Into the Wild – On Safari in Africa

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Water hole, Namibia, Africa – Photo by Jeffrey Jones

My brother and his wife have had a life-long love affair with the wildlife and habitats of southern Africa. So much so that after several trips themselves they began taking small groups on safaris. Here are just a sampling of some of the fantastic photographs he’s taken from various trips. They take us, not to the edge, but to the very heart of the wild.

I hope you will enjoy these stunning images from Namibia and Botswana as much as I have. If you’d like to learn more about his trips and the safaris he arranges, you can visit his website The Jones Party, Adventure Travel.

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Water hole, Namibia – photo by Jeffrey Jones

J&R Namibia elephants

Elephant herd, Namibia

J&R Namibia lion

Lion “pride”, Namibia

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The stunning red sand dunes of Namibia

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Sand sculpture, Namibia

J&R Namibia red dunes

Looks like a scene from Mars, but it’s the windswept hills of Namibia

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Even the earliest humans were fascinated by the wildlife of Namibia

J&R Namibia leopard

Leopard, Namibia

J&R Namibia zebra braying

Braying zebra, Namibia

Botswana elephant herd with baby 2

Elephant herd, Botswana

Botswana elephant with baby 2

Baby elephant, lost among the legs, Botswana

Botswana elephant stepping on baby sleeping 2

Stay down, baby!

Botswana elephant with baby sitting

Sitting and sleeping in the shade of the herd, Botswana

Botswana elephant with tusks 2

A handsome beast!

Botswana elephant with tusks closeup

Noble profile

Botswana lion love

A little lion love

Botswana lion nursing

More, please!

Botswana river buffalo

Water Buffalo, Botswana

Moremi Game Reserve Botswana zebra baby

Mama and baby, Botswana

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Hungry baby

Moremi Game Reserve Botswana dining hall

Dining lodge, Botswana

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Sleeping lodge, Botswana

Botswana Rita at lodge

Cooling down after a long safari, note elephants in the background

Botswana elephants at river

View from the lodge as the sun goes down

Botswana sunset with elephants

The end of another beautiful day in the wild.

[All photographs copyrighted by Jeff Jones]

You might enjoy another post I wrote a few years ago about “Waterholes in the Wild and the Backyard“.

 

Playing With Mixed Media, Watercolor & Collage

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DSCN2955As I’ve been experimenting with styles, I’ve been mixing watercolor with collage and ink, and having a lot of fun with it. The first one I tried was a bouquet with butterflies, in homage to Odilon Redon. I wanted to capture the richness of his oils in watercolor by adding texture, crumbled tissue paper. using white and colored tissue paper. First I painted the flowers and butterflies watercolor, and then tore off larger swaths of crumbled white tissue to paste over larger areas. Then added smaller bits of colored tissue where needed on some of the petals and leaves and butterfly wings. When that dried, I added more detail with water watercolor paint and pencils. I was pleased with the results. I don’t think the photo here does it justice. Although you can make out some of the texture.

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“Bouquet with Butterflies in Homage to Redon” by Deborah J. Brasket 2017 

I followed a similar method on the painting of the blue oak tree. This is from a photo I took of an old oak tree., one of my favorites. It’s featured as the heading of my Facebook page. I’ve always loved the way the branches of some oaks look like octopus arms, and I was striving for that look. You can see some of the texture from the tissue here along the branches and also in the foliage background. I hadn’t planned on adding the white dove. That came later after I completed the painting and just didn’t feel satisfied. Something was missing. That’s when I drew a small dove on white paper and glued to a tree branch. Then I pasted my white tissue over it and around it to help it blend in more. That seemed to be just what it needed..

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“Blue Oak with Dove” by Deborah J. Brasket, 2017

The last one here isn’t a collage, although it almost looks like it is. I was aiming for a playful, abstracted look, using the intense colors you find in a marina setting and focusing on the “dancing lights” reflected on the water. When I was finished painting, I outlined the boats and dock with black ink to help the images “pop” even more. I used to do that as a child when I colored, outlining the images in black. I always thought they looked better that way.

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“Dancing Lights Marina” by Deborah J. Brasket

I’ve found I like working with collage and ink and the way they enhance my paintings. I imagine I’ll be experimenting more with this technique as I continue playing with watercolor.

