On Life and Being
One day after visiting my mother at the hospice I arrived home and painted the above. It poured out of me very quickly. She is painted in that in-between place that will come to all of us. Even though mam was 84 I painted her young and, pregnant. She is at the same time shown old floating between life and no life. Her life and being vanishing in time to natures beat.
The Man Made of Rain by Brendan Kennelly
Between living and dying
is the calmest place I’ve ever been.
He stood opposite me and smiled.
I smiled too, I think because this was the first time
I’d seen a man made of rain
though once or twice
my heart was chilled by men of ice.
The rain poured through him,
through his eyes, face, neck, shoulders, chest, all his body
but no rain reached the ground,
it ended at his skin.
He looked at me with eyes of rain
and said, ‘I’ll be coming to see you
now and then from this moment on.
Today, I’m colours, all colours.
Look at me, I’ll be colours again
but different next time, maybe.
See my colours today.
The opening lines of a long poem The Man Made of Rain by Brenden Kennelly. This poem is 43 pages long, it is a surreal work of art and vision . A dreamlike existence is evoked through its strong imagery coupled with powerful words. A hovering place between being alive and passing on is painted for us, no matter if we are women, men or children. A poem I have admired for many years.
From the moment we are born we hover between being and not being. Days before my mam passed away she floated between living and not living. The spectrum of her life seeped from her extremities to bring her slowly back to the larger spectrum of the universe.
When a close relative or friend passes on they remain inside you. In your being, your energy, your memories and in the essence of you.
As I write this I am sitting in the sunlight listening to the birds. Solar energy seeping into me. Someday that energy will flow out of me and rejoin the universe. The painting is influenced by my interest in the mother of our solar system. Its spectrum and the link to all living things. Another blog on the subject is here.
In the meanwhile, I like every other person on the planet am enduring the pandemic and its consequences. Every day I strive to do positive things or shake myself into the right frame of mind. When I wake up I want to be ready to dive into the day. I intend to ‘see my colours today ‘ and every day, or at least be all I can be under the circumstances.
I painted my mam pregnant because that was me. Old because she was leaving me, melting away day by day, till everything was spent.
But not lost, never lost, like energy.