#P14: Knowledge of Stillness

#P14: Dune Landscape (Pastel on Grey Canson Paper)
#P14: Dune Landscape (Pastel on Grey Canson Paper)
#P14: Dune Landscape (Pastel on Grey Canson Paper)

A pastel painting from a week or so ago, inspired by my copy of Mauve and my charcoal sketch of this invented scene. I have not been able to do much creative work for the past week. Living in a dimly lit hotel room in a big city always puts the damper on my vision (see below).


This photo was taken early morning from the breakfast lounge of my hotel. The deathly grey veil in the sky and over the sun is pollution, not mist or clouds. It is for some politicians a measure of progress. What are we doing to the earth? The scene reminded me of one of TS Eliot’s poems:

The endless cycle of idea and action,
Endless invention, endless experiment,
Brings knowledge of motion, but not of stillness;
Knowledge of speech, but not of silence;
Knowledge of words, and ignorance of the Word.
All our knowledge brings us nearer to death,
But nearness to death no nearer to God.
Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?


O miserable cities of designing men,
O wretched generation of enlightened men,
Betrayed in the mazes of your ingenuities,
Sold by the proceeds of your proper inventions:
I have given you hands which you turn from worship,
I have given you speech, for endless palaver,
I have given you my Law, and you set up commissions,
I have given you lips, to express friendly sentiments,
I have given you hearts, for reciprocal distrust.
I have given you the power of choice, and you only alternate
Between futile speculation and unconsidered action.

[TS Eliot, excerpt from “Choruses from The Rock”, this version copied from http://www.tech-samaritan.org/blog/]

The best part of my trip was that I discovered in a bookstore The Silence of Animals by John Gray. My kind of book. I have underlined so much that the parts I have not underlined stand out more! Gray discusses the book The Peregrine by J.A. Baker, and quotes the following:

“There is an animal mystery in the light that sets upon the fields like a frozen muscle that will flex and wake at sunrise.”

What stunning imagery. Humbling.

Thanks for visiting my blog. I hope where you are today you are content, and – having given up the pursuit of happiness – you feel at last relaxed and at ease.


5 thoughts on “#P14: Knowledge of Stillness

  1. Oh my, I think that photo of the city gave my countrified spirit a firm jarring! I feel your pain. I admire T.S. Eliot’s work, oh yes! Your painting has a sublime feeling and the foreground is still sighing but from satisfaction or maybe too much reflection? You are getting a handle on pastel, bravo! far from kindergarten, believe me.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s