Liverpool Art School 1969 – Sketchbook 6

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Here is another Liverpool sketchpad from 1969.  I was at art school there, for a year.  You can use the Search button on this blog, to find my other Liverpool sketches  – I use my blog to archive them !

I shall companion this post with my next one – Jung’s account (in Memories, Dreams, Reflections) of his vision in Liverpool.  He called Liverpool the pool of life;  the dark city flowed around the glowing centre of a mandala.  It led him to the Way of the Golden Flower.  He had just finished painting a mandala which he called the Golden Castle – through its portal, he entered the I Ching.

Some of the drawings in this post are of London, where my Italian sweetheart lived.  I hitch hiked south at weekends, to be with him.

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In those days, I met and talked with strangers a great deal.  There was something to learn from everyone;  I was a captive audience.

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This sequence is more visionary:

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I just found this passage in my journal, early spring in 1969.  My meeting with John left an indelible impression in my pool of life, and a sketch:

“It is all a bit like practicing Bach – the complexity of fugal themes and analysis of fingers, with which one has to think hard and precisely; and the sudden resolution, the fitting into place of a phrase like a jigsaw piece in harmony – before it flies apart and you have to work some more. The sudden realisation comes out of the bed of a sea of data, facts and study.  Intuition must have form to pass through as expression, otherwise it is dumb – unresolved spasmodic movements in the dark.  Intuition must be completed through a receiving set of Reality, to come to the light – as music, as painting, as love.

“I’m spending Saturday afternoon at John’s, practicing.”

John the Organist

John the Organist

“Here is John playing the organ.  He lectures also at the art college.  He is from Trinidad.  He is an aggressive person, tremendously active intellectually – immersed in philosophy and music.  He pushes his argument to the bitter end, just for the hell of it, and says he doesn’t have many friends, he prefers to live off his own means.  He “travels” in his room.  I am fascinated by his personality.  He has no time for refinement:  it might weaken him.

“He admires intensely the ancient Greeks, whom he emulates in his direct, self sufficient state of enquiry.  He likes to be with people who spark off debate which he carries to the end of the road and beyond.  More an organist than a pianist, he makes music with all of himself – ‘Here I am!’ – he thrusts.   Fred who visited, heard me playing, and said it was interesting to hear a woman on the piano.  ‘Makes a change from your brute force, John!’

“The pair of them went out shopping in the freezing snow and ice, so I had some time to myself.  I try to be a still, small rock of truth somewhere in myself, over which the waves wash their colours.  My contacts with people are intense;  at the same time I can live from my own means …  I don’t want to copy their styles, I don’t want to crash through a Brahms sonata I grew up with, for I knew its exquisite pain when Aunty Lonie and my father played it together – the same exquisite pain is in sex – I hope one day to climb the mountain.

“John and I like discussions which fly from pole to pole, and find each other interesting as opposites;  but I am too bendy so he gets bored.  He is a hard man; he allows human frailty no room;  I live with it because I have no choice.  We both stick to our guns.  In the evening after we had tea, two people came with their little two year old daughter who said “A garden on the wall!” when she saw the wood-carving hung there.   She is at the age of fascination.  Her dad is an architect with a gentle face, a “street acquaintance”.  Because I was feeling defenceless and raw, events and people took on a magnified intensity, harsh and new.  I knew suddenly, a powerful music of life.  John put scraps of Messiaen on the record-player…

“Later in the evening, John said ‘Would you like to come and play the organ in the Swedish church?’ The place we drove to, down dim frosty streets, was in an unfamiliar part of Liverpool, nearby.  Suddenly we found ourselves in a warm room with Swedish lamps. It was a Swedish mariners’ club, and rather elegant.  The TV was hidden;  a few men with jutting Nordic faces and bristly hair sat on settees and drank black coffee.  There was a girl there, a trainee occupational therapist.  She was working in a mental hospital and found the experience depressng.

“I’d like to speak their steely language, and to see the midnight sun.  John is like them.  He and I went upstairs to the circular vaulted church, hard and white, where the organ was. He is black but his mind is blown from the North.  Sitting on the altar step I listened and watched his feet fly around on the pedals, his silhouette dark against the keyboard lamp.  The music of Bach and Cesar Franck lifted my thoughts in great celestial waves;  I felt so HIGH.

“When I had a go, I tried to synchronise both hands and feet in the architecture which is organic harmony.  The place had a strange atmosphere, like a German expressionist film.  I felt  ‘resurrected’ and on the pulse of great mysteries.

From journal, early spring 1969

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That picture of an angel in society, feeling vulnerable and uncomfortable – I dreamed it, the way it spoke, and the tender buds behind the shoulder blades.

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These sketches are mostly of London, and contain an awakening.

The figure in the smoke above Battersea Power Station is a “Wicked Prince” searching for a Ruby.  Whenever he rolls the plain grey rocks and stones around in his search, there is thunder.  When I was a child, my grandfather Jim Ede told us tales of The Wicked Prince year by year.   The saga ended at this point when I was about twelve;  Jim shut his mouth – though we begged him to go on – and wouldn’t tell us any more.

The Wicked Prince is still on his adventurous quest.  He is locked up in the sky.  He seeks the Ruby –  alchemical tincture of the Stone:  a rare wine that grew in the water:  a wine that grows in the rain.

Battersea Power Station was in those days still functioning, and a truly marvellous building – created by the architect of Liverpool Anglican Cathedral.   It lifted my soul.

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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/

 

The Chakras on the Tree of Life

Tree of Life chakras

Commenting on my sketch of the Chakras on the Tree of Life, (see Violet Woman and the Hermit) … /  Peter asked me if I could write a detailed post on this topic.

Well !  I shall try.  That sketch was done in 1992, and I seem to remember, there was some written material with it …  (which I located yesterday!  See further down).   But first, some warm-up flourishes with the Tree:

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Buddha manishya

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General – the Tree and Jacobs Ladder

The Chakras embody the seven levels of the Tree of Life.

More than enough has been written about the Chakras, their tonalities and symbols in different systems, for a student to become thoroughly confused!   It feels superfluous to compare or reconcile cultural viewpoints – they all come back to the same principle.  Bridging the traditions, I intend to pick up on a few of my insights which accumulated experientially here.

Key 17 star

The Chakras are seven beads strung upon a thread.  Like our classical planetary octave to which were added for the modern era, the outer planets, supplementary beads appear among the basic seven.

In Tarot and Alchemy, the Chakras are called the “Interior Stars”.  Our spine is a stem for their expression, like a flute or a fountain.

The Tree of Life is a fountain:  root and shoot:  a gravitation of Light into earth.  The lightning flash upward or downward, completes an electric circuit.  It unites the polarities through centre.  From the heart the shoot ascends;  the root descends.  

On this foundational principle is based the Cup and Blade, Feminine and Masculine triads, the interplay of Grace and Kundalini, the Book of Changes.  Rise and fall.

At the heart, Tifareth (Beauty) – is sustained through Kether (the Holy One) and our Ground (Malkuth).  The cosmic song of Kether, Tifareth, Malkuth is: “I AM THAT I AM”.

The Tree’s centre pillar is sometimes called KAV.  This inner thread unites galaxy to earthworm through DNA and atomic lattice.   When the Tree extends into Four Worlds (dovetailed through the upper and lower ‘faces’), the KAV forms – up through the centre pillar, or stem – a vertical Jacobs’ Ladder of 11 Sefiroth – Malkuth, Yesod, Hod, Netzach, Tifareth, Gevurah, Hesed, Daat (which is a non-Sefira), Binah, Hokhmah, Kether.  Or in physical terms – body as vehicle, the persona, mind-stuff, desire, beauty(heart centre), constraints, opportunities, unknown-cognition, understanding, wisdom, the Divine thread.  The language is refined through the 3 higher worlds, and becomes archetypal.  The psychological world – Yetzirah –  penetrates our physical organs – Assiyah – through Daat (union, unknown cognition, capillary) and “rests its feet”/Malkuth, in the heart/Tifareth of the physical world.  And so on.

The KAV feels like a tweak of the divine Thread through fontanelle and soles of feet:  sky to earth – the Tree is strung upon it, as I am.

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The Four Worlds

In his autobiography The Path of a Kabbalist, Halevi writes:

“Jacob’s Ladder is the Kabbalistic version of the Chain of Being or interacting Worlds, well known to the ancient and medieval mystics and philosophers.  In the Zohar, the Ladder is spoken of symbolically as one reality inside another, like a nut within its shell, which in turn is inside another nut and shell: (or the brain inside the skull).  In the extended diagram of interlocked Trees, the lower ‘face’ of a higher Tree overlaps the upper ‘face’ of the next Tree below or World down, and so on.  

