Archive for the ‘art is magic’ Category

Here’s a Magritte from recent exhibition at MOMA in NYC

yoga a la magritte

yoga a la magritte

This image from recent Chagall show in Paris, not seen in NYC

France Chagall Exhibit

Dear Jane,

Your letter was amazing, considering you were sitting in a bathtub nearly asleep. I’m impressed. I hope these electronic devices don’t shock you in such circumstances.

Because you asked I’ll briefly describe my feelings about the recent Chagall and Magritte shows I saw while in New York City.

Chagall’s use of color is mind blowing to me, and the brush strokes he uses are very spontaneous, like he’s breathing the painting process (as opposed to Magritte’s, which is almost minimal, controlled, and real thin, like a watercolor wash at times).

The imagery Marc C started using early in his life was from his dreams, or imagination, which at that time was very risky. He was brave. He painted bravely with his colors juxtapositioning the real-unreal, and he was extremely courageous depicting “life” in the Russian shetl of his youth as an imaginary flight of fancy. I’m sure he took a LOT of slack from his peers, rabbi, etc. in his little village for doing so. This is brave art.

Also, his use of Christ on the Cross was a real surprise, one that Carter and I both weren’t expecting. I thought I knew about Chagall’s work (in my mind he is a surrealist, always, and a colorist) but neither of us knew about his “hidden messages” conveyed through the use of the “icon” Jesus. There he is, the Jew of Jews (at least the Romans said so on the sign above his criminal’s cross: INRI, king of Jews, mocking him). I believe, from seeing the way he used the crucifixion scene, over and over, even with “baby blue Jesus” in one, more abstracted work, that he felt Jesus epitomized the suffering of the Jews during the nazi regime. With the black and white shawl across Jesus’s loins (I forget what the Jewish prayer shawl is called) he isn’t depicting Jesus as an emblem of Christianity, but as the height of Jews being misunderstood, stigmatized, ostracized … and killed in the nazi world that Chagall knew all too well (he fled Europe to escape them, remember).

Speaking of Jews and nazis, I highly recommend the book i just finished, Edmund de Waal’s “The Hare with Amber Eyes.” It’s a scholarly memoir, an inside view of what it was like to be Jewish … for about 100 years before and after the nazis. follows a family of bankers, from Vienna, who lost everything during the nazi occupation. The read was not crushingly sad so much as very informative, and shockingly real. A collection of Japanese netsukes is the theme, as the collection of these small sculptures passed from family member to family member from Paris, to Vienna, to Hong Kong, to the UK.

As for Magritte’s show:

So funny, but I was standing (yes, it was very crowded, both shows!) staring at one of the early pieces and this funny little man, about 45, balding, working class, wearing a black T-shirt with motorcycle logos on it, comes up to me and says, so sweetly emboldened wanting to know about ahrt, I suppose) … “So … what’s all this mean????” And thus began my humorously fueled rapport all throughout the next hour of viewing stunning Magrittes, describing what they meant to me to Johnny. He was all aglow, and soon “got it” and was able to pick out the different motifs (people represented by weird cut-outs reed-like paper, the rounded columns, his mistrust of words, the mix of dream and reality, etc.) so by the time Carter found us, the three of us continued amid the tidal wave of people, standing and discussing different works that stood out to each of us. We had a blast! Especially seeing the Light! go on in Johnny’s eyes as he began to make sense of what before, to him, was incomprehensible hog-wash. Ahrt. Now he began to sense the power of what Art, good art, can convey.

Carter, my consort’s favorite Magritte was the ham with an eyeball in the middle, very simple composition: a bottle of wine, a glass, a fork and knife. We all agreed it was “you are what you eat” … the way Carter is NOW living. So he was drawn to that one. Here’s a bad shot of it from my iphone (yes, I illegally took photos, bad Lordflea!) But you can’t really “see” the human eyeball in the middle of that hamsteak, can you? dern.

-1

My fav?: well, the famous one where he paints a pipe and says: “Ceci ne c’est pas un pipe.” Of course! This means how words are so fickle, and as a writer and artist, who has always had a hard time trying to decide WHICH of these two mediums I ought to trust to communicate the important stuff i have in my mind and heart, I can relate. But I love Magritte’s MIND. The way he analyses life. It’s all a big puzzle to him, and his paintings are like clue in a murder mystery, sending out little messages for his viewer to “get it” whatever “it” is that Magritte gets turned on by. And apparently, I like puzzles, and I like to try to figure out what Magritte’s “message’ it. Most of his works, I could, but only a few left me scratching my head.

