Under the Grass and Topsoil

“The Prime Emanation … is the Revolution inside our being. It’s a process that’s going on in many of us now, making us more and more uncomfortable, and that’s a good thing. It’s a mystical cleansing of the emotional system and it’s why many people who begin working with the Gene Keys quickly lose a lot of weight and others fill out to just the right amount. We’re coming into balance, because we’re throwing out old genetic patterns. It’s about pruning back our desire nature because the solar plexus centre needs a new kind of environment. It needs a cleaner, more open environment, less cluttered with old frequencies. 

“One day we’ll return to the source. It won’t happen because of anything we do but because our particular story has found its way home. All we can do is follow the Emanation of our Love. We think we’re travelling into the future, but we’re really travelling back to the beginning…”

Richard Rudd Excerpt from the 64 Ways

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“Mend what was broken. Rekindle the Children’s Fire … We call this work ‘village building’ or ‘culture repair’.”  I had an email from Mac Macartney responding to my request several weeks ago, how can I find my pre-Roman “Angols”?  In his book The Children’s Fire he made it sound rather straightforward but now he says it is a matter of dowsing and resonance as there are no records.  The Roman conquest destroyed our indigenous Druid infrastructure.  How these tales echo through history!

In Mac’s book and journey, a map he drew of Wales shows evocative names of Celtic tribes and elders: Gangani, Silures, Demetae, Cornovii, Ordovices, Deceangle … which spread across the land.  I shall look at these names reflectively from time to time.

I feel profoundly rooted English, uninclined to move from HERE.  I hold the ground like an oak or elm; an Angle Sea – the Mona.  I loved what Tolkien wrote about the elm groves in his Lost Tales.  Tolkien was one of the Elder Ones, reproducing the mythos.  I have this inbuilt interconnectivity; the neural and nitrous fibres throughout the ground which I return to.  The body of Light Emanates. It is not a mere sponge.

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So in this moment in the earth I have a staff which illumines and is positive.  Let it lead this direction when and where it wants.  Let it shine.  It is a seer.  It sees through all conditions and fractures to the embracing Wholeness of the emanation.  I’m reminded of my painting of the light – the heart – within the earth, and a hammer, a geologist’s hammer which gently taps the geode.

I grew up in Kent, Scottish Highlands, Yorkshire Moors, south Cornwall, Surrey north downs and Quantock Somerset – all before I reached my teens; for we moved house a half-dozen times.  That is a landscape map provided!  I have walked it so much and flowered, that there is not much need to “know” the names.  The essence and loyalty and continuity are here.   It is like looking at the Geological Wall Map of Great Britain in my father’s room – the extrusions and worms of colour told us where and on what rocks we live – north Yorkshire was pale yellow.  And I became a painter for a time.

The gift awoke by the sea in Cornwall Caerhays age six, and that marks probably my descent from the Western peoples, touching ground.  It encompasses my long-ago walks in mid-Wales (tent by the Severn river), Snowdonia and the Pembrokeshire coast … and recently, along the Hertfordshire Way and Chilterns north of London.  The Hermit’s staff is a dowsing rod and also a blind person’s white stick! – for in this lifetime in those places I did not know consciously what I touch.  But they made me an artist.

I live all my adult life in the city which the Romans developed and called “Londinium”. Here I hear through the urban density, the heart of the country and its winter birdsongs and noble river.  Here staying at home for the last 50 years I find space for the soul to wander and flourish; and my present tribe.

My room is an untidy sanctuary of peace with a few trees outside, a busy railway to the north and a street to the south.  This morning as usual when writing, I feel the root of light sink deep, the silken stillness.  At Manor Farm in Somerset we had a giant elm down by the pond whose roots, I was told, spread right across the field under the grass and topsoil.  And so I know the tree’s root-system mirrors its bole; and I feel the Spirit moving into flesh through the stellar fibres of my body’s capillaries;  I am nothing other than this network of the fields and streams and woods;  I am this un-tapped and immense human conscious potential which – after millenia – we awaken into, again … and again.  My Druid knowledge lives today in the core wisdom of many esoteric languages which thrive.  It has a singular pulse in the veins:  I love.  I love.

The old alchemists said simply – don’t drop the wisdom (dew) on the ground.  Most persons cannot understand it, they break it up into cities and beliefs.  Carry it in the vessel which perennially and quietly mends itself with the Sun.  The wisdom is osmosis and photosynthesis: the Sun, the rain and the Earth.  No matter how apparently concealed, the same magnetic shines in each one of us.  It is in process of opening its dimension through our temporal fantasy of destruction.  As the living creature awakes and yawns it cracks the scales.

How tiny is my surface understanding within the solar system and each of its planetary gems.

The silence when the wisdom river is coming and when the oak is flowing is deep.  The magic we know is so immense that the essence transcends and permeates the particles which are knowledge.

There is no need to “know”.  There is every way to “be” and to recognise the flavour.  Taste it.  The animals, the trees, insects, birds and flowers taste it, un-obstructedly whenever they pause.  Wisdom dissolves manufactured outlines and provinces, and for humans this is hard.  Take a step back from the unfolding history and see the process.  The wisdom is invincible and the DNA awakens into this mutation now: frail dragonfly nymph on watery stem – its thorax burst open with the sun’s warmth into wings.

Illustration from Richard Rudd’s book of poems and prayers – ‘The Spring of Dreams’

To remember this is to collect together with Mother Isis the scattered limbs of Osiris and breathe on them with love.  This is perennial in our condition.

Quantock dancers

Seven sisters, High Point, Quantock hills

 

So the Quantock hills at present are my “walking country” where my mother still lives.  There is a long Somerset settlement in my life.  My home was there from age 9 until 20. Later, my father moved to North Devon and discovered in the next parish his Yule ancestors, with whom he had himself buried.  In Somerset and North Devon were extensive explorations, our home and our adventurous family holidays at Hartland.

These places where the heart is placed and soaks up the land are pointers towards my ancient tribal locations and relationships.  The seed is blown from tree by the wind or carried by bees to fertile ground by the laws and movement of Nature.  My father was an organic farm-manager, bee keeper and musician.  When I grew up my first regular job as a portrait artist took me all over England and as far as Gordonstoun in Scotland.  In each place I worked, there was first the need to go for an orienting walk and understand the landscape, roads and contour.  My early work is scattered around the country’s living-rooms like seed – many hundreds of portraits of children.  This was Providential.

