Beatitude Point ( # 4 )

image

 

 

” And the earth was without form : and void and darkness was upon the face of the deep . And the Spirit of God hovered upon the face of the waters . ” Exodus 1:2

 

Dale , sitting on deck in the quiet of the night , feeling lonely at Dave’s escape , listens as the blurred sound of ” Columbo ” floats up from below . Dave is usually out here under the stars but now Dale is pinned alone to the hallucinatory pewter sky . He wants to fit in , uncomfortable like on a secluded beach . The four mates graduated together from Grand Rapids Christian High , an education based upon the Dutch Calvinist denominations strict principles and parental education , binding each of them to the other as though on a see-saw , each attached to an axis that would lift them into each others life . The taste of spray off the restless blue green sea , reminding Dale of all the warnings not to drink , swear , dance or have sex . All four of them are athletes and this too joins them like a school of powerful fish . Yet Dale , being the shortest and from a less affluent background , wonders if he is worthy … even though the others consider him the toughest , surviving two concussions on the football field and getting up to finish the game . Remembering his team mates admiration at his strength puts him in a momentary state of exaltation and he feels pride as a constricting sensation in his chest , close to pain , difficult to breath . . . this feeling overcoming the secret of his recurring headaches . He suffers one this night and grimaces with a wary painful smile , looking out to the empty cove backlit by the amber setting sun where silhouetted figures on shore break away and merge into a darker mass . The rolling waves bringing slumber … Tomorrow he will try harder , try harder to prove himself . The vibrations of Led Zepplin are heard and enter Dales spirit , opening a door to a different realm .

“Stairway to Heaven “

” There’s a feeling I get when I look to the west

And my Spirit is crying for leaving .

In my thoughts I have seen rings of smoke through the trees

And the voices of those who stand looking .

ooh it makes me wonder

ooh it makes me wonder .

And it’s whispered that soon , if we all call the tune ,

then the piper will lead us to reason .

And a new day will dawn for those who stand long

And the forest will echo with laughter “.

 

image

Monday , 9-18-72 ( Chris’ journal )

We’ve learned a lot today . We awoke to the alarm at 5:00 am , but Dale and Dave had to be persuaded to get up . After a fine breakfast of pancakes and milk , we tried in vain to contact the Coast Guard and raise the 6:00 am weather report while the rain continued to leak through a cabin joint on Buzz’s side and the newly drilled radio antenna hole . Dale also complained of a leak over his bunk . Dave and I seem to have the only dry corners of the boat . I called the Ludington Coast Guard with some difficulty , much to the amusement of the telephone operator . They told us to call on channel 16 and then switch to 12 , but as I found out later , we have no channel 12 . The forecast called for 20 mph winds and 2-3 foot seas which have yet to materialize . The predicted rain has also failed to fall . The day dawned gray and overcast in distinct contrast to a striking orange sunset that preceded the coming darkness last night .

image

Pentwater was a small hole-in-the-wall type of town in which you could see from one end of downtown to the other . Presumably still half asleep , we cast off with great difficulty at 6:30 this morning . This difficulty can now be recorded with some amusement value , although it could have been disastrous . 

When we tied up last night , we secured our fore dock lines before our aft lines which were , as is commonly true , piles without a catwalk connection . This we perceived to be an inadequate procedure and promised each other to reverse the technique . I am about to describe something I still fail to understand completely and cannot afix guilt for the blunder for fear of disrupting corporate harmony and because both parties have expressed feelings of their own guilt . In any event , Buzz or Dave in the difficult task of casting off from our incorrect mooring , dropped a dock line in the water to attempt a rescue of the drifting dinghy . The dinghy escaped and the dock line found it’s way around the prop and rudder ( as we found out later ). Out of the slip now we discovered our problem and drifted helplessly toward the west side of the harbor . Since we couldn’t start the engine with the line around the prop for fear of damaging the line or the engine or both , I declared that someone had to strip and dive to untangle the rope . Buzz said we were gaining on the dinghy so I turned the boat to bear upon it as Dale divested his clothing . The water was bitterly cold and I suggested Dave watch Dale in case a rescue was necessary . About this time , Buzz retrieved the dinghy we had caught and asked if he should slow the boats progress by pulling it with the dinghy . I told him to go ahead and try . Buzz then suggested I try to turn the bow into the wind , but the wind caught us broadside and our speed increased ! Now less than 30 ft. From shore , Dale kicked his way down to the prop for the 6th or 7th time and un fouled the propeller . We started the engine not 20 ft . from shore . Dave had a towel ready for Dale when he climbed on board , leaving me to handle the helm and catch the dinghy line from Buzz . Dale , in his haste to reach the warm cabin , slipped and fell hard but with no apparent injury . We all breathed a sigh of relief , praised Dale for his work , and entered Lake Michigan at 7:00am.