Sailing with Sargent and Homer

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Winslow HomerRecently I discovered the watercolors of John Singer Sargent and Winslow Homer, two great American artists that I had known primarily for their oil portraits and landscapes. But each in their later years, especially when travelling (Sargent the to Mediterranean, Homer to the Key West and Bahamas) preferred painting in watercolor and created some astonishing works. Each was drawn toward capturing the dazzling whites and blues of the sea, the lights and shadows and reflections thrown up on the hulls of boats and mirrored in the water.

“To live with Sargent’s water-colours is to live with sunshine captured and held,” writes one biographer. Another calls Homer “the poet of the sea.”

Sargent was born some 20 years after Homer and outlived him by about as much. But at the height of their careers their worked overlapped each other. Yet while working in similar mediums (oil and watercolor) and drawn toward similar scenes (boats, the sea, light on water) their styles, while equally masterful, were unique. Each captured some unique aspect of the sailing experience, and each captured the spirit of the thing they were after. But they were after different things.

I lived and sailed on the sea for many years, both in the tropics and the Mediterranean. I spent long days in tranquil coves and landless seas, as well as busy ports and colorful quay-sides.  I know that balmy bliss and dreamy languidness. I know the thrill of that chaotic energy.

Sargent’s watercolors capture the boldness and busyness of the ports, the dazzling brightness as the sun dances across the hulls of ships and scatters into the sea, winks among the rigging and splashes upon the warm decks. His paintings capture the sweeping rhythm of hull lines and mast tilts, of sails fluttering in the breeze above swaying decks.John Singer Sargent, White Ships on ArtStack #john-singer-sargent #art

Shipping,Majorca 1908. John Singer SargentImmersed in that chaotic noise, the eye is too dazzled, too overcome with the busyness and beauty of it all to separate out all the chaotic details. One sees only the mass and movement, the lines and curves, the dazzling light and cool shadows. That is what Sargent captures in the watercolors here. Immersion in the moment. When I enter his scenes I’m immediately transported back in time. I’m there standing on the docks with him . . .

I Gesuati - John Singer Sargent, c.1903

Drying Sails (also known as Venetian Fishing Boats)  John Singer Sargent . . . or approaching the scene from a dinghy.The Athenaeum - The Dogana (John Singer Sargent - )

I’m seeing what he sees, feeling what he feels. I am right there at the center of it all.

Some insight into Sargent’s style and method can be found in a publication about his watercolors:

“Sargent’s approach to watercolor was unconventional. Disregarding contemporary aesthetic standards that called for carefully delineated and composed landscapes filled with transparent washes, his confidently bold, dense strokes, loosely defined forms, and unexpected vantage points startled critics and fellow practitioners alike. One reviewer of an exhibition in London proclaimed him “an eagle in a dove-cote”; another called his work “swagger” watercolors. For Sargent, watercolors were not so much about swagger as about a renewed and liberated approach to painting. His vision became more personal and his works began to interconnect as he considered the way one image—often of friends or favorite places—enhanced another.”

Homer’s watercolor scenes have a different style and feel. There’s no “swagger,” no startling viewpoints.

While Sargent’s watercolors have an abstract, impressionistic feel, Homer’s paintings feed a narrative. They aren’t so close up and chaotic. They have a writerly gaze. A “watching from a distance” feel. Rarely do you find a painting without people visible. Without the sense that you are watching a story unfold.

Fishing Schooner, NassauYou see the wide sweep of sky and sea. You feel the heavy humidity in those clouds and the heat from that dazzling brightness. You see a crowded deck with people raising sails. You see an unfamiliar distant vista. You see a story unfolding. And while you see only one moment of that story, his paintings invite you to imagine more.

Winslow Homer, Sloop Bermuda,  Owner/Location:	Metropolitan Museum of Art - New York, NY  (United States - New York)      Dates:	1899 Medium:	Painting - watercolor

Winslow Homer The Coral Divers WatercolorIn Homer’s painting, the viewer is right there–we feel the heat, the hot sky, the warm water, the hand gripping the deck–but like a reader immersed in another’s story, not like we are there personally ourselves.

Homer’s paintings can be as exciting and full of movement as Sargent’s, as we see below.

Winslow Homer,  American, 1836-1910,   Schooner - Nassau, 1898/99.   Transparent watercolor, with traces of opaque watercolor, rewetting, blotting...

Winslow HomerBut Sargent’s are rarely as full of human drama and emotion as Homer’s.