This brings me to the inner meaning of our children’s fire.  Although it is threatened, there are in many pockets of the land, oases where the healthy seed is cultivated. In due course the whole seed will overcome the adulterated and even take into itself what is good in the latter.  Why else is there this incredible enriching mix and mulch and ferment in the human gene pool – through the overwhelming agony of frontiers, fear, bordering and displacement – why else the cross-fertilisation and upheaval of racial roots?  An innovative and gentle power of the seer is being born through these generations.  The environmental threat catalyses a revolutionary Symbiotic caring.  The animal and plant kingdoms in Gaia no longer agree to be our mere playground or unconscious prey.  The new Consciousness – already sprouting through the ground – is to unify and to nurture.

My mother’s garden in the early spring

The children’s fire?  It is this transformative glow of the quickening, the seed.  On the Underground in London I watched yesterday a father with his sons – he had an interesting lined child’s face, an elder Saxon with soft tired eyes, an artist perhaps with the sky; and one of his boys sat with him and stroked the back of Dad’s neck and untidy hair.  Love and care.

In the seed is the fire which is Life.  In the Upanishadic wood is the latent fire; in the grass the cow and in the milk the cream.  In the hen, the egg is our solar system.

Parvati waters trees. This image is copyright The Sacred India Tarot deck published by Yogi Impressions in 2011

The healing way is for those of us who have access and liberty, to attend to the quantum particle on behalf of the majority.  The consciousness is what there is.  Each root in the ground illumines and connects with all the others.  The quantum, homeopathic in dilution, is beyond prediction’s enclosures.

The needle’s point of Sufi thread pierces vertically the dense horizontal matrix: the tapestry.  What do I sew?

Light the fire for our children.  Be warm of heart.  Make this picture daily with the thread through the tapestry.  The only disease – the root of all diseases – is any form of our excess.  Balance is inevitable.

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My adventure invites fellow travellers. I am a poet, an artist and a seer. I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom. See also Aquariel and Gene Keys Diary.

All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012-2020. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address https://janeadamsart.wordpress.com/

Drawings of Animals, Persons and Phoenix

1 November 2019

This is a big post, mainly pictures, most of them drawings I did this year … with some story as it arose.

The sketches of endangered creatures in the Amazon rain forest were commissioned last January for a children’s book to raise awareness .  However they were not in the style which the author needed; so here they are for an airing.

The Amazon fruit bat wakes in Plato’s cave.  Can you see the snail? – (2018)

bespectacled bear comes out into the open – 2019

Doesn’t each creature tell a story of someone you know, or of yourself on this day or that?

spider monkey 2019

Here, he lets go …  Instant enlightenment is on call

poison dart frog 2019

but it isn’t quite … what the seeker expected to find?

giant amazon snail 2019

Very slow and steadily he made his way along the Path, feeling every element …

flying fruit bat 2019

until he could open his heart and fly home …

fruit bats resting 2019

… to rest upside down in the boundless with his friend.

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Now here are some family snaps:

man with cat 2018

man caving, birth 2018

my friend,  she sits like an eagle 2018

new generation: this is her dad, just back from the war. She’s in the pram  …  (2018)

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These sketches are from my earlier post with Shakti Rising:

Ramakrishna and Yantras – 2019

Sarada Devi wife of ramakrishna (1994)

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I found this on a friend’s bedroom wall when I went on a visit – I had forgotten all about it.

afternoon nap – circa 1972

peter in devon –  2019

Brave bears …

and a fox at dawn:

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Copy from Botticelli; the winds are angelic forces – birth of Aphrodite 2019

this old sketch turned up of Douglas and Catherine Harding – perhaps 1996.  They are built open for each other. They tell friends to “See” who they really, really are,  like birds on the wire.

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Hand mudras – sacred gestures 2019

I went for a walk and met a beautiful nose on four legs

Arthur Koestler 2019 – an old mentor

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Here is a story:

Celebrate Nyousha (1997-2019), 2019

In August this year, we held a wake for Nyousha. She was only 22, the cancer started when she was 17. She wrote in her diary that each day, each moment holds the potential to make a change in the world; her courageous statement of living and loving more intensely through her death.  She was a feminist and an activist; she deeply searched her soul.  This young Persian artist had to die just as she grew up and opened wide. Her radiance illumined and inspired her loved ones.  Nyousha is among us.  She is grieved; and yet she is free.

In the Phoenix Community house in North London, I have my art room. The fur of old Kabbalist visionary was removed from my room for the weekend, and replaced with the young girl’s vibrant life for her family and all their friends to come and see; her exhibition, her gallery, her soul. We hung her work also all around the house.  About 300 people feasted in the garden and there was music.  Afterwards her brother carefully put my infrastructure back where it was.  My life made room for one whose adult life only began.

Today writing this post and uploading my portrait of her, I  discover it is her birthday: 1 November.  In Scorpio’s depth today, Mercury pauses to rest on one foot before re-winding the spiral backward. Hence, I reflect further …

Zoroastrian rock phoenix

Creative work supports the soul in yet another miracle of reality.  In shock and acceptance, the phoenix turns, ascends within and sings the outrageous alchemical moment in the heart and in Sol.

On hearing it’s her birthday, I got out my colours and struck for Nyousha this coin:

 

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Sketch of Nyousha & a climbing stretch – 2019.

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woman running with wolf – 2019

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Here now are a few sketches of climbers – always an amusing allegory with conditions of pilgrimage, ascension, meeting our Shadow, call it what you will.  We help each other:

Momo Freehill, bouldering 2019

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Climbing at the Castle Centre 2019.  That is me, near the spectacles, belaying my daughter.

Self and dropped knee/chimneying …

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… and herons, from a small book I just completed, about an artist I met when I was 16 – there are experiential roots of Islamic and Hebrew calligraphy:

 

Heron 2 2019

Alif aleph yod heron 2019

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My grandfather, copied from a black and white photograph by Richard Poussette Dart which I found in a book at Kettle’s Yard.  I was deeply impressed with the way Poussette Dart portrays him as a working mystic.

Jim Ede from a photograph by Richard Poussette Dart 2019

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More of the climbing companions.  This oak tree grew out of a sheer gritstone rock face in Yorkshire.

climbing on Agdon Rocher 2019

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on the  slabs

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Back home, my Rilke gallery begins to grow!

Lou Salome and Rainer Maria Rilke 2019 

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Procession – 2018

And: my journal today. I want to say again (not didactically) that when I am deeply reflective, it appears to me that we humans are within a genetic matrix which is creating a new Aquarian symbiosis. The animal kingdom is under threat of extinction by the present human imbalance.  Yet, looking at the countless small initiatives to protect and conserve a species and restore it to its habitat, I see the birth of a kind of care which did not exist when the beasts and birds were our plentiful hunting ground or amusement.  Against the ravages still being made against nature, human conscience in her depth strata expands the palette, embracing our shadows with the dawn.