“However, this metaphysical diagram was never openly revealed in the public domain, although it was hinted at in many Kabbalistic texts. 

eleven vesica circles, Yemen halevi

“The nearest reference I have seen is a document from Yemen in the late 15th century. In this, a chain of eleven interlocked circles clearly define Jacobs Ladder, but without the sefiroth or paths.  This meant the original scheme of what was called the Great Tree, running down the centre, was not shown.  The KAV or middle column line of Divine Presence that permeates existence, makes up what is seen as the fifth ‘Great Tree’.  Together with the forty Sefiroth of the four Trees, they make the Fifty Gates spoken of in some texts.  The eleventh, mysterious non-sefira, Daat or Knowledge, representing direct experience, adds the eleventh circle of the Yemeni Ladder which is composed of Biblical verses.”

(See drawings of Jacob’s Ladder – the 4-World Trees – in this post, below.)

Halevi continues: “Jacob’s Ladder was rediscovered by my Instructor and another member of our circle.  The latter brought him the reproduction of a modern painting of kabbalistic Trees, set inside one another.  The idea, that within each Sefira there is a little Tree, and within that, another, and so on until there are ten, is well known but not in terms of a Ladder.  The painting had several Trees telescoped inside one another, but in no obvious order.  My colleagues then saw that if this image could be pulled out like a telescope, it might make more sense.  They redrew the model in terms of the Four Worlds (Ezekiel’s vision), and suddenly Jacob’s Ladder was there with the Great Tree on the central column.  When the Kabbalah group was shown this scheme, we were stunned.  It explained many of the obscure texts in Kabbalistic literature where a ‘Ladder of Ascent’ is mentioned.

“The Yemen manuscript (in the British Museum) was confirming evidence for the metaphysical model spoken of, in symbolic terms.  Discovering it (at a later date) was a great relief, as it backed the interlocked Ladder, as against the generally misunderstood view that the Worlds were joined by the bottom and top of their Trees.  This view did not explain how they interacted, whereas the overlaying and underlying upper and lower Trees did.”

Zev ben Shimon Halevi 2010

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(My grandfather Jim Ede had a bas-relief this same shape, carved out of dark greenish stone.  He played with the curves between his thumbs, and said it was very ancient and he could make it “bend”, but of course it didn’t.  I grew up with it.   But I cannot find a photo of it anywhere in his book of Kettles Yard “A Way of Life” – perhaps he carried it in his pocket.  It had at least five circles. Not surprisingly, when I was first shown Jacob’s Ladder in ’88,  I felt at home.)

This sketch is by his friend Dino Valenti:

vesica by dino valenti

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Gallery 1 – click on any image to view

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Note in one of these, the Seven Kabbalistic Heavens on the KAV – a numerical correspondence with the Chakra stem.  The Four Worlds are Aziluth (Emanation), Beriah (Creation, archangelic laws), Yetzirah (Formation, the psyche and astrology archetypes) and Assiyah (material world).   Our worldview is in general where the two lower worlds, Yetzirah and Assiyah, overlap.  The worldview alters radically as we ascend the Ladder and gain altitude and objectivity.

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Rose Tree Tifareth

Rose Tree Tifareth

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So what is a Chakra?

The Sanskrit word for this is “wheel”.  The wheel turns slowly at its hub, and moves faster around the rim.  The galactic wheel in which our solar system travels, moves at a rate we cannot conceive.   All originates from “spin” or torque:  the beginnings of the whirlings, or GILGALEM.   Waves for instance are spiral rotations;  and concentration of any medium, curves gravity towards and around itself.  The Sun as a gravitational focus, travels along a vast galactic spiral:  the planets spiral around him.  Any singularity produces a curvature of time and space – like water around a plughole.

A Chakra embodies this principle.   It has no speech or theory.  It is life – the thread pulled from above and below, vibrates, and the universe spins.  At school we made and played with spinzips.  We cut a disk out of card, coloured it, and threaded a loop of string through two holes (like a button) in its centre.   Grasping the loop’s two ends, we whirled the disk round and round, and when it was all wound up, we played the length of string like an accordian, in and out, watching it whirl and twist each way, watching the colours – and it made a wonderful whooshy spin-zippy sound.   Try it.

A Chakra, like a tree, grows up through its own concentric rings.  A chakra has a simultaneously horizontal and vertical movement – like the Sri Chakra Yantra.

Mandalas and Yantras are Chakras, as are concentric wavelengths and sound-waves.  A Mantra is a vibration of consciousness.  A Chakra vibrates from centre which is still, to circumference which is active:  from formlessness to form:  from the core of a tree through yearly rings, to the outer bark and upper leaf and birds.  A Chakra is everything we see around us, as our vision moves through the sphere.  Our spatial geometry is the sphere, whose limitless fluidity is supported by interior Tetrahedrons – the stability of existence.

diagram by Nassim Haramein, Resonance Project

diagram by Nassim Haramein, Resonance Project

A chakra is, experientially, EXISTENCE:  with – if we are fortunate – consciousness and peace:  sat chit ananda.

The sequence of seven interior Chakra notes in the subtle body, aligned to the spine, implies the Octave.  Normally, they are obscured by life.  Practices of Yoga and Alchemy assist and attune our Chakral consciousness – like cleaning a window:  a lens.

chakras spirals

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The seven Chakra tones suggest a spectrum with higher and lower tones beyond our sensory field:  and therefore, the rainbow.

Pure white light, growing up through the stem from ground, is a hidden treasure whose crest is the thousand petalled lotus.

The rainbow’s primordial refraction of light (fire) through water (rain) – converts white light to our seven perceptual tones (and all the shades between).  In this drawing, the seven Chakra centres in our body are aligned to seven levels – (or “heavens”) – in the Tree of Life.  The encircling  “fountain” through our auric field, has seven sheaths, and is brown, the colour of Earth.  With conscious breath, we inhale while visualising a fountain or a waterfall:  root and shoot:  the interpenetrating triangles, male and female, of the Seal of Solomon.

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The Chakras on the Tree of Life, rainbow spectrum

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4 January 1992 – What did I write, with this sketch ?

Surprise!  It was the first draft of Tsim Tsum, a “landmark” essay which I found and  blogged last summer, 18 July:  

“In Genesis, And There Was Light was the handwriting of space, time and matter visible to the eye – how it ballooned over the aeons.  To withdraw into attention – lotus, stem and flower – is to centre a radiating concentric ripple.  The infinite centre emits signals of itself.  A centre which emits a signal, concentrically, is a creation of time – relative to the receiver.  But the ripple which is the signal, is a wave, leaving the centre at the speed of light, perhaps.

“Sudden gleam of realisation in half-sleep last night:  if I emit rays of speed of light, then I myself travel (away from the emitting) at the speed of light.  What moves and what is moved is purely relative, in the universal constant of 186,000 miles per second … …  Listen carefully.  Matter is formed at the speed of Light, wherever on the circumference of the sphere whose centre is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere!”

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There follows my then favourite passage (slightly abridged) from Leo Schaya’s The Universal Meaning of the Kabbalah:

“When Baal-Shem says that ‘God the infinite brings about a contraction and makes room in himself where the worlds can be created’, he is alluding to the Kabbalistic doctrine of tsim tsum … ‘The Holy One, blessed be he, withdrew his powerful light from one part of himself and left a void to serve as a place for cosmic expansion’;  it concerns ‘that part of the divine essence in which the light was weakened to allow the existence of souls, angels, angels and the material worlds.

“In reality, God the absolute One, has no ‘parts’, but an infinity of possibilities of which only the creatural possibilities have the illusory appearance of separate forms.  … The part from which the light has been withdrawn to make room for the cosmos, is nothing other than God’s receptivity which actualizes itself in the midst of his unlimited fullness.  This receptivity has a transcendent aspect and an immanent aspect.  ‘Above’, it is identified with Binah the supreme Mother, eternally filled with the infinite and luminous emanation of the Father Hokhmah.  ‘Below’, it is Malkuth (substance), the lower Mother or cosmic receptivity of God.” 

He is talking about Binah the Dark Mother inseminated by Hokhmah, wisdom;  and Malkuth the realm of Earth – the field.

Avocado 1973

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“Malkuth absorbs the influx from the Sefira of Benevolence, luminous and overflowing, and the influx from the Sefira of Severity (Rigour), dark or empty.” (This is like the tide, the breath, the chambers of the heart.  Malkuth realises tangibly, the principle.) 

“Thus, in contrast to Binah (the Understanding) which is always revealed as filled with the infinite, Malkuth the divine Immanence can take on the appearance of a dark void in the midst of its radiant fullness.  

yin yang peach

“Indeed, Binah is … without all rigour, though rigour emanates from Her, while Malkuth receives the emanations of rigour (Gevurah) together with those of grace (Hesed) to produce and dominate the cosmos and hold it in equilibrium through the interpenetration of two simultaneously opposite and complementary influxes.

(In other words, where was ever a big bang or beginning?)

“Through the effect of tsim-tsum, the divine fullness withdraws from the ‘lower Mother’ and awakens creative receptivity in her.  This takes on the aspect of the Void or ‘place of the world’, ready to receive cosmic manifestation.   Then all creative possibilities spring up from the existential seed which is left behind by divine Fullness on its withdrawal – as a luminous residue in the immanent emptiness.  Thus, thanks to the divine contraction and the void it brings about in the Shekhinah, the expansion of the world takes place;  and everything living in the immanence of God, is a small world created in the image of the macrocosm.  It is a void to which life is given by a luminous residue of the One Reality:  a central and divine spark which projects onto it the reflection of some eternal archetypes.” 

