It’s speaking to me

Mid sleep checklist incomplete

Dreaming of writing this

While skating and collecting snowflakes in my pocket

I’m with my old boss looking for the next word

It’s underneath the ice and as long as we keep moving

they’ll appear

Slowly we place each word one after the other

What we build here makes complete sense

Door hinges break without salt so we sprinkle liberally

And we have to crack the window so my mom can hear her alarm

It’s in the next house along with my mom

The moons out it’s big and the night sky makes me weak

So I sit on the porch watching it glisten hoping that in some way

it’s speaking to me.

Donatello

Donatello was a fifteenth-century Florentine sculpture who helped to establish the increasing naturalism and growing emulation of Classical models that would be central to early Italian Renaissance. According to Volume II Art History, “Donatello’s bronze David was the first life size, free standing nude since antiquity” (Marilyn Stokstad and Michael W. Cothren 1995).

David stands 5’2 ¼” and was recorded to be in the courtyard of the Medici Palace in 1469. David is shown nude with a sword in his right hand and his foot placed gently over Goliath’s severed head. David doesn’t stand triumphantly over Goliath, but has a calm demeanor and lowered sword. Possibly to show humility and peacefulness. Or a deep reliance on God. It may even be considered by some more of a naivety in his stance. This sculpture is based on the old testament biblical story of a young shepherd boy with no military training who slays an undefeated giant. It is unclear the circumstances as to why this sculpture was created and so it has piqued the interest of many speculators.

We do know, according to Volume II Art History, “David was a potent political image in Florence, a symbol of the citizens’ resolve to oppose tyrants regardless of their superior power, since virtue brings divine support and preternatural strength.” (Marilyn Stokstad and Michael W. Cothren 1995). When these things, the slaying of a giant, the culture, the story, and how Donatello sculpted the boy’s stance, are brought together it creates a sense that David is gracefully poised between childish naivety and great responsibility. I think Donatello mastered this sculpture paying close attention not only to the things mentioned in the previous sentence but also by adding details to bring the sculpture to life. Like the helmet with the leaves sculpted around it. The ground below his feet is not just a flat surface but looks like rugged ground with a wreath surrounding it. He captured enough to really tell the story and bring us to this event that’s very real according to their history.

 

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From Wikipedia.org

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_(Donatello)

 

 

 

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Water Wall

Water Wall

He placed a hand, palm down

and divided the red sea

I walked across the damp sands

eyeing sky scrapers of water on either side of me

I thought the middle of the sea would smell salty

but it smelled of baby powder and Green Tea

singing melodies of childhood

of hide and seek

and eating with my fingers because we’re too young to know better

I look up to catch the sun glaring down upon such miracles

I was hoping to find a golden chariot sticking out just enough

for me to discover something amazing

secrets hidden beneath the sea

the walls splash and splatter

and a cool breeze flows through my hair

I run my fingers through the great wall of water

how could I be part of such a great act?

I’m much too small and distracted to erect a wall of water

but to have it done for me

well, that’s much too overwhelming

doesn’t make much sense at all

 

-Saschia Johnson

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Circles -A Collaboration

 

Symbols

 

She asks for symbols

while doodling stars and hearts

in blue ink

across the top of a blank page

Maybe I don’t get it, Professor

Maybe I never will

She’s on to circles and squares

then sees images of old Egyptian pillars

And creates her own hieroglyphs

with no meaning

(to her)

“To evoke the imagination.”

She voices before putting her head back down

Simi circles and unfinished squares

That are dotted like a morse code

But they have been placed

With no meaning

Dotted with intent

But no definition

Somehow she still feels the depth

Of each meaningless symbol 

 

-Saschia Johnson

 

 

 

Yesterday I blogged about Jan Van Eyck

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“As I can”

This summer I slowed down on a lot of my writing. Worked on the screenplay and some poetry here and there but mostly just backed off and you know what? I realized I have been working my booty off the past two years and not realizing it. And not appreciating my own best efforts. Not in a bragging type of way but in a way that made me realize This Is my best effort. And I feel like the artist Eyck reached through time and confirmed that for me.

