Tag Archive: art


remembering the children

remembering the children

“… Of course we could try to forget the past. Why not? Is it not natural for a human being to repress what causes him pain, what causes him shame? Like the body, memory protects its wounds. When day breaks after a sleepless night, one’s ghosts must withdraw; the dead are ordered back to their graves. But for the first time in history, we could not bury our dead. We bear their graves within ourselves. For us, forgetting was never an option.” ~ Elie Wiesel  (Nobel Lecture 1986)

 

moonlight sonata

moonlightsonata..xn3art

moonlight sonata by ludwig van beethoven

clouds of glory

cloudsofglory.xn3art

For Michèle

Oktober 31, 1969 – September 25, 2013

soul of a bird

Soul Of A Bird

Anaïs Nin, A Woman Speaks [excerpt from her lecture The Artist As Magician 1973]

~~~

“We have this marvelous power to escape, but it is not escape in the negative sense of the word. It is an escape similar to that of Olivier Messiaen, who while he was in a concentration camp, composed the wonderful piece for clarinet called “The Soul of A Bird.” That’s the kind of escape I mean. This composition probably helped him to survive that experience, and I can’t imagine one more terrible than that. Whereas when people cannot look over the walls and do not have this story-telling power and perspective, have no separation from events, then disintegration takes place and we despair. We drop out or even commit suicide, like Sylvia Plath. When we have no capacity to look beyond the sorrow or the experience which strikes us, we give up and die.

If you’re negative, you’re going to find causes for negativity. You will yourself build a case. Because we’re very clever. We’re much cleverer than we think we are. We build cases for our own moods. If you are convinced that you can’t make it, and you want to drop out, you’re going to find reasons for it. You can always build a case. There are all kind of things lying around. But if you want to build a case for life being worth living then you build that too.

It wasn’t enough for me to weep every day because there was war. I felt that you had to create an antidote, you had to create another world, which was called escapism because those who escaped were hated. But you couldn’t call “The Soul of A Bird” escape, yet that is what it was, the most beautiful poem of escape. It was proof that you cannot kill the spirit. In the midst of war and horror it was creating something in opposition to the horrors and montrosities.

I have a friend, a painter, who often used to call me and say: “I’ve just read the papers and I can’t paint anymore today: there are such horrible things happening in the world.” And I would say to her: “Paint first and read the papers afterward.”

the goddess maia

“Many a night I saw the Pleiads, rising thro’ the mellow shade,

Glitter like a swarm of fireflies tangled in a silver braid.”

~Alfred, Lord Tennyson 1837-8

goddess maia

It is May! Well, not quite but very nearly. It is called, deeply living in wishful thinking. But May will come like a storm of sunshine even though April is still on its way. I need for May to arrive. My winter was long, cold, and complex. Winter always is. I was alive but I was not living. April does not mean as much to me as May does so I am going to skip and jump, splash and move into the month of new hopes and beginnings.  So here I will start singing to the Goddess of May though it is still March. I will walk Her path.

♬♪For Rejoice. The time to sing the Song of Songs has come. It is deep spring, the season of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, and growth. Colours all ready to burst open and expand into greater and grander forms and colours. Faces look for the sun and find it. Living becomes a joyful celebration, a dance, a song, a fiesta. May gives birth to the desire to give rather than the desire to receive. ‘I would scrub floors for you, oh Goddess of May, if you would promise me to last, to last a million days.’

The Goddess of May, her name is Maia. She is an ancient earth-goddess, and in ancient Roman religion and myth she is the Goddess of springtime, warmth, and growth. The month of May (Latin Maius) was named supposedly for Maia. In Greek mythology she is the daughter of Atlas and Pleoine the Oceanid and the eldest of the seven Pleiades sisters who are stars. And so she has become the first, and the eldest, of the seven sisters I was inspired to create with ink, glue, and paper in my art journal. Everyone can find her in the night sky with a prominent place in ancient mythology and the Pleiades star cluster. Her song of songs is worth singing straight into our spirit hearts for her name has its roots in Latin magnus ‘great or powerful.’ See here Goddess Maia still waiting for her birth month to arrive so she can radiate, dance, blossom, and rise into her powerful sense of life. I will walk Her path.

three sisters

The world is a dream.
We don’t exist, we only think we do.
So what difference does it make?
(from Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov, Act 4)

unbearable lightness of longing

Honoré de Balzac wrote “an unfulfilled vocation drains the color from man’s entire existence.”  I think an unfulfilled dream has the tendency to do quite the same. So it was difficult to add color to my three sisters. My Olga, Irina, and Masha. They are comparable to Chekhov’s Three Sisters and a bit like the three Brontë sisters. However, these three sisters in search of fulfillment and fecundity in ultra modern times (or is it post-modern or post-post modern times) are all mine. In what way are my three sisters related to those of Chekhov and Brontë? Their dreams, hopes, longings, and passions are the forces that also govern their lives. Can you see? See. They are all tangled up in their potent passions and emotions. Dance, dance, dance through the unbearable lightness of longings. Dance, dance, dance through the unfulfilled portions of life. “If we only knew… If we only knew.” (Olga)

rumi’s dance

rumi's dance

In your light I learn how to love.

In your beauty, how to make poems.

You dance inside my chest where no-one sees you,

but sometimes I do, and that sight becomes this art.

~Rumi~

language of flowers


You generate in me the forces of light needed to curl me open come springtime. To curl me open. To curl me. You generate in me the forces of springtime.

I fade only so I can bloom again and rise in ecstasy in its own time. In its own time, I rise again in ecstasy. In its own time, it happens.

My curves move, my sepals elongate so I can bloom like a rose, a kalanchoe, a morning glory, and a night-blooming flower towards the source of your light. So I can bloom. So I can bloom dynamically despite my incoherent cries.

All desires distilled into three boundless desires. Life, Flowers, and Beauty. To pour forth desire. To pour forth. To pour forth by natural process, desire. Desire that does not curl in but curls out so they will not notice me but notice you who holds and upholds me. My calyx. A fragrant strong path. An impetus for perfect phototropism, expanding acts of poetry, remodernism, and lyrical expressions. And impetus for devine directional growth.

The imperfections, I see. I see the beauty. I see the beauty in the imperfections. There, is the light. The light that shines into me that becomes me. So I become a new way of seeing. I become a new way of becoming, a new language. A language of flowers. A language of light.

I fade only so I can bloom again and rise in ecstasy in its own time. In its own time, I rise again in ecstasy. In its own time, it happens. All flowers will dance, all pedals will bloom, all sepals elongate and rise. In its own time, it happens.

copyright ©2012 naomibacker

the poet’s voice

Banquet Speech

William Faulkner’s speech at the Nobel Banquet at the City Hall in Stockholm, December 10, 1950