(As we saw in my earlier post, the balloon can only expand with an emptying lung.)

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Tree of Life showing Tarot arcana in the Sefiroth

Tree of Life showing the 22 Paths, hebrew alphabet, and the Tarot arcana in the Sefiroth

“Kabbalah expresses the same process as the pargod, or curtain.  The Idra Rabba Kadisha says of the Ancient of Ancients that he draws a curtain down before him’ through which his kingdom begins to take shape.” 

(The curtain is a starling’s breast, a raven’s wing, the High Priestess or veil – daughter of the stars.)

“This image and that of the tsim tsum not only point to the same truth, but complement each other.  God appears to withdraw himself from himself to the extent that he draws down a ‘curtain’ before him.  The curtain hangs before him like a darkness;  this darkness is none other than his cosmic receptivity, which allows his Reality to appear through it as a light.  But his Infinite Light appears through the dark veil only in a weakened, fragmented and limited way, which is the mode of existence of the finite. 

Gallery 2 – click on any image to view

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“God is hidden in everything he creates, the way light is contained in the innumerable reflections which produce a mirage …  The desert where the mirage is produced, represents the Void or Place of the World made by tsim tsum.  The (imperceptible) screen on which appear the vanishing forms that lead the pilgrim astray, is the pargod, curtain or mirror of Shekhinah (holy Bride, or Presence).”

Leo Schaya

avocado stone '94

avocado stone ’94

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“This passage parallels Ramana Maharshi’s analogy of the screen as the Self, on which are projected the movie-pictures of the world.  The movie-picture is the curtain.  That which is unchanging, onto which the world pictures are produced, is the Self, Brahman, the Holy One, I AM.

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Major Chadwick and Ramana Maharshi

Major Chadwick’s wallet, and Ramana Maharshi

“The speed of light, perceptible as a physical constant, is but a pale echo of the Holy One’s effulgence.   For the speed of Light, written everywhere in the universe – the Signature – is not … the Scribe!  It is only what appears on the curtain, the spectrum of the Rainbow.”

January 1992

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The Chakras on the Tree of Life, rainbow spectrum

The Chakras on the Tree of Life, rainbow spectrum

Now follows the sketch, and this explanation:

Embodying the Chakras on the Tree of Life 

“1. EARTH.  Malkuth.  Awareness in physical organs, and of surroundings.  Base of spine.  Tail.  Root of the Tree of Life.  Connection with the ground, through any part of the body, to the planetary core.  Lotus roots in soil.  Snake (Kundalini coil).  RED, fiery or rosy red.

“2. MOON.  Yesod.  Edited image of ‘I’ the doer.  Conception and infancy. Scenario which changes with conditions.  Screen of consciousness.  Picture of self.  Feelings and urges, emotions, appetites, ideation.  Sexual, naval, reproductive reservoir.  Personality.  Foundation of the Tree of Life, where the branches begin.  Conditioned censor (filter) of material from within or from without.  ORANGE.

“3. MERCURY AND VENUS. Hod & Netzach.  To left and right, the child’s mother and father branch out from Yesod, as their type of interior chatter.  Observe mental activity, processing, and the rhythms of breath, pulse and desire, hunger or habit, generating energy and nature’s warmth.  Awareness and submission to the dance.  Seat of everyday mind-stuff and response to stimuli, reactivity, fears.  Internal politics, environmental information, sights and sounds.  Solar plexus; kidneys; YELLOW.

“4. SUN.  Tifareth.  “I” that AM.  Hod & Netzach converge through Triad of Awakening, upon the Heart of the Tree, its centre stem (green sap) of the Lotus through which all light travels up, down, receiving above as below, the wisdom.  Beauty and rest.  A decisive factor through lifetimes.  Concentration, freedom, acuity, detachment, enquiry.  The heart, to both sides of sternum, a depth of green transparency:  solutions.  Esoteric Sun of the soul.  From the seed, the shoot grows upward and the root downward.  Source.  Heart chakra – GREEN.

“5. MARS AND JUPITER.  Gevurah & Hesed.  Branching again to left and right, becoming blue; throat area.  The balance of rigour and grace (benevolence), centred upon Tifareth forms the Triad of the Soul where we are tested.  Faculties for discrimination, taste, equilibrium, evolution.  Force and Form.  Parental archetypes – the archway.   (“All experience is an arch where thro’ gleams that untravell’d world whose margin fades, for ever and for ever as I move.”)  Pillars Jakin and Boaz, of Solomon’s Temple.  Throat chakra and expression – BLUE.

“6. SATURN AND URANUS (OR STARRY SKY).  Binah & Hokhmah.  Quantum leap through deep indigo effulgent darkness, over the abyss of Daat, forms with Tifareth the Great Triad of the Spirit – a curtain filled with stars.

“Daat is a non-Sefira beyond and yet within the whole Tree, and even encompassing it. In each Sefira, the worlds meet – tetrahedral vesica pisces – and so Daat is called “Union”.  Daat’s region is the subatomic worlds.

yeah say vesica j&d10

“Receptive cosmic intellect – creation’s blueprint or understanding – and the wisdom-flash of Light before it congeals to the speed of light.  Intellect receives Light as a cable receives and contains the current.  Third Eye chakra between the brows:  intuition and prophecy. Luminous VIOLET, like sapphire crystals.

“7.  NEPTUNE.  Convergence upon Kether, the Divine.  Lord Mother, thou Art God.  Just above crown of head or infant fontanelle – source opening, white light unadorned, thirty thousand petalled lotus.  WHITE.

“8. PLUTO.  Daat:  completion of musical octave, by turning within the Tree.  The in-turning suggests the Primordial One’s withdrawal or interiority, to yield a place for Creation.  In Vedanta and Yoga, the third eye bows to the heart.  The thread on which the worlds are strung, is called sushumna – the nerve current from muladhara (root) to sahasrara (thousand petalled lotus) through which Kundalini is made to rise.

“The centre stem of the Tree, between Kether and Tifareth, central and upper spine column, carries the vast collective mystery, quantum factor, key hole to death, birth and the interpenetration of the Worlds.  See through a glass darkly.  The white lotus bows as the veil of embodied identity sunders.   Path of return from the Crown to heart’s Source.  Contact with the deep.  INDIGO.

(In this context, The Seven Year Cycles on the Tree of Life may be of interest also.)

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“I found that to have viable wings – the subtle opening between shoulder blades when all the Worlds connect (heart chakra and Daat) – a viable Tail must connect my dragons’ Head to Earth.  The Tail performs the functions of balance and rootedness, and is formed from the two base chakras, Earth and Moon (Malkuth, Yesod, red and orange.)   Elder lizard vertebrae!”

January 1992

tree of life, rainbow spectrum

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This is not a traditional view of the chakras:  the colour scale is not that of the Builders of the Adytum, nor of Vedanta, theosophy or G.D., nor of the Tree School.  It made sense to me because it is simple, and takes me up the Tree;  it fits the bill sufficiently, and is beautiful.   These concepts with the colour were germinal, and helped me to build.  They are not rigid.  So nowadays I do not worry when esoteric models appear to disagree, nor try to reconcile them, but place them side by side – as languages for the same thing.

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1992 Concludes:

“I perceive the rainbow Chakra column “Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain” within the centre of the Tree, enhancing the structural Kabbalah.  The Tree and its 10 Sefiroth are a Mandala, a concentric circle or auric egg/seed of light around the rising pillar of the rainbow which centrally cleaves the seed.  In the same way, our orbit around the Sun travels with it as a dimensional spiral.

“Sap rises through the stem to the Sun, through osmosis.  Moisture, lifted from the ground through absorbtion and evaporation, travels through a semi-permeable membrane – the stem cells.  It is drawn up to occupy the ‘vacuum’ of varying fluidic densities in neighbouring cells.  It is drawn up to the light against terrestrial pressure.  It is green in leaf, and embraces the Sun.

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“Physically – world of Assiyah – the ground-level where the growing Tree or plant appears, is Hod-Netzach, and at Tifareth the green grass flourishes.  Below this membrane of the physical world, the psyche exists vegetatively – according to habit and to the seasons.  The soul, questing upward through the earthy membrane like a blade of spring crocus, discovers air.  Deep under the ground, where roots quest delicately in the dark towards their antipodes, it is red or rose-red – the warmth of Mother Earth’s inner fire.   No tall Temple spire can be built without a foundation equally deep.  If the root does not penetrate the earth to stabilize it in the sky, it will crack and fall down.  If we get caught in the astral sky ungrounded, we wrap illusory demons of guilt, pride and fear around ourselves;  for we still dwell underground, a prey to unconscious forces.

“So see to the root.  Then ascend the mountain path.”

January 1992

Awakening

Paths of Awakening. Colours of Sefiroth are shown in BOTA Queen scale, not as the Chakra spectrum discussed here. As the rainbow, we are looking at: Malkuth red. Yesod orange. Hod-Netzach yellow and Tifareth green.