Or as dreamy and wistful.

Winslow Homer, Boys in a Dory 2, 1880And that’s a criticism made of each. How so many of Sargent’s paintings, while artistically masterful, fail to evoke human emotion or even a sense of what he sees as “beautiful,” as one critic complains. While on the other hand many of Homer’s paintings can be seen as nostalgic, or bordering on the sentimental.

As for me, I see something I love in each. Both speak to me and my experience in powerful ways.

As we were sailing, every leg of our journey was a story unfolding, for my family personally, but also for those people and places we glimpsed along the way. We were voyeurs as well as voyages. We saw scenes unfolding around us that never came to a conclusion. Long lazy days and balmy nights invited us to wonder where they might lead.

At the same time we were immersed in our very own chaotic and exciting sense-experiences, void of narrative, but full of feeling. We wafted between that abstract intensity and the dreamily nostalgic.  As perhaps we all do, immersed in the moment as the long thread of our lives unfolds.

Which artist speaks to you? Do you have a favorite among those shown today, or ones you’ve seen elsewhere?

You can read more about these artists and see more of their works in the links below.

Winslow Homer (1836 – 1910) 

https://www.artsy.net/artist/winslow-homer

http://www.winslowhomer.org/winslow-homer-paintings.jsp

John Singer Sargent (1856–1925) 

http://www.johnsingersargent.org/

http://watercolor.net/john-singer-sargent-watercolors/

 

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

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Dancing Poppies in a Blue Bowl by Deborah J. Brasket

I fell in love with the title of Milan Kundera’s novel “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” long before I ever read it. To me it evokes something unbearably joyful and rich, playful and profound.

So I was disappointed to find the novel itself, while a wonderful read, rich and playful and its own way, suggested a different interpretation of its title, a profound sadness at how fragile and transitory life is, how quickly its bright light fades.

I don’t see life that way at all. I mean, I see it, I understand why it may seem that way. But I don’t believe it.

To me, the beauty of  this “lightness of being” is not that it is “unbearable” as in too horrible to bear, but “unbearable” as in too delicious to bear, to contain. It spills over.

I think that’s what I was trying to convey in my painting of the dancing poppies in a blue bowl. The beauty of the seemingly solid things that surround us, that make up our lives, is that they are not “heavy” or “static,” but constantly in motion, “dancing” as it were through time and space.  Constantly dissolving itself and resolving into something else, similar, but not quite the same. The way the present moment dissolves and resolves instantaneously as we move through time.

There’s a wonderful analogy of the universe/reality by the physicist David Bohm. He sees reality and consciousness, what he calls the “implicate order,” as a “coherent whole, which is never static or complete but which is an unending process of movement and unfoldment.”  He likens this whole (all that ever was and ever will be) as a tightly woven ball of yarn, one infinite thread. Yet the way we perceive it through time and space is as if the ball of yarn is rolling away and unraveling before our eyes. We glimpse “what is” second by second, inch by inch, as it reveals itself to us in micro-bites and nano-seconds. It’s not that reality is actually unraveling, but that the illusion of its unraveling is how we come to comprehend it, see it, know it, love it. We are one with it all the while, even while it appears as something distinct and separate from our selves.

Another analogy that I love is Indra’s Net. Here the universe/reality is like an infinite net with a pearl at each interstice. Each pearl reflects every other pearl as well as the whole net itself. Each pearl contains within itself, as part of its own lustrous being, part of its own distinct individuality, all the others around it. The part contains the whole and vice versa.

This view of reality makes sense to me, not only from a scientific and spiritual viewpoint, but experientialy as well. I experience this every time I walk through the house and pass through one doorway after another and watch this interior landscape flowing past me, one room dissolving as a new one approaches. Every time I look out the window and take in the trees and hills and houses and sky and hold them in my mind’s eye even as I turn away. Practical, ordinary, experiences we all share.

I hold all those I love with me wherever I go as I know they do me. My breath is constantly circulating through my body as I breathe in the world around me and breath it out again. Nothing is still for even a second. All of life is in constant motion, the atoms within us and the galaxies swirling about our heads.

This is the unbearable lightness of being. Dancing poppies, dissolving bowl. Brush dipped in water and paint spilling images across a page. All this spilling together going on right here and now as you read this, my heart and mind spilling out to you.

What could be lighter, brighter, more playful and profound than that? This unbearably rich and joyful lightness of being.

