Playful #TheDailyPost

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

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We have waited so long, and now, we are here: this is our playground, the tree-lined streets, the old canal, the lovers on the crumbling benches… Silent, beautiful walls smile at us, radiating a warmth perceptible only to those who have penetrated the city’s secret…

We shall dance in the street, naked, your hair flying in the sunshine, your feet only licking the ground, light as a cloud. We shall drink, and dance, and drink more, and sleep.

The light will flood our room, we will hear the far away tumult of other beings, the faded sounds of machines. Step by step we will walk back in time, everything more luminous, old songs resonating around us.

This is our playground, a place to live, to love, and die.

Photography: Roses bordering the Luisenstadt Canal, Berlin Kreuzberg, © 2016 Honoré Dupuis

#DailyPrompt: Shape of Your Year

Inspired by today’s Daily Prompt: State of your Year…

这@vervol采集到雕塑(274图)_花瓣人文艺术She stopped near the girls’ cave, noticing the sensors were still on. “They are so careful, now they have learned…” she told herself. Soon they would depart, for the long journey…

It had been a good year, at long last she’d cracked the code, and the girls’ language. Of course she’d been lucky. Not only she’d kept alive – not a mean feat being alone with twenty feet high monsters that could split a rock in one blow – but they had started communicating, and quickly understood what she expected.

Yes, there was the solitude, she was after all the only human being in an immensity of millions of parsecs. She sometimes thought of him, her hero, her lover, the one who had protected her with his life, his cherished body now buried in the deep grave near Alph Centauri. She carried his memory, deep, in the secret core of her heart.

The girls emerged, their pleasure in seeing her visible from the tremendous oscillations of their antennae.

“Good morning comrades!” she said. “A good year in front of us, and the ship is well advanced already!” They greeted her in return, the huge bodies mimicking a little dance. Each one of them must have weighed twenty tons. A great help when you deal in high energy metallurgy…

“One year” she thought, and on this vast planet, so rich in the resources she needed, one year was ten Earth years.

#Writing space (Thursday’s Musings) #amwriting

Faraway Looks, René Magritte, 1927The desk is littered:  photographs of the sublime Italian model he worships, another of himself in the Dolomites with two small children – now young adults – a postal card of Paul Klee’s “The Saint of the inner Light”, various requests for donations (well…) and more…

And what about this new work? Stalling, wandering, disrupted and drifting: this cannot continue! But yet, there are so many distractions, take for example that invite to meet xxx in London in June – wow! But work! Writing is a discipline, solitary confinement, self-imposed chastity – what else? O, yes, these pesky characters, both attractive and repellant, they want their way, can’t have it, protest, go on strike…

There is a start, a location, a loose outline, and some collaterals. But not enough to jump. Then those pictures flashing on the screen saver, so many moments of happiness, terror, doubt, pleasure! Writing is of course the best place, for an ageing traveller: revisiting, looking back, rediscovering… In one word: hard work.

Image: Faraway Looks, René Magritte, 1927

The Saint of inner Light

Paul Klee: The Saint of inner Light

#AtoZChallenge2015: Pulchritude

Female pulchritudePulchritude is synonymous for (great) physical beauty. The Wikipedia article defines beauty as a “characteristic of a person, animal, placeobject, or idea that provides a perceptual experience of pleasure or satisfaction. Beauty is studied as part of aestheticssociologysocial psychology, and culture. An “ideal beauty” is an entity which is admired, or possesses features widely attributed to beauty in a particular culture, for perfection.

The experience of “beauty” often involves an interpretation of some entity as being in balance and harmony with nature, which may lead to feelings of attraction and emotional well-being. Because this can be a subjective experience, it is often said that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”[1]

There is evidence that perceptions of beauty are evolutionarily determined, that things, aspects of people and landscapes considered beautiful are typically found in situations likely to give enhanced survival of the perceiving human’s genes.”

Eli Siegel asked: Is Beauty the Making One of Opposites?

“1   FREEDOM AND ORDER DOES every instance of beauty in nature and beauty as the artist presents it have something unrestricted, unexpected, uncontrolled?—and does this beautiful thing in nature or beautiful thing coming from the artist’s mind have, too, something accurate, sensible, logically justifiable, which can be called order?