Care and respect for the animals includes “the soft animal of our body” and  soul within us, in all its beauty.

with cat when he wasn’t well

For me, Gaia is not the earth-being alone – for we are not separate.  Gaia is our conscious human-earth relationship: to care.  The breakthrough comes where hope seems to be lost.  The condition is unbearably painful before I agree to pause, turn and evolve – individually as collectively. Nothing can prevent the evolutionary cosmos in the DNA.  The evolution proceeds at all levels interwoven: spiritual through psychological to the instinctual body and her seasons; the plant, mineral and subatomic universe.

A phoenix rises from the ashes to our call: transfiguration.

As the sun rises over the horizon it throws long sharp shadows across the field.  These confront us in our world at present.  Pluto’s movement through Capricorn de-constructs old institutions to make room for new birth.  Watching life in the cauldron, as hologram, I observe these basic principles time and time again through the chaos.  Since 2012 particularly, we are required to embody the ageless wisdom and to get real: our boots on the ground.  As the linear convention of time changes its nature, so emerges in both men and women the feminine, the unconditional rejoicing creature within us who flowers and gives birth.

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Sleeping swan (1988). Her nose is where she flies

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My adventure invites fellow travellers. I am a poet, an artist and a seer. I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom. See also Aquariel

All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012-2019. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address https://janeadamsart.wordpress.com/

Philosopher Stone

20 September 2019

I woke to a Promethean poem this morning.  Unfortunately it faded.  I am left with the sense of a large almost-round grey pebble.  The message within its fall to gravity was the fire.  It is the fire. It was bonded with the flow of water. But water is flowing Stone. The water which flows as Stone contains the fire which falls to Earth;  each day a fall of meteorites most of them incandescing to powder in the atmosphere – Air; these primordial processes prevail regardless of small human guilt.

The Stone is in my hand and its weight flies into the infinite core fractal of interior space, and inside each of Jim Ede’s pebbles is God.  This is noticed through the anguished human claptrap.

Two realities reside here: one, that we humans spoil the earth, and the other: how can we so arrogantly presume to?  It is in Gaia’s destiny to clear some of her surface areas for a time and alter the climate composition. As our Solar system moves deeper into the Photon belt, each organism is aware and agitated through changes in the DNA.

This is an unusual and Holistic idea. The substance or impression of Holistic ideas transcends – is greater than their composition.   Their composition – how they print out – is subject to the interpretation: the words.

The substance, the dimensional weight falling through my body however – this is true, and it is what I call transmission, reception of the Promethean fire.

 

Let it do its work.  Through countless receiving channels it is spelled out into this or that interpretation.  Generally speaking there is agreement, that when we fully embrace and accept responsibility with our suffering, there is joy.  There is unexpected, boundless joy, whatever appears to go on, or apparently engulfs it. Where one spark is covered for a time, another shines out.  Watch a glowing fire in the hearth; it whispers along the wood like a slow snake.

Human beings need to suffer from their rattling thought and its environmental disorders, disasters and creation of deserts, in order to begin to step free from this convention mind – to work with and as Nature, Gaia, not against.

“To begin to” is the operative word here.  Fixed holding-positions get left behind.  Awaken into prayer and progress with the day, again and again and again and again;  recreate the Power of Creation. An infinitesimal neutrino penetrates the leaden shield into the star; from star to star … again comes around the Promethean gift of Fire, the spark within each of us planted; the phoenix bird of song and light and joy in the recovery and resurrection:  “I am the Resurrection and the Light.”  “I am the love of the Light.”  “I am the core of Love itself.”  “Let there be Light.”

Coursing the sap in stem, nectar aflame,
each power to one beloved nadi clings.
The force through spine’s sushumna sings
‘All presence’, ‘Heart’s ocean’, ‘Swan of peace’, ‘Supreme’.*

As Her light pervades my body, I am detached;
my form as Self, Self and the world are matched

* – In one of my Ramana Gita sonnets, these are names roughly corresponding to atma nadi (Self), para nadi (that which is beyond manifestation) and amrita nadi (nectar of immortality) in the text.  The nadis are the meridian map within the Yogic body.]

phoenix bird of fire

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The alchemist blows a little on the banked fire, and it glows.   The breath. The body.

In a stone-age cave, the warming flame flows along the log like lava, like water with Light which is air and the Earth’s solar core.  Everything, each and every phenomenon has this potential (See the link to “beyondhumanstories” further down this post) …  within the plastics and perverted materials, nothing is other than the core.  Sooner or later it returns to the core, as technologies arise to biodegrade our unconscious waste, for we become conscious, first individually here and there, and then collectively as a tide through tipping-point.  Alchemists are able to quicken the interior process, and to see above the tide.  Wherever an alchemist is at work, the environment blossoms.  Alchemists are gardeners.  We potter and we ponder and we fish.

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The slow fire along the log burns out old Karma and all its fascination and even beauty.  It cleanses the slate, to the horror and grief of all who saw and were aware of, for instance, the burning of the Amazon forest. A cruel human may have caused it or encouraged it to spread; but it was to be.  It shocks and burns the soul.  It starves further the respiration’s resources.  The respiration is the whole planetary balance and swirl of currencies and weathers.  Why is this happening?

I think the new human will have, and has already a bond with nature, with creature, fish, plant, tree and rock which we used to plunder and exploit and harm.  The new human is so deeply, painfully connected with what she harmed that she plays into the restorative power of transmutation and the burgeoning of Life.  Humankind is no longer separate from the forest and creatures of the field, no longer separate from the seas, no longer a player of golf.

The new human re-learns the ancient unifying magic;  the art begins where nature ceases to act.  Already this is developing as a fact.   Those who despaired and yet were willing to hope, drop away from the old system. They begin to work with the Sun, creating local solar technologies.  They nurture the family and patterns of relationships.  Relationships are geometries and sacred forms and problems of harmony.  With the ripple effect, they enter and inspire one another.

