This surreal landscape is populated with a myriad of
disparate imagery, an expression of our first language,
primary process, the visual processing of the infant before
the symbols of language develop. The language of
the unconscious is universal and like music can be
shared with anyone regardless of our planet’s boundaries
that we refer to as countries. There would be so much
less hate, violence and war if these boundaries were removed
and we could join together as a united, not divided planet.
Great artists and musicians have expressed this hope through
their music. John Lennon’s Imagine is probably the best known song to express the wish for universal peace. The other phenemenol artist to write songs about the senseless
damage to our earth in “We are the World”, “Earth Song”
among many others was Michael Jackson. I am stunned
to write about this extraordinary and magestic performer and
humanitarian in the past tense. His recent passing has not
registered and the loss I feel is too profound to use words to express the deep feelings of sadness I feel about his tragic death. The lyrics in his poignant song, “Gone Too Soon” that Michael dedicated to the passing of Princess Diana play in my head as I struggle to deal with overwhelming
emotions as songs of his brilliant recordings flood my mind.
I know it will take time to heal the pain
as I journey through his troubled life reflected so candidly in his music. There are few people that are truly original and kindred spirits who touch our life with their profound spirit that is a gift that we treasure for a lifetime.
Now he is a gift to the
Universe and his message will continue to influence
all the generations that will benefit from his genuis.
Using macro photography over the last few days, I took some photographs of tree
bark and as I scanned the tree and its
falling leaves, I repeatedly saw his face lying among a gathering of rust leaves (bottom center). I never imagined that my bark art photography would help me heal as various images appeared in new and surprising ways.
Bosch and Bruegel, the Flemish painters of the15th century
influenced the Surrealists allowing us entry into
the contrasting juxtaposition of seemingly unrelated
images that derive from the personal and collective
unconscious. The closest language to express
imagery that does not depend on rational or logical
thought is poetry. One of my favorite poems, the deeply meaningful
Autumn Elegy was written by the spiritual poet Rumi and
after reading it again, I felt calmer as if a great spirit, a “strange autumn rose” had been released to rest in peace.
I want to share this poem with you, Autumn Rose Elegy, especially when dealing
with the loss of a loved one. Rumi’s beautiful words are especially meaningful
to me after choosing this poem to engrave on a friend’s ebony tombstone after she died several years ago.
“You’ve gone to the secret world.
Which way is it?
You broke the cage and flew.
You heard the drum that calls you home.
You left this humiliating shelf,
This disorienting desert
Where we’re given wrong directions.
What use now a crown?
You’ve become the sun.
No need for a belt:
You’ve slipped out of your waist!
I have heard that near the end
You were eyes looking at soul.
No looking now.
You live inside the soul.
You’re the strange autumn rose
That let the winter wind in
Autumn Rose Elegy
Translation by Coleman Barks
Please view this in the large format to appreciate