Primarily a writing exercise, this dream journal-inspired blog is a quiet introspective sojourn into the process that we traverse in going from private dream to public art. I see our dreaming as an internalized mythmaking. As I philosophize and expressively exhibit dreams, both private and public, I encourage and delight in creative language as a way to practice experiential metaphors through a “public dreaming." Writing Theory: Creative Dream Fiction

Sunday, 23 December 2012

The Cubism of Unity: Shelley and the Myth of Monogamy

The Funeral of Shelley by Louis Edouard Fournier
   Thy wisdom speaks in me, and bids me dare
Beacon the rocks on which high hearts are wrecked.
I never was attached to that great sect,
Whose doctrine is, that each one should select
Out of the crowd a mistress or a friend,
And all the rest, though fair and wise, commend
To cold oblivion, though it is in the code
Of modern morals, and the beaten road
Which those poor slaves with weary footsteps tread,
Who travel to their home among the dead
By the broad highway of the world, and so,
With one chained friend, perhaps a jealous foe,
The dreariest and the longest journey go.

   True love in this differs from gold and clay,
That to divide is not to take away.
Love is like understanding, that grows bright
Gazing on many truths; 'tis like thy light,
Imagination! which, from earth and sky,
And from the depths of human fantasy,
As from a thousand prisms and mirrors, fills
The Universe with glorious beams, and kills
Error, the worm, with man a sun-like arrow
Of its reverberated lightning. Narrow
The heart that loves, the brain that contemplates,
The life that wears, the spirit that creates
One object, and one form, and builds thereby
A sepulchre for its eternity.

From Shelley's Epipsychidion

The dying words of my great uncle, who would have been 92 this week, were "focus on one thing". I've always had multiple affinities. As a creative person, my mixed mediums, cross-genre, multi-instrumentalism frames of mind spill and interweave throughout different art forms. I often wonder, should I commit to one thing entirely, and from that foundational trunk, branch out into the world of infinite possibility? In my arboreal metaphor, I am a forest. 

I think my great uncle might be proud to look upon one of his favourite of the younger generation, and see that I am not following his advice. For he was an iconoclast himself, through and through. Of the first class of Jews to enrol in university in America, he was proud to transcend the status quo, the social norms and family values of his time and explore the hard-won science of novelty through physics and chemistry. 

Yet, in love, I am elastic enough to disagree with my creative self, and traveling beyond the creative-destructive duality, to see the magnificence of love as an enduring unity. I see only One Love, especially when looking upon the dear face of my beloved wife. 

The late Ravi Shankar exhibited a profound connection to intensive unity in life focus in the documentary Raga, while Lawrence Ferlinghetti espoused the delights of being a multidisciplinary artist in both poetry and painting in his essay, "From The Gone World". To each their own, to each their one, and one to each. 

See related post: Shelley and the Old Man: A Poetics of Wisdom
A forest of brains, pantomime expressionism. The canvas is blank. We stare, of ancient rivalry, to whiplash a brush of paint across the rough, splotchy face of collaboration. The collaborative stare ensues. Our eyes lock under a dark cloud of empty highs and lonely madness. 

Les deux amies by Thorvald Hellesen
A pastel cubism intermingles with pointillist ink. Our minds snatch and hiss at the dizzying array of subdued pigment and hints of future colour. It is group inspiration, retching from the distended bowels of two fiercely separate artists of waste. And in a moment of communal haste, aggression holds the creative fire of my murdering hand, and I impale the throat of my fellow artist, friend and comrade with an ink brush. Our painting is finished, our art begins.
"…in a play…a dream play brings up the soundless deep…in the emptied awareness of emptiness…playing on a dreamscape of silent depth…up from the upbringing…strong with remembrance in the absolute living…living among complicit guests and their following remarks…


…in the native dirt…and to speak to the stone…and to speak through our pain…the pain of our individuated backs…grated and remaining uncured with the booming fate of a motionless mountain sky…journeying around the headless round of the tailbone crack…remembering through a numbing moment…

…a memory…lost to the unchained back…still writhing with touched passion…"

excerpts from "Fragmentary Being"

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