Dreaming in Blue and Gold

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I’ve long had a thing about the colors blue and gold, especially in combination. Something about them soothes and excites me. I created a Pinterest page of nothing but images of blue and gold. I go there to feel enriched, refreshed. To simply bask in the feelings these colors evoke. Depth and richness, serenity and empowerment.

Blue is the color of the sea and the sky, or sleep and twilight. In color psychology it represents mystery, depth, intuition. It also symbolizes intelligence, inspiration, wisdom and spirituality, even the Virgin Mary. One source considers blue as “beneficial to the mind and body.” It is associated with peace and tranquility.

The color gold is associated with “illumination, love, compassion, courage, passion, magic, and wisdom.” It symbolizes self-purification, humankind’s quest  to perfect, illuminate and refine ourselves. In Christian art it is often used to convey divine love.

Together, I think they symbolize the creative spirit, with all the mystery and intuition, passion and empowerment that implies.

Sometimes I find myself dreaming of images in blue and gold, and that’s where these last two paintings come from. Both were inspired in part by paintings of Odilon Redon, his blue poppies, his lady in blue, as shown above.

But in my dream, the poppies were dancing, lighter than air, in a deep blue bowl, partial and incomplete. As if blown away by, or evaporating into, the light.

My blue lady, deep in meditation, became sphinx-like, swathed in swirling spirals of blue and gold.

The blue I used is my favorite, Daniel Smith’s French Aquamarine, which I used straight from the tube with only enough water to allow it to flow. Applied that way it has such a velvety texture it makes you want to touch it.

The gold is Smith’s Quinacridone Deep Gold, another favorite, which I mellowed with Cadmium Yellow Light.

The poppies are framed now at the end of my hallway. I named it, appropriately enough, “Dancing Poppies in a Blue Bowl.”  Although sometimes I just think of it as “blown away.” I like the lightness of the poppies, the weight of the bowl, the way the whole piece is in motion.

 

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The other, “Meditation in Blue and Gold,” is leaning on a bookshelf in my study. When I glance at her she instills in me that sense of peace and inspiration and love essential to any creative task.

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Trying to Capture the Light

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Capturing light in painting is one of the artist’s greatest challenges and deepest joys.

I fell in love with the dazzling white lights in the paintings of Sorolla. And later the warm, buttery light that infuses Franz Bischoff’s California seascapes. I couldn’t help but be tempted to try my own hand at capturing even a fraction of the light they capture in their paintings.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to come close, but you can learn so much from your failures. You learn what is possible, what doesn’t work, what your limits are, what you still need to learn.

I decided to start by trying to capture some of that warm buttery feel in Bischoff’s paintings, before moving toward Sorolla’s dazzling white light.

These first two attempts are from photographs I took on a trip to Big Sur at the Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park along Highway 1. Before donating the land to the state, the original owners had a house on a bluff overlooking the ocean. These are the views from her home. On one side the coastline and Highway 1 snaking northward. to the south a private cove with an 80 foot waterfall. In their backyard are the redwoods. I can’t imagine what it must have been like to have lived in that magical place, to have woke each morning to these views from their windows.

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I’m not unhappy with the results. When I compare my paintings to photographs of his (below), I think I captured some of that warm, buttery glow.

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That encouraged me to try a study of one of my favorite Sorolla paintings, changing it slightly–a different boat and adding a swimmer snorkeling. I could not capture his dazzling white rocks, so I settled for a something more colorful, abstract.

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I’m happy enough with the results, although it’s nothing like Sorolla’s. His secret is still safe from me. Still, I’m more in awe of him now than before.

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His blues are so much deeper, his lights so much brighter. And his reflections! His colors! How does he do that? I get drunk on his colors. I want to dive in and live there.

Here are links to more of Sorolla’s and Bischoff’s paintings where you can see them in greater detail. They are artists you could fall in love with. I did.

Images of Franz Bischoff’s artwork on Google

The paintings of Joaquin Sorolla Y Bastida

 

Nothing But Miracles

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Miracles

Walt Whitman, 18191892

Why, who makes much of a miracle?
As to me I know of nothing else but miracles,
Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan,
Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky,
Or wade with naked feet along the beach just in the edge of the
water,
Or stand under trees in the woods,
Or talk by day with any one I love, or sleep in the bed at night
with any one I love,
Or sit at table at dinner with the rest,
Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car,
Or watch honey-bees busy around the hive of a summer
forenoon,
Or animals feeding in the fields,
Or birds, or the wonderfulness of insects in the air,
Or the wonderfulness of the sundown, or of stars shining so
quiet and bright,
Or the exquisite delicate thin curve of the new moon in spring;
These with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles,
The whole referring, yet each distinct and in its place.