A drawing from Douglas Harding’s ‘Hierarchy of Heaven and Earth’

I wanted to say … concentric waves or ripples.  Where the Stone falls and breaks surface, there is a centrifugal ripple: concentric rings.   These move subtly through immediate society and communities, creating further impacts and their rings.  Watch a fall of rain on the pond.  I don’t publish 99% of my work because it could be misunderstood.  I am not totally sure of it myself, or of peoples’ capacity to misinterpret and to twist.  The Stone goes on and on falling into my fractal core and there is no time to stop and buff it up into shape to pass through the gate; for always it comes.  I trust that where I work, the Companions of the Light take care of it. Their power to reach the ground and to start a wave passes through where I sit and write it down, and travels to other antennae.  I write the same thing over and over and over for the telegraph wire.  I’m a starling sitting on it.  There is never enough of it.  I write and sing so others unseen are inspired.  There are notes that travel above and below the standard spectrum; the invisible octaves of the ground of being.

Starling & murmuration – Image from allaboutbirds

While I was cleaning the house upstairs yesterday, Genevieve’s conversation with Paula Aamli (https://beyondhumanstories.com/podcast-hope-beyond-hope/?fbclid=IwAR3SX5Z8FWTfCgpMmcSayAIQghOQgphJJaq4Mx8c394Ey4X80_e4Yht4Pz8 uplifted and helped me to turn to face my pain; for Paula discovered – through facing hers – that though the present human engine is destroying its future, there is an unexpected response of joy, gratitude, discovery and noticing the infinite resource of life even in a walled in city garden, and certainly within the soul’s courage.  There is more to this than we know.

It is the infinitesimal fractal potency of the small!  The 9thGene key is called the Power of the Infinitesimal.  Beauty is the story, the dimension which cuts through every science.

Brancusi’s Prometheus on Bechstein, Kettle’s Yard

I was told long ago, in 1969: Your beautiful thoughts are not enough.  The stuff of beauty is sterner.  The way is to evoke and inspire that beauty in someone else.   Ah, but I see today, the beautiful thoughts are, and create the Way.  The beauty didn’t come into my hand like soap.  It had to be worked for, leaned into and with, discovered, suffered, recreated.

The new chapter is respirational, back and forth, in and out.  When the old breath is done it dulls and expires: the new breath coming in underneath it be-stirs things.  So rises and falls the Tao in our world.

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When I woke this morning with the Promethean poem I lay for a while listening to the hammering builders who’ve taken off a roof, up the road.  I could just hear the dark yammer of their radio.  Listening to radio news and watching media is a yammering, de-sensitising skin which most of us wear. It reinforces the screen of isn’t it all dreadful and bad, and it deadens the feeling.  Journalists are able to witness and report horrors with this leaden blanket.  I don’t have that protective numbness.  The Guardians force me in this way to stay sensitive.  I don’t read the papers or watch the media. My ear is to the ground; I pick up what I need to know.  The human commentary on atrocity and damage and guilt, is more than I can bear.   Many of us walk with only one side of our bodies and half of our brains and heavy clouds in our heart and loins.  I used to have dreams about only being able to walk with one foot, the other was tightly curled up asleep underneath.

The Tarot key that intuitively blossoms today is the 8th– Soul strength, the woman guiding the lion to sing and to speak.  “Make your pattern accurate, profound, honest, courageous.”

It is another such beautiful September day, this morning, sharp and fresh.  Water, stone, meteorite – recollect that vast numbers of comets and meteorites and cosmic bodies are  petrified water.  Water of Life.

The Stone warms up to flow as water with the fire inside.

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Click on image to view

My adventure invites fellow travellers. I am a poet, an artist and a seer. I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom. See also Aquariel

All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012-2019. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address https://janeadamsart.wordpress.com/

 

 

As we become still and look

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My tarot reading last week – see Aquariel

Thrice Great Hermes said, “For never … can an embodied soul that has once leaped aloft, so as to get a hold upon the truly Good and True, slip back into the contrary.”

This is a profound Law.  Note he said ‘embodied’.  He didn’t say ‘without the body’ (as in trance or nirvana).   He said in effect, Leap with hands and feet into the heart of God.  That is an osmotic shift in the atom of human consciousness as a whole.  The membrane, the veil is semi-permeable.  There is no way the sap of the Tree of Life can run back downward.  The ascension pulls it through the cells;  a vacuum which it must follow and flow into.  Once you are through, you know that everyone comes through it sooner or later.   There are certain old clothes which are impossible to wear.   Love is no longer a thing of the movies.

 

Considering Chopin whom I am starting to sketch … his music was and is pure female opera song:  his unique ability to let them out of his bag;  his passion for singers, their lovely companionship and their voice which did such things.  Perhaps he might admire but could not love a woman who did not sing?  George Sand was probably not a singer (or perhaps she was?) – she called a spade a spade; her yang complemented his yin;  they may have had deep Karmic business in their attraction field.  One of the two sketches I did last night, while watching this video, is from hers of him.  From their liaison in Majorca came the tender Preludes which I used to play and to love dearly.  I have an old recording of Arrau playing them.  In one of them he throws a fiery tantrum, and my father used to mimic in falsetto George’s shock:  “Frederick!”

The journey up the Tree of Life through osmotic membranes is continuous, and there are obstacles – veils or resistances, a sort of grey chaos like my head-cold just now, through which the flowers spike their way.  These things come in waves.  When an inner contact is brewing, it brings some obscuring resistance to clear or blast off.  Through the snot and tissues, the irrepressible florets … make a baby sneeze.   The rising sap is a fountain of little fishes.  Not one of them can turn round and go back to the sack.   When the One which is ‘I’ reaches egg … PRESTO bellissima!   Nothing is EVER the same again.

Generally speaking, the course of life is a series of these small hiccups.  Perhaps jnana  (wisdom) is a state where they all join up and nothing is the same again EVER, and it is always like this:  the living and dying and letting go.   Robert Adams in Arizona looked like this.   He had no teeth when he said, “it has no end.  No end.”

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I imagine the extra terrestrial intelligences which interweave with ours, have that form of expansion which to us is liberation.  I imagine they move with our magidim and guardian angels easily, for the wavelength doesn’t limit the concepts.   The Presence of the aumakua varies only by local interest from galaxy to galaxy.   Holding my coloured lamp which invites them and rebuffs tricksters, I imagine them freely filling the spatial interstices in the room.   I may not have the gift of seeing their forms, but perhaps I can converse receptively with their mystery.

Fred Hoyle wrote a novel (1950s) of a close approach to Earth, of this kind.  When it connected to the intellectual brain only, it drove it insane.  The acceleration which is pure Consciousness can however be contained in the breathing heart body:  the heart or solar plexus mind (awakening silence which loves).

In this light, what is the accelerative frequency which plagues the human engineering at the present time, and where can it be accommodated?   Food for thought!

