Monday, February 5, 2007

Code is the Farewell Bride's Bible (1984-1989?)






















As I uploaded this painting today, it seemed to be out of the chronological order I thought was accurate. It was in the fall of 1984 that I began to live alone, so it seemed likely that this was painted in the summer of 1984. As I looked closely at the painting, I saw elements of a later style and began to remember that this is another painting that had been put aside as a "failed effort" and then brought out again and finished by adding a border and words.

In the months before I began to learn to live alone, I had a dream. A few times in my life I have had dreams where I hear words which are more memorable than the visual part of the dream. In one such dream, I heard someone say, "Pelicans are the guardians of the world." In the summer of 1984, before I had made a clear decision to live alone, I heard in a dream, "Code is the farewell bride's bible." As I recall, there was vague imagery that went along with the words, and that was what I tried to paint in 1984. What seemed most important, though, were the words in the dream. In the summer of 1984, I was not ready to deal with the implication of the words.

Looking again at this image, I notice the "oooo" marks at the top of the painting. What I remember about those marks is that they came from a book by Alice Walker, possibly THE TEMPLE OF MY FAMILIAR, published in 1989. My recollection is that they were another way of writing the word "love." I just looked through my copy of THE TEMPLE OF MY FAMILIAR and can't find the passage. Typing "oooo" and "Alice Walker" and "love" in Google in various ways didn't get me anywhere either. Now I believe that it is possible that this painting was finished in 1989 or later. Who knows?

While looking for "oooo," I came across this passage from THE TEMPLE OF MY FAMILIAR:

"You don't know, or maybe you do," said Mr. Hal, a look of deep satisfaction with the coffee and with his thoughts on his face, "how wonderful a feeling it give you when you know somebody love you and that's just the way it is. You can be good, you can be a devil, and still that somebody love you. You can be weak, you can be strong. You can know a heap or nearly nothing. That kind of love, when you think about it, just seems like some kind of puzzle, and you can spend a lifetime trying to figure it out. If you puffed up with vanity, you can't help but think what they love is something you created yourself. Or maybe it's your money or your car. But there's something . . . . It's like how you love a certain place. You just do, that's all. And if you're lucky, while you're on this earth, you get to visit it. and the place "knows" about your love, you feel. That was the love and still is the love between Lissie and me."

That was the love I was talking about in code.

1 comment:

bev said...

Beautiful painting. I'm glad that you didn't give up on it. Interesting about the dreams with words. Also about the pelicans. I have a close friend who has probably written similar words in letters to me (Pelicans are the guardians of the world).