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Gallery  3 – click on any image to view

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spirals & jacobs ladder

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Finally:  what is practical?   When strong images of colour and growth are generated, they link with the ageless prototypes.  Everything we touch is vibrational. Words are initial tetrahedral processes to support our understanding.   After they are built into colour and sound and light, we no longer need to remember them.  The key then  is intention, love and goodwill.  So we can be seated, or out walking.   We can make ourselves a fountain, a channel to receive and to give.  We can savour the colours and their resonance.   Through red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet, is threaded the KAV, the white brilliance, the light everlasting.

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Aahh!  Those far off days at art school …

Gallery 4 – click on any image to view

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These were done  in 1968, looking at an object or picture through a tilted magnifying glass or lens –  the light spills out of the earth’s dark cloth:  the tones are dragged apart.

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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. 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 Wrestlers

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Quantock dancers

Quantock dancers

Relationships, persons and childhood memories are teachers and things of beauty – a  treasure that goes higher and deeper than any mainstream art collection.  They remind me to handle life, each detail, tenderly.

This letter from my father today, enclosing photo cutting:  he was 90 earlier this month –  another mountain goat …

“Herewith the Wrestlers.  I had forgotten how much I loved this on the wall;  I suppose I lived with it a very long time both at Manor Farm and at Pitt, and it was well hung both places.  This is rather a good photograph showing the relief very clearly, and those three wonderfully related lines of the shoulders and head of the upper man.

wrestlers

“Thinking of speaking of Buddhism with you last night, of course discovering it while we were in Cornwall and Limpsfield was my first intimation of another reality beyond or within the mud and tears, and so was very exciting.  I grew up of course as an R.C., becoming disillusioned as a teenager, into a totally uninterested agnostic through the War.

“It was talking with Louis Adene in Mevagissy, and hearing about Gurdjieff and Ouspensky that awakened me to another possibility, and I automatically joined the Buddhists in London, and then the thunder-clap of Krishnamurti.  That became the real sign-post, and so these last years I wade about listening to all sorts of voices, but always as much as I can, just paying attention – allowing attention to be – on what is happening now. 

“Yesterday was a fine cold winter’s day.  Today it is cold raining, and all the gutters rattling.  I have just been reading about the vast energies positive and negative of the Universe which cancel each other out, so that in fact nothing is happening !

“With love”

my father at Pitt

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When I was 6 we lived in Cornwall near Caerhays, where I fell deeply in love with flowers and jewels.  My father was managing a farm which belonged to a teutonic tyrant called Mr Strauss.  We had to move after two years, because Mr Strauss wanted to cut down all the trees.  My father climbed to the top of a beautiful oak and sat there defiantly.  Nowadays there are more trees in southern Cornwall than ever before.

Herbert Read (whom my parents knew when we were living on the North Yorkshire moors) introduced him to a circle of Cornish artists, poets and free thinkers – Lionel Miskin (his oldest friend), Louis Adene (who lived in a wood near Gorran Haven), the Fussels and Derek Savage.   At the same time, he discussed Buddhism with my maternal grandmother in their letters.  My mother thought it was rather droll – but at least it made him happier.  As a young man, he was shell shocked from the War, very passionate, and of uncertain temper.   Probably he suffered from traumatic stress, which no one recognised in those days.  He stoically brought up his family, farmed – he was a pioneer in the return to organic farming – played the violin, and wrestled his spiritual path.   We moved house six times before I was ten, and in each house a “monastery” was set aside with a rolled up blanket for him to sit quietly.

When my father was 70 he caught a dangerous illness from swimming in a French river.  As he convalesced, each breath came to him as a jewel, a mystery beyond knowledge.   Since that time of nearly dying, he is much more serene.  The pressure of trying to be “enlightened” now, once and for all, fell away.  He didn’t call it “enlightenment”, and I don’t  like that word, either.  He called it “to be a human”, and still does.

My mother’s father, Jim Ede, gave us a cast of Gaudier’s The Wrestlers.  It weighed a ton and used to hang above my parents’ bed like a guardian angel.  I grew up with it, and it influenced my drawing.  Last year it was sold, and is now on its travels.  The photo above was taken at an exhibition “1913: the Shape of Time” at the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds, where it is on show until 17 February.

Here are The Wrestlers in my father’s old house:

wrestlers 1

His letter trips a wave and starts a wing!  Before Cornwall, we lived on a large sheep farm in Bransdale on the Yorkshire moors.

Breck Farm, Bransdale

Breck Farm, Bransdale

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14  breck photos 5

Mrs Coseira (with me and my sister) was a Polish woman who came in to help my mother. She was very pious, and she couldn’t bear to look at the Wrestlers, and always averted her eyes when she went in my parents’ room.   The donkey was called Daniel.  He had a job at Scarborough by the sea, and he was having a holiday with us, from all his hard work during the summer.  I remember the warm smell of the sack my mother tied round his middle for us to ride, and the deep crunch of the snow;  and my sister’s “hattacoatatrousers”.

In Bransdale I began to draw.  My mother made big drawing books out of cheap lining paper, unrolling, folding, cutting and stitching them with coloured darning wool.  As fast as she made them, I filled them, drawing for up to eight hours a day.  She said we would need a second removals van to carry them all, but she kept the three best books, and I have them still.  Here are a few favourites:

Gallery of Bransdale drawings, 1954

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"The Friends", circa 1957

“The Friends”, circa 1957

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… and a Cornish garden.  We moved from Yorkshire (which was very remote) to Cornwall because I had to go to school;  and there in Redruth my brother was born.  In those days, the china-clay-pit pyramids glistened along the spine of Cornwall like an alpine range, constantly changing with the light.

Cornish garden, 1955

Cornish garden, 1955

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my father with Bartok. 1950

my father with Bartok. 1948

Tangier 1951

Tangier 1951

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Finally, my two favourite alchemical engravings from Alexander Roob’s Alchemy & Mysticism.   Hermes is coming through the Great Sea, carrying carefully the world and the serpents;  he is the quicksilver, and the little cubes hidden in every part of nature are the golden prittvi, ineffable treasure in each atom of the earth of life.

The divine mercurial water, by Baro Urbigerus, Hamburg 1705

The divine mercurial water, by Baro Urbigerus, Hamburg 1705

The source material for the lapis can be found everywhere: in the earth, on the mountains, in the air and in the nourishing water. M.Maier, Atlalanta fugiens, Oppenheim 1618

The source material for the lapis can be found everywhere: in the earth, on the mountains, in the air and in the nourishing water. M.Maier, Atlalanta fugiens, Oppenheim 1618

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And …

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The Key:  Hermes heals

The Key: Hermes heals the born child  1987

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Hermes healing the interior black dragon 1987

Hermes healing the interior black dragon 1987

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dancers, 1987

dancers, 1987

Who are the Wrestlers?

Jacob’s angel meets us on the ladder, the Tree of Life.

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It is the following day:  I have to add a bit more, because my father tends to drop timely messages in my box..  When I rang him just now to thank him for sending the Wrestlers photo, he said, “Listen to this.  Last night I was told – I had to get out of bed and find my glasses and go to my desk and write it down – I was told by a Voice, very clearly – I am … You are … a particle-ar expressing of the Universal energy.  There is no separation.”

Then he reminded me, he joined a London buddhist Sangha back in 1957 or so, when we were living in Surrey.  He went to the Sangha leader, tense with questions about enlightenment and how to live.  The Sangha leader had a little room with nothing in it at all. He sat in his robe, looked up and said, “The Past is Over.  The Future has not come yet.  The Present is Now.  DO NOT WASTE IT”.

It aligns with the way the light leads through to Light, this year.   It is unmistakable – but we have to work at noticing it.

Here’s a photo of him with my mother, taken in the Lake District about 15 years ago:

mary & peter

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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.

 

All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012. 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/

Music Lessons with Vera Moore

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Continuing my earlier post “A Woman playing the Piano, and a Child of Art” … I want to say a little more in this one, what the music lessons were like.

Wheels that are close to the core, turn  slow and their arcs are vast.  This is a post for the friends of Vera Moore.

My mother’s piano is tres sympathique.  It was easy to imagine Vera Moore sitting with me, and what she would say about this note or that note, wrapping my fingers round it like a baby in a shawl.   I remembered her way with poetic images, and her LOVE.  That is the magic – her love.  It makes me want to go on playing, and keeps me focused.  I remembered her instruction to play what I am learning, like a chorale, without any inhibitions – sing it inside, with the touch.  

by Benedicte Koudry-Lahlali

by Benedicte Koudry-Lahlali

I am inspired, because the little book Vera Moore, pianiste, de Dunedin a Jouy-en-Josas arrived yesterday, and I began to read it, with the French dictionary.  The book has only one photo in it – of this drawing, which captures her essence in just a line.  I am fired up for another drawing adventure … to explore her youth and beauty.

The website Les amis de Vera Moore has two early photos of her. It is exciting when you have known a person of a certain age, to discover them when they were young, bright and cleanly chiselled:  the spirit.

