Archive | December 2015

exit night. enter light.

I have a long night ahead.    You do, too, if you live north of the equator.

I haven’t always lived north of the equator.  At one time, I lived in a painting which means outside of time.  I left all that for my new life in an oddly-conceived obelisk sticking irrationally out of a marsh by the shore.   My life may be odd but it is not a work of art.  It’s not timeless.  I have to live through long long nights.  Too bad I didn’t wash up near the equator.  Just think of the birds I’d have had as friends!

Stop it, Odalisque!  Stop thinking about what never was.  How easily I fall into fantasy to avoid now.  NOW is the dawn (?) of the LONGEST NIGHT OF THE YEAR.  No, the CUSP of the longest night of the year.  The crepuscular CUSP.

How will you make it through?

I think I will observe my shadow.

If I sit still in the dark it will not be cast, and I can better observe it.

<Black Swan would like me to explain why Black Swan does not cast a white shadow.>

<I say ‘Perhaps your soul shadow is white.  Your soul shadow is not the shadow you see on the wall.”>

<Black swan blinks, uncomprehending.  Black Swan’s shadow is still black on the wall.>

<About swan brains:  They don’t understand that one word means can signify multiple things, especially if one of those things is conceptual.>

I didn’t have much of a shadow when I was art. I was painted to be luminous in a murky dark. If I had a shadow it vanished into the background.

It occurs to me that when I was a work of art I was the light casting someone else’s shadow.

I am very fortunate that my obelisk is well-lit.  I have a shadow and it changes size.  I will see my shadow again in the morning, when my window is passage for the first rays of dawn.

My niche objectifies that blessed event.

Stop Odalisque!  Stop thinking ahead.  First, I must get through tonight.

Maybe a stew of bitter roots and powders.  Sun powders: paprika, tumeric, cayenne, saffron, the colors of heat and warmth ground fine and digestible, enlivening to blood.   Or, foods rich in iron, as if this night is a furnace in which swords and anvils are forged.  Or,  tubers of Helianthus: all summer that plant grew high in the marsh, well over my head.  Whatever sustained stems, leaves, pods, the root has sucked dry and stored, earth-white-crisp, inside.   Let transubstantiation feed shadow tonight.

Drink red wine from a quartz cup.

Beat taut skins of drums or thighs with the palms of hands.

Cover yourself in cloth that catches the littlest light.

Or don’t, and let your eyes sparkle.

If the sun were a king and not a star, if you thought the earth was flat and the sky a dome, tonight the king would almost die.

The king is not dying.  Unless the king is like a shadow:  conceptual.  My bringer-of-light.

Do not let your sun king die.

It is a long night.   The sun is not dying, (at least, not on a human scale).  The earth is just moving like earth-mass moves a sun-scale gravitational field.   Starlings move like starlings in the twilight sky.  Grasses move like dry grasses in night-fall winds.

The king does not die.  Neither does the shadow.  Both will be weak for months now, but come spring, the earth will be pummelled by roots into abundance, solar powered.

 

 

wintersolstice_2015_halfsz_noborder

 

Merry darkness.  Happy soon-to-be dawn.

–The Odalisque

of late

My scrapbook, of late, has looked like this:

notebookpaper - horizontal lines

Lines.  Pale blue lines.  Blank paper.  With lines.

Having spent most of my life in works of art, I know all about lines:

Horizontal lines suggest a feeling of rest or repose because objects parallel to the earth are at rest. Horizontal lines delineate sections which recede into space.  The lines imply continuation of the picture plane to the left and right.  [Elements of Art]

Please orient your screen so every line is parallel to the earth.

notebookpaper - horizontal lines

Do you feel rest do you feel repose?

Imagine the lines extend out of your screen, infinite continuation, left and right.   Let’s walk towards the blank paper’s beginning.  Or do you prefer its end?

Maybe these horizontal lines do not begin or end, but circle like latitude lines.  We walk inside a column of paper, round and round.  The white space, delineated, recedes.

Here I am, stuck in the middle of a cyllindrical blank-paper drum.

Hit my head, see if I thrum.

Turning the page the other way changes things a bit:

notebookpaper - vertical lines

Vertical lines often communicate a sense of height because they are perpendicular to the earth, extending upwards toward the sky. Vertical lines suggest spirituality, rising beyond human reach toward the heavens.  [Elements of Art]

My obelisk is a very strong vertical line rising from the earth’s horizontal plane.  I’ve conveniently positioned myself between heaven and earth.  I don’t want to ascend any further (like the birds) or go down to the shore.  I like it right here.  For now.  I can see the sky and I can see the shore and the birds come into visit, bringing seeds and grasses from the out-of-doors.  I open my window.  The wind carries in its light arms molecules of pollen and salt.

Would you rather face heaven, earth or a the delineated white page?

Of late, I’ve shown my back to the conceptual page, and faced my little world.  The kettle’s on!  We’ve buns for tea!  The weather is unseasonable, but the starlings will flap their wings to create a gusty breeze so phoenix can blaze pleasantly for the rest of us.  The warm weather has made black swan molt.  I’m collecting the downy feathers to stuff a new bed.  Crow has flown north on the annual spiritual strengthening retreat, but will return on the solstice, through my new niche (remember my solstice niche?)  May crow return as crow, not parrot.  What celestial bodies must I implore to bring that about?  I don’t know who crow listens to, so I implore crow:  be black black crow, not flashy parrot.  Stop asking me where I am going.

Hawk is reading Adorno.  Eyeing the ethereal blue lines on the blank pages I’ve taped one-by-one to the obsidian walls, Hawk quoth thus:

In her text, the writer sets up house.  Just as she trundles papers, books, pencils, documents untidily from room to room, she creates the same disorder in her thoughts.  They become pieces of furniture that she sinks into, content or irritable.  She strokes them affectionately, wears them out, mixes them up, re-arranges, ruins them.  For a woman who no longer has a homeland, writing becomes a place to live.  In it she inevitably produces, as her family once did, refuse and lumber.  But now she lacks a store-room, and it is hard in any case to part from left-overs.  So she pushes them along in front of her, in danger finally of filling her pages with them.

..In the end, the writer is not even allowed to live in her writing.  [II.Memento, Minima Moralia: Reflections from Damaged Life]

I hope you bear well the shortening days!  We’ll celebrate the turning very soon.

‘Till then,

–The Odalisque

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