Saturday, March 12, 2011

Tree of Life, first sketch

All my paintings start with a blue background: it represents the Mind in its unadulterated state. It also means that it is always attainable, permeating through, similar to my preferred message of hope: "the sky is always blue, even if clouds are temporarily in front". 

The white gesso (a sort of layer for the actual paint) is the mind in its personable sense, it is one's mind, the substrate of thoughts. It gives movement and orientation to the whole painting, using the brush stokes to indicate this.


In some of my paintings, there is a blue line slashing through: the Mind is showing in a burst of light.

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Parable of the Desert, part 3 of 5

I put the glass of water back on my bed side table. It has been a week since the dream visited me, so real, so gripping and sad. It left its imprint on my daily life, I was foreign in my own quarters, expecting dunes of sand around corners, my body feeling strange pains I did not recall having.

I opened my eyes, I was in the body of an old woman, inside a dim-lit shack. “Afandi! Afandi!”, I cried, “Where do you think you are going?”. He said “Mother, I need to find him. He left one week ago, and he has not come back, something must have happened to him! I will be back soon, before sundown.” I threw my arms around him. Scarce resources and years of deprivation  made the tribes fight each other, raised man against man; the land was crying tears of sand and rocks, it was unsafe to travel and just not enough to farm: our cottage sat on the line of an invisible disaster.

I let him go to retrace my husband’s steps. Most of the cattle had come back on its own, one lamb missing. After I closed the pen, I came back to the house, and stopped to look at the wooden bench he built last year; “As long as this bench stays, we will always have wood to burn” he had said in a smile. The view from there opened on a small expanse of land where some meagre vegetables grew. A few acacias marked a drop of the hill, a threatening river of rocks leading to a large flat valley and more hills opposite.
Afandi was on his way, the same swagger as his father’s. They both shared the same love for this land, the same sadness for its present and the same mad hope for its future.

As still as the burnt landscape, I sat on the bench, my eyes to the horizon, waiting.

The sun eventually set. A nice burnt-orange warmth comforted me for a while, then the first evening stars appeared. Looking up, I saw a shooting star, and wished that one day my husband’s dreams would come true.

Footsteps on our path, Afandi quietly sat next to me, holding my hand. A desert grew in my heart.

Afro Blue, by Oscar Brown Jr.

Dream of a land
My soul is from
I hear a hand
Stroke on a drum
Shades of delight
Cocoa hue
Rich as the night
Afro blue
Elegant boy
Beautiful girl
Dancing for joy
Elegant whirl
Shades of delight
Cocoa hue
Rich as the night
Afro blue
Two young lovers are face to face
With undulating grace
They gently sway
Then slip away
To some secluded place
Shades of delight
Cocoa hue
Rich as the night
Afro blue
Whispering trees
Echo their sighs
Passionate pleas
Tender replies
Shades of delight
Cocoa hue
Rich as the night
Afro blue
Lovers in flight
Upward they glide
Burst at the height
Slowly subside
Shades of delight
Cocoa hue
Rich as the night
Afro blue
And my slumbering fantasy
Assumes reality
Until it seems it's not a dream
The two are you and me
Shades of delight
Cocoa hue
Rich as the night
Afro blue