My new friend Mick Stevens is a NYorker cartoonist, and I find trying to figure out his (and other NYorker toons) the same as looking at a Magritte. They’re puzzles in images. Here’s one of Mick’s I’ve borrowed from his website.

Jackhammer-copy

The painting style of Magritte is pretty flat, like I said, but he does what he needs to do, paints fast, with little paint, no extra brush stroke and gets the hell out of painting as soon as he supplies the clues he wants to share about whatever subject, or dream, or news item he’s focused on. Minimalism, for sure. He must be the Grandpappy of it, although REAL minimalism, I would say, didn’t start for another thirty-forty years after Magritte’s first use of minimal painting.

that’s my art lesson  aka LordFlea

love ya, teZa

the marvel of Nature

the marvel of Nature

We are the Tunnel, mixed media, 54“x42”We were walking along the edge of his Florida pasture one day, Bill, my father-in-law and I, taking advantage of another opportunity to talk about life and share each other’s company. I surprised myself that day when, after a young and rambunctious bull hopped the fence right in front of us, I instinctively approached it, not so much from bravery as an automatic reflex. Bill was already in his eighties and I, a mere forty-year-old then, wanted to protect the enfeebled old man, whom I was uncommonly fond of, and would have taken a bullet for, if truth were known.

“Watch out,” Bill said in his droll manner, cautioning me, alert to the unpredictable ways of livestock, especially a young upstart like this rowdy yearling-bull. “He’ll butt you hard if you don’t watch out.”

Wouldn’t you know just as Bill said this, the young bull charged me. But I, propelled by guardian mode, met the chest-high head of cowhide over steel with a double whammy fist right in the middle of the young animal’s eyes. Dazed almost as much as I, the bull shook his head and jumped right back over the fence, joining his four-legged family who stood bedazzled by the young daredevil’s adventure.

~

From the moment we met I loved Bill. I knew I wanted to marry his son the instant I heard Bill say to his elegant wife, “I must be in heaven, I thought I saw an angel,” when my future mother-in-law waltzed into the room to greet me that day. And it wasn’t he who objected to my bare feet, like she did, nor the fact that I was an artist and an adventurer of sorts. He wasn’t dubious about my mothering skills either, when it came down to whether I had what it takes to raise Carter’s two youngsters he had full custody of after a vicious divorce. This was a blended family we were a-brewing, creating a new dream of different backgrounds and faiths, cultural influences, even politics.

~

Grampa Bill, after his angel passed on, wasn’t one to let dust settle. Within nine months, at eighty-seven he married an acquaintance, a woman everybody hoped would be a great companion for his golden years. Sadly, she turned out to be an alcoholic and within five years the old man was not only divorced, but taken closer to the poor house by her shiftiness. Instead of finding another angel, Bill had been cornered by a succubus.

I sat with him as he sorted that one out. The trauma sent his mind to the farthest regions of awareness as he dove into the haze of senility.

In the numb twilight of Bill’s recovering from spousal abuse, he awoke one day to feel terribly sad, upset about our son’s debilitating football accident that would leave the seventeen year-old permanently handicapped.

“The worse thing that’s ever happened to our family,” the old man moaned loudly.

He wept that day I sat beside him, quietly talking of our son’s recent injury. Bill then reached into his pocket to grab what he thought was his linen handkerchief, always there. He didn’t realize it, and I said nothing to upset him further, but instead of the hanky he dabbed his flowing tears with a soft, used one-dollar bill.

I remembered hearing one of his daughters insist to the caretaker that he always had to have one in his pocket. “So daddy has some money and still feels he has some control over his life; just a token to help his self esteem,” she’d instructed.

~

Now, nearing ninety-nine, Bill was waiting for me as I caught the next plane from out west where Carter and I had gone camping. Bill knew – somehow, even at that final stage of the bumpy ride, filled with both joys and ravages that life brings us all – exactly who he wanted at his bedside. Of his four grown children and their spouses, I was the only in-law requested to be present. That’s because Bill was always more to me than just my husband’s dad.