To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle,
Every cubic inch of space is a miracle,
Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the
same,
Every foot of the interior swarms with the same.

To me the sea is a continual miracle,
The fishes that swim—the rocks—the motion of the waves—the
ships with men in them,
What stranger miracles are there?

[Many thanks to Writing Without Paper for providing a link to this poem.]

Still Playing – Landscapes, Dreamscapes

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I’m still playing with my painting, copying artists I love or using their vision, their palettes, for inspiration. Still trying to learn the art of painting and its craft. Trying to discover what I want to do with my painting, what I want to capture, and how.

The two below were inspired by the paintings of Peter Doig. I think of them as “dreamscapes.” They are nothing like what you would really find in the tropics, and yet they capture what it feels like to be there at night in that dark/light denseness.

The first I painted is a near likeness of one of his paintings. And I have to say I’m pleased with it. I like it almost as much as his, meaning that I recognize the quality of mine doesn’t match his, but it does capture, at least for me, the “feeling.” You can almost smell the humidity, the damp earth and folliage, feel the balmy stillness of night in the tropics.

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The second was inspired by his painting of the milky way reflected in water, but mine is not like his at all. I created a different version of the Milky way, and a different land and seascape below. It’s very much its own painting, and I’m pleased with it.

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The next two were inspired by Ann Oram’s paintings of the Mediterranean. The first is a close copy, mine in watercolor and ink, hers in pastel and ink. You can see her original at the top of this page. I liked the way she used candle wax as a “resist” to add texture to the rocks and water. I liked the way the ink defined splashes of color into buildings. I hadn’t used ink or wax before, and now have started using them in other paintings as well.

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The second is my own creation, and not as successful, I think. I wanted the cliffs in the foreground to be the focus, but I think I strayed from that. I’m not unhappy with what I created, but something doesn’t quite sit well with me. I’m not sure what’s off. Someone suggested the buildings on the far cliff are too large for the perspective, and she’s probably right. But even if I shortened them, I don’t think it would “fix” it. Maybe you have some ideas for me.

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Sometimes I have to sit with a painting for a long time before I see what I need to do to complete it. I put it up where I can see it whenever I enter the room, and stop to study from time to time.  And slowly I come to realize, oh yes, that needs to be darker, that lightened, that edge hardened, that one softened. But sometimes, even after studying it for a long time, I realize this painting is as good as it gets, at least for now, and I put it away.

I still don’t know what “my style” is when it comes to painting, or even my medium. I’ve been mixing collage and watercolor recently and will share some of that with you soon. Right now I just like playing, tying new things, discovering new artwork that I love. When I love it enough, it’s too tempting not to at least try to see if I can recreate something remotely similar.

Most recently I’ve been trying to capture something of Sorolla’s light. I’ll share that attempt soon.

 

 

Can You Paint a Poem?

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It’s a question a blogger friend asked one day in response to my comment that I would like to try to paint my poems.

Often my poems start with a strong visual image, and as I’m reading them I’m seeing these images flash through my mind.

When I wrote “Hot Hills in Summer Heat” I was travelling on Highway 101, looking up at the golden hills profiled against the blue sky as they cascaded down to the sea.

I watch them every summer, the hot hills

Crouched like a lion beside the road.

Something masculine and sensual about that image gripped me, and a poem was born.

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I’m not sure if my poem “A Pleasing Design” was inspired by, or inspired, an abstract drawing of the male and female forms that I created long ago.

Both appeared around the same time. I don’t remember which came first.

I like the intricate pattern we create,

Stripped bare and essential,

The piling planes and lacing lines,

The way we meet and mingle.

My poem “Walking Among Flowers” was inspired by the image at the top of this post, drawn by a Zen monk from the 17th century. Something about its blunt beauty, or stark un-beauty, struck me fiercely, as if tearing open something deep within.

Walking among flowers

Drowning in scent

Petals assault me

Cool and bent

But the poem itself was written as we lay anchored in a bay in Moorea, looking up at a house on the bluff with a garden spilling over the edge. I wanted to roam that garden, to let the deep, dark beauty I imagined there tear me apart so I could be reborn. I wanted to swoop down from the high garden wall and swallow it whole.