image

We cruised under power for about an hour and a half and then tried to pop the spinnaker . I watched from the stern as the others rigged the sail with some ” discussion “. It went up nicely but our wind soon failed and we took it down . It was up backwards anyway ! We saw two steamers on the horizon , but no sails until we reached Ludington around 10:00am . We docked at a gas stop called Wally’s and went to talk to the Coast Guard about our radio . In talking with the radio man we found out that our radio didn’t have the necessary crystals to communicate with the Coast Guard unless we were in an emergency situation . 

After refueling at a different gas dock , we left Ludington for Manistee , cruised under power along a changing coast  until 2:00 p.m. when we stopped at Dave’s suggestion and went snorkeling . This lifted my spirits tremendously . We pressed on an hour later to arrive at Manistee at 4:00 p.m. We ate Spam and vegetable soup for supper and had a couple beers at the Coral Gables Bar . I elected to take a shower while Dave , Dale and Buzz played pool and swiped apples . Dale’s got a date for 11:00 tonight . The alarm is set for 5:30 a.m. And Dave is sleeping outside .

image

Beatitude Point ( 3 )

image

” Dead Poets Society ” … excerpt

” O Captain , my captain … Who knows where that comes from ? Anybody ? Not a clue ? It’s from a poem by Walt Whitman about Mr. Abraham Lincoln . Now in this class you can either call me Mr. Keating , or if you’re slightly more daring , O Captain , my Captain .

Why do I stand up here ? Anybody ? I stand upon my desk to remind myself that we must constantly look at things in a different way . They’re not that different from you are they ? Same haircuts , full of hormones just like you . Invincible , just like you feel . The world is their oyster . They believe they’re destined for great things , just like many of you , their eyes are full of hope , just like you . Did they wait until it was too late to make from their lives even one iota of what they were capable ? Because , you see gentlemen , these boys are now fertilizing daffodils . But if you listen real close , you can hear them whisper their legacy to you . Go on , lean in – listen , you hear it ? … Carpe … hear it ? … Carpe , carpe dime , seize the day boys , make your lives extraordinary .  Boys , you must strive to find your own voice . Because the longer you wait to begin , the less likely you are to find it at all . Thoreau said , ” Most men lead lives of quiet desperation “. Don’t be resigned to that . Break Out “!

image

Chris’ journal : 9-17-72

Dave and I were enjoying cooler temperatures outside , sleeping in the cockpit until about 1:00 am when gale winds off Lake Michigan brought us a pounding rain . We tumbled below and soon fell fast asleep .

The morning of our second day started at 9:00 am and all hands decided our days should start earlier . The wind might be better then . We’ll have to wait and see . After showers and a filling breakfast of sliced oranges , apples , pears and bacon sandwiches , we left Grand Haven about 10:30 am . The chores on board will have to be done after the days sailing , which is another reason for early morning departures .

Buzz was putting on the airs of the skipper this morning , noticed by Dave and Dale also . I hope this skipper syndrome will not endanger the harmony of the whole .

I’m studying the Rules of the Road and keeping busy with little odd jobs . The weather is clear and warm but the tremendous  winds of last night are nowhere to be found . We are having trouble with our gearshift ; it slips out of high into low without the constant pressure of a cord holding it back .