It drives many of us insane, particularly those whose incentive is to destroy their neighbours and environment.  These processes are cosmic eyeblinks; we endure their unfolding for decades and sometimes centuries.  Into their unfolding the threads of millennia are drawn.   Nothing of what is seen today can be interpreted unless we rise above it and get some glimpse of the landscape from elevation.   The landscape looks like the Andean Nazca lines, criss-crossing the ridges and plateaux.   To read this map would require a four-dimensional understanding of acupunctural meridians or the nadis of yoga, applied to the leylines of earth and through history’s points of intersection.   An acceptance that the map is of that dimension assists the contact of Higher Mind with a tiny bee in the earth hive.   Most accounts of Self knowledge say we should fall open into knowing nothing.   Then that by which I am known, can get to work.

Meister Eckhart said, “God does his deepest work in the soul when she is at rest.”  

The alchemical maxim is: Art begins where nature ceases to act.  The Hermetic soul begins where human intellect lets go.   I could study books about Nazca lines and Nadis, but I don’t wish to fill up my thought again with issues whose complexity generates karma by psychological default.  I now see clearly the last twenty years since I suddenly downloaded a lot of knowledge and started to see.   The light ‘grounded’ through some intense liaisons.   It had to materialise.

In the olden days, the rishis sat under trees and went about their lives and adored the sunrise and their cows:  their loving heart saw and knew the All, because it is in our DNA.  This faculty has not changed, deep down.   The sensitive veins to it are reopened, by keeping quiet.   This is what the alchemists call, “the miners of the mountains”.   It is all within us when we become still and look.

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Aruna is red fire,
Achala is standing still,
becoming a sacred hill, Arunachala, kind to kine
whose milk is the morning stream from Vedic stars.

The cow in Vedic hymn is sacred, pure light 
milked in pail by Upanishadic seers,
and a drove of cattle clouds at dawn, are gods 
that glow around her rising star.

In countless tales
the un-created cracked the sky;
but my silence of no angel’s feathers 
is drawn to see or sense
small feathers fall in place,
whether or not resolving.

1999, Poems of Eclipse

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It is the human predilection on the surface to keep busy.  That is OK.  Our bodies and our skills need location and exercise. Ramana Maharishi used to say that for those born in the west, to have to live the busy western mindset was their Sadhana or spiritual practice.  For those born in the east, their Sadhana was through ashram discipline along Yogic paths.  I sense the interplay and often collision of the western and eastern paths, permeated now by communication technology.  Blavatsky brought them together in the 19th century;  J Krishnamurti lived the way the eastern and western ways ‘clap hands’.

Yet further east I hear the koan:  sound of one hand clapping.  Koans are designed for the mind’s habit to fall apart; and the existential koan is Love.

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A Walk with Easter Bluebells

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Happy Easter!  On a long walk in Hertfordshire with camera – which cannot capture that deep purple fiery glitter coming through the ground, so let’s just imagine it.

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World turns upside down: sky through the ground

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Sky, earth, water

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living creature

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living body

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worlds meet: as above so below

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tuning fork

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like a bow

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relationship, dancers

tingly tangle!

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landscape every which way

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Friend’s astrology on the Tree of Life

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My adventure invites fellow travellers. I am a poet, an artist and a seer. I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.  See also Aquariel

All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012-2017. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address https://janeadamsart.wordpress.com/

Sketches of Pallas Athene

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athene's owl

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Athene was the Greek warrior goddess.  She might correspond to India’s Durga.  Her magnificent grey eyes were filled with light;  she came across the seas, larger than life, to inspire Perseus and other heroes on their dangerous odyssey. She lent them her weapons, her bearskin and Hermes’ gold sandals and cloak of invisibility.  Her creature is the Owl.  May her wisdom be our courage.

When I was a child, reading Charles Kingsley’s The Heroes, I copied out my favourite pages from the tale of Perseus and the Gorgon – how we face our shadow –  and illustrated them.  Botticelli’s allegorical painting of Pallas Athene and the troubled man who is half a horse, puzzled me.

I had last year in the back of my mind’s eye, Athene’s face as she strokes the centaur’s head.  When I was small, my grandmother must have told me the story, because always since then, I hear her crisp voice explaining this picture, perhaps she talked to me about the shield and the bearskin and the centaur and the spear.  Later, I learned to read.   An archetype behind my grandmother’s presence – the true picture (like a Botticelli or Leonardo) -transcends the suggestive physical form. The Presence of that art stood subtly behind Helen Ede’s face, her flavour and her voice.

Each child has a special feeling for her grandmother perhaps.  This is my own.

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The painting by Sandro Botticelli

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One of my versions, in 1987.  I too was on my inner journey …

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… to mend my dolls.

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I set forth into life, with Athene’s blessing and Hermes’ sandals

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Do I learn from books, or do I really look and see?  Wake up!

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Here are Ceres and John, the deep unfolding bud within Revelation.

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When I did this drawing – copying Botticelli’s – towards the end of last year, the allegory or mystery within it came up to the touch. She seems to raise the human animal body with all its memory and mythos, through levels of awakening:  they behold one another, astonished.  I particularly enjoyed drawing the centaur.

It was very difficult for me to draw Athene. When she at long last began to look like a goddess (not Botticelli’s look-like, but in her own right) I became deeply interested in the Centaur.   With him, the painting’s archetypal resonance emerges.  He is the daemon, the living creature of the woods:  his face is twisted like a root:  he is as we were when the Spirit world still shone through our irregular features –   a tall, noble, careworn personage, Cheiron who guided the Argonauts from his cave on Mount Pelion.  In the original Botticelli, he looks tall and spacious, but when I try to draw him, I discover his horse-body is a Shetland pony – short legs and haunches at the level of Athene’s knees.  So his distortion and its strange natural beauty in the Botticelli is curious:  the man body is long and powerful:  the horse body small and sturdy.

Try to imagine him here in this room:  great Devic man of the woods on a little Sheltie’s short legs which (relatively) scuttle him along like a small dog.

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Version 2

I always imagined Centaurs as the proud neck of great stallions who leap fallen trees and rocks effortlessly, read the stars and regard bipeds with disdain.  This one’s human body is outsize. Athene in my drawing is super-human size, she has very big feet.  She is a goddess.  I used to love the leaves and flowers on her shining dress.  Her face was rather grown up and sorrowful.  In my rendering, it is sensual like a female Pan, an awakened child, a bit like Botticelli’s earthy angels.  She gazes wonderingly at the Centaur creature whose dark locks of hair she strokes – in my drawing she might pull his hair, gently draw him up to her height, to be seen.   She seems to unmask nature.   Her presence and touch lifts him from small pony body (or cart-horse) to the godlike stature of human, and still he is uncoiling from his shy woodland state:  he shields himself like Adam and Eve:  he twists like an old tree. His eyes and consciousness do not know what or Who this is, that lifts, shines and troubles him.

