The memories that form the foundation of this place are old. Old as the world really perhaps older as things seem to exist here half in and half out of the dark and the light. Souls walked this land, marked the sky and tilled the soil as the Aztecs spilled blood and the Mayans measured the span of the heavens. My lineage heart first felt the gravity of this continent in 1912 so in this ocean I could be said to be a novice in the interpretation of the winding of the earthen tide. But all the earth is joined under the water, under the sky, and there is a memory living in blood that runs through the enatic line. A curse or a gift, superstition or sight, forgotten tales are embroidered red on crisp white linen.
High above the cemetery stark against the cornflower blue sky there is a brilliant white shade flowing, billowing with the wind. It is gone when I breast the hill. At the end of the yard, under the century spruce, a small body huddles in pain. A broken leg…or perhaps it is missing…tilts the course and direction is lost careening through the trees. A numbing blackness empties beaded eyes as jaws unhinge to advance on the frozen rictus of a garden toad. These signs number three, supposedly a mystical number. But nature and the layers of ritual that shape it are never subtle. Multiple auguries chime in the wind of change.
Change is the little death as we move from the old to the new. Change is the great death, an unknown dark abyss that brackets breath and the cessation of all hearts. Even then its course is not stayed. Change is the ticking of the clock, the undulation of the wheat, the bird in the air and the cold bite of snow. Change is the slow spreading smile, the tear that falls and the blooming rose above the granite of the tomb. A wind that rises under the light of day echoes the steps of an invisible multitude. The same wind that rises under the canopy of night is crowned in a tiara of stars and the dark that holds the key to the wild mysteries of the universe. It never ends, it follows all, it is all. Interlocking, life and death feed upon each other. The ground that we stand on does not exist without the sacrifice and renewal of the substance that weaves our reality. The act of creation is change and death is inherent in the first gasp of existence.
Purification…I burned canvases tonight. I was tired of looking at them and I think they were tired of looking at me. An overly dramatic device for any painter and not entirely original. I called the Prodigal to take the dog out, as a witness I think. We artistic types always need a witness to the completion of our acts…not only the act of creation but the act of destruction as well; a polar opposite twinned in power and absolution. They were becoming nothing, existing in a state of flux, waiting for a fulfillment; a purpose that I felt would never come and so onto the burn pile they went.
The best of all was the oil canvas that sweated and then bled linseed. The oil beaded on the dark blue surface liquid in the glow of the flames and then poured in runnels feeding the heat until the final burst of energy and light released the potential in a blaze of orange and azure. The fire pushed through the canvas tearing away at painted rock and the velvet of the horn and the blended green of two dimensional leaves. The fire burned brighter as it fed upon my labour, devouring it, changing it and freeing it to the star crowned mysterious night.
The signs called for change.