#O113: The Eager Light

“…And our paintings see the air, red beasts of the ice age studios – everything starts to look around“. The full poem by Tomas Transtromer is shown below.


Whilst on silent meditation retreats, I have been amazed at the transformation that happens in my mind – specifically in relation to other people. In a silent meditation retreat, you are with strangers, sitting in a meditation hall many hours of the day, sharing meals in the same kitchen, etc. – all in silence, no talking.

Initially, my mind is its normal crazy self – suspicious, comparative, judgmental. The voices in my mind are enough to drive me nuts. But over the course of about six days, some magical transformation has happened to me, now on three or four occasions. My view of the people around me softens, judgments are naturally exchanged for compassionate empathy. How this works I have no idea, but it is not of my own doing. Perhaps that is what naturally emerges when the social persona goes dormant?

In his poem below, Tomas Transtromer writes:

Every person is a half-open door leading to a room for everyone.

Here is the full poem – the imagery in it almost leaves me breathless:

The Half-Finished Heaven
Cowardice breaks off on its path.
Anguish breaks off on its path.
The vulture breaks off in its flight.

The eager light runs into the open,
even the ghosts take a drink.

And our paintings see the air,
red beasts of the ice-age studios.

Everything starts to look around.
We go out in the sun by hundreds.

Every person is a half-open door
leading to a room for everyone.

The endless field under us.

Water glitters between the trees.

The lake is a window into the earth.

Tomas Transtromer, translated by Robert Bly
The Half Finished Heaven

Thanks for visiting!

11 thoughts on “#O113: The Eager Light

    1. Thanks so much for this very kind comment Debi. I am pushing the boundaries of my comfort zone – I am sure to have some failures, but it helps so much to know there are some others who appreciate this direction. Many thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Margaret! I like this painting – for me it touches some emotion which is comforting. It is about as much as I can wish for. I have done several of these paintings – working without any plan and climbing in with complete abandon. If the painting fails I merely view it as the under-painting for the next attempt! It is very liberating – I really enjoy painting like this, it is like a release. I just feel sorry for the poor viewers – not all attempts are as good as this one! But for the sake of my own honesty and log of paintings I feel I should still post them. Many thanks again.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I understand that sense of abandonment and release in that kind of painting, there is nothing like it. I see it in this painting and I am on board with what you are attempting. Who knows what people will see or what they will react to in these kind of paintings, in that you need to again release…..at least your hope that people can relate or understand. I am looking forward to some more.


    1. Thanks FR – this is quite a departure from my normal style and I am afraid there are more of these in the works! Best is perhaps to think of it as an abstract that slightly resembles a landscape. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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