I deeply admire this painting: The Temptation of Saint Anthony. Painted by Max Ernst. It has always moved me since I first saw it so many years ago… It reminds me to this day of an over the top LSA experience…. 80)
Ah…. 2 in a row! I assembled this yesterday, as I felt there was a bit more to say… Well, it looks like I have a place in the muralist exhibit coming up in May! I am pretty jazzed, now I just have to get my studio ready to handle a large piece(s). I have been aching to use airbrush and regular brush for awhile, as all my work has been on the computer for the last couple of years.
My friend Tomas sent this book to me a couple of years back: Earth Prayers From around the World: 365 Prayers, Poems, and Invocations for Honoring the Earth
It really is an amazing book. I read from it a couple of times a day, sometimes more, sometimes less. It travels with me. It is a great focusing device, and I use it to bring me back on to the path that I need to follow.
Tomas is a great guy; he has pretty much spent his life in the service and care of others. We met on line maybe 8 years ago, and have had a pretty constant conversation since. He lives back in Rhode Island, so we have only gotten to visit once. I am hoping this year sees him coming out again, or us finally getting to visit back east.
We get to talk on the phone, and at this point are playing phone tag. He works more than he should (don’t we all?) and it isn’t always easy to connect.
Tomas, I am about to buzz ya before I head out!
On The Menu:
William of the Tree
Rilke: The Ninth Elegy
Have a good one!
William of the Tree
In the time long ago there was a king in Erin. He was married to a beautiful queen, and they had but one only daughter. The queen was struck with sickness, and she knew that she would not be long alive. She put the king under gassa (mystical injunctions) that he should not marry again until the grass should be a foot high over her tomb. The daughter was cunning, and she used to go out every night with a scissors, and she used to cut the grass down to the ground.
The king had a great desire to have another wife, and he did not know why the grass was not growing over the grave of the queen. He said to himself: “There is somebody deceiving me.”
That night he went to the churchyard, and he saw the daughter cutting the grass that was on the grave. There came great anger on him then, and he said: “I will marry the first woman I see, let she be old or young.” When he went out on the road he saw an old hag. He brought her home and married her, as he would not break his word.
After marrying her, the daughter of the king was under bitter misery at (the hands of) the hag, and the hag put her under an oath not to tell anything at all to the king, and not to tell to any person anything she should see being done, except only to three who were never baptised.
The next morning on the morrow, the king went out a hunting, and when he was gone, the hag killed a fine hound the king had. When the king came home he asked the old hag “who killed my hound?”
“Your daughter killed it,” says the old woman.
“Why did you kill my hound?” said the king.
“I did not kill your hound,” says the daughter, “and I cannot tell you who killed him.”
“I will make you tell me,” says the king.
He took the daughter with him to a great wood, and he hanged her on a tree, and then he cut off the two hands and the two feet off her, and left her in a state of death. When he was going out of the wood there went a thorn into his foot, and the daughter said: “That you may never get better until I have hands and feet to cure you.”
The king went home, and there grew a tree out of his foot, and it was necessary for him to open the window, to let the top of the tree out.
There was a gentleman going by near the wood, and he heard the king’s daughter a-screeching. He went to the tree, and when he saw the state she was in, he took pity on her, brought her home, and when she got better, married her.
At the end of three quarters (of a year), the king’s daughter had three sons at one birth, and when they were born, Granya Oi came and put hands and feet on the king’s daughter, and told her, “Don’t let your children be baptised until they are able to walk. There is a tree growing out of your father’s foot; it was cut often, but it grows again, and it is with you lies his healing. You are under an oath not to tell the things you saw your stepmother doing to anyone but to three who were never baptised, and God has sent you those three. When they will be a year old bring them to your father’s house, and tell your story before your three sons, and rub your hand on the stump of the tree, and your father will be as well as he was the first day.”
There was great wonderment on the gentleman when he saw hands and feet on the king’s daughter. She told him then every word that Granya Oi said to her.
When the children were a year old, the mother took them with her, and went to the king’s house.
There were doctors from every place in Erin attending on the king, but they were not able to do him any good.
When the daughter came in, the king did not recognise her. She sat down, and the three sons round her, and she told her story to them from top to bottom, and the king was listening to her telling it. Then she left her hand on the sole of the king’s foot and the tree fell off it.
The day on the morrow he hanged the old hag, and he gave his estate to his daughter and to the gentleman.
Rilke: The Ninth Elegy
Why, if it could begin as laurel, and be spent so,
this space of Being, a little darker than all
the surrounding green, with little waves at the edge
of every leaf (like a breezes smile) – : why then
have to be human and shunning destiny
long for destiny?….
Oh, not because happiness exists,
that over-hasty profit from imminent loss,
not out of curiosity, or to practice the heart,
which could exist in the laurel……
But because being here is much, and because all
thats here seems to need us, the ephemeral, that
strangely concerns us. We: the most ephemeral. Once,
for each thing, only once. Once, and no more. And we too,
once. Never again. But this
once, to have been, though only once,
to have been an earthly thing seems irrevocable.
And so we keep pushing on, and trying to achieve it,
trying to contain it in our simple hands,
in the overflowing gaze and the speechless heart.
Trying to become it. Whom to give it to? We would
hold on to it for ever….Ah, what, alas, do we
take into that other dimension? Not the gazing which we
slowly learned here, and nothing that happened. Nothing.
Suffering then. Above all, then, the difficulty,
the long experience of love, then what is
wholly unsayable. But later,
among the stars, what use is it: it is better unsayable.
Since the traveller does not bring a handful of earth
from mountain-slope to valley, unsayable to others, but only
a word that was won, pure, a yellow and blue
gentian. Are we here, perhaps, for saying: house,
bridge, fountain, gate, jug, fruit-tree, window
at most: column, tower……but for saying, realise,
oh, for a saying such as the things themselves would never
have profoundly said. Is not the secret intent
of this discreet Earth to draw lovers on,
so that each and every thing is delight within their feeling?
Threshold: what is it for two
lovers to be wearing their own threshold of the ancient door
a little, they too, after the many before them,
and before those to come……., simple.
Here is the age of the sayable: here is its home.
Speak, and be witness. More than ever
the things of experience are falling away, since
what ousts and replaces them is an act with no image.
An act, under a crust that will split, as soon as
the business within outgrows it, and limit itself differently.
Between the hammers, our heart
lives on, as the tongue
between the teeth, that
in spite of them, keeps praising.
Praise the world to the Angel, not the unsayable: you
cant impress him with glories of feeling: in the universe,
where he feels more deeply, you are a novice. So show
him a simple thing, fashioned in age after age,
that lives close to hand and in sight.
Tell him things. Hell be more amazed: as you were,
beside the rope-maker in Rome, or the potter beside the Nile.
Show him how happy things can be, how guiltless and ours,
how even the cry of grief decides on pure form,
serves as a thing, or dies into a thing: transient,
they look to us for deliverance, we, the most transient of all.
Will us to change them completely, in our invisible hearts,
into oh, endlessly, into us! Whoever, in the end, we are.
Earth, is it not this that you want: to rise
invisibly in us? Is that not your dream,
to be invisible, one day? Earth! Invisible!
What is your urgent command if not transformation?
Earth, beloved, I will. O, believe me, you need
no more Spring-times to win me: only one,
ah, one, is already more than my blood can stand.
Namelessly, I have been truly yours, from the first.
You were always right, and your most sacred inspiration
is that familiar Death.
See I live. On what? Neither childhood nor future
grows less……Excess of being
wells up in my heart.