2   SAMENESS AND DIFFERENCE DOES every work of art show the kinship to be found in objects and all realities?—and at the same time the subtle and tremendous difference, the drama of otherness, that one can find among the things of the world?

3   ONENESS AND MANYNESS IS there in every work of art something which shows reality as one and also something which shows reality as many and diverse?—must every work of art have a simultaneous presence of oneness and manyness, unity and variety?

4   IMPERSONAL AND PERSONAL DOES every instance of art and beauty contain something which stands for the meaning of all that is, all that is true in an outside way, reality just so?—and does every instance of art and beauty also contain something which stands for the individual mind, a self which has been moved, a person seeing as original person?

5   UNIVERSE AND OBJECT DOES every work of art have a certain precision about something, a certain concentrated exactness, a quality of particular existence?—and does every work of art, nevertheless, present in some fashion the meaning of the whole universe, something suggestive of wide existence, something that has an unbounded significance beyond the particular?

6   LOGIC  AND EMOTION IS there a logic to be found in every painting and in every work of art, a design pleasurably acceptable to the intelligence, details gathered unerringly, in a coherent, rounded arrangement?—and is there that which moves a person, stirs him in no confined way, pervades him with the serenity and discontent of reality, brings emotion to him and causes it to be in him?

7   SIMPLICITY AND COMPLEXITY IS there a simplicity in all art, a deep naiveté, an immediate self-containedness, accompanied perhaps by fresh directness or startling economy?—and is there that, so rich, it cannot be summed up; something subterranean and intricate counteracting and completing simplicity; the teasing complexity of reality meditated on?

8   CONTINUITY AND DISCONTINUITY IS there to be found in every work of art a certain progression, a certain indissoluble presence of relation, a design which makes for continuity?—and is there to be found, also, the discreteness, the individuality, the brokenness of things: the principle of discontinuity?

9   DEPTH AND SURFACE IS painting, like art itself, a presentation of the “on top,” obvious, immediate?—and is it also a presentation of what is implied, deep, “below”?—and is art, consequently, an interplay of surface and sensation as “this” and depth and thought as “all that”?

10  REPOSE AND ENERGY IS there in painting an effect which arises from the being together of repose and energy in the artist’s mind?—can both repose and energy be seen in a painting’s line and color, plane and volume, surface and depth, detail and composition?—and is the true effect of a good painting on the spectator one that makes at once for repose and energy, calmness and intensity, serenity and stir?

11  HEAVINESS AND LIGHTNESS IS there in all art, and quite clearly in sculpture, the presence of what makes for lightness, release, gaiety?—and is there the presence, too, of what makes for stability, solidity, seriousness?—is the state of mind making for art both heavier and lighter than that which is customary?

12  OUTLINE AND COLOR DOES every successful example of visual art have a oneness of outward line and interiormass and color?—does the harmony of line and color in a painting show a oneness ofarrest and overflow, containing and contained, without and within?

13  LIGHT AND DARK DOES all art present the world as visible, luminous, going forth?—does art, too, present the world as dark, hidden, having a meaning which seems to be beyond ordinary perception?—and is the technical problem of light and dark in painting related to the reality question of the luminous and hidden?

14  GRACE AND SERIOUSNESS IS there what is playful, valuably mischievous, unreined and sportive in a work of art?—and is there also what is serious, sincere, thoroughly meaningful, solidly valuable?—and do grace and sportiveness, seriousness and meaningfulness, interplay and meet everywhere in the lines, shapes, figures, relations, and final import of a painting?

15  TRUTH AND IMAGINATION IS every painting a mingling of mind justly receptive of what is before it, and of mind freely and honorably showing what it is through what mind meets?—is every painting, therefore, a oneness of what is seen as item and what is seen as possibility, of fact and appearance, the ordinary and the strange?—and are objective and subjective made one in a painting?”

Image: Female Pulchritude by Kenney Mencher

Art as the Exquisite, by Eli Siegel: http://www.aestheticrealism.net/essays/art-as-the-exquisite.html

#AtoZChallenge: Myths #WritersWednesday

For those of us who were lucky enough, in our childhood, to have parents who could, and were willing, to spend time reading us stories, some of those stories have stayed with us forever: they illuminate our lives, draw a smile at a chance encounter, or a tear, at the sight of a disaster which brings us back to a long forgotten time. Such are myths: as ancient as mankind, the ground for both wisdom, and also terror, and of much wonder.