We sighted two large freighters leaving the Port of Muskegon today around 2:30 ; our first , but hardly our last . One was carrying cars on its deck and we cut his wake about 75 yards behind him . We waited just long enough to hear his warning blast before we came about .

we cruised under power all day keeping busy or amused with repairs and games . Dales constant adjustment of the water pump grease and discovery of another cooling system turn-off kept the engine temperature down .

The day began clear and sunny but ended overcast and sprinkling . Dale and Buzz argued about weather for awhile ; betting on the coming of rain . When it just barely sprinkled , they couldn’t decide who had won , so they called it off .

We argued about who should be assigned to wash the dishes while we ate a supper of canned beans , carrots , buttered bread and a quart of milk .

No showers for us tonight , but no slip fee either . We’re running low on ice and will buy some tomorrow . Buzz has an alarm clock and we’ll wake up early tomorrow . It’s raining lightly and Dave’s watching  Columbo on TV.

We called home to another world tonight and I didn’t know what to say even though I wanted to say something .

We have to check the charts , weather reports and call Coast Guard tomorrow to inform them of our ETA .

image

As soon as the light begins to stream thru the gaps in the curtains , casting it’s strange reflections of Lake Michigan onto the wood planks of their cabin , Dave would arise to throw open the shutters and each time  wonder at the beauty that rushed in and exploded like the thrill of heeling over as “Ventures” sails filled , being pushed by the wind with speed picking up over the vast waters . All four crew-mates would admire the awesome sea with the orange dinghy tied behind the boat , bobbing in the waves with the mist rising above the dark wooded hills on the shore , and the way the first freighter of the morning joined in the current as it cut thru the open water , hissing like a ghost . They would gaze at this brilliantly colored realm to see a glorious and mysterious whole , their souls rejoicing to be alive , humbled at being part of something even greater .

” If people stayed outside and looked at the stars each night , I’ll bet they would live a lot differently “.

Seeing the ghosts of ancient ships lost like the Egyptian city of Heracleion sunken and shrouded in myths and legends , made them contemplate the largeness of history and their own smallness . They became drunk on the intense infinity shimmering all around them and it would sometimes overtake them .

image

Note from ghost-writer : I hope you will hear Dave , Buzz , Chris and Dale speaking to you on their journey from the Great Lakes to the Bahamas … It is a true story about the essence of friendship , adventure  , love , anger , surprise , anxiety , joy and tragedy , life and death . The words from Chris’ journal are in their original form … I will note the order with each post with a number placed behind the title “Beatitude Point” in hopes you won’t get lost … Thankyou for being interested …

Beatitude Point … continued ( 2 )

image

” They tell me I must wade into waters , where I will soon drown . Before I march in , I leave this on the shore for you . I pray you find it , sister , so you will know what was in my heart as I went under “.  Khalid Hosseini

image

Chris’ Journal entry : September 16 , 1972

 

“I arrived three hours late for our departure and was much concerned with the possibility of hard feelings . These fears were soon dispelled and I found my friends benevolent . Our first day proved itself to be a sailing thrill tempered by unsettled stomachs and big heads . Dave and I suffered some discomfort because of the previous nights activities .

We left the port of Holland , Michigan at 11:00 am – sighted only two other sails and a cabin cruiser during the four and a half hour cruise to Grand Haven arriving at 3:35 pm . After docking , we confronted the various problems of supper , a satisfying if not epicurean feast . Hot dogs with carrots and peas washed down with some High-C orange filled the cavities that had been emptied by reverse peristaltic motion .

Dave worked on the radio antenna and we heard our first weather forecast ; gale warnings with 35 mph winds and 12 ft. seas . Needless to say we spent our time securing gear , putting on extra dock lines , trimming our new hatch boards and caulking last minute holes . I decided to shower and the others went out on the pier and came back describing nature in awesome terms .