Even now, I want to paint that garden with the rough, blunt strokes of Pa-ta Shan-jen.

A poem, after all, is just a vehicle to express something deeply felt, some emotion or insight or new way of seeing. And a painting is another way to express the very same things. Each would be distinct, it’s own unique creation. And neither would ever quite capture what you wanted to share. Both mediums are limited.

Poems inspired by paintings are common. But the other way around less so.

Recently, though, another blogger friend led me to the website of Lena Levin, an artist who does just that. She’s  created a whole series of paintings inspired by Shakespeare’s sonnets.  Her blog on the Art of Seeing is well worth reading as well.

I don’t know if I will ever paint my poems, or how successful they might be if I try. Words and images tangle in my mind, and it’s hard to sort them out. In the past the only way I could capture what I was seeing/feeling was through poetry. Now I want to see if I can use color and contours, images empty space like words, shaping them into phrases to be felt and understood.

Perhaps that’s why I’m drawn to the works of the French Symbolist,  Odilon Redon, and his “Mysterious and Poetic Paintings.” Viewing them is like reading between the lines of a poem. It says more than words can tell.

I don’t know if I have the expertise at this stage of my learning curve to be able to do such a thing. But I do know I want to try.

You can read the full text of the poems mentioned in this post at the links below:

Hot Hills in Summer Heat

“A Pleasing Design” from The Geometry and Geography of Love

Walking Among Flowers

 

Celebrating Poetry: Music of the Spheres

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300px-Milky_Way_IR_SpitzerThe first poem I shared on my new blog five years ago was scribbled in the starlight on a moonless night while crossing the Sea of Cortez.

A few months later I received an email from Troy Armstrong, a classical composer who said he had set my poem to music to be performed by a choir. As I listened to the music, tears were streaming down my cheeks, for I knew this is what I would have heard that night had I ears to hear, sailing among the stars.

Poetry, as well as music, has the power to capture that state of wonder we all feel at times when confronting the beauty and majesty of nature, and its power to move us beyond ourselves.

In celebration of National Poetry Month, I’m sharing the original post below with the poem and a link to the music.

Sailing Among the Stars

Last night I swam among the stars. The air and water temperatures were both 78 degrees, so it felt like I was moving from one warm atmosphere into another more dense when I stepped in my pool. There was no moon and the Milky Way was strewn across the sky like scattered bones of light. When I lay on my back to watch them, it felt like I was floating among the stars.

And then I realized–I was! We all are.

We sail across the universe on the back of a tiny planet at the edge of a galaxy that swirls around us. Too often we forget that–how embedded we really are in the universe.

I became acutely aware of this one night when we were crossing the Sea of Cortez from Baja to mainland Mexico. There was no wind, no moon. The sea was perfectly still like the surface of a dark mirror, marred only by our trailing wake.

Above us the bare mast stirred a billion stars, which were reflected in the sea’s surface below. I felt like we were on a starship sailing through the cosmos.

Later that night I wrote this:

Night Crossing, Sea of Cortez

The sea appears so simple

With a dark, indulgent face,

The stars there twice reflected

Like a world spun out of space.

Our sloop shoots through the cosmos,

Through a mute and moonless night,

Our wake a fiery comet

Streaming effervescent light.

With all the universe inert

We slip from star to star,

Then reach across the Milky Way

Toward galaxies afar.

Eons swirl, light-years unfurl

And none can still our flight,

Leaping toward the infinite

To apprehend the light.

I’m not alone in seeing the overlap between the ocean and the night sky. Various artists are fond of depicting whales and dolphins and other sea creatures swimming among the stars. The ocean and the universe stand at the edge of the wild, the last two true frontiers we have to explore, except for the human consciousness, of course.  The ocean and the universe have become symbols for consciousness as well as adventure.

We seem to grasp that there is something that connects all three—some deep, dreamy, ever-flowing, ungraspable, powerful yet nurturing element in which we all are steeped. That calls us to move beyond ourselves, beyond the safe and familiar, the already known. That inspires us to reach for something that lies just beyond our grasp.

You can listen to the haunting music Troy Armstrong wrote at this link:

http://troyarmstrong1.wixsite.com/troyarmstrong/swimming-among-the-stars