~~~

Ladies and gentlemen,

I feel that this award was not made to me as a man, but to my work – a life’s work in the agony and sweat of the human spirit, not for glory and least of all for profit, but to create out of the materials of the human spirit something which did not exist before. So this award is only mine in trust. It will not be difficult to find a dedication for the money part of it commensurate with the purpose and significance of its origin. But I would like to do the same with the acclaim too, by using this moment as a pinnacle from which I might be listened to by the young men and women already dedicated to the same anguish and travail, among whom is already that one who will some day stand here where I am standing.

Our tragedy today is a general and universal physical fear so long sustained by now that we can even bear it. There are no longer problems of the spirit. There is only the question: When will I be blown up? Because of this, the young man or woman writing today has forgotten the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat.

He must learn them again. He must teach himself that the basest of all things is to be afraid; and, teaching himself that, forget it forever, leaving no room in his workshop for anything but the old verities and truths of the heart, the old universal truths lacking which any story is ephemeral and doomed – love and honor and pity and pride and compassion and sacrifice. Until he does so, he labors under a curse. He writes not of love but of lust, of defeats in which nobody loses anything of value, of victories without hope and, worst of all, without pity or compassion. His griefs grieve on no universal bones, leaving no scars. He writes not of the heart but of the glands.

Until he relearns these things, he will write as though he stood among and watched the end of man. I decline to accept the end of man. It is easy enough to say that man is immortal simply because he will endure: that when the last dingdong of doom has clanged and faded from the last worthless rock hanging tideless in the last red and dying evening, that even then there will still be one more sound: that of his puny inexhaustible voice, still talking.

I refuse to accept this. I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance. The poet’s, the writer’s, duty is to write about these things. It is his privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past. The poet’s voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail.

From Nobel LecturesLiterature 1901-1967, Editor Horst Frenz, Elsevier Publishing Company, Amsterdam, 1969 [Nobelprize.org]

keep walking

Keep walking,

Though there is no place to get to.

Don’t try to see through the distances.

That’s not for human beings.

Move within,

But don’t move

The way fear makes you move.

~ Rumi ~