The Oracle, as usual, resists my attempts to ramble on. I read a Zen saying somewhere to the effect that we’re so busy looking at the teapot that we forget to drink the tea. I think she has a similar idea in mind.
I’ve been working on this collage for awhile. It’s inspired by Redon.
don’t live in symbols– grow mystery with earthlife riding waves of sky
We have written our words all over the land, constructed cages to contain what we can’t control. We have put a price on all the things that can’t be bought or sold, raised our voices until we are all deaf. We have invented gods of fear instead of harmony, raped and discarded what could be raped and discarded, left bloody sorrow to fertilize anything mistakenly overlooked. We long ago sold our souls, and our hollowness is so vast no one can measure it. And still we look for more more more– because what can ever satisfy the absence of what was never there?
For Brendan’s earthweal challenge, already dead. The art is a postcard fiction from 2017, but it seemed appropriate to both the theme and my thoughts.
You have to become empty in order to begin to fill up again. Perhaps we can learn to choose more wisely this time.
The Kick-About prompt this time around is “The Five Canons of Rhetoric”. My mind glazed over as I read through these rigid and formal ways of organizing communication. Of course the word rhetoric has multiple meanings, the first of which, according to dictionary.com, is “(in writing or speech) the undue use of exaggeration or display; bombast”. Something we all been oversubjected to of late.
What is true of all the definitions is that rhetoric involves the use of language. One synonym given particularly caught my eye: ” balderdash–senseless, stupid, or exaggerated talk or writing; nonsense”. The word nonsense immediately made me think of the surrealists.
The surrealists felt that letting go of the need to control your creation would reveal deeper truths. This was true of both visual and written art. They rejected logic and reason.
I often use surrealistic techniques for both my art and my writing. I’ve been doing rorschach images for awhile–these little cards are done by dripping the leftover paint from my watercolors onto the card and folding it in half. Usually the layers are done in several sessions.
I also compose comments for my images using words and phrases I’ve cut out of magazines and advertisements. I limit myself to what’s contained in one envelope for each card, and often spend quite a long time choosing and arranging them. I call it the collage box oracle, as it’s similar to using magnetic poetry. I was originally inspired by Claudia McGill, who is a master at this technique.
I’m usually surprised by what appears. It always makes me think.
I first scanned in just the images, and then worked on the words. When I went to scan them in, I realized I had changed the orientation of the image in half of them. Another unexpected surprise.
Surrealistic Rhetoric has no pretense to being anything but a random arrangement of words. But somehow it manages to incorporate at least 4 of the classical canons–invention, arrangement, style, and delivery. As to memory–well, canon #7 deals with that.
The Eight Canons of Surrealist Rhetoric
Is there anything more archetypal than nothing?
Space is just energy deconstructing.
You expected evolving to be more complex.
Adventure awaits beyond the details of yourself.
Fools rush into the shadow of the projected image.
I was invented from the earth’s fertile surfaces– otherwise my unlimited nakedness would be alarming.
My plans are to forget to remember.
There was a window from the start—simple and mysterious– imagine looking through it to what is hidden between.
Art from my Metropolis post last May amidst the height of the NYC pandemic, when much of the rest of the country thought it was our fault, and would stay here. It was a relief to see our President ask us to remember all of those who have been lost–not just in NYC, but from every corner of the United States and also the world.
My emotional distances keep expanding. They measure every room I enter, every landscape that passes through my eyes. The center swims increasingly away from the edges of my being. The gap is great and undefined.
Shadowshapes of figures frame the shore. Hands cast their lines into my depths, searching for a reflection, fishing for a response to their repeated inquiries.
How long can I stay afloat? The gravity of this world exhausts me. Sometimes the great bones of my life feel so heavy, so incomplete. I have forgotten it–the one key to survival that is unnecessary but crucial.
I’m trying to recall the images that connect to my lingering feelings of kinship The light flickers, attempts to enter, but my eyes refuse it. They look sentient, but they are no longer open for business. Closed, the sign says. Can’t you read it?—“CLOSED”.
For the dVerse Prosery, Linda has selected a line from Mary Oliver: Sometimes the great bones of my life feel so heavy, from her poem “Spring Azures”.