“It was piecework, and she was apt to have a family to keep alive; and stern and ruthless economic laws had arranged it that she could only do this by working just as she did, with all her soul upon her work, and with never an instant for a glance at the well-dressed ladies and gentlemen who came to stare at her, as at some wild beast in a menagerie.”
– Upton Sinclair
“I fell in love with her courage, her sincerity, and her flaming self respect. And it’s these things I’d believe in, even if the whole world indulged in wild suspicions that she wasn’t all she should be. I love her and it is the beginning of everything.”
– F. Scott Fitzgerald
“We do not have to spend money and go hungry and struggle and study to become sensual; we always were. We need not believe we must somehow earn good erotic care; we always deserved it.
Femaleness and its sexuality are beautiful. Women have long secretly suspected as much. In that sexuality, women are physically beautiful already; superb; breathtaking.
Many, many men see this way too. A man who wants to define himself as a real lover of women admires what shows of her past on a woman’s face, before she ever saw him, and the adventures and stresses that her body has undergone, the scars of trauma, the changes of childbirth, her distinguishing characteristics, the light in her expression. The number of men who already see in this way is far greater than the arbiters of mass culture would lead us to believe, since the story they need to tell ends with the opposite moral.”
– Naomi Wolf, The Beauty Myth
“I see myself forever and ever as the ridiculous man, the lonely soul, the wanderer, the restless frustrated artist, the man in love with love, always in search of the absolute, always seeking the unattainable”
– Henry Miller
“Well, I must endure the presence of two or three caterpillars if I wish to become acquainted with the butterflies. It seems that they are very beautiful. And if not the butterflies– and the caterpillars– who will call upon me? You will be far away. . . as for the large animals– I am not at all afraid of any of them. I have my claws.” And, navely, she showed her four thorns. Then she added: “Don’t linger like this. You have decided to go away. Now go!” For she did not want him to see her crying. She was such a proud flower. . .”
– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
The white you see in the photo is a river of flowers flowing through the farm. Although I prefer black and white photography, photos such as this are meant to be colorful, natural, proud.
“How could we forget those ancient myths that stand at the beginning of all races, the myths about dragons that at the last moment are transformed into princesses? Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage.”
– Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet
I know a place…
High up on a hill, with walls thick and tall…magical.
A fortress guarded on every side by ancient olive trees and wild cats who demand attention when not hunting the field mice.
A quiet place, where you can hear the sound of the sheep’s bells from miles away and the faint whispers of warriors past that rise from the cobblestone pathways.
Their whispers feel like a soft breeze and carry with them the scent of oranges, lemons, magnolias and lavender which grow from every garden in the village.
Bright white are the walls and red are the rooftops – but lush green are the hills which like waves in the ocean, are as vast as the eye can see. A green ocean dotted with ancient whitecaps/houses.
And if you sit quietly enough on the steps of the fortress when the sun begins to leave you for the day, you’ll witness a fire in the sky. Close your eyes for a moment or two, then open as quickly as you can, and you’ll see off in the distance, the (your) dragon coming home to sit beside you.
This is what I have. The dull hangover of waiting, the blush of my heart on the damp grass, the flower-faced moon. A gull broods on the shore where a moment ago there were two. Softly my right hand fondles my left hand as though it were you.
“I know what I have given you… I do not know what you have received.”
– Antonio Porchia
I am spending some days exploring/driving inland Spain – away from the busy coastal cities. I like being inland. As when on my road trip through the Cote d’Azur region of France last year, I find myself surrounded by farms, medieval towns and lovely people.
“We plan our lives according to a dream that came to us in our childhood, and we find that life alters our plans. And yet, at the end, from a rare height, we also see that our dream was our fate. It’s just that providence had other ideas as to how we would get there. Destiny plans a different route, or turns the dream around, as if it were a riddle, and fulfills the dream in ways we couldn’t have expected.”
– Ben Okri, Author, Poet
“Of course I’ll hurt you. Of course you’ll hurt me. Of course we will hurt each other. But this is the very condition of existence. To become spring, means accepting the risk of winter. To become presence, means accepting the risk of absence.”
– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Look closely and you will see a heart.
This Valentines day, as I contemplate love, fear, risk and all that spring and winter brings me, l’ll take Mr. Saint-Exupéry’s advice and accept (stay open to) them all.
“[…] I will go to France, to Yugoslavia, to China and continue my profession.’ ‘As sanitary engineer?’ ‘No, Monsieur. As an adventurer. I will see all the peoples and all the countries in the world.”
– Bruce Chatwin
“Though it’s fearful, Though it’s deep, though it’s dark And though you may lose the path, Though you may encounter wolves, You can’t just act, You have to listen. you can’t just act, You have to think. Though it’s dark, There are always wolves, There are always spells, There are always beans, Or a giant dwells there. So into the woods you go again, You have to every now and then. Into the woods, no telling when, Be ready for the journey. Into the woods, but not too fast or what you wish, you lose at last. Into the woods, but mind the past. Into the woods, but mind the future. Into the woods, but not to stray, Or tempt the wolf, or steal from the giant– ……….”
– Stephen Sondheim
she’d been identifying patterns I was unaware of—this tic, that tendency, like the way I’ve mastered the language of intimacy in order to conceal how I felt—
I knew I was in danger of being terribly understood.”
– Stephen Dunn
Below is my representation of intimacy. I love charcoals and although I’ve been working more with acrylics and watercolors the last few years, charcoal is my very first love – it was the medium I found at age 12 or so and remains my favorite…like an old friend who understands me..
“Perhaps her faults and follies, the unhappiness she had suffered, were not entirely vain if she could follow the path that now she dimly discerned before her, not the path that kind funny old Waddington had spoken of that led nowhither, but the path those dear nuns at the convent followed so humbly, the path that led to peace.”
W. Somerset Maugnham