Carter and I had driven out west on a month’s-long celebratory camping jaunt in honor of having successfully raised our kids. The minute the youngest joined his sister, safe and secure in college, we took off cross-country, driving to a new campsite every night, bicycling everywhere we could, cooking delicious food on wood campfires right outside our roomy tent. We were in Montana riding our bikes on the golden hills of the plains where the buffalo used to roam so abundantly, with the endless and eponymous Big Sky above, when we received word that our own old buffalo chief, Bill was on his death bed.

~

Three days before, Carter and I had ridden our bikes around southwestern South Dakota at Wounded Knee, close to the Lakota Indian Reservation. We were infatuated by the landscape, as foreign to us as if we’d landed on Mars. I leaned my bike against a rock and wandered away on foot from where Carter was intently observing a small animal or chasing some reptile between the hilly mounds and scrubby brush of that arid place.

A few quick strides and I came upon a jaw-dropping sight: an old grey buffalo, lying peacefully in a patch of sunlight. He must have gone off by himself, too, and was enjoying the last of the day’s fading sun. He paid me no attention as I came within ten yards of him and stayed that distance, half hidden by a hilly outcrop. I stood watching, fascinated to get so close to so magnificent a wild beast. He blinked and gazed toward me. I froze and met his eyes. He lifted his massive head back to catch the sun’s warmth, and serenely closed his lids, accepting my closeness.

He was at total rest, as if waiting, willing to embrace the inevitable shadow of the day’s end that was quickly approaching. I couldn’t help but think he might be getting close to pulling his last breath, by how resigned yet expectant he appeared. Immediately I thought of Bill, back home, and how he too, might be savoring his last moments in the gentle sun of life. The buffalo’s strong neck held his proud head high, feeling every morsel of warmth, absorbing it, yet at the same time he seemed to be honoring the disappearance of the bright disk above.

At my respectful distance I stood stick still, fascinated by such regality and noble strength that even in old age, was evidence of this huge animal having been a great leader in his day. As I watched the old buffalo I sensed he was preparing to die. What else could explain how this giant old rogue, now so feeble, so incapable, couldn’t keep up with the rest of his herd? Or why he had found this sunny, isolated spot to nestle in, between craggy rocks, so well hidden that Carter and I hadn’t noticed him when we approached the area earlier on our bikes.

While watching the old bull, his wet and flaring snout held high, his eyes occasionally roaming the horizon – totally aware of me – I saw how solemnly, how bravely he faced the last strong rays of the resting sun. Again, I thought of Bill, our family’s Grampa, and wondered if this ancient bison – not in distress but oblivious, and ready to leave behind that which no longer served his noble pursuits – was a sign that our own family’s chief, back home, was soon to leave his earthly body.

A few days later, in Montana then, we received the call.

Bill waited for Carter to arrive first, and then for me to come the next day, because there was only one seat out of Missoula the day we got the expected news. When Bill saw I had made it, he right away sat up in bed, agile as a trapeze artist, and said, “Oh, you’re here!” and immediately fell back down. Within an hour he lapsed into the in-between shadows of not-here, not-there of his approaching, last sunset.

~

Our kids were away in college as their Grampa rested in these waning hours of his life’s shine, while Carter, his brother and sisters and I gathered around our family’s old bull, being present for the head of our family’s comfort and ease in this, his glorious and final passage.

I wouldn’t have missed this most important event in Bill’s life, his last rite of passage, just as momentous as his earlier ones must have been. His four children and I stood around his bed, we who loved him so, witnessing Bill’s last breath as we joined hands around our favorite old bull, saying prayers, whispering comforts, saying our good-byes, offering heart-quaking thank yous.

Moments after, there was only stillness from Bill’s suddenly empty form, lying nobly and chief-like, surrounded by his tribe.

~

Later, alone with the love of my life, the man who shared his father’s great capacity to nurture, to love, I asked Carter in a small voice, “Why do you think Bill wanted me here?”

My own father, with whom I’d had a strained relationship, died twenty years before with me by his side also. Since marrying Carter, Bill had become my surrogate father, my pal, a role model for parenting: an unmatched spiritual mentor. He filled in the chinks of my broken faith in paternal strength, making up for all the misunderstandings and shortcomings of my own father, a troubled man. I could talk to Bill in private about my dreams, and he’d help me understand myself better. His wisdom affirmed how the subconscious affects us all so deeply. Dreams, you see, were Bill’s passion, and while he was a successful businessman, he was also an expert dream interpreter. He encouraged everyone he met to follow their dreams.

Now Carter looked at me and said simply, “Because dad loves you, teZa.”