It’s poker tonight and a welcome early sack time . I feel like calling home to let them know everything’s ok . I’m afraid I left an impression of disillusionment “.

image

1972 marks a black year in history , not only because of the continuing Vietnam war or the escalation , like strong currents , of the Nixon scandal , but also a blackness due to the use of terrorism entering the sports realm like a huge octopus with the massacre of 11 Israeli athletes by Arab gunmen in September , which now links together an invisible fishing line hooking deep into the events of 9/11 . Gods world of ’72 is in turmoil … a tide of turmoil where sea anenomes are beached into colorless form : “Bloody Sunday ” in Northern Ireland , a Lufthansa jet hijacked by Palestinians , General Idi Amin beginning his reign of terror in Uganda , earthquakes of 7.7 destroying entire cities in Turkey and Nicaragua and in the Andes Mountain range , 16 survivors from a plane crash are rescued after practicing cannibalism and the following benediction is heard at a random High School Graduation ceremony :

May God bless you with discomfort ,

At easy answers , half-truths and superficial relationships ,

So that you may live deep within your heart .

May God bless you with anger

At injustice , oppression and exploitation of people ,

So that you may work for justice , freedom and peace .

May God bless you with tears

To shed for those who suffer from pain , rejection , starvation and war

So that you may reach out your hand to comfort them

and turn their pain to joy .

And may God bless you with enough foolishness

To believe that you can make a difference in this world

So that you can do what others claim cannot be done .

In the name of the Father

and The Son

and the Holy Spirit

Amen

image

 

The music and lyrics  of Bob Dylan’s ” My Back Pages ” is heard from the distant shore , ” Ah , but I was so much older then , I’m younger than that now “.

Clouds ( continued from first scene – May 29 )

ImageImage

Scene # 4 : Setting love free

Tender and lyrical music playing as Abu , the secret keeper walks gently by playing his flute from previous scene ( scene now changes )

Note to cameraman : 3 minutes each in slow motion of volcano erupting and lava flowing , a pink flower blooming and waves of ocean rolling , followed by close up of Tavisha waking up and out her window we see a canoe going against the current .

 

Narrator : Brushing over her eyelids , the new day awakens her . She believes in the “green light , the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us . It eluded us then , but that’s no matter – tomorrow we will run faster , stretch out our arms further … and then one fine morning , we are born back ceaselessly into the past “.

Image

Scene description : Eric and Tavisha laying in the grassy hill overlooking Eastsound Bay

“But I am older “, she says

” And don’t you know I won’t ever leave you , even though you are always leaving me … leaving me to be a mother still to grown up children . What about your life … and mine ? Why should I not admit it , in this moment my heart is breaking . I want you to come back , I will wait for you . You’re age doesn’t matter “!

” I am in love with everything and everyone I see “.

” Do you love me , my love “?

” Yes “.

” Then I will wait for you . Please don’t give away what you love the most “. He reaches for her and touches her skin , ” so much darker , so much softer “.

Music plays from ” Phantom of the Paradise” … ” Old Souls ” as scene changes to 3 yrs. later in Hawaii .

Image

Narrator : ” She had been here before at her daughters on a now repeated journey . Hear the melodious , haunting note of the distant violin . He had married another … he did not wait . ” The heart dies a slow death , shedding each hope like leaves until one day there are none . No hopes , nothing remains “.

The noise of children is heard running and playing and Baby Blue Samsonite is heard singing , ” A Case of You ” : ” oh , I am a lonely painter , I live in a box of paints , oh , you’re in my blood like holy wine , you taste so bitter and so sweet , oh , but you are in my blood , you’re my holy wine … You’re so bitter , bitter and so sweet “.

Image

Narrator : ” As sadness is encountered , loneliness is acknowledged and consciousness awakens … It is the day after the Summer Solstice  and strange is Tavishas dream .

Music playing ” Here Comes the Sun ” – Beatles

She sees herself running , floating above the ground , her mouth is wider , her teeth whiter , her darkest brown hair of youth , shinier . She wears the earth colored silk dress Eric had once bought for her the week after they met … It’s ribbon trailing behind with all the knots coming loose as the dress falls off . A voice is heard  , it is from their seer and teachers beloved wife , ” you look very beautiful together “. There up ahead is the hammock Eric had given Tavisha and hanging on the edge of it is the silver necklace of antiquity  with the blood red stone that had been discovered on Friday Harbor on Valentines Day . Tavisha awakens , crying from the lucid dream , remembering the electricity they both felt running thru their veins the first time they had sat next to eachother with legs accidentally touching … the shock of it and the poetry written because of this lightening , the poetry of them both , the poetry he had bound for her when she left and that now was kept inside Baby Blue Samsonite ……

Image

Scene changes : Ocean beach in Hawaii

A distant prayer is heard from the volcano . The whole ocean is inside of Tavisha and she loves him … loves him still , but new with no attachments and deep , like the flaming sonnet of her heart set free . She loves him .

