I have been doing sketches and under-paintings that mimic a more formless sky in which there are not such clear cloud and sky patterns. Breaking away from observation into a more purely abstract world of color and shape is difficult, but Turner is an excellent guide. I am quite happy with this painting.
I have been revisiting John Gray’s book The Silence of Animals. Beautifully written, full of soul but also utterly breaking down the popular Utopian myth of progress and hope.
From my own sporadic journey into meditation, I know that something exists beyond thought-made meaning, beyond words. Gray discusses this from another angle in his chapter “Beyond the Last Thought”:
Accepting that the world is without meaning, we are liberated from confinement in the meanings we have made. Knowing there is nothing of substance in our world may seem to rob that world of value. But this nothingness may be our most precious possession, since it opens to us the world that exists beyond ourselves.
Gray quotes parts of the poem “Of Mere Being” by Wallace Stevens, which elegantly supports his thesis. Here is the entire poem:
Of Mere Being The palm at the end of the mind, Beyond the last thought, rises In the bronze decor, A gold-feathered bird Sings in the palm, without human meaning, Without human feeling, a foreign song. You know then that it is not the reason That makes us happy or unhappy. The bird sings. Its feathers shine. The palm stands on the edge of space. The wind moves slowly in the branches. The bird's fire-fangled feathers dangle down. Wallace Stevens (this copy from Poetry Foundation)
Thanks for visiting my blog. I hope you have had a great festive season and enjoying some rest before the new year starts!
Aan my familie wat tyd met ons spandeer het gedurende Kersfees: baie dankie, dit was ‘n epic kuier en ek sal dit nooit vergeet solank ek leef nie. Julle is a wonderlike spul mense!