In my soul she sits at her instrument with an extraordinary stability: a maestro.   I feel the “astral male gender” of a gift behind this woman and her concertizing authority in the 1930s.   I remember now her velvet brown eyes.  I have … what have I? – I forgot what to write …she was born in 1896, 15 August, a year younger than Jim Ede my grandfather. He was one of her close friends.  Vera was 100 when she died in ’96.

Oh yes – in the little book, I have got as far as Occupied France. She and 6 year old John have lost their country cottage and become refugees.  John’s father Brancusi is in his studios in Montparnasse, surrounded by his sculpture, bronze and stone;  she writes to him, just to say they are alright.  They are bundled off to the south, to the unoccupied zone east of Dordogne.

I turned the photo upside down and did this sketch, to begin.

I turned the photo upside down and did this sketch, to begin.

The uprooting and her surviving it and bringing up the child, must have broken her – the dignified beauty of the 1930s in full flower.   The book mentions her carrying Leonard Borwick’s music-scores in her handbag;  I recall her hobbling to the piano to play a concert, with her wrinkled dress, her handbag and her arm in a sling …  and the rapture of her instrument, the way she flows the river, still makes me cry.

Vera when I knew her - in her mid-sixties

Vera when I knew her – in her mid-sixties

Pierre-Alain Volondat calls her his Master.  And I feel her as “Maestro” – the male gift which flows into the woman-vessel and never quite breaks it.

Brancusi’s bright brown eyes shine through the dust that covers him and the light:  the luminosity of his great pebbles, his stones from the sea, the curve of rock and bronze and curtains of white dust from the chisel, in shafts of sunlight;  through the war, he is barricaded safe inside his genesis.  Brancusi the sculptor is an earthenware pot, within which the pianist cradles “the child of art”.  She is loyal to him;  he stays where he is;  she is broken but goes on singing.   Stone has a living emanation when the sun warms it.

Brancusi in Montparnasse

Brancusi in Montparnasse

A Dominican priest, Father Alan Cheales once told me that the man should go to where the woman is, for she bears his child.

Brancusi the genius stayed put;  for that is the way life goes.  His equally gifted woman bore their “child of art” as a travelling minstrel.  In those days, illegitimacy took great courage, and was only tolerated among artists and their helpers.

La Muse by Bancusi

La Muse by Brancusi

I am touched deeper than I can say, for my later situation would have some curious similarities:  a gifted central European, who did nothing for our child, but gave her strength of character.  Like Vera, I believed in him until – in our case – he abandoned his integrity.   I feel a profound and speechless sorrow in this, just now;  but the bird sings and life goes on.

It is poignant also, that Marisa, my “child of art” met the 90 year old Vera, for a moment – Vera was in hospital with a broken hip – we brought her red roses – and she smiled merrily to us both, and welcomed my daughter, and pressed my hand in her strong fingers – the memory.

Brancusi kept his integrity in Vera’s heart till his dying day and beyond, because he was a working sculptor.  For her, nothing must get in the way of Art.  So she carried their child through the Resistance and the mess of life, and providence … protected them.

John Moore photographe

John Moore photographe

Life is rich in the resonances.  At that moment in 1986, meeting Vera again in Yvelines, near Paris, I was not conscious of the threads, the harmonies in the chord;  but I brought my daughter to her proudly, and my heart rejoiced.

The heart knows, unerringly, like iron-filings to the lode-star.   Providence arranges the sinfonia.  Time passes, and with hindsight, I am an older woman too, and I look back and see.   Providence arranges:  Time delivers.   Time and the understanding, deliver in full, the form.  Then we see.

pebbles

pebbles

There is no possession of such a treasure, because the arms for it are always open.  I can but marvel.  It provides an understanding of my breakages with men.  The theme is ongoing, whatever the face.  It provides a musical note, essential to the piece.  I was magnetized to Vera and her situation through our family ties;  later I would find myself re-enacting some facets of it.   To feel, breathe and understand the flavours, releases them in full.  Then life is almost unbearably satisfying.

Head by Brancusi

Head by Brancusi

Destiny’s abundance, like full fruit, presses in from the world, upon the inner life’s expansion to meet it.  It is like the perfect balance of pressure within and outside the vein;  our own against the deep sea so we don’t implode;  the regulation which harbours our planet in the cosmic skies.  The centrifugal/centripetal equilibrium is fluid and self-regulating.  “Keep practicing”.  This is daily Kabbalah.

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Far beyond the events of my life, I marvel and wish to share the principles behind them, which reveal our human Tapestry, a fragment of the Whole.  That is an artist’s work – to try to reveal the Artist.

Several attempts today, to draw her.  This is an early one.

Several attempts today, to draw her. This is an early one.

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The father of a child of art is the seminal principle, or YOD – the force of life.  Sometimes, when he  has done the job, he is put aside, by the powers that be.  But the woman may tend to cling and cling to hope – as I did – and then there is trouble.  Trouble takes time – many years – to enact and unravel.   Finally when the Karmic flood and flotsam is past, there is philosophy, the force of life:  the alchemical Stone which flows as serpent, river, stone through vessels and the valleys.  My daughter suffered. But she survived.  A picture of her – she zooms by my front door to return a key, she’s on her way to work, by bike.  She wears new boots and a flashing red-light bling bracelet on her ankle – hi-viz, her cheeky smile, glowing, bright.

This is a drawing she did when she was nine – shortly after she met Vera Moore in France.  It took her about a month.

Riss's labyrinth

Marisa tells me the drawing began in the top left-hand corner.  She was inspired by  a friend, Tamara Barschak, a music student in her teens.  Tamara showed her how to draw doodles on grid paper, and they sat and drew labyrinths together.  This one is on plain paper.  It flowed along by itself, incorporating things they looked at, from sanskrit letters to Fungus the Bogey Man – those are the tunnels.   The eye happened along the way.

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I was sixteen when Vera gave me piano lessons.  The first piece I played to her was the slow movement of Beethoven’s Pathetique Sonata, which I knew by heart.  She heard through this, my soul.  She agreed to have me come and stay with her in Jouy en Josas;  some much needed francs for her tottering household.  Her piano was a French Gaveau, and she also had a Steinway.  The music room was spacious, with exposed timber beams, and the whole house smelled like my grandparents’ pot pourri and sharp ways with art, books and stones.   Jim my grandfather, who introduced Vera and Brancusi to each other – and started all the trouble –  pervades to this day: his penetrating flavour through every part of the world he touched, picked up and put back.

Jim Ede appraises a vessel

Jim Ede appraises a vessel

Jim became John’s godfather.

Vera is sitting to my right… or she may be somewhere behind me, in the fragrant room.  The family legend was that she would fly into a rage and sweep my hands off the keys.  I am enveloped in her silvery voice, and her warm mischief.  She demonstrates the touch, the principles of Tobias Matthay;  I copy her.  Her small silken fingers, a little bent, are full of power.  The distance from key surface to its bed is filled with love, tenderness and authority.  There is no impediment to the composer’s voice when it is loved.   Those same fingertips press my hand firmly, up and down.  We play together, I suppose!   Extraordinary.

The music is not in the digits.  They are supple and they serve.   The music comes from the heart and the base of the spine, flowing seamlessly through the curve of shoulder, elbow, instrument.  When this is clear, and the fingers have the schooled memory,  the music speaks without my “assistance” and astonishes me.

I learned with Vera Moore, to play Chopin’s Berceuse, and Debussy’s Cathedrale Engloutie and Danseuses de Delphe.  She insisted on my learning each piece by heart;  to engrave it in my soul by touch;  reading not the notes on the music-stand, but the inner depth embodied.   It is consigned to the memory.

When Vera played, I witnessed a fusion.  There is nothing quite like the intimacy of teacher and pupil.   Then she sent me outside with the shopping list for l’epicerie at Les Metz or down the flights of steps to Jouy en Josas, to improve my French.  She spoke French fluently like a brook, with an outrageous English accent – “tray bonn”, like my irreverent grandfather’s.   As she came to study in London when very young, there remained no trace of New Zealand in her speech.  I hear her to this day.

Not quite a likeness;  but the sketch has a simplicity I aim towards ...

Not quite a likeness; but the sketch has a simplicity I aim towards …

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Vera Moore adored her gifted pupils – particularly (in 1965) a fiery young pianist called Philippe Ganter.  He lifted Beethoven’s dark wings in her salon-a-musique, one passionate evening.  From her hospital bed in 1986, she spoke joyously of a young talent who called her his “Maitre”.  I think this must be Pierre-Alain Volondat.

As in the ashrams of the Inner School, the students develop their own measure from the “hand-me-down”, or Lineage, and pass it on.  This is fascinating, for we are dealing not with personalities, but with method:  the transmission.

Leonard Borwick

Leonard Borwick

Vera took the baton from Tobias Matthay, and from Borwick, her teacher, who studied with Clara Schumann.  He heard, and carried the young Vera off, when she was  yet unknown and unproven, and astonished the music world.  She “jumped the queue.”   Where there is love for the craft, is the depth to carry the flame.

