense
as it fled its earthly body?

Do they tell me that a soul flower now blooms
where we cannot see it
illuminated in brilliance
in a faraway garden?

During the winter when the vines shrivel up
and fall to the dirt
you believe they can’t come back
they reunite with the earth
they’re dead
you see the end of them.

Yet now the flowers
glow brighter than ever.

 

“And now concerning thy question regarding the soul of man and its survival after death. Know thou of a truth that the soul, after its separation from the body, will continue to progress until it attaineth the presence of God, in a state and condition which neither the revolution of ages and centuries, nor the changes and chances of this world, can alter. It will endure as long as the Kingdom of God, His sovereignty, His dominion and power will endure. It will manifest the signs of God and His attributes, and will reveal His loving kindness and bounty.” (Baha’u’llah)