I swim the dark seas
visit dverse open link night
Recently, we visited the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. We climbed directly to the paintings and sculpture on the fourth and fifth floors, and then visited the amazing installation pieces living in the special exhibition galleries. Sunboy loved it, and I loved talking with him about the pieces.
It’s funny how a work of art can mean different things each time it’s viewed, and perhaps this is part of the nature of art. Since the artwork doesn’t change over time, it must be the viewer that is changing. The art acts like a mirror or an intimate friend, whispering secrets.
I’ve loved Picasso’s work since high school (oh too many years ago to mention) but its meaning has changed for me over time. This time, his cubist and surrealist paintings and sculptures struck me as a physical representation of poetry. I’m not suggesting this representation was Picasso’s specific intent, but I thought perhaps the “openness” of these pieces was.
Picasso’s seemingly displaced facial and bodily features is, to me, a reduction of the essential elements of the subject (I think of Matisse’s later work in a similar way). More simply, perhaps what appears to be a haphazard placement of nose and eye and breast and arm are the “parts” we perceive separately when we interact with an individual, and it’s those “parts” that comprise our mental image of a person rather than a visualization of a contiguous being. Maybe Picasso was painting and sculpting: the parts that comprise a whole, viewed singly but presented as a composite in the art form.
This time when I viewed Picasso, this interpretation went deeper as these “parts” seemed analogous to poetic elements. The “telling not showing” of poetry that allows the reader to make their own connections. Poetry, to me, often leaves space between the words to be filled with meaning, just like Picasso left space between structural elements in his work to be filled with being.
Picasso was a representation of poetry for me in my recent viewing, only it was a poetry without words.
Flowergirl wanted a “butterfly birthday” for her third birthday. Appropriately, one of her birthday gifts was a butterfly garden habitat and a coupon for ten Painted Lady caterpillars. A crawly package with the name Cup of Caterpillars quickly arrived on our doorstep.
July 31:Soon the chrysalids hardened and took on a shimmery-gold sheen. I wish photos could convey the shade of gold. It was like a magic lamp that needed polishing, only instead of a genie, other magic was at work inside.
Once the chrysalids were constructed, Orchid bravely and carefully transferred them into the butterfly habitat.
We waited and waited. Sunboy was put on butterfly watch so we wouldn’t miss the moment the pupae decided they were ready to emerge and stretch their new wings as butterflies. When they did, it was amazing.
Finally it was time to let them go, so we placed the butterfly habitat under the butterfly bush and opened the top. Nine of them flew out on their own volition and we cheered each time one went free. I uploaded a video of one of them releasing HERE.
One of the butterflies (which Sunboy had named Crush) stayed nearby and gave Sunboy a special goodbye. This wasn’t the first time Sunboy had held a butterfly, but perhaps this time was more special because we watched Crush metamorphose and come into his own fluttery butterfly being before our eyes. We were quite taken with Crush and the “butterfly effect” he had on us. Ahem.
What happened to the tenth butterfly? Well, he stayed at the bottom of the butterfly habitat for a few hours after his companions had left. Worried that something was wrong with one of his wings, I put my finger inside to let him climb aboard. He quickly walked on, and I could feel his tiny legs on my fingertip. The moment I lifted him out of the habitat, he flew away, higher than any of the others, over the trees and beyond. He just needed a little more help, like we all do sometimes.
Of course the kids decided to name them, and so this butterfly post is dedicated to:
Chrys (as in chrysalis)
and Joey, the last butterfly to spread his wings.
We don’t know why
you said goodbye,
you left a larger field of sky.
They whittled you away
You fell in pieces
in a shower of wood
hawks were left circling
with no place to land.
found in your bark
I write a chapter
for one in seventy
Like an arrow
pointed to your destination
for a moment, you stood serenely
a monument to yourself
before falling to the rubble below
I search the blueness
of new sky
Grand old oak
an epitaph in the sky,
my uncle builds
Our beloved oak tree wasn’t the same after Hurricane Sandy hit in 2012. It didn’t drop its leaves properly that autumn and this spring it didn’t grow new leaves at all. As its branches started dropping, we knew it was time to say goodbye.