Vlado Perlemutter

Vlado Perlemutter

In Vera’s teaching, I learned to “hold onto” the keys – a pressure which is a caress.

She admired Vlado Perlemutter’s exquisite precision, and knew him well.  She called him “Pearly”.

Vera Moore 4

Vera Moore 5

I can no longer play the pieces she taught me.  But the Berceuse has a deep rocking motion, which prevails through right-hand arabesques and waterfalls.  I could not imagine being able to play those, and she showed me precisely how:  the fingering, the tool.  Every piece I learned, I first practiced very slowly, each phrase and giving each note its full touch and space like a chorale on an organ … fortissimo, full voice.  For Vera it was a sacred communion.  If I have forgotten the pieces, I have not forgotten the “musicianship” of this principle, to Life.

The secret of a great teacher, is that music is only the means.

I have written of Robert Adams.  He lost the muscular ability of speech, but never the Music.  Ramana’s silence – his dark eyes –  emanates the pure, living stone, water, serpent.  Ramesh explains “the understanding”.  All three are in my music teacher too.

Is it surprising? – just now, my fingers tingle a little.  And I’m a bit shaky, because now I must draw the young Vera.  I knew her in her late sixties, grown plump and faded.

Slowly getting there ...

Slowly getting there … a drawing of the painting by Winifred Nicholson.

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I was scared when I began to draw today – of the aesthetic titans of my grandfather’s world, and the extraordinary persons whom he knew – and so I drew him too, from a photo I found in “Kettles Yard and its Artists”.  I haven’t drawn Jim since his death in 1990.  It felt strange and rather bold, to step into the sanctuary of my childhood gods.

Vera moore 9

In this Vera sketch – not a good drawing – I detect a Botticelli angel.   She must have had this quality, as well as the Leonardo look through her eyelashes:

“The arts” – she said, quoting Brancusi – “have never existed by themselves (outside of folklore); they have always been a prerogative of the religious, and every time religion has been in decline, art has fallen into virtuousity.  To make art which is truly independent, one must be God to create it, a king to order it, and a slave to realize it.”

 

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Finally, this old drawing hangs in my house near the front door:

My daughter with her great-grandfather, circa 1983

Marisa with her great-grandfather, circa 1983

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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.

All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012. 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/

A Woman playing a Piano; and a Child of art

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A few days ago, I found a search-phrase on my dashboard – for the late Vera Moore, a pianist born in New Zealand.  This post goes out to persons who may have known, studied with, or been interested in her.

Vera Moore circa 1965  (ja 1973)

See also my later post (3 December 2012), Music Lessons with Vera Moore, which follows on, from this one.

The link – http://www.myspace.com/lipatti/blog/245826085 – includes a video-clip from 1984, of Vera Moore’s student Pierre-Alain Volondat.

As I began to prepare this post, what should I discover today, but another U Tube link  (for French speakers!):

VERA MOORE, PIANISTE, DE DUNEDIN À JOUY-EN-JOSAS

“Pianiste originaire de Nouvelle-Zélande, Vera Moore acquit une réputation internationale dans les années 1920-1930, et fut la compagne du sculpteur Constantin Brancusi. Voici le premier récit consacré à la pianiste.  

ISBN : 978-2-296-96644-4 • mai 2012 • 78 pages – Category: Travel & Events

– So a little book was published about her, just three months ago.

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As it happens, in March – after my mother visited – I was moved to assemble my own memories of Vera Moore, and to find out if she was online … maybe aligning with a new response towards her … the antennae curve.

Here is the lane where Vera lived, near Paris … “a wall, very high, with a small narrow door.  It is here.  The door opens to an inner garden …”

From the video clip in 1984:  “When I go back to France, it is to work with my Maitre, because the time has not yet come, for me to have mastered fully the tradition:  but I will.   These traditions (of piano playing) are so sacred, that I have sometimes the impression (or fear) lest I let it down.  … My Maitre is always with me and will be always with me.  This cannot die.

-But she is very old?  You have to think of that? –

“She is very young, yet very old.  We are in constant communication.”

The young man arriving for a lesson, is her student Pierre-Alain Volondat.  I did the drawing from the video clip on the myspace link (see above).  So many impressions came flooding back – when I used to walk along that wall to the little door, with the day’s groceries.   I was sixteen.

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Reviewed from my Diary (1965) – “The Invisible Technique”

“…  She is an old friend of my grandparents.  She loved Brancusi the sculptor, and they had a son, John.  John lives in the cottage in her garden with his wife Maryse, and he and Vera argue.  She is, through all her scatty aggravations and disorder, beautiful.  Her eyes are peat-brown, soft and bright, she has a round snub nose and she dyes her long grey hair a reddish tint.  She’s very old, in her sixties, and she had a rough time in life;  she lives in poverty, and things are chaotic.

“But she is rare.  She is a true artist.  The true artists, however enclosed their field, evoke another world.  Perhaps it is their scarcity.

“That evening she played to an invited audience in the long, L-shaped, oak beamed music room.  She pulled out an un-ironed linen dress, said to me with mischievous radiance, “this will do?” and put it on.   It was creased and crumpled all over.   Her broken wrist was in a sling and she limped across the room in her down-at-heel court shoes, with her handbag and sat down.   The lamp was on her other side.  She and the piano, silhouetted into one dark, fluid shape, communed with one another.  Vera and her music flow like a river.  The surroundings melt away, as they fuse.  For Vera IS music:  a prodigy.  The creation of Bach, Beethoven and Debussy, is her being.

“She carries the perfume with her, of just this field.  I never met anyone as beautiful as she.  She misunderstands things all the time and infuriates me;  her franglais French is terrible;  she glows with sympathy.  That must be why I like writing long letters to her.

“The sympathy glowing through her soul, has narrow boundaries.  She has prejudices, many hatreds.  Her war time in the Resistance wounded her, and most people “are not human beings.”  To those whom she does trust, she reveals her true self.  Her pre-war world is ignorant of the world outside.; she is flawed, she has no interest in the human sea.  She has a universal beauty, the wholeness of a leaf.

“When I first met her at Kettles Yard in Cambridge, she asked me to play.  She was giving a concert there.  The family legend about Vera Moore as a teacher, was frightening and volatile.  They said “She’ll scream at you, she’ll push your hands off the keys!”  But she put me at my ease.  She said it’s the music which matters, not the mistakes;  her voice rippled, and she smiled.  So I played, and I enjoyed myself – to a musician from the core, who understands the magic of being free.  When I listened to her practicing, I was spell-bound;  she felt along the keys, the bones of what she would play that night.  Later on, she forgot to take her books and music back to the Garden House hotel where she was staying with Helen Sutherland.  I ran through the dusky, lamp lit frosty streets of Cambridge, to give them to her.  She smelled so delicious in her foxy fur coat with her shabby shoes and bright brown eyes, and she invited me to come and stay with her in her house near Paris.  I fell in love with her.  I met Helen Sutherland too – that is another story.

 **

“When I went to stay with Vera in Jouy en Josas (between Paris and Versailles), I learned more about her problems.  But this makes me love her even more, and eager to see her again.  She taught me to play Chopin’s Berceuse and Debussy’s Cathedrale Engloutie.  A music lesson with her, lasts a lifetime.  It is tenderness and touch.

Brahms/Vera Moore by Winifred Nicholson c.1930

**

 

Constantin Brancusi

FROM AN ARTICLE in Tabloid Libertatea:  Constantin Brancusi’s son is discovered in France: He’s 77 and the only child of the great artist!

“John Moore, now 77, is the only heir the great artist Constantin Brancusi (1876-1957) had. He inherited his father not in the genius for art but in the passion for photography. Never recognized officially by the titan born at Hobita, Gorj County, Moore currently lives in France, near Paris, with the still living memory of the time he worked as photographer with famous cabaret Crazy Horse. Tabloid Libertatea exclusively learned the unknown story of the only child Brancusi had in his 81 years of life.

The result of a love affair with Vera Moore, his former secretary and a highly appreciated pianist 80 years ago, John Moore was never recognized as a son by the great artist.

 “Born in New Zealand, Vera Moore met Brancusi when she was 34, in 1930 at a London concert, through a common friend, Jim Ede.. Their personal affair, kept hidden from the public, resulted in a child, born September 15, 1934, when Vera was 38 and Brancusi was 58.

Concerned only with the artistic side of his life, Brancusi however never acknowledged John as his natural heir.

“Since the very beginning, John was named after his mother, taking after his father in only one regard: passion for photography, which was Brancusi’s second passion after sculpture. An extensive article in Reporter Objectif, in August 1972, which includes the only picture of John Moore (see below), details how he got close to this form of art.

All the pictures taken by him and published by the magazine have the Crazy Horse Cabaret as topic, the place where Brancusi’s only child worked for several years, being close friends with the place’s creator Alain Bernardin.

“54 years after the death of his famous father, John Moore lives just as discreetly in France, at Jouy en Josas, very close to Paris.



