When I look at this image by Christian Boltanski I am there, out at sea, moving towards this island..
“I believe all artists ought to think about the relationship with the space and the relationship with what is in that space. We are not standing in front of a work but inside it.”
“Because it is the idea of the journey that interests me.”
“We can do many things but not fight passing time.”
“I think there are two types of art: the art of time (works that have a beginning and an end, like films and literature) and the art of space. I consider myself a sculptor, an artist who works in space.”
Last night I watched the great John Berger’s documentary on Time.
He talks about how, when we listen to a story, “we find ourselves in an eternal present; the time in the story goes beyond.”
“The idea that all life is a story told is a very old one.”
“Barns make everybody think of time. After the haymaking a barn is full, and then they are only filled with light and have to be filled again.”
“Every shepherd knows that the herd outlives the herdsman.”
For animals, he says, time is experienced more like space. “There is no anxiety for tomorrow so they need no philosophy; all their senses alert them to what is happening here/there, rather than today/tomorrow.”
“Men of wisdom saw time laid out as if it was space.”
He made a drawing of his father before he died and tells of “the intensity of seeing for the last time.” And how the drawing “began as a sight of departure, now it has become a sight of arrival; everyday more of my father’s life returns to the drawing in front of me.”
He describes the “metaphor of time as flow, a river.”
“Distant dreams of a Golden Age help us to come to terms with the present.”
“In a dream nothing is insignificant.”
“When we dream we have the sensation that whatever is happening and what will happen has already been decided. Past and future co-exist.”
“Poets whisper to the future.”
An inspiring and creative evening was much enjoyed yesterday exploring the heritage of Sherkin Island through Haiku poetry with artist Tess Leak and genealogy expert Margaret Murphy. I especially liked the group exercises of writing a line and passing it on to your neighbour. Some beautiful poetry was born!
These are a couple I wrote:
An ample diet
Praying in a monk’s garden
Fish and Potatoes
This is dedicated to the Tailor Gosnell who used to live in my house in the early 1920s
Maybe a candle
A tailor sitting cross-legged
And did they have tea?
Last night I watched Le Vent des amoureux / The Lovers’ Wind / Baadeh Sabah, a beautiful documentary about Iran, shot by French cinematographer, Albert Lamorisse, who also made “The Red Balloon” and “White Mane” (which features in one of my recent blogs). His work is beautiful and poetic, showing the varied forms of Persian architecture – buildings from peasant huts to tea houses and garden pavilions to some of the most majestic structures the world has ever seen; following wild birds, horses and other animals on their journeys; and giving glimpses of the people working in the fields. I was deeply moved to learn that Lamorisse sadly perished during the shooting of the last scenes when his helicopter crashed into the reservoir of the Karaj Dam.. His widow and son completed the film, based on his production notes, while his airborne camera footage was edited by Mehrdad Azarmi. The Lover’s Wind is translated into Saba Wind in Persian. A saba wind is a gentle wind that blows from the northeast, symbolizing the whispers of lovers.
“The veins of rain-soaked leaves reflecting in the sky.”
“..Lamorisse.. really was a remarkable artist: one of the cinema’s best poets and a fearless explorer of the scary and exhilarating outbacks of the imagination.”
Two Short Fables That Revel in Freedom by Terrence Rafferty
“The cat has been described as the most perfect animal, the acme of muscular perfection and the supreme example in the animal kingdom of the coordination of mind and muscle.”
To A Cat
by Jorge Luis Borges
Mirrors are not more silent
nor the creeping dawn more secretive;
in the moonlight, you are that panther
we catch sight of from afar.
By the inexplicable workings of a divine law,
we look for you in vain;
More remote, even, than the Ganges or the setting sun,
yours is the solitude, yours the secret.
Your haunch allows the lingering
caress of my hand.
You have accepted,
since that long forgotten past,
the love of the distrustful hand.
You belong to another time.
You are lord
of a place bounded like a dream.
by Pablo Neruda
..I should like to sleep like a cat,
With all the fur of time,
With a tongue rough as flint,
With the dry sex of fire and
After speaking to no one,
Stretch myself over the world,
Over roofs and landscapes,
With a passionate desire
To hunt the rats in my dreams. ..
“My old black cat, he passed away this morning. He never knew what a heartache was. Woke up late and he danced till noon. If questioned why, answered just because. He never spoke much, preferring silence. Eight lost lives was all he had.”
This is a figure taken from John Diamond’s wonderful book, Your Body Doesn’t Lie.
My cats are not only great companions but invaluable healers too.
They make my landscape more fun and more beautiful.
This young goat was left on his own when his family were taken away as he could not be caught. Fortunately though, he has adopted two lovely horses for his new herd, and they have kindly accepted him. The three are always seen close together. I am grateful for their presence near my island home and I happily greet them as I walk by. These beautiful animals inspire me in many ways, have made great life drawing models, and it is often my camera has sought to capture their true and sensitive nature.
A few years ago I ventured to the Donkey Sanctuary in Liscarroll, and as the journey progressed into darkness, I was fortunate to happen upon an empty barn which provided me with a straw bed for the night. As the first light of day came I began on a magical dawn walk all to myself down the country roads, capturing some mystical pictures of the beautiful beings I met along the way..
The Arabian or Arab horse (Arabic: الحصان العربي [ ħisˤaːn ʕarabiː], DMG ḥiṣān ʿarabī) is a breed of horse that originated on the Arabian Peninsula. With a distinctive head shape and high tail carriage, the Arabian is one of the most easily recognizable horse breeds in the world. It is also one of the oldest breeds, with archaeological evidence of horses in the Middle East that resemble modern Arabians dating back 4,500 years. Throughout history, Arabian horses have spread around the world by both war and trade, used to improve other breeds by adding speed, refinement, endurance, and strong bone. Today, Arabian bloodlines are found in almost every modern breed of riding horse.
The Arabian developed in a desert climate and was prized by the nomadic Bedouin people, often being brought inside the family tent for shelter and protection from theft. Selective breeding for traits including an ability to form a cooperative relationship with humans created a horse breed that is good-natured, quick to learn, and willing to please. The Arabian also developed the high spirit and alertness needed in a horse used for raiding and war. This combination of willingness and sensitivity requires modern Arabian horse owners to handle their horses with competence and respect.