Joep Franssens’ Harmony of the Spheres and the art of Sohan Qadri
Both express the sense of peace and power that comes from mediation and tapping into the Unconscious. A powerful duo. Enjoy.
Sometimes a felt-sense of that “something more” emerges in consciousness with a ring of clarity–then fades just as quickly. Sometimes if we are quick or lucky or persistent, we capture what we sensed in a word or image, a poem or song.
What we capture is always an echo of what we’re trying to get at, a finger pointing to the moon, not the thing itself.
The following poem is trying to capture that “something more.” I titled it “entelechy” which is a philosophical term that denotes both the perfect essence of an object or person, and that which propels it toward self-fulfillment. This is the closest I could come in finding a word to capture what I was after.
I am spare
I am clean uncluttered space
I am a fine line curving inward and out
I am a high sweet note wrung from the still air
I am a cup of cool water drawn from the clear stream
I am bone bleached and bare, tossed upon a windswept shore
Taste and see
I am spare
In some ways, this poem is like a prayer. When I am confused, or out of sorts, or besides myself, I turn to it to remind me of that something more or something deeper that I am at heart. Meditating upon these images brings me home to myself.
I am not sure if the poem will mean anything to anyone but me, but I wanted to share it here.
The artwork by Sohan Qadri that precedes these words captures for me, so beautifully, that same essence. I wrote another post about his artwork and what it means to me here.
When I first encountered one of Sohan Qadri’s paintings, I was plunged like a pebble into a still pool, radiating ripples of bliss.
An overstatement? I don’t think so.
The effect was profound, even if the words I use to capture it fail.
“A synthesis of emptiness and peace, radiating power,” is what Qadri is trying to express in his art, he writes.
”Art can have the same effect as meditation,” he tells us, “but only if we drop our constantly interpretating mind and learn to simply see . . . . This can happen if you grasp the painting at a subliminal level, let it filter in through your pores.”
His work is made from thick soft paper deeply saturated in brilliant colors, punctuated by ragged tears and rips, wavering furrows and trails of tiny pinpricks, like scattered drops of light–or bread crumbs — leading toward the vast unconscious.
“When I start on a canvas,” he explains, “first I empty my mind of all images. They dissolve into a primordial space. Only emptiness should communicate with the emptiness of the canvas.”
“People are always interested in dreams. I am interested in the question: ‘Who is the dreamer?’” Qadri writes. “I would like to know: ‘Who is the artist behind the artist?’”
I think I was drawn to his work because when I’m writing, in some way, I am always trying to do that as well, tap into the writer behind the writer.
At my best writing, I feel as if it’s not “me” writing, but something writing through me, beyond me.
As writers and artists, I think we are seeking to move beyond ourselves, dip our pens and brushes into the deep storehouse of the unconscious, the rich field of the imagination, where colors and forms and images and emotions flow.
Readers and art lovers are also seeking to move beyond themselves, to be swept away into other worlds–magical realms or gripping tales created by words, or rich fields of form and color beyond conceptual thought.