“First reports about Brancusi having a son emerged in 1978, when Le Monde ran a story about Vera Moore:  “Today, she refuses to speak about herself. She had a 15-year relationship with Brancusi. They had a son.  She doesn’t talk about it.”

John Moore photographe

 In 2005, Doina Lemny, a leading researcher into the sculptor’s life, revealed the name of his son in her book, titled “Constantin Brancusi”: “With pianist Vera Moore he has a son, John Moore, whom Brancusi will never recognize. However, Vera isn’t upset with this.”



 **

John was a pioneer of image manipulation in the darkroom, using colour filters and “accidental” effects.  I remember his sculptural excitement with light – the dancing girls at the Crazy Horse Saloon.  It contrasted wonderfully, his mother’s world.

 “… This made me the first photographer to experiment with the magnificent colour-separation process, in a precise and scientific way … working with Alain Bernardin, a photographer’s art would  place the receptive viewer at such an angle – (this quote is condensed from John’s French in Reporter Objectif 1972) … to let his imagination go into what is communicated creatively … Alain Bernardin’s erotic sophistication was a desire for perfection, admitting nothing vulgar or mediocre.”

**

June 1987  “Invisible Technique” … My Last Meeting with John and Vera

… We packed and left the hotel and took a train to the Moores, having just enough francs thank God, to get there.

The familiar route from long ago – the trees, the smell of the epicerie – opened out along the lane.  Behind the wall, John and Sonya live now in the larger house where Vera was – she has John’s old cottage – they have filled the house with John’s photography, Sonya’s paintings, her three or four sons, her mother visiting, an exchange student, and all their self sufficient building and framing work. The paintings are quite erotic – saucy delicate ideas.  The creative atmosphere hasn’t changed a bit in 20 years – as scruffy and hand-to-mouth as ever, with a larger turnover of cash.   John struggles with his mother’s hospital bills, as she refused to allow herself to be examined for medical insurance in the past, and now she is too old.

Vera too was self sufficient – her entire cottage a death trap – a cats cradle of time-and-motion circumnavigatory solutions to the problem of getting out of bed, and defense against burglars;  it is a wonder she didn’t break her hip indoors, but out in the garden.  She will be bionic, as this is the second hip to be replaced,  She is as obstinate as ever.  Sonya speaks very fondly of her, and John’s mellowed about her, I think.  He’s lost weight;  his hair is white, and he has Vera’s eyes.  The assertive personality of what Vera used to speak of as “the Child of Art” – comes forth, an artist now in his own right.   John Moore Photographe made it on his own terms.  He is very intense, and I would find him uncomfortable, after a while.  But he has developed a most attractive social manner, and bends over backwards with courtesy to strangers.  He suppresses suspicion, feels vulnerable and wants to do things right.   He does all his own building, scavenging and improvising, as does Sonya also.  They seem happy together, and are enduring the shambles of Sonya’s ex-husband trying to get custody of the boys.  Sonya is slim and dark, Spanish Catholic, American reared, my age.  Her manner and sound are rather like John’s first wife Maryse.  John made a crucifix for Sonya by melting down some of his gold teeth.

We all discussed our various avenues of artistic expression.  For John, womens’ faces are an intense blank on the map – his lens captures a vibrance just short of aggression, for an imaginative viewer to write his own script.  Encounters are sparked with the known and the unknown.  He says that for him, as a photographer, a woman’s body frames her facial expression.  He is very articulate and slightly scary.

After this the sink blocked, and there followed a long saga for us all, through the making-ends-meet plumbing, and the removal of an ocean of grease.

Marisa (my ten year old daughter) and the boys broke ice with a game of Monopoly, and went off to play in a park across the road.  There was quiche for lunch.  Then off to Vera in her rehabilitation clinic in the afternoon, Marisa and myself with John and the youngest boy, in John Moore’s truck, which he has to start by putting wires together.

Vera hasn’t changed either, except she is smaller and thinner.  The half dyed hair:  the same delicate fragrance, high insistent voice, and utterly lovable eyes and smile – she is 91 years old! and VERY DEAF.   She brings tears to my eyes.  She felt very happy to see me after all this time, and to hold my hand, pressing it with her speech, with strong pianist finger tips, clawed a little by arthritis.   She still plays.   Sonya says it’s lovely, and showed me a drawing of her.   Vera talked away like a brook and told me all about a pupil of hers who has an astonishing gift, and is receiving wonderful notices about his sonority and expression, and about his teacher – his Maitre – herself.   She dug around in a bunch of envelopes and letters in her lap among the bed-sheets, for the relevant literature.  After some ten minutes of this, I felt a little worried her son couldn’t get a word in.   I managed to close the discussion with our agreement that French piano teaching is a little inclined to nut-cracking, and Tobias Mathay is better, and Vera seemed satisfied that I have retained all the Principles she taught me twenty years ago.   I wished we could go on and on.  I will write to her.  She gave Marisa a big welcome also – my child.   We brought her the remainder of Fred Barschak’s red roses, and she loves roses, and said I shouldn’t have, and John and I fussed around looking for a vase.

I’m an artist, and all artists are impossible people. They go on and on, talking about whatever they are doing, just like Vera and John Moore.  I recognize in them both, my familiar and intense barrage, and Vera herself being now so deaf, is more infuriating than ever.  We are all nutcases, it’s good to be in company.

I always found John Moore disturbingly attractive.  In 1969 I thought “Mr V” (Marisa’s father-to-be) looked like him.  I also recognize in him the familiar interaction of overriding artistic pressure and egotism, with the carefully cultivated self effacing courtesy whenever he has to ask somebody for something – for which the French language and all its polite cadences, is such a perfect vehicle:   the rage and the tamer.   On my visit, I perceived him, Vera and Brancusi his father (who he says, gave away all his wealth and great works, so that his descendents wouldn’t be troubled with tax problems) – recalling the way Vera brought John up in Occupied France (scavenging for scraps and rotten veg) as a sacred trust to Brancusi who wouldn’t acknowledge him. John was “the child of Art”.   John now heads this triangle with his own personally-forged expression, through all the fights he and Vera used to have.   Their egos were at loggerheads.  On my first visit, back in the 1960s, this was painful to witness.

John is a sculptor with his life – he carves and joins.   He sees and evaluates things photographically, with the blink of an eye or shutter.  His females (Sonya is a highly intelligent example, with her own independence and strong working hands) are dark.  They are lissome, quiet-spoken and visually malleable.  Sonya experiences her painting sculpturally, she sometimes adds twigs and bits of flotsam to it.   They both, like me, enjoy Yin and Yang ambiguities across the unprejudiced visual map.

They keep stacks and stacks of fruit crates scavenged by John, around the garden, for firewood.  The garden is still a well kept summery oasis a l’anglaise, with crazy pavings through the grass and flowers.  It contains a garage, a deluge of a workshop, and a bicycle shed built by John in 24 hours flat.   He enjoys rigging up poles and wood.  Chaos is kept just operational – just until “Memi’s” fragrant mayhem with her peat-brown eyes and flow of artistic requirement, is back in their midst … ?

“This is thought to be a portrait of Vera Moore, who was a close friend of Winifred Nicholson from the 1920s. Vera Moore was a New Zealand born pianist, as well as the partner of Constantin Brancusi. She was also a close friend of the collector Helen Sutherland, who greatly admired her ‘heavenly’ playing and wrote: ‘Vera Moore is lovely when she plays – it is sculpture I think – the strange almost bland unseeing eyes and head of sculpture and inward life somehow. Another friend of mine said she looked as if she had just been told a lovely secret when she played'” –  (quoted in V. Corbett, A Rhythm, A Rite, A Ceremony: Helen Sutherland at Cockley Moor, Penrith,1996, p. 56).”

**

14 March 2012 – A Door through the Wall to the Inner Life

The reckless fruit is a road.   I was talking, not long ago, to an old rocker about the rhythm & blues 1960’s scene.   Yesterday I transcribed from my notebook all the things he had said;  then I turned a page … I “turned to the left” through a hole in the wall – when I found the Myspace link to the young student (see beginning of this post) – and there’s an inner garden of souls and their own on-stage knot, who carry on regardless.   Life is so much back to back – the thinnest of membranes between the rooms of time.

In one of Ronnie Bond’s songs to the Key of F – his beloved – the soul is turning home.

Getting off the train at Chaville and climbing up the flights of steps to the lane, I walk along that rustic French wall till I arrive at the door

The archival love affair is magic;   then it passes, as the coming wave replaces it.   It throws up images from the deep, like this garden wall.  To one side the world’s traffic and reckless fruits go by, and on the other side the inner life;  a door opens in the mystery shield, to a disciple with his music case.

Meeting Vera again, I learn more of her. After the war, the outer world no longer made any sense to her.  She grew a protecting boundary, to retreat behind – she obtained, she was given, the house;  behind the wall she raised her son who breathes a robust life into that delicate chaos;  the wall shields him and his womenfolk.   This family enriched my whole life formatively, they are my background.

When a child is born “of art”, he arrives into himself, unfathered.  He regenerates his mother’s shelter, in the effort to establish his own.

