Colleen’s #TankaTuesday Ekphrastic prompt, a painting by John Waterhouse, reminded me very much of the paintings Jane Dougherty used to provide for her writing prompts. And so, as I did for those paintings, I created a collage response and consulted the Collage Box Oracle. A badger’s hexastitch was the result.
outside the rules of time matter gathers stories of reimagined light dreamed into the beyond
Below my feet the path waits for the earth to open me– the layers of brown and green remember the moon, its circles orbiting continuously through both dark and light.
The chill of morning warms to birdsong. The seasons endure. In spring the autumn seems far away, but life is always preparing to die and start all over again.
What is the secret of transformation?– ancestors embedded in every root, in every branch rich with leaves that will blaze in a sudden last glory– nourishing what follows with what has come before.
We know so little, after all, of the workings of nature, of its consciousness. Does it even have yesterdays or tomorrows? Does it acknowledge return, or is all but a single endless moment in time?
We mirror our own inner maps as stars–the dust of elements contained in our bones– merely vessels, seeking the essence of who we are inside the question itself.
The Kick About challenge this week was the alchemy book “Splendor Solis”. Out of the 22 images, I chose to work with Plate 2, The Alchemist: “Seek the Nature of the Four Elements”.
First I did a collage based on the painting alone (above), then, after reading a bit about its symbolism, I made my own, looser interpretation. I was especially drawn to the Alchemist’s connection to the natural world, in particular flowers and birds, and his alternate identity as the Deity of Celestial Light.
When did you start to follow me? I don’t remember the tables turning—but then my recollections were never very reliable.
Even the tangible accumulations of the collected years that now emerge from their wrappings of old news surprise me– (the news itself does not surprise me—yellowed headlines that fit as well into today as yesterday)
How and when did the journey become so heavy with the past, so filled with lost voices calling my name, faces I think I see in passing, disappearing into the crowded landscape full of images I can’t place, invisibly in plain sight?
I scatter my biography, filling it with empty spaces, holes for the wind to find and carry back on a song through the branches of winter trees.
I can still hear the melody– it vibrates along synapses, along veins and into the heart. Isn’t that enough in the end?– the rhythm of a dance that has no direction, but spirals everywhere all at once with no destination but now.
I was reading Kenneth Koch’s poem “To Old Age”. It made me think of my own journey.
For the earthweal challenge to write a journey-poem.
Jacob Wrestling with the Angel
Our memories are full of secrets– we have no innocence to be rejected. We long to be the spirit that stalks us– the last man falling.
My mother loved to wear loud colors, especially red. Her laugh could be heard above the din of any crowded room.
Not me. I dress mostly in black, try to fade unnoticed into the background of other peoples’ lives. I avoid parties.
But my eyes crave color, my hands long to manipulate texture and shape, to form visual ideas that enhance and delight. I have a hidden closet full of rainbows—painted, embroidered, knitted, woven into intricate arrangements.
All those vivid narratives remain unworn by my own days, the ones I dress in, their stories patterned and purple.
As night surrounds me, only then do I take them out to display, to embellish my own possibilities. I close my eyes and enter a parallel world, one in which I cover myself with a thousand glittering mirrors, quilted with moonlight, seams stitched with prismatic stars.
For dverse, where Lisa asked us to use a line from Kimberly Blaeser’s poem, “When We Sing of Might,”–I dress in their stories patterned and purple as night–in composing our prosery.