#O163-7: This Steeply Sloping Hour

For me, my landscape above is a time machine back to a Sunday afternoon road to a beach where sadness and joy took turns to sweep the shoreline with the tides.

I envy – or again, perhaps do not envy – those painters that work with assured clockwork precision to an outcome almost known. For me it is a doubtful, anxious search for a felt but not known emotion in paint. It sometimes takes several attempts before it shows itself:


Pessoa wrote:

Amiel said that a landscape is a state of feeling, but the phrase is a flawed gem of a feeble dreamer. As soon as the landscape is a landscape, it ceases to be a state of emotion. To objectify is to create, and no one would say that a finished poem is a state of thinking about writing one.

Time and time again, a hurried pace, ambition and lack of self awareness takes me to the place of humble-making. There I find myself. Gold is found where I stumble and fall without hope. I am not that steeply sloping hour that Rilke wrote of:

My life is not this steeply sloping hour
in which you see me hurrying.
I am the rest between two notes,
which are somehow always in discord
because Death's note wants to climb over -
but in the dark interval, reconciled,
they stay there trembling.
       And the song goes on, beautiful.

Rainer Maria Rilke, trans. Robert Bly in
Selected Poems of Rainer Maria Rilke

I sense that autumn approaches – a favorite season. Longer walks, steady meditations, eating little and falling into hesitant footsteps with awareness. Clearly seeing and rinsing off those expectations that approach from an angle like soft rain to fill my life with semi-contractual “shoulds” that tighten like barbed wire across the chest at 2 am.

Nisargadatta said:

Pain and pleasure are in the mind. Change your scale of values and all will change. Only contentment can make you happy – desires fulfilled breeds more desires. Contentment in what comes by itself is a very fruitful state – a precondition to the state of fullness. Believe me, it is the satisfaction of desires that breeds misery. Freedom from desires is bliss. [I am That (3)].

Thanks for visiting my blog!



9 thoughts on “#O163-7: This Steeply Sloping Hour

  1. I am right there with you in the journey into the unplanned and unknown end result. I never know how something is going to turn out until I actually get there…which I guess is one reason I could never be an illustrator šŸ™„ Even with my realistic horse portraits it’s still a gamble as to which fork in the road to take in order to get there.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I believe that if you are open to that unknowing you will learn to embrace it and look forward to it more and more. Seems cheesy to say “enjoy the journey” but it is a journey, by golly! I have found that the searching is reaching further into your creative self and sometimes you have to go blind with a smidge of faith. I adore your painting, simply glows and has an essence that I can’t quite name, it is in that road and foreground. I feel like I am on your journey just by looking at it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Margaret. I found having given up on all overt artistic inspirations, I think, I am really enjoying the process more and more. But it is a riky ride depending on the emotional state. I hope you are well and painting your heart out!

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