I imagine Vera also before the war, an essential flavour of Jim my grandfather’s inner world.  She is being painted by Winifred Nicholson, in her “art gown”.   I wonder how she looked – her power and grace.   She released beauty even when she was “very old” (in her sixties!), putting on weight with brittle bones, trailing old clothes which were given to her, and being “infuriating”.   What a reserve the woman had, to keep her 15 year commitment to Brancusi, and then their son, secret, secluded from the world.   In those days, only the truly bohemian could survive the stigma of single parenthood.

**

When I saw them again in 1966, on my way back from La Coume in the Pyrenees, Vera, John and Maryse were locked in a domestic-emotional armaggedon behind that flowering wall – the child Thomas in between.  They fuelled their heart breaking tale, developing it earnestly day by day, as we all do, and confided it to their helpless visitors.

The door to the inner life opens.  The student passes first through the emotional tension field, caught in it like a fly.

But time comes, the student goes directly to his teacher.   The door to the inner life opens and she smiles in her shabby dress, and ripples a little.   And they go to the big raftered music room.   Like Liszt, Vera could make any piano breathe, no matter how out of tune (she couldn’t afford the piano tuner).   The student on the U Tube, (who she may have spoken of to me, at her bedside in 1987) developed a passion for tuning his instrument even as he played it.   Pianists – as I know – are strange persons.   I recall Vera’s regal authority as a musician.  She would take your hand and press her small bent fingers into it as she spoke, looking into your eyes – the touch, and finger tutelage.

On my first visit to her – I was 16, and my family had briefed me about Brancusi – she gave a soiree to some American visitors, and the conversation touched Brancusi and someone made a brash remark about the money his children should inherit from him …   “Ah, but,” tinkled Vera, giving me her sideways delicious look, like a fellow conspirator: “you see, Brancusi never married!”   I remember the tone of her voice –  her shy secret and her admiration.   Nothing mattered more than art.   She was too unworldly to bother about his tight fist – if such a thought ever occurred to her.  For any great artist or sculptor, their oeuvre is a commodity, a wealth in bulk to manage, an obstinacy to dispose of.  The attitude is obsessive and irrational.   Vera’s unworldliness made the world a suspicious and hostile element.   Yet: she offered a musical gem and looked up from it, sharing an intimate secret – her charm.

The other day I re-invoked Liszt doing this, and that is the link …  (through my mother’s visit yesterday) –   to Vera – (we looked at her picture on my wall) … to remember and to connect with her again!

The mischievous flowering qualities in the Maestri, are the key.  When the Maestro looks up from the key, he or she shares the unifying beauty for ever.   Vera loved me as I loved her, because we love That.   The gesture is universal:  an Archangel’s trumpet to the little child:  the special tune.

I just realized a curious thing.  I too bore a child from “an artist”, and she grew up without the father, she has my family name.   I, like Vera, am a single parent.  The way we touch and love and disappear through each other in the archive of life, is a looking-glass land.

And another thing:  a few days after I visited the R&B man and wrote down his memories and danced to his jukebox, his beautiful pad burnt down – a fag end in the waste paper basket – nearly all his old life was destroyed, including the Wurlitzer juke boxes and the poor old dog who was about to be put to sleep.   But he was heavily insured, and had got restless in the old frame.  He flew from the ashes like a phoenix and built his new palace in Primrose Hill where he thrives.   This episode hides within the turning of a page.  From akashic space between the lines,  thematic progressions flower and are reborn.

I found and read Vera’s letters – they are warm and crisp, not rambly.  As I suspected, I sent her with mine, sketches of horses and the wild night life …  wanting to shock her.

**

            Old Letters

Jouy en Josas, summer 1965

Dear Jane,

What a lovely letter you wrote, & with those two fascinating drawings I seem to be sitting in a café looking out on Life in England!   I was also glad to get the p.c. & to know you arrived home safely.  I have an awful confession to make.  Soon after you left, I put my hand right down into my rain coat pocket, further down than it had ever been before, and found right in the farthest and darkest point at the very bottom – nearly into the hem –  THE KEY!!!!  What will you say to me – … – I deserve the very worst, & cannot even begin to apologise when I think how awful I was about it.  The 10 fr. note has not turned up, but I now begin to think I must have put that somewhere else too.  So it is most likely YOURS too – the one you sent.  Oh dear, you couldn’t have me in a worse position, but as long as you’ll forgive me, I’ll survive this time.

I gave your letter to Anne Marie who looked v. pleased.  She came and looked at me giving Joel his lesson – & Joel made a sign (v. masterful) for her to go out.  She came again (saying nothing at all) & so I asked her to go out again as Joel couldn’t concentrate.  So we were left in peace, while all sorts of wonderful smells came out of the kitchen, & went on so long, I thought something had happened as no one came to say dinner was ready – (my watch is broken – I dropped it).  Then all of a sudden Madame C. burst in in a frightful rage to ask us if we were never going to stop – it was 10 o’ clock, Anne Marie and her father had dined & gone to bed, & poor Madame C. had been keeping things hot for the last hour.   Joel … immediately said he wd eat NOTHING – I said also – nothing – However Madame put delicious fish with caper sauce on the table, & salad, & strawberries & ice cream – and we all finally did full justice to it, to the last spoon full!  She insisted on driving me home – hauled out of the dark back of the car 2 boxes of plants for the garden as well – (Anne Marie had been sent in to tell us dinner was ready – & had said nothing – fortunately she had gone to bed – she would have caught it from her mother!)

 Next time, you must write in French. Glad the piano teacher was not too bad, & that dinners at school are so much better. Try to do the relaxation exercises every day.  Do you know the Berceuse by heart yet?   Much love from Vera.

 PS Philippe Ganter had a great success – Mme Paul played her v. best.  Grisons did not come.  There were about 25 people.  Mme Halff has a … girl wants to exchange with English girl.  The family v. nice, live (O well) in the S of France.  Do you happen to know someone?   As for the 10fr – it arrived during a slump and was one of those miracles!  You were right – but I was vexed …

 ..

Jouy en Josas, Thursday 25 July 1965

 Dear Jane,

Just as I was preparing at last to write to you, I saw some letters pushed through the hole in the gate and lo! one was yours, wh. greatly interested me.  Good news of your further musical development.  It’s everything to be a good listener.   Also about Annapurna – what fun! 

It’s useless trying to describe music in words – just waste of time – Shakespeare never did it, tho’ he must have been deeply moved by it all.  There’ve been some good articles in The Listener lately.  What do you think about the one about Dante’s History in July 15, and the Devon farmers wh. just preceded it?  and Denis Matthews on Mozart – very good, I thought.

It was lovely seeing Jim and Helen who I think enjoyed their stay in Phebe’s flat.  Phebe is here on and off (rather off than on) and as I have no help (all the f. de ménage en vacances) I am rather wallowing in oceans of cooking, cleaning, washing – I emerge occasionally to touch the piano or to read a nice letter from afar – but otherwise my nose is continually at the grindstone.  So please forgive short letter wh.. comes all the same with happy & loving remembrances and to Mary (who wrote me a long letter wh.. I thank her) and to your father and the family, (not forgetting the fat slug of a cat!!  Your ever affectionate V.M.

I loved the drawing of horses – it is beautiful.  The Cafeteria pleases me  (less?)  I don’t like your friends’ hair!

Practice SLOWLY the difficult bars, each hand separately. You’ll be surprised how the problems disappear!

..

Jouy en Josas, Yvelines (no more S. et O.)  21 May 1966

Dear Jane,

What a nice letter you sent me, the best yet, and I do thank you for so kindly & sweetly continuing to write to such an old silent screw as I am.  I followed with great interest your musical ups (& downs), & rejoiced in yr. success – followed you to the Scilly Isles, (what is the beautiful public garden the Halffs are always talking about there?) to Wales & bathing, walking, riding – and now you are returning to France!   It all sounds fascinating, & I hope you will spare us a few days going & coming.  I wonder if the school will be near Prades where Casals holds his musical festival.

Here all is well, & my arm is rapidly mending.  The garden is a dream, every imaginable flower in bud just ready to burst out tomorrow – Sunday.

I liked yr. letter because you told me so much in such a short space.  It was splendid.

We all send our love to you & to your Mother & Father & Q & S & much love to your own self.  Yours ever, Vera Moore.  

Thank you for the drawings wh. I studied with care.  I loved the great fine galloping stormy horses for Christmas.

.Prometheus & Bechstein at Kettles Yard: (A Way of Life by Jim Ede)

**

Jouy en Josas, 8 May 1968

 Dearest Jane,

So glad to have yr. happy letter.  We are still here.  No-one comes even to look at our lovely house & the garden has never been so inviting & gay.  Agents say there is nothing doing anywhere just now.  “Things is bad!!” 

I imagine your frenzy at the beauty of Florence.  I saw it when I was about yr. age, & was so overcome that I had a fever, & still ran about all the little streets in heat of August – wh.. was terrible – but the heavenly feeling of at last reaching civilization has never left me.  I know that hole in the Parthenon – I spent my nights & days beside it.  