The Venice Carnival is currently on. A spectacular splash of color and splendor, costumes and masks, masquerade balls and parades and parties on the streets and waterways, inside grand villas and palaces – it is a custom dating from the 12th century. There are several different types of Venetian masks, each type with its own purpose and symbolism. A mask for every occasion, for every personality-type, giving concrete form and literal manifestations to the masks people wear in everyday life…….
“The closing years of life are like a masquerade party, when the masks are dropped.” – Arthur Schopenhauer
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New York , April 2014. Some photos taken by a very talented friend of mine – an architect-turned-software-engineer who lives and works in New York. Start the slideshow by clicking on any picture. (All images are under copyright. Please do not copy, reuse, print or save.)
“So I went to New York City to be born again. It was and remains easy for most Americans to go somewhere else and start anew. I wasn’t like my parents. I didn’t have any supposedly sacred piece of land or shoals of friends to leave behind. Nowhere has the number zero been of more philosophical value than in the United States…. and when the [train] plunged into a tunnel under New York City, with its lining of pipes and wires, I was out of the womb and into the birth canal.” – Kurt Vonnegut in Bluebeard
The last ten days of September.
Fall slipp’d in e’er so fast
Stealthily, like a sneaky lover
Standing behind my back
Gazing upon the words I write
As a surprise….
An act eliciting more laughter from my lover
Than from me – and I blink, bewildered.
For I was still unprepared
For this intrusion,
Intoxicated as I was
By Summer’s carefree nights
And sweaty warmth
Subtle at first, sizzling thereafter,
Then a sweet surrender to an endless siesta
And a naïve scent of a promise of “forever”
Stuck in some state of balmy stasis.
But I welcome the crisp refreshing coolness
Of Autumn’s wisps and whimsies
Winds caressing the skin on my face
My naked arms soakin’ in
The last remainders of steady sunbeams
That still linger within my hands
Before Winter blasts her Artic chill
’pon these northern lands.
And when the white sheath covers
and blizzards descend
I shall remember
with a twinge. Yes, I’ll recall that time
whence leafy streaks of red commenc’d,
those sun-drenched afternoons
those days of sudden
– © September 20, 2013. Maddy. (The Gipsy Geek)
Art ‘n’ August – 1.
New York, August 1, 2013. An acrylic, ink and paper painting/collage I had made earlier. Ici. It was a quick one – took about a couple of hours. (You can click twice to zoom in for paint and texture details). Since the blazing summer sun of August has been pulverizing the city, the work is named Áine’s Quilt, Áine being the Gaelic goddess most associated with the sun, or “brightness/joy/radiance/splendorous glory.” In Gaelic mythology, Áine represents the light half of the year and the bright summer sun (an ghrian mhór), and Grian the dark half of the year and the pale winter sun (an ghrian bheag). Which means I’ll now have to paint Grian’s Blanket at some point in the later half of the year as a companion piece…..
Áine’s Quilt. (Ink & Acrylic) ©Maddy, 2013.
I was wondering after I made the painting, why I picked those particular colors while drawing a metaphorical image of heat, summer and a Gaelic goddess. I then remembered that subconsciously, perhaps, the colors of an image I had taken in Dublin, Ireland in 2009, had seeped through my memories and found a way through the paint palette. While making the above painting, I was also listening to some lively Celtic music. The photo’s inserted below. Strange how art and music can express our subconscious synapses, dreams or connections better than language ever can…..
Dublin, Ireland, an evening in July 2009, before a U2 concert (which I did not attend). Photo uploaded here exactly as I clicked it – no retouching. Really.
Strangely, since this morning, I can’t seem to get Erik Satie’s piano compositions out of my head, especially his sparse, contemplative and singularly elegant Gnossienne No. 3. Here goes, and you’re welcome :)
Polish diver and videographer Darek Sepiolo’s waterworld.
His 2008 one, which became quite a sensation, “Galapagos”
When words are unnecessary – 1
When words are unnecessary – 2
New York, December 25, 2012. I had first placed this little French film in my post Red December – Post 3, Love and the Red Balloon. But in light of this strange Christmas season, where the end of the year saw the unimaginably tragic deaths of several young innocents in the Connecticut school shootings, and the nation stands poised for a fiscal cliff, and despite the festivities of the holidays, a strange uncertainty and poignancy and sadness hangs like a shroud upon our future, I thought I would place this…..It captures the purity, the beauty, the joys and cruelty of childhood all at once. When I was a little girl, this was the first film I saw (on TV) which made a lasting impression and still does. Albert Lamorisse’s 34 minute gem….
“The Red Balloon” – In memory of the young innocents here and elsewhere…..In memory of love, and childhood’s simple pleasures and indescribable pains, and in hope towards healing, and finding it in our hearts to be uplifted again, when the time comes on its own…….
For the innocents in childhood’s kingdom. Banksy’s graffiti – “There is always hope.”
And, I hope, there is kindness for the innocents in the animal kingdom too
“Sandstorm Erasure” – photography collage (click to enlarge)
Ce qui embellit le désert, dit le petit prince, c’est qu’il cache un puits quelque part…
“What makes the desert beautiful,” said the little prince, “is that somewhere it hides a well.” – Antoine de St. Exupery in The Little Prince
“I have always loved the desert. One sits down on a desert sand dune, sees nothing, hears nothing. Yet through the silence something throbs, and gleams…” – Antoine de St. Exupery
“……… he learned the most important part of the language that all the world spoke-the language that everyone on earth was capable of understanding in their heart. It was love. Something older than humanity, more ancient than the desert….” – Paulo Coelho in The Alchemist
“WIDE, the margin between carte blanche and the white page. Nevertheless it is not in the margin that you can find me, but in the yet whiter one that separates the word-strewn sheet from the transparent, the written page from the one to be written in the infinite space where the eye turns back to the eye, and the hand to the pen, where all we write is erased, even as you write it. For the book imperceptibly takes shape within the book we will never finish.
There is my desert.” – Edmond Jabès
.November 20, 2012. Wishing there was peace in those countries in the desert lands, instead of the war that never ends…..