Abu is seen sitting in a Gingo tree , a blissful smile upon his brown weathered face as he watches Tavisha writing Eric’s name in the sand once again , only this time she is dancing her foot-prints all around and as the waves wash it away , she is heard by Pele , the fire goddess  , to be laughing like the sound of bells as a single orange bird flies like a brushstroke over the aqua sky .

Image

We leave this scene with the image of the volcano erupting red , the bass drum beating loudly …as the hammock swingsImage

 

Photos by Ellen Rogers

Meg Dickerson

Pinterest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 45th Parallel

Image

 

She puts a touch of perfume behind her ear before leaving and later Sam wants to brush the hair from her face . Now , listen , listen quietly … the wind ! … like a migration Tavisha follows . Here , just outside of her door , lies a musky , rhythmic whisper that often calls the deer . Today she returns to these woods . Look ! What is that ? … a feather on the path , eagle feathers perhaps dropped from a nest , the cocoon of birth . The eagle speaks , the eagle illuminates , the mighty eagle soars aloft like a mystic . The air here is as lush and dazzling as a dream . Further along she now sits and out of her back-pact finds “War and Peace” whose pages flutter like bird wings as if bewitched by Natasha . Suddenly Sam appears , look , look at his eyes , they are small but are about to see enormous things and the blue of them is like liquid sky . Not having seen eachother in a long time , not since the great comet of 1992 when the flowers began to bloom out of the towns thick , high stone walls , they are caught in a scene of remembered love affairs , deaths , changing fortunes and impulsiveness .

Image

 

” I’m glad you’re here ” Sam sits and they feel huddled together like on a raft .

” I’m glad too , it sure is a beautiful day “.

” It … um …has lots of colors “.

” Do you have a favorite season Sam “?

” A favorite season “?

” Personally , I like the fall a lot but I also love it when it rains on a hot summer day “.

” What is it you like about rain on a hot summers day “?

” I don’t know … calms me down , makes the plants happy and the thunder , I love the thunder … it makes me think of God but not in a bad way “. Tavisha stares at Sams quietness and asks , ” What is it “?

” I’m just so aware that what goes on inside my head are things I’ve read about . My real life experiences are actually rather narrow … I don’t think about the seasons , not for the longest time anyway . Because I didn’t sense things in a normal way I couldn’t sense them … they weren’t real to me “.

” What was real to you Sam “?

” The time in between the seconds and my books and my friend “.

” Wait for the sunset tonight . It will be glorious Sam , you won’t be disappointed “.

” I look forward to that “.

Image

 

Look , the sky is intwined now in the tangle of the forest . The molecules of her being drift into the pines and cedars , sinking below the surface of the waters and getting carried down the river . The drum beats . The Great Spirit , the great mystery and the bald eagle flys . Sam stands in the shadow of the sun . Waiting with hope , like the slow breaching of whales , Tavisha kisses his forehead …

Tree

Image

She is sixty-three years old this morning , dressed in blue jeans and a grey tee shirt , barefooted . Someone who talked with her earlier described her as having a mystics face , sultry eyed and secretive like a cryptic message , and it’s easy to believe .  This story , based on many independent interviews , is an attempt to take a closer look and to explain how a seemingly quiet and socially awkward grandmother , an artist , from a conservative city built on a river in Michigan , found herself in possession of civilizations most carefully guarded secret , being found in the northern woods where mighty owls fly in and out of this scene like leaves blowing in the wind , a tint of blue noir in the air . Her mother once described her as a gentle child of exceptional intellect  ( unknown to others ) born before her time . I saw a last photo after her disappearance , a self-portrait dancing in the mirror , a mirror of cloudy reflection where we see her winter fur coat , a copy of Vanity Fair , her Mexican Bag , a pair of glasses and a copy of a drawing done by Rembrandt .

