Sunday, August 11, 2013

" OUR DREAMS EXPLAIN US" & Another Way to Enter Fire

Witness of Light

Vincent Van Gogh - Wheatfields with Reaper at Sunrise

                                                 It wasn't absinthe or digitalis
                                                 in the Yellow House the two of them shared
                                                 that led him to layer the chrome coronas
                                                 or yellow the sheets in the bedroom in Arles
                                                 or tinge the towel negligently hung
                                                 on the hook by the door, or yellow the window,
                                                 be it distant view or curtain, yolk-lick 
                                                 the paintings on the wall by the monkish bed.
                                                 No, it wasn't sunstroke or the bright light 
                                                 of southern France that yellowed the cafe terrace
                                                 at the Place du Forum, a pigment 
                                                 intensified by the little white tables, the white stars
                                                 in a blue sky, the deep-saffron floor, it wasn't 
                                                 some chemical or physical insult that stained
                                                 the vase with 12 sunflowers a urinous
                                                 yellow, the water in the vase yellow,
                                                 also the table under the vase--such
                                                 a troubled life of yellow leading up
                                                 to Vincent's hurled wineglass arousing
                                                 Gaugin's rapier to sever his best friend's left ear,
                                                 the story they made up that Vincent lopped it
                                                 off himself, wrapped it, ran down the road 
                                                 to the nearby bordello, where his favorite whore
                                                 opened her present and fainted.  He would
                                                 have bled to death if Gauguin hadn't hauled him
                                                 to hospital next morning.  Even in "Self-Portrait
                                                 with Bandaged Ear," his necessary color washes in
                                                 despite greatcoat and pipe. Science has a word--
                                                 Xanthopsia--for when objects appear
                                                 more yellow than they really are, but who's  to say?
                                                 As yellow as they are, they are.

                                                         Maxine Kumin                                                                  

Mosaic on stone wall somewhere near Marval

Sunflowers & Wheat - Feuillade

Fading tournesol -  near St. Estephe

Sunflowers - Charras

"The Wound is the place where the light enters you" - Rumi

Golden spools of hay - Charras

Silver Threads & Golden Needles

Harvest time

Sauna days & hot sticky blue-black nights; wood doves calling (though never complaining).  Hard to believe in June the cows were knee deep in lush grasses, standing water. Now the bone dry fields look like they've had a crewcut, hay spun into golden spools; hawks in attendance waiting for the slip of a careless mouse. This thought crosses my mind:  how could anyone be sad living next to a field of sunflowers?"  Later biking home, I see the sunflowers drooping and fading.  Alors, a tiny bleeding edge of sorrow, like a razor cut.

                                             A Haiku from my brother Mark
"Our Dreams Explain Us"

  Like cats caught in snarls of light
Pouncing on mouse hopes 
Life stalks imagined joys

"Poetry is the past which breaks out into our hearts."  Rilke

There are so many ways to enter the divine -- light is just one of them, breathing is another; poetry, meditation, bells, Kirtan chants, birdsong, Beehive Flowers, painting, Sufi whirling,  Pavarotti, Sigur Ros, the color Indigo, the scent of a rose, une bouteille de vin de Bordeaux 2009, deux verres and Beauty, Beauty, Beauty.  

The Soul of a Rose - John William Waterhouse, 1908

And let's not forget TAROT...

Below, a mural on the wall of the Maisons des Associations, where they still play Jeu de Tarot.  Hiking  on the Voie Verte (old railway line) one fine summer's day, I saw a small sign exclaiming "Tarot Ce Soir" on the way into the obscure little village of St. Germain de Montbron. Oh how thrilled I was, rushing in like Madame Blavatsky thinking I'd uncovered another chapter for "The Secret Doctrine!"  Tant pis... instead, a group of garrulous, old Frenchmen, drinking tumblers of amber colored Pinaud, playing Jeu de Tarot.  They were happy for me to join them, but I didn't really know les regles (the rules), though I managed to take a tumble(r).   

Tarot cards from a deck intended for games, not divination - 15th c.

Mural - Club de Tarot - St. Germain de Montbron

                                                                  You can                                                                                                                    die for it--
                                                                   an idea,
                                                                   or the world.  People

                                                                   have done so,
                                                                   their small bodies be bound

                                                                   to the stake,
                                                                   an unforgettable
                                                                   fury of light. But

                                                                   this morning,
                                                                   climbing the familiar hills
                                                                   in the familiar 
                                                                   fabric of dawn, I thought

                                                                   of China
                                                                   and India
                                                                   and Europe, and I thought
                                                                   how the sun

                                                                   for everyone just
                                                                   so joyfully
                                                                   as it rises

                                                                   under the lashes
                                                                   of my own eyes, and I thought
                                                                   I am so many!
                                                                   What is my name?

                                                                   What is the name 
                                                                   of the deep breath I would take
                                                                   over and over for all of us?  Call it

                                                                   whatever you want, it is 
                                                                   happiness, it is another one 
                                                                   of the ways to enter
                                                                                        Mary Oliver

Sunrise by the stone table - Chateau de Charras

1 comment:

  1. A lot of yellow flowers here in New Mexico too. August is the mellow yellow month!