The allegory is now clear to me.  Like the Birth of Aphrodite, it is another portrait of Renaissance in the collective soul-body at the time.   I am fascinated by his daemon woodiness and the idea that in any sylvan glade in the woods, these two might emerge through transpositions of the light.

In the painting they are on the shore of a lake by a temple; in the distance behind them sails a little boat. In my mind’s eye they are deep in the woods, among the trees. My early impress of childhood awakens to a transformed sound:  as I began to draw the Centaur, I heard and felt the ‘quickening’ in my body.  It is easier and a relief to draw his battered face than to try to represent a Botticelli beauty … I had a long struggle with her.  He is of the curled roots and loamy sharp smells of the woods.  Pan-like, he gives me his energy.

Like when I copied Botticelli’s Primavera Mercury some years ago, I understand God’s ‘twist’ and brush-stroke in our design, which we endure:  body’s spiral movement – face’s anxious uplift – essential in the overall design to support it like a pillar, like Atlas.

QLF49 Mercury April allegory.JPG

Mercury – Hermes – copy after Botticelli’s Primavera

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A week or two later, I did the same drawing, this time with my left hand.  Why?  Because my left hand – the surfacing subconscious or feminine, has not yet acquired bad habits.  It is less facile, so it is aware.  The lines come from within, slow, sensitive and deliberate, I seem to see where they should go.  I didn’t have to erase much.

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Centaur and Athene after Botticelli – drawn with left hand

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Athene herself looks amazed at what she uncovers.  It is related to her allegories of unmasking with Perseus and the Gorgon, and to my feeling with this drawing.  Her shield and bears-head and owl are not visible, but all are implied in her raising of the Centaur to the light.   In my right-hand version, there wasn’t much room on the paper to draw her big axe-head on the staff she holds, and there was no room at all for the Centaur’s bow.

Centaurs are the Sagittarian Archer.  Traditionally the Sags are small, dark and lithe, and swift with their arrows which travel far … until they reach the Saturn field of Capricorn.   In winter there is this tidal pressure and restraint:  centrifugue and centripetal movement, Jupiter and Saturn across the Tree:  winter.

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Aphrodite comes ashore with shadow.

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Hear the sea.  Walk in the sand.

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Copy of Sandro Botticelli's self-portrait detail from "Adoration of the Virgin"

Copy of Sandro Botticelli’s self-portrait detail from “Adoration of the Virgin”

My adventure invites fellow travellers. I am a poet, an artist and a seer. I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012-2017. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address https://janeadamsart.wordpress.com/

The Mellowing

Woodland 1986

Woodland 1986

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Walking in the beech woods near Great Missenden, I was thinking about being the childhood, and I wrote this down:

jane & quince at ventonwyn copy

Elder age is not only four
hop skip jump,
but the Mellow
just as good.

No repeat
but savour
through and through
the NOW

my elder age’s
same unlettered quality
to find itself
not a drag!

What a gem. It came when I bent down to see what it is like to be just child-high off the ground. And then stood tall again. It isn’t about recapturing that odd, rhapsodic little girl physically and interiorly. The whole organism is by now as different as a fruit tree from the sapling. The organs and pulses and hormones and appearance are changed. The pressure of life in children and kittens and lambs makes them skip irrepressibly, enchantingly.   (It still skips in me at 67). The pressure of life in we older folk has a slower tempo, the character of a river rather than mountain brook … which carved its way … the same ESSENCE unbrokenly unique.   The way to enter the stream is here now.

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little boy by the sea 1954

little boy by the sea 1954

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Childhood is full of hassle – growing pains and hateful grownups and bad dreams and tedium and fear and need. Elderhood is full of hassle – just the same. It isn’t about what I become, it is being.   Savour the slow distillation at this point: river of leaf mould, sky and rain, river great snake slipping along its curving channel, the revelation turns discreet, subtle and lingering, an old wine.   It has to find its way through anxious mental arteries and conditioned stone walls and erratic absence and getting weary & cross. The marvel and mystery is here for the looking, and I love it so.

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Little girl in a meadow, 1955

Little girl in a meadow, 1955

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The mellowing. The living mystery is in the mellowing.   The child’s ferment is the bouquet in the elder one. You need a trained palate to really taste the wine: to become still where the child goes skip hop.   And then it takes you by the sea!

I’m reminded of Yehudi who played the violin perfectly when he was a little boy. When he grew up he lost it (terrifyingly) and had to learn how to do it: fingering, posture, technique, tone, bowing and behaviour.   He became a great humanitarian and yogi, and a musical ambassador for peace.

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Yehudi Menuhin joyously 1986

Yehudi Menuhin joyously 1986

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This tells me that the creature the child grows up into has a special responsibility and value, because he or she does and is all kinds of things that the eternal inner child could not yet. Life is not just easy, at any stage of the game.

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Red roofs, Cornwall, 1956

Red roofs, Cornwall, 1956

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Elisa & Mary in Iona - 2016

Elisa & Mary in Iona – 2016

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My adventure invites fellow travellers. I am a poet, an artist and a seer. I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

This blog is a vehicle to promote also my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books). Watch this space.

aquariel link

All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012-2014. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address https://janeadamsart.wordpress.com/

Character in Birdsong – by Peter Adams

Among my late father’s writings, I found two essays to post here in his memory, this one on Bird-songs, and another: ‘Mutterings from a Back Desk’ (among first or second violins in the orchestra). His acute ear pleases me. I shall post his ‘Back Desk thoughts‘ later this week, in my other blog, Aquariel.  (now done)

Peter died on 19 February at 93.  I was with him as he went ‘through the opening door’.  What a moment with a parent to share:  in his own words – ‘as into the Now, I bow.’  We planted him in a green churchyard in the North Devon countryside, with his Yule ancestors.  Rest in deep peace.  “Fare forward voyager!” … This which he used to say, is from Eliot’s four quartets.  Not farewell, but fare forward..

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Peter inspects the field 2014

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Character in Birdsong (1952-3)

Often the calls and songs of birds evoke a startlingly clear atmosphere; the long crooning purr of the nightjar brings to mind still summer nights never quite dark.  The middle distant call of a partridge like the creaking of an un-oiled hinge suggests the hayfield in the evening.  Often these sounds can spring the catch of memory.  At all times and especially in lonely moments, bird song can be a part of life, and not just a background to it.