World Mythology, The Illustrated Guide“Nearly everybody loves a good story. Certainly every child does. Our sense of self – our notion of who we are, and from whence we came, and whither we are going – is defined by the tales we tell. We are, in essence, who we tell ourselves we are.” (Robert Walter, Director of the Joseph Campbell Foundation, Foreword to “The Illustrated Guide to World Mythology“.)

What has always fascinated me is the permanence of some of those stories, across time, regions of the world, and cultures. There, I suspect, lies the eternal wisdom of mankind. Often, the rediscovery of that wisdom takes a lot of effort. “Antique texts have presented archeologists with formidable problems of interpretation. Understanding the hieroglyphs of ancient Egypt became possible after 1799 with the discovery near Alexandria of the trilingual Rosetta Stone. Without that advance in knowledge, the riches of Tutankhamun, unearthed in 1922, would have lost much of their importance for our understanding of Egyptian thought. Decipherment of the so-called Linear B script in the 1950s gave us access to the myths of the ancient Mycenaean culture of Crete. But the script of the Indus Valley civilisation, in what is now Pakistan and India, still remains undeciphered.” (Introduction to The Illustrated Guide by Dr Roy Willis.)

I have some favourites: the she-wolf who brought up Romulus and Remus the founders of Rome, Artemis, the chaste goddess of the hunt, the Izumo cycle of Japan, Jason’s quest for the Golden Fleece, the Fenian myths of the Celtic world. And also: the malevolent spirits of the deep forests of central Europe, the shamans of Siberia, the Navajo and Hopis myths – all transmitted through generations by word of mouth – Quetzalcoatl the feathered serpent, Eshu the Trickster, the myths of the Maoris, and so many more…

Perhaps this is the secret of good writing: letting the old stories submerge us…

Eshu the Trickster

Image: courtesy Myth Encyclopedia – This carved wood sculpture shows Eshu, the trickster god of the Yoruba people of Nigeria in West Africa.

order and disorder are forever paired, and neither can exist without the other.

Read more: http://www.mythencyclopedia.com/Dr-Fi/Eshu.html#ixzz3XI4ovAKz

#FiveSentenceFiction: Entrance

DSC_0226From the valley we take the well trodden path, the symphony of Spring following us all the way, to the beloved border that marks the start of a steeper climb.

There, the meadow gives way to a rockier ground, and the line of small trees, alpine oaks and pine, becomes visible, just under the cliff.

Many times we have taken this walk, your hand in mine, our steps silent, our slim bodies invisible even to the most attentive of mountain birds.

Always, we end up here, past the old chapel, which vibrates still from ancient pilgrims’ chants: at the crossway we turn towards the smooth rock, to the threshold.

Soon, the gate opens to our most intimate memory: us, enlaced, your eyes on mine, falling forever to our death among the splendour of His creation.

#DailyPrompt: Someone Else’s Island

What will you need sweet angel?

KissLet me guess, and first of all, what you never leave home  without, your faithful AK47: this will take care of imbeciles… I will add the ammos of course, nice and tidy… all carefully packed around that beautiful leather belt we bought together…

Then there is that sharp knife you love, the one that’s all grey and heavy, and the leather sheath you can fix on your o-so-lovely thigh…

The canvas rucksack you take to the mountains, and your bikini, the one you wear when you want me to go crazy…

And of course, those boots, so well worn, but so strong, waterproof and comfortable…

You’ll be all right my darling, and then, I am on my way!

 

#FiveSentenceFiction: Envy

Morning envyThe moon appeared, a moody silvery face half masked by grey clouds, just above the trees. The young woman moved slowly through the quiet house: it was still early, perhaps before seven in the old clock time: she knew where to find her love, the writer, who must have been at work for a good two hours when she woke up.

There he was, one beloved hand resting still over the keyboard, the deep eyes reading; she did not want to disrupt his thoughts, soon enough the city sounds would bring him to the present (whenever that was, and hopefully close to her.)

He saw her reflection in the screen: “Good morning to my angel,” he said turning toward her, an unstoppable smile on his lips.

“I envy you so much,” she replied, kissing him with much tenderness, “you can so easily live in two worlds at a time…”