Jan Van Eyck is a Flemish painter from the 15th century. Below is what scholars believe is a self-portrait of him titled Portrait of a Man in a Turban

Portrait_of_a_Man_by_Jan_van_Eyck-small
From Wikipedia

Above the portrait painted on the frame which isn’t show here (but you can see it here) the words As I can or “Als Ich Can” written in Greek are painted on the frame. Now there are different ways that line has been interpreted. One is that it is simply a self portrait and he is playing on the pun Ich and his last name Eyck.

Another interesting idea is that as I can is coming from part of a motto that scribes would put at the end manuscripts that they have copied. They would write the entire motto “As I can not as I would.” Or in other words this is the best I can do, I wish I can do better. So he dropped I wish I could do better and just wrote As I can or This is the best I can do.

For some of us artists this is a profound realization. Coming to the place where you accept that you are doing your best work and having the ability to appreciate that. I think that this is a portrait of that moment for him. He found his niche his sweet spot. Makes me wonder if he ever looked at sculptures or mathematicians and thought man I wish I could be more them. But learned to find joy in the talents he excelled in. Oil paints, adding depth, and making sure to add the minute details made his work stand out from the rest even to this day. His works evoke feelings, thoughts, curiosity, and even with me his work confirmed that I need to accept my best efforts for my best efforts.

 

Here’s a blog post on the MacDonald Sisters some inspiring female artists

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Phantastes by: George MacDonald

Phantastes by George MacDonald is so fun and imaginative I can’t stop reading it. It’s about a man who ends up in Fairyland and wanders in and out of trouble. C.S. Lewis claims this is one of his childhood favorites. It is quite inspirational for me and even more so for some of the pieces I’m working on.  I have a thing for older literature so a book published in 1858 is perfect for me.

Here’s a link if you’d like to check it out.

 

 

Happy Hump Day Everyone

Circles -A Collaboration

The world in all its glory

still vacant

The abyss below

echoes back words I’d like to decipher

    [will it ever be enough]

Some days the echoes

are all that matter

and even though he’s my world

these echoes are sticky

like a magnetic night sky

without a cloud for miles

Where the comets and planets come alive

and beat

to some universal pulse

strangely connected to the abyss.

But then I’m hungry

and lonely

and I gotta take a piss

so I leave the stars and the comets

letting them die once again.

But when I return the clouds have doubled

tripled

fuck there’s nothing left

the clouds have swallowed my vision

whole

-Saschia Johnson

something about the breeze…
watchful of a comets descent,
inhaling through the eyes,
digesting in the mind
a peculiar empathy of knowing
crystalizes in the heart,
i too have long heard the
gravitous orchestra it follows
in spiraling cadence,
of starbright tears, given to the sky
jaw clenched with quiet defiance
gifting awe
to strangers eyes, a parade of lights
in a whisper
vanishes in majesty…
wondrous to fade so spectacular
something about the wind,
loud so loud,
familiar
crooked grin on a moon,
time traveler alas,
a statue standing in a remembered
sorrow, thoughts
familiar
clouds choke the same,
as decades ago,
just…one difference, in a gratitude
to follow a light parade,
to taste a wind too loud,
familiar gloom, welcomed
to have kept the eyes, heart and mind,
through the decades…unfrozen,
something about the breeze,
familiar to a comets descent.
-Lord Byronic featured art also by lordbyronic
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Caged from Words

I pace back and forth

like a caged animal waiting

for a stray hand

and an unsuspecting little one

Maybe just one time they won’t pay attention

and I can slip them between the bars

Some eye me down

and to show them who’s boss

I lick my lips

and then theirs

and then my own once again

 

swallow your advice

and slide me something

I can sink my teeth into

-Saschia Johnson

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New England Cafes