There are many people who take an interest in birds and enjoy watching them, yet really few can enjoy the songs in the same way.  This is strange, for it is so much easier to hear a bird singing than to see it.  The voice of the nightingale may be clearly audible half a mile away, and yet half an hour of search may give no more than a glimpse of the brown body slipping across a freckle of sunlight in a thicket.  For the lazy man there can be few pleasures to surpass lying back in the sun just listening to the birds.  And the ear when trained can give as much pleasure as the eye.

To name is to create interest, and recognition of the different songs and sounds is the first step.  Like most beginnings it is the most difficult, but whenever a little progress has been made, the fresh delight of hearing among the mesh of woodland sounds a known bird-song and of being able to listen to it as an individual will whet the appetite.  Concentrated and accurate listening are the requirements necessary to distinguish between the varying bird sounds until they are known so well that the mind automatically hears, recognises and criticises the songs while the body is intent upon some other task.  This is the aim, to know and enjoy without effort whatever birds are singing at any time.

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wood bird yantra

wood bird yantra

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Certainly the easiest way to learn bird songs is to hear a song and see the bird singing it.  To see is to believe, but it is usually far more difficult than just hearing and often demands more effort.  In many cases it is not essential.  Imaginative reading of word-pictures can enable the keen mind to recognise a bird note never before heard. ‘The Charm of Birds’ by Grey and the writings of W.E.Hudson contain some of the best descriptions of bird sounds in an extensive literature.

Bird-songs differ in four main ways.  To take the simplest first, there is the manner in which the bird sings and its position while singing.  Many birds sing from a perch.  The starling finds the chimney pot useful as a stand for his useful collection of clicks and chuckles, his wheezings and his imitative notes;  a clown’s song.  Mistle-thrushes sing from the top of a tree leaning into the wind, and song-thrushes sit higher and sing longer than blackbirds.  The robin sings from a lower perch and changes it fairly frequently.  Like many of the smaller birds, wrens and dunnocks sing quite spontaneously as they move about.  The lark is easily recognised, his song raining down from that high ecstatic body hung so close to the sky, and the meadow-pippit’s few liquid notes are thrown out as the bird parachutes down to a bush from the climax of its brief upward flight.

Secondly, there is the mood in which the song is cast.  Blackbirds are never young; their song is calm and reflective, born of a controlled emotion, of ‘emotion recalled in tranquillity‘.  The sentences are spaced and meaningful, giving the impression of thought and care, and there is fluency with mastery of the medium.

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Violin for cover - Version 2 copy

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How different is the boyish attitude of the thrush, of constant experimentation and interest. He listens to his short sentences, likes them and repeats them;  but he never does anything with them.  There is no design to his music.  Even so, the thrush of all birds seems to take the keenest delight in his own singing, and is often the last to fall silent at dusk.

Different again is the wild impetuous carolling of the mistle-thrush, a rush of swift sentences with little variety.  Careful listening will reveal little variety in the song of the redbreast, but so masterly is his control, so effortless his phrasing and so sweet his tone that this lack of material is masked. There is great tenderness in this emotional little song.  The willow-warbler sings in a similar mood, a single plaintive falling cadence, one of the purest sounds in all bird music.

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4 Snowy Lullaby

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Few birds are more self-effacing than the dunnock, and his slight musical tinkle is meant not to offend.  How violently compares the ringing mechanical challenge of the wren!  Once the spring is released to set the song in motion, there is no stopping it until all is said.

A rather more subtle difference is the tone-colour or quality of the voice.  Many bird voices have the timbre of the flute;  but each species has its own kind of flute.  The blackbird’s flute is of green wood.  The tone is warm and rounded, has a throaty quality;  almost it might be said that the blackbird never quite clears his throat.  Nor has his voice the carrying power that enables the song-thrush to light up the evening in a higher drier register.  For the thrush is the descant recorder, a more even tone that never achieves the mellowness of the blackbird.  The robin has a silver flute, and how gently he uses it.  So do most of the warblers, but somewhere in their flutes there is a flaw which causes the voice to harshen on occasion.  The hardest metallic voice belongs to the wren – a tempered steel that rings in the ear.

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Trees planted by Peter, near Shebbear

Trees planted by Peter, near Shebbear

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Lastly, the shape of the sentences or what the bird says is often a great help in getting to know a song.  All birds except the larks sing in more or less short sentences.  These sentences may be set and identical, and are easy to learn.  The hearty but uninspired descending expression of the chaffinch ending in a little turn is typical.  So is the yellow bunting’s ‘Little-bit-of-bread-and-NO-cheese’ in a voice suggesting the quivering heat of summer afternoons.  The tremendous vitality of the wren frequently sets in motion his long and pompous phrase with its bouncing rhythm and many trills.  Probably the simplest sentence is uttered by the first spring-migrant to arrive.  In late March the chiff-chaff is heard high in a tree stolidly repeating his single ill-articulated word with the rhythm of a carving-knife being sharpened.  He calls in fact, his name aloud, for all to hear.

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lino cut bird and egg

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All the great singers bring variety into their songs with more or less differing sentences.  Few translations of bird songs into the human language bear much resemblance to the original, but the following fragment of a thrush’s song written about a hundred years ago, is an exception:

“Worse, mocked the thrush. ‘Die! Die!
O, could he do it, could he do it? Nay!
Be quick!  Be quick!  Here, here, here’
(went his lay)

“‘Take heed! take heed!’  Then, ‘Why?
Why? Why? Why? Why?
See-ee now!  See-ee now!’ (he drawled)
‘Back  Back  Back  R-r-r-run away?’

“O thrush be still!
or at thy will
seek some less sad interpreter than I.”

The nightingale also employs repetition on occasion with great effect, but his song is perhaps the most varied of them all, changing not only the phrases but the tone-colour and the strength of the notes.  He is the only bird to employ crescendo, and there are few things more wonderful to hear than his swelling repetition of a single lovely note until the night is filled with it.

To hear one such perfect note as this is worth much, and it is to this end that a knowledge of bird-songs leads.  For in the height of the singing season the birds sing in chorus, and it is only by picking out and listening to an individual that the single strands of beauty can be heard.  The ability to do this can be a great joy, and will open a new world of sensation and interest.

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Written in the early 1950s at The Bows, Glensaugh, Laurencekirk, Scotland
Revised at Breck Farm, Bransdale, Fadmoor, Yorks.

