Go to the stars, go where the meteors sublime their intimacy beyond the confines of logical defenestration. Define a word for the upward bird where all winds will rise. Find an echo shimmered with the lucre of souls and scathe, scythe, scan this endless torpor, this granular disambiguation, disintegration of meaning, an attack on the standing icons in stone, done unto us in chiseled shapes of no escape…
Is art escapism or the opposite? Is it an attempt to hide from the bitter reality of mundane and seemingly pointless existence or is it in fact an attempt to delve into the deepest recesses, sublime truths and hidden revelations of a beautiful reality hitherto disguised?
* * *
Immortality terrifies me infinitely more than death.
* * *
Found our hearts are made to shiver (Gus Gus)
Inside our angst lies a shimmer of optimism; a flame of desire. We flicker like tremulous electric and our pain is briefly cloaked in anticipation and hope. This could go either way – up and out, or down and inwards forever – this impenetrable thing between us consigned, forever to the hypotheses of imagination. Or, should it burgeon, crystalline formations then, would weave their improvised progressions across our souls like a never-quite-repeating piano solo. The meme of our love would fix, yet ever change, like infinite catalysis; one heart changed by the other, in turn, shaping the other’s destiny and on, and on, in a symphonic feedback loop, forever, until the very last beat; a sign-off note only then bringing a brief breathless hush to the packed auditorium of stars above; then, of course, tumultuous and stellar applause as the universe marks another great love; the only mark us humans truly make in the mighty cosmos of raging fires and airless, icy expanses beyond comprehension.
And so we wait, awed, to see if this tiny but miraculous crystal – already forming in the clouds – is destined but to deign and then dissipate, or whether its miraculous and unique form shall float earthwards for all to see…
Four visions of dismay
The heartfelt to allay
The precision of the day
How sound abounds around
The found songs of grounded
Grammaxis, elixir, demure
The chime of rhyme assures
Our depunctuated life.
An experiment in random kindness
Led in tandem blindness
To a closing loop of
Edward Lear it would appear
Trucked nonsense like incense
And these motifs, these words die
Shortly after birth.
They would not conjoin
Nor coalesce around a
Pulling gravity, a depravity of
Meaning denied their lasting life.
And in the end, I must contend
The age of reason has
Breathed in, de-oxygenised
The air of all nurture for
Such purposeless colour.
A triumvirate of valour,
A triptych of despair,
A trinity of escalation
Beyond the power of prayer.
Three channeling souls of beauty,
Wordsmiths most divine,
Moulding out of ether
Man’s great expressive shrine.
The microcosmic life,
Writ large in tears and mirth,
These men knew the calamity
And beauty of our birth.
Word as breath as hope,
Three spirits of pure genius,
Bestowing light and glory
Through art in extremis.
To the grand legacy of these fine men…
Posted in art, Fernando Pessoa, Literature, Marcel Proust, poetry, Samuel Beckett
Tagged art, existence, Fernando Pessoa, life, Marcel Proust, poetry, Samuel Beckett
I remember a painting. No, I remember the feeling of looking at a painting. I can barely remember the painting at all. Barcelona, late 1990s with my first wife. I can’t recall the gallery. I don’t know the name of the picture, only that it was by Santiago Rusiñol, a Catalan painter, poet and playwright. Internet searching for it has only taken me further away from the moment, not nearer. Detached digital facsimiles of that or other Rusiñol works will never recreate that moment. I think there was a female figure looking at the viewer. I cannot be sure. I simply remember the shock and the terror and the exultation. This thing before me, this ‘lifeless’ object quite simply, it seemed to me, came to life. I don’t mean that anything moved, became animated. I just saw, like in a rarified dream, an essence, a truth, a window into the sublime reality of being and expression. Words do it little justice. Perhaps it was my Proustian madeleine moment, where everything came together in a moment of pure sensation and understanding, detaching me from terra firma, and giving a fleeting, breathless, exquisite glance at a deeper reality, of the interconnectedness of things, the wonder of life and of the glory and beautiful frailty of human expression. I felt – and feel now, thinking about it – alone, joyous, bewildered and reassured all at once. I stood before this aperture into understanding, a vortex before me offering a stark but exhilarating truth of the ultimate unity of nothingness and infinity, and this preposterously unlikely, yet unspeakably fortuitous existence that allows us a brief sojourn in between those things. How on earth I saw all that, suddenly, unexpectedly in a painting by Santiago Rusiñol, I have no idea. Little wonder I cannot recall the detail of the picture. I was privileged enough to feel the art – the life, the pain, the wonder within it – for a moment rather than simply ‘see’ it. And I have never been the same since. Every word, now, a hopeful prise and a hopeless daub in that same direction, towards the uncovering, just once more – just once – of Rusiñol’s aperture.
By sheer force of words I would engender a brand new destiny. By the power of alchemy and prayer I should endow unto us final, ecstatic satisfaction at the world’s existence and solidify Pessoa’s fluidic, infinite dream:
“Don’t imagine that I write just to write, or to publish, or to produce art. I write because this is the final goal, the supreme refinement…To give complete exteriority to what is interior, thereby enabling me to realize the unrealizable, to conjoin the contradictory and, having exteriorized my dream, to give it most powerful expression as pure dream.”
At that however, there is little remaining but invariable passes at the futile; headlong rushes at the impenetrable cosmos. I offer you up, and my will too, to the immense void, moving slower than an epoch. These words, a dissolved and lifeless alchemy, defeated at last, by the ultimate furore, the realisation of life as unexpurgated dream…
Posted in art, Cosmogony, dreams, Fernando Pessoa, Literature, philosophy, poetry
Tagged dreams, expression, Fernando Pessoa, literature, reality, truth, words