Friday, May 7, 2010


Boreas, the god of wind. Just look at this Waterhouse painting--the movement of the scarf, the clothing, how the wind travels through with force and without mercy. Look at how it displays itself, turning everything upside down or downside up, without any regrets. This may be subjective art offering nothing in the way of real knowledge but I am nonetheless left moved and touched and for this I am grateful. If my heart can open even an inch more, I welcome and embrace each emotion, each impression, each sensation with more presence, more being.

I know what a day like this tastes like, smells like. I know how each shade of colour cools or warms, how it carries me to my depths or awakens me to my heights. I see the pictures a day like this creates in the mind, how they speak to the heart, how they move the spirit. Why are we afraid of what these feelings reveal? Why do we hide when we need to see? Why do we not want more than what is, to be able to sense the realness of life?

In my lows, I find my highs and I accept them all with love, with gratitude. The woman in the painting looks quite sad, doesn't she? What can we make of this? A coin has two sides, one that is revealed to us and the other that is hidden. The feel of the painting is a reflection of her internal state. She's being tested. She's being questioned. She's alone but this too is deceiving. She's one with her environment. Her heart moves like clouds but she's still like the trunk of a tree. She's trying to find balance, trying to adjust herself so she isn't swept away by circumstance, by these occurrences that take place in our lives.

And even though this image conjures up a certain kind of sadness, I'm still able to appreciate the flowers by her side. The duality of existence--how beautiful. We must embrace it and allow it to serve us instead of the other way around. Waterhouse was obviously a romantic, using each brush stroke to relay emotion, poetry or longing. And a longing for what? For something that only exists in dream? I don't know. I can't say. I realize I may be going off on a tangent but I'm not.

I know what a painting like this stirs in me. I know what Waterhouse had in mind and he succeeded in conveying his intention. I feel the desire, the passion, how they prick the feet from the earth and make their way throughout the body. I understand what a longing like this can do, how it keeps one searching, seeking, how it opens the heart, how it wounds with just enough molasses to allow for more opening, for something tangible. And you say, Where do you see this? The message is imbued in the strokes, in the choice of colour, in the movement of the piece, in her facial gesture, her eyes, her bodily expression, the shape her body has taken to accommodate this something. And you say, But it's all imagination. And I say, Yes and no.

Put yourself in her shoes, see what she sees and you'll know what I mean.

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