Peter was under-shepherd at the first, and managing a big hill of sheep at the second.

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Peter with Moss and Nell

Peter with Moss and Nell

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**

My adventure invites fellow travellers. I am a poet, an artist and a seer. I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

This blog is a vehicle to promote also my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books). Watch this space.

aquariel link

All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012-2016. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address https://janeadamsart.wordpress.com/

Human Landscape – Children of Syria

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Here are three sketches I did recently, feeling the pressure at the gates of Europe of thousands, millions of individuals, who seek in desperation, a safe place for their young, and for their families.

syria children 1

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syria children 2

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red coastal campion

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syria children 3

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In this land of many racial types and communities, the Star, the Cross and the Crescent thrived.  Until the civil war, Syria enjoyed a secular vitality, largely Sunni Islamic, with remnants of the old Jewish community in Aleppo, and deep anchors of orthodox Antioch Christianity.

Pondering the refugee crisis and cultural cross-fertilization, the light with the dark, the waves crossing waves of man’s inhumanity to man … is it seeding for generations to come, a paradoxical enrichment to the human gene pool?

What pains and pangs of birth are these?  History is peppered with tidal migrations and the violent forces which propel them.  Is there any actual limit or lack of space within the human heart?

Through depth of meaning, we find survival and adaptation. It may help children caught up in adult war to survive, for we are all connected through resonance; it directs us where to go, and what we can or might do here and now.  Meanings are not only spiritual, religious or collective. Meanings are social, intimate and personal – the evolving integrity of an individual’s interconnecting place and purpose in society.

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waves on musselwick sands

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butterlamp boat

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**

My adventure invites fellow travellers. I am a poet, an artist and a seer. I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

This blog is a vehicle to promote also my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books). Watch this space.

aquariel link

All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012-2015. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address https://janeadamsart.wordpress.com/

Sketches of Beethoven and Minona

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4C3TIr2bBo0 – Barenboim’s noble rendering of the Appassionata Sonata

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http://www.lvbeethoven.com/Famille/FamilyTree-Minona.html#Midi

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Beethoven profile - xerox of a lost sketch

Beethoven profile – xerox of a lost sketch

In my earlier post, More Sketches of Beethoven, I described a dream I had many years ago, that I tried to draw his daughter, who lived with him somewhere underneath Vienna.  It seemed at the time to parallel his efforts at composition, a titanic process of inspirational song, rain-soaked notebooks and hours or months of cutting, shaping and refining – it did not come easy for him.

I brought from my dream’s dark-room an impression down the years, of a child with a wide face and a fringe.  She was his child, or she was his soul – he looked through her eyes.  I met him in my dream, and we made an agreement.  That is all I remember – and the heart breaking toil of trying to portray her.   In those days I drew many children, capturing their essence in sometimes half an hour or less.   Not so, with this one!

I decided to try to reconstruct the dream – particularly when “Edwardian Piano” informed me that there was a daughter – it is said her mother, Josephine Brunswick, raised her as Minona Stakelberg. Josephine’s sister Therese alone was in the secret, which she kept until her grave.  On the website (see top of page under the Barenboim video), you can hear a couple of Minona’s Ecossaises for the piano.  It is a pity that they are played in  ‘electronic’ style.  I can imagine their grace and humour on an old Broadwood.

With sepia photos or daguerrotypes, I guess my way along, like a palaeontologist.  The photo looked at once familiar.  Her face in it is broad, yet heart shaped;  she looks a determined young woman.  In the other photo, she is an older woman.  She probably lost her teeth, and her nose looks longer.  I began with Neidl’s likeness of Beethoven, nearest to the dark child I see in my mind:

Beethoven engraving by J.Neidl

Engraving of Beethoven by J.Neidl from a drawing by G.E.Stainhauser von Treuberg in 1800

The young Beethoven – after the Neidl engraving

Minona

Minona’s face is rather thin here, which draws on information from both the photos. In old photos, much of the bone structure detail is blurred.  It is said her looks were dark and “Spanish”, like Beethoven’s.  My drawing doesn’t show much family likeness, but an exploration of this kind might touch unknown factors;  I do not know!

Josephine Brunswick, her mother

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Finally I began work on this:

Beethoven and his natural daughter

Beethoven and his natural daughter

 …  and it is not finished, and cannot be, but is starting to speak.

There are mysteries between ourselves as human beings and our hidden continents and the things we grieve and share and conceal and stumble with, which can only be recognised and touched upon … beyond words.  We touch the hem of the robe.  The story’s pressure through my dream was the character of Beethoven’s illegitimate daughter, and how this condition made her strong, made her hear him, and grow up beyond her years.  This, like tidal currents in the sea which enter one another, has resonance.

Grief is sharp and alive with colour as in a painting, and so is joy;  and life is born through dying, born through dying and letting go … again and again and again.

Minona Stakelberg

Photo of Minona Stakelberg

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Anton Schindler’s Impression of Beethoven at the piano:
“What the Sonata Pathetique was in the hands of Beethoven (although he left something to be desired as regards clean playing) was something that one had to have heard and heard again, to be quite certain that it was the same already well known work.  Above all, every single thing became, in his hands, a new creation, wherein his always legato playing, one of the particular characteristics of his execution, formed an important part.

“In his lessons, Beethoven taught: always place the hands on the keyboard so that the fingers do not rise any more than is strictly necessary, for only with this method is it possible to create a tone and to learn how to ‘sing’.  He hated staccato playing, especially in the execution of passages; he called it ‘finger dance’ or ‘leading the hands into the air.’

“The pieces which I myself heard Beethoven execute were, with few exceptions, always quite free of tempo limitations:  a tempo rubato in the truest sense of the word, according to the demands of the contents and situation without, however, the slightest tendency to caricature.  It was the clearest and most comprehensible declamation … as perhaps can only be elicited from his works.

“His older friends, who carefully followed the evolution of his spirit in every aspect, assure me that he developed this style in the first years of the third period of his life, and that he turned completely away from his earlier manner of playing with fewer nuances.  From this, it is clear that his urge towards discovery had already found the ways and means to open up with confidence the portals of the mystery to both laity and initiated. 

“He wanted the Quartets to be performed in the same manner as the Sonatas, for they paint states of mind, as do the majority of his Sonatas.”

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Allegri quartet rehearsing, 1988

Allegri quartet rehearsing, 1988

 shingle and shadow

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My adventure invites fellow travellers. I am a poet, an artist and a seer. I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

This blog is a vehicle to promote also my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books). Watch this space.

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