Thursday, October 20, 2016
This Far: edge of the roof, oil & wax, 11"x14"
My God my bright abyss
into which all my longing will not go
once more I come to the edge of all I know
and believing nothing believe in this:
Christianity itself is this - temporal, relative - to some extent. To every age Christ dies anew and is resurrected within the imagination of man. This is why he could be a paragon of rationality for eighteenth-century England, a heroic figure of the imagination for the Romantics, an exemplar of existential courage for writers like Paul Tillich and Rudolf Bultmann. One truth, then, is that Christ is always being remade in the image of man, which means that his reality is always being deformed to fit human needs, or what humans perceive to be their needs. A deeper truth, though, one that scripture suggests when it speaks of the eternal Word being made specific flesh, is that there is no permutation of humanity in which Christ is not present. If every Bible is lost, if every church crumbles to dust, if the last believer in the last prayer opens her eyes and lets it all finally go, Christ will appear on this earth as calmly and casually as he appeared to the disciples walking to Emmanus after his death, who did not recognize this man to whom they had pledged their very lives; this man whom they had seen beaten, crucified, abandoned by God; this man who, after walking the dusty road with them, after sharing an ordinary meal and discussing the scriptures, had to vanish once more in order to make them see.
Christian Wiman, My Bright Abyss
Is my soul asleep?
Is my soul asleep?
Have those beehives that work
in the night stopped? And the water-
wheel of thought, is it
going around now, cups
empty, carrying only shadows?
No, my soul is not asleep.
It is awake, wide awake.
It neither sleeps nor dreams, but watches,
its eyes wide open
far-off things, and listens
at the shores of the great silence.
Thursday, October 13, 2016
murmur, oil and wax on paper, 24"x30"
You Reading This, Be Ready
Starting here, what do you want to remember?
How sunlight creeps along a shining floor?
What scent of old wood hovers, what softned
sound from outside fills the air?
Will you ever bring a better gift for the world
than the breathing respect that you carry
wherever you go right now? Are you waiting
for time to show you some better thoughts?
When you turn around, starting here, lift this
new glimpse that you found; carry into evening
all that you want from this day. This interval you spent
reading or hearing this, keep it for life -
What can anyone give you greater than now,
starting here, right in this room , when you turn around?
One day, in my parents' attic, I found the first picture I ever painted: my first still life - painted from life, with my law books in it.
I was surprised to find in that canvas everything I've done since, and I couldn't see why I'd put in another ten years' work. Then, when I thought about it, I realized that what I'd seen in it was my own personality. But then again, I felt that, if I'd only ever painted that one painting, I'd never have spotted that personality because it would never have developed.
You're in everything you do, in your earliest pictures just as much as the last. But developing the personality that exists in the first canvas - that's what gives it a life in the outside world, just because it has developed. It already existed, but only as a single cell.
Henri Matisse, The Lost 1941 Interview
Wednesday, October 12, 2016
oil & wax on paper, 11"x14"
All we can give back and all God wants from an of us is to humbly and proudly return the product that we have been given - which is ourselves. We are already participating in something very good, in spite of our best efforts to deny it or avoid it.
There is nothing to join, only something to recognize, suffer, and enjoy as a participant. You are already in the eternal flow that Christians would call the divine life of the Trinity.
Thinking about music.
Phrase: the smallest structural unit. A kind of musical molecule consisting of a number of integrated musical events, possessing a certain completeness, and well adapted to combination w/other similar units.
The term means structurally, a unit approximating to what could be sung in a single breath. It's ending suggests a form of punctuation such as a comma.
Harmony: supports melody. The mutual accommodation of melody and harmony is difficult at first. But the composer should never invent a melody w/out being conscious of its harmony.
1) think in terms of a complete musical statment.
2) an awareness of the harmonic background
3) playing w/rhythmic definition
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
oil & wax on paper, 11"x14"
"You must change your life." To hear serious poems and resist all change is worse than a waste of time; it is dangerous.
God. Love, which awakens our souls and to which we cling
like the splendid mortal creatures that we are, asks us to let it go,
to let it be more than it is if it is only us. To manage this highest
form of loving does not mean that we will be showered with earthly
delights or be somehow spared awful human suffering.
But for as long as we can live in this sacred space of receiving and
releasing, and can learn to speak and be love's fluency, then
the greater love that is God brings a continuous and enlarging air
into our existence. We feel love leave us in unthreatening ways.
We feel it reenter us at once more truly and more strange, like a
simple kiss that has a bite of starlight to it.
Christian Wiman, By love we are lead to God