painting and love

“…we must always take pleasure from our work: cause love and painting both are works of skill and aim: the arrow meets the circle of its target, the straight line meets the curve or circle, 2 things meet and dimension and perspective happen: and in making of pictures and love—both—time itself changes its shape: the hours pass without being hours, they become something else, they become their own opposite, they become timelessness, they become no time at all.”

from: How To Be Both by Ali Smith, the book I’m currently reading.

what happened

Yesterday, we went up the mountain

visited a lagoon

a creek once, the beavers

industriously naugthy

cut trees, built a deeper

water to hide and play,

proliferated and built more.

We were children, playful

and naughty, converting

cornfields into mansions

hiding our songs and laughter,

a courtyward for a unicorn

a chamber for naps,

looming our metaphors.

Then the climb,tree of knowledge

tripling our degrees of reason and space

plowing, kept plowing the field

cursing the traffic, thumbing

our way everywhere.

The beavers were gone now, relocated.

The lagoon, a nostalgia of innocence,

a high school reunion.

What happened to us?

Always occupied, the loom

gathered drought and dust.

With all the lights we could not find

the camel in the haystack.

Could we remember to find

the eye of the needle?

shall we dance

You walked across the floor

bowed slightly before me

“Shall we dance?”, you said.

I laughed

because I didn’t know how.

You offered your hand,

your face, filled with optimism

your eyes made waltz irresistible.

How could I refuse.

note: Last Sunday, last day of Festival del Sole, Mrs. Abstract and I attended a concert featuring Midori, Ildar Abdrazakov, and the Russian National Orchestra. The Orchestra played several pieces including Masquerade Suite by Aram Khachaturian.


link: (shorter version from War & Peace movie)

or link: (Dmitri Shostakovich – Waltz 2, Russian Waltz )

for more beautiful waltz music


where will you go

Paths that lead, paths that keep you guessing
walking daily, devotedly, will open your eyes
exploring the Appalachian is outdoors
you can explore the indoors of your mind
imagine and create
violence and cooling of stars
a toil and a tool
“silence of departure” lingers
like dreams of white clouds
after the rain leaves at night
you sense a new arrival
“everything (is) about to arrive
the moment when you know all
and everything is decided forever”
like holding a stone to your heart
and learning its ancient stories
that will nourish a lifetime.

note: the quoted phrases are from On the Road by Jack Kerouac which I’m currently reading and enjoying.

then the vision came to me


“Quickly, as if she were recalled by something over there, she turned to her canvas. There it was—her picture. Yes, with all its greens and blues, its lines running up and across, its attempt at something. It would be hung in the attics, she thought; it would be destroyed. But what did that matter? she asked herself, taking up her brush again. She looked at the steps; they were empty; she looked at her canvas; it was blurred. With a sudden intensity, as if she saw it clear for a second, she drew a line there, in the centre. It was done; it was finished. Yes, she thought, laying down her brush in extreme fatigue, I have had my vision.”

Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse

note: To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf, one my favorite books.
photo: when grapes are young (Saintsbury Winery,Napa Valley,CA)