My heart grew like a balloon pushing against my chest, realizing I was included in this inner circle not by chance, but by life’s many choices that had led us all together.

You probably have noticed there’s been a change to Lord Flea! I have changed the “look” of the blog, after nearly three years with the same “theme.” Thank you very much, WordPress, for making available so many interesting ways for us to express ourselves. If anyone doesn’t like the new look, please let me know.

putting new Light on a familiar subject

putting new Light on a familiar subject

Besides the new face I’ve also decided to start something new with the ideas I’ll be sharing here. Instead of random thoughts that come into my mind, usually just when I’m sitting down at the keyboard, knowing it’s time to write a post before people think I’ve gone off sailing again, or visiting the moon in my private rocket ship … I will be writing on a very definite, and to me, a very special subject. I won’t tell you what it is until my next post. A surprise! So be sure to tune into what we’re going to be singing about here on Lord Flea … where we sing as ONE.

Meanwhile, here’s some more inspiring art for you to mull over, and thank you one and all for coming to visit here on my blog. check out my NEW links to my Facebook page and my Tweets, on the left-hand sidebar.

as we think, so we speak, so we BE-come

as we think, so we speak, so we BE-come

love from your pal, lordflea

hi friends,

i’ve been on the road! could you guess, those of you who visit lordflea and see the same old same old…for weeks now! but the traveling was terrific, and the people intriguing, the scenes magnificent, and the lessons deeply appreciated.

first…utah!

the red cliffs of moab, utah

the red cliffs of moab, utah

 then … the roaring waters of upstate new york, niagara territory …

whirlpools in niagara river

whirlpools in niagara river

then to New York City, a place that is kaleidoscopic to the upmth degree …

Times Square Madness

Times Square Madness

and through it all … the wisdom of Civitas … the goddess of civilization, which i’ll be talking more about in my next post:

Civitas, the goddess of civilization

Civitas, the goddess of civilization

many stories to share, many insights too, stay tuned. but for now, gotta finish the presentation of my book so i can get it off to a waiting editor. wish me luck! and here’s a visual treat for you visionary art fans of lordflea’s. wishing you all a gorgeous moment….each and every moment of your lives.

the face of the goddess Kundalini is the thousand-petalled lotus ...

the face of the goddess Kundalini is the thousand-petalled lotus ...

in the Light, lordflea

hi beloved,
 
i’m glad to hear from you! such a busy time, not just the holidaze, but … this life of ours! everyone is so busy, and that’s good, but i must always take time out to stay in touch with my beloveds.
angelic-interpretati191688
 
ahhhh, the storms and the troughs of life, especially family life.
right now carter and i are in the pleasant place of having-finished-one-crisis and not yet involved in the next, soon-to-come. because that’s what life is all about, isn’t it? one “challenge” or “crisis” or “break-through” or “life-turn” or … “coincidence”… so many ways life can happen to us and it changes us. throws us off our center.  or — challenges us in how well we’ve been practicing keeping centered, within.
 
for me, i find i can’t believe i’ve earned such bliss.  truly hope this doesn’t sound corny, and i know the shoe is probably gonna drop as soon as I verbalize my inner feelings (just as whenever i “used to” say to a friend, “oh, i haven’t been sick for years”—blam!–right then, i get sick. so i’m whispering this … but i have to say it … that all the work i’ve done has finally paid off. whatever happens around me, be it wondrous or horrendous–i seem to be able to maintain my center, my equilibrium, or, as we say in yoga, “equipoise.”
 
the dance of yes and no

the dance of yes and no

our xmas was the mellowest we’ve ever had! why, you ask? because we had no kids around … yeah! no, i’m no scrooge, we just needed a break after 20+ years of kid-raising, and now they’re off on their own (phew!). we had absolutely no company staying over, and it was just us for xmas dinner, carter and lordflea, doing what we love to do, and sharing it with my mom and a couple relatives we never get to see, my cousins Jean and Bill.  mom, who has recovered very nicely from her scary TIA, picked our Christmas feast guests, as she is, after all, the matriarch of our family. i had had 16 of my friends over for thanksgiving, and mom almost didn’t show (“i don’t know any of those people!” she complained and hurrumphed and tried to get out of coming). so this xmas dinner, her 90th on planet Earth, and to be served at our woods-surrounded house, which i named upon moving in: “Veritas Shambho”–mom was the one to delegate whom was invited.  so…we had a mellow xmas by design of there being only a few relatives living around here, in st. augustine.  we were 5 adults, not a single child (Xmas is for kids! that’s my gift-giving mandate!).  we had no razzle dazzle tree or any other kind of decorations up, but we always have xmas lights up outside, all year round. because to me, everyday is the celebration of a Great Being (me! you! everyone!), and everyday is about sharing Love, demonstrating and expounding on friendship, trust, hope.  our turkey and fixin’s, collard greens and apple pie dinner this year was tenderly sweet and calm. Elvis sang to us in the background. being together was all the good things a ritual of peace is supposed to be.  and for that i am grateful.
50th anniversary of the PEACE sign