Image

Look now , I want to show you something . Look at this , this best drawing in the world , there’s none better . Rembrandt does it with the tip of a rod dipped in ink . It’s a masterpiece with no pretention of being a masterpiece . Observe the tenderness of the scene . The position of the child’s arms enables you to feel its footsteps , it’s insecurity and doubt . And even though you don’t see his little face , you can feel his joy , his first steps . Look at this figure now , at the young girls arm drawn in haste and little attention to detail but who cares ? What matters is the love she feels for the child . She holds the baby and notice how she is about to let it go . But look carefully , even though her back is turned , from the angle of her back and head you can feel her attention focused on the child who laughs , laughs excitedly before he begins to walk . How is such wisdom possible to draw ? And this here is his mother . She’s use to this . This isn’t her first time . She’s standing nearby to intervene if necessary . Notice her heavy clothing , it’s course , dirty perhaps . And this is the father . He just got home from working in the fields and they want him to see the baby take his first steps . And this , who is she ? Perhaps a neighbor who happens to be passing and observes the scene . Do you feel the weight of the bucket she carries judging from the position of her left arm ? Rembrandt uses her to recreate that instant , to capture a slice of life , something as simple as life . It’s almost a photograph , a snapshot but time doesn’t matter here , it’s the idea , he had the idea !

Image

What is her idea in leaving this last photo we have of her ? Her brother tells me she had phoned him and spoke of the hours in that day , that last day before her resurrection . She goes to her childhood neighborhood , takes photos . Look , here is the rusty sewer grate of her memory , she is once again here and looks where the sewer rat lives , water drips and still scares her like an old nightmare .

Image

Here begins this day of roaming reminiscence in front of her old house . And look , here is the tree , the Supreme Being Tree she climbs as a young girl and teenager where she watches the world change as her little dog sits below and barks devotedly at anyone passing by .

Image

She tells her brother she walks ,suddenly aware , and feels her ten year old self with braids wrapped round her head with one loose that swings slow like a pendulum , holding her now aged hand . They walk together down the streets past her playmates homes , past their old grade school now boarded up with graffiti that changes it into a canvas of mayhem like the bell that sounds at closing time , past the YMCA where they cry sitting on the steps after President Kennedy is assassinated , waiting for her mother to come . They walk past the house where she spies on her teenage cousin and boyfriend kissing and past her aunt and uncles house where life is more raw and free .

Image

I don’t know why she returns to the streets of her childhood . Sometimes you do things without knowing why . Is she traveling , is she alive ? Is she living now with only the essential things … air , sleep , dreams , the sea , the sky ? Many months have passed since beginning this story and I can barely see her image now as I have come to a barrier like crashing waves immersing me under a beautiful sunset , cherished soft in my mind . And what about her secret possession found that day . I think she leaves clues for us to find in nature , in the animals , in the music , in museums , in life , your life , my life , something as simple as life !  And I can hear her voice sometimes , “Can you write , can you talk truthfully , can you grow your own food , can you raise consciousness , can you sing , write poetry , paint art . Can you tend to the forests and plant trees , can you listen for the truth , can you silence the wrong ? Can you meditate , can you teach , can you be a light bearer for the world ? Can you wake your heart and will you open your eyes now “?

