To the Unknown Helper #21 (reflections on Mahler)

I know, I know
It is like watching the Grass grow:
But this is my little song:
Life is short: Art is Long.

(Apologies to Emily Dickinson)

The painting is changing. I reach the edges, mindful of mon cher Maitre’s admonition, that of Poussin: all parts of the canvas must be painted.

The sky needs Darkening
And the feet need work
Regret I they are not Unshod?
So be it, say I, a tinpot God.

(More apologies to Emily)

The sands shall be golden, bordered by rock, because I have seen volcanic flows as well as rocks cast up of old (including one, which you can see on the wikipedia article on Lamma Island, shaped like a penis).

The sands shall be Gold
Ere I grow old,
And I promise you,
The sky…shall be blue.

But there shall be no false Halo
As in an ancient picture of the saint
She takes an aura with her where she doth go
Free of dross, free of taint.

(Even more apologies to Emily)

Looking at foliage this morning on the ferry. In Key West, the green is almost white at the tops of the palm trees. Here, it is an intense green which stores sunlight thirstily.

Mikhail Kalatozov’s 1964 movie, Soy Cuba, captures the light I saw in the Caribbean and Gulf (for which we mourn) while sailing in 1992, in black and white that was the absolute state of the art, especially in Communist countries, in 1964.

My goal to represent these extremes. I start a session by intensifying the purest whites and blacks on the face of the Helper, since she is a gal with a Past (like the memory of cigarettes) and must seem to want to protect the kid from all harms, knowing those harms.

A Witch, she now uses her Charms
To ensafe the children from all Harms.
She has no hope of a selfish Resurrection
But this is the nature of her quiet insurrection:
To love like Spinoza
That deus sive natura,
Which don’t love her
As far, that is, as we (who know so little) know
Love, minus zero, which weeps as it doth go.

But: my cheap assed cellphone camera obscures as much as it reveals. The only person to see the painting as it develops is my friend and Helper, my cleaning lady/household consultant without whom I’d live like a pig. But this is perfectly appropriate for my Helper to see the Helper.


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