50th anniversary of the PEACE sign

 
this year, calm. we soaked in the silence of bells and carols and elvis’ blue christmas, and loved every second of it. it’ll probably be our last quiet xmas for years to come, as fonya, our daughter, is moving back east from montana this june for chiropractic school, with kurt her new husband and maya, their new labrador pup. we’ll have tons of family from now on, for both thanksgiving and xmas, and every other event in between. but i’m going to continue to invite my “distanced-from-family” friends for one of the fall-winter feasts, probably thanksgiving. we had a very celebratory event in our house.
 
cully, our son, is moseying his way up to our house, or maybe not, the 28th. we’re leaving it very loosey goosey with him, to visit or not. he’s busy with getting the best grades of his life in school, his wigged-out bio-mom he spent xmas with, and now is camping out somewhere with friends. he needs to chill. he doesn’t need to visit us unless he wants to, we keep telling him. but i hear when he shows he’ll be lugging with him about 300 pounds of wild hog that he killed down in the woods of Hardee County, and is taking up to his college (u. of fl. in gainesville) to provide the meat for a Wildlife Club bbq.  ahhhhh, cully boy….such a woodsman, and a hunter with a heart. we need wildlife biologists like him to help us protect the species of our endangered wilds.
carter gave me a string of delicious looking “chocolate pearls”…. for my b’day, the week before xmas! i might eat them instead of wearing them, being a choco-holic. yes, i’m a sag, how did you guess? wow, are these little glow-orbs gorgeous. of course i picked them out, and told hubby darling where to go and buy them. and for the record my age is sexy-one, having been born in the auspicious year of  ’47 (india freed from briton, israel created by UN; my teacher’s teacher, Baba Muktananda, received initiation from Nityananda; and–let’s not forget! we had visitors from “somewhere out there” in Roswell, New Mexico, when the great cover up about extraterrestrials began in ernest). carter and i didn’t exchange gifts for this xmas, because we agreed ahead that this year was special. we wanted to just celebrate the Love, the Spirit, and not the gift-giving of the season. we did give each other promises of fantastic massages to come, in the future (we do ourselves, have since marrying 17 yrs. ago!). and at the beginning of xmas morning– this day when Christians around the globe, and anyone else who wants to join in, celebrates the birth of the Great Being who brought Love instead of hate, forgiveness instead of retribution–carter and i spoke of our love to each other, and our ….blah blah blah. i know, you think it sounds corny. well, it may to some, but we are addicted to love. we’re also in the habit of vocalizing our love for each other most days, as a reminder of our Great Good Fortune at first having found love, and secondly, to continue to nurture, protect, and honor our love, our marriage. 
the love of mother and child, in planetary proportions

the love of mother and child, in planetary proportions

on xmas morning we both felt utterly filled with the spirit of celebrating the birth of a great being. who brought LOVE to the world, as a reminder in that dark time. and we try to emulate Christ, as we do all Great Beings.
 
yes, i am absolutely positutely so excited about the thrill of obama-rama. i’m just jumping out of my skin with hope, and believe this is the beginning of a new era for all humankind. glory be!
 
love and Light to you and yours, teZ
ps. oh….we’re into the second day of a 10-day cleanse, so eating is not big on our minds for the beginning of the year. as always, i try to begin the year as i want it to go…prayerfulness, mind-ful, creative, friends! we’re dancing with friends tomorrow night, and for new years’ day i, as always, get together with my siddhayogis and listen to the lesson we’re to concentrate on, directly from our teacher. it’s a longstanding siddha yoga tradition. come join our circle!
another gift from me to you, to think about at the ending of one thing (a year) and the beginning of another (the next):
the wave of power

the wave of power