Image

Look once more at the tree she climbs . It bears the stars themselves in the realm of everlasting life , and see , see it’s roots forever pure , forever immortal , forever true . And look now , look closer , there is a poem hanging on the tree .  I see her of my story young, I see her old and now I too know the carefully guarded secret ( no longer guarded )she holds so dear … I see myself , my Love self , my Divine self …. Life, simple Life …..aaahhhhhhhh

Image

Above photograph mailed to me after article was published … signed with her signature and postmarked , Planet Jupiter

Letters Home and Peter Gabriel

Image

Alone , with a sack lunch , the gate was left open as I went walking out of the village with no plan , just wanting to feel the hazy spring morning air after having spent so much time indoors constantly feeding fire into the old Turkish wood stove . The scent of coals and smoke seeping into my skin that once ( long ago it seems ) smelled of vanilla . On this narrow road I now follow are no drive thrus , no strip malls , no billboards and no Oriental restaurants … they are only modern world memories lost now in a cage wishing to remain locked . It’s quiet now walking , a pulse of Yogic calm . The worlds quiet voice is spellbinding like a grand slow song . The birds flying overhead sound like symphonies string orchestrations as they drop closer onto new budding branches . The cows are grazing and the women hanging their clothes out to dry are left behind . It takes time to be poor … not to become poor …to be poor . I admire these villagers I live with , depending faithfully on their connection with the land and animals . The sheep herder standing in the fields all day , every day … what is he thinking about … is there a revelation for him too in the light of this day ?

Image

Up ahead is a large mound that is just visible on a clear day from the outskirts of Gita . It is a wonder to me and I decide to hike to the top . It reminds me of a burial mound I’ve only seen in books . It’s standing far into the middle of plowed fields like a great voice speaking loudly from a balcony . Reaching the top , after discovering animal bones , deep dug out holes and some sort of stone with strange letters engraved , I sit upon it as the earth is covered with dew and taking off my duct tapped together boots , I am amazed by the view that opens a gateway to contemplation , to mystery , to an almighty sound … louder and louder . History is breaking over me .

Image

In Your Eyes

song lyrics by Peter Gabriel

….. all my instincts , they return

and the grand facade , so soon will burn

without a noise , without my pride

i reach out from inside .

Image

in your eyes

the light the heat

in your eyes

I am complete

in your eyes

I see the doorway to a thousand churches

in your eyes

the resolution to all the fruitless searches

in your eyes

I see the light and the heat

in your eyes

Oh , I want to be that complete

I want to touch the light

the heat I see in your eyes .

Image

From my art series “souls appear ” … oil on paper

This country was once , and not so long ago , a satellite state of the Soviet Union . (1946-1990)  And so memories for many of the villagers are like a book chapter read only last week with a growing nostalgia of the older ones towards the Communist regime and the security they felt back then . Danka told me that they didn’t have to work so hard or worry about not having a job and that life seemed simpler with not a lot of choices . And even though now there are so many things in the shops and lots of opportunities so many people just don’t have the money to take advantage of them … and some feel worse than before . There was no liter and no stray dogs (I am perplexed by this) and every Saturday everyone voluntarily cleaned up the streets and tended flower gardens . Booze and cigarettes were cheap so they had lots of parties . But along side this lived terror too when many were tortured and killed and put in camps and sent to Siberia where they died with every mornings hope haunted by yesterday’s nightmare .

Image

Does the land itself have its memory of all its history ? Its ancient history of battles fought over these valleys I now sit above , where thrashers gather the wheat . And thru these mountains I see in the distance where Ghingas Kahn and his armies of horsemen rode , are their arrows deep in the dirt below ? Did they stand where I now sit on top of a mound with my heart beating like a drum keeping time with everything ? Is the village horse I love a descendent of the mare Alexander the Great rode across this Thracian Empire ?

Image

How long is 7000 years ago ? Is it part of this moment , 3:02 pm on February 16 , 2014 ? Is it … Now?  And what is that look on little Katias face … an old woman’s face on a five year old girl. What have her eyes seen that her soul expresses that makes me cry and want to hold her in my arms when this innocent child looks like this and I see her fingernails caked with dirt and history is facing me .

Image

Stopping , I turn and look back on this road going forward . The romance of this land , this land of souls , touches me like Delacroixs “Annunciation”. I try to write it , I try to paint it , everyday I try and many days I cry . I don’t know this feeling that my own finger is inside my body actually touching my heart and blocking my throat with a breath so warm that the blood running thru stops and feels cold , literally ice cold … a sensation that frightens me a bit as I’ve never heard of this before . I miss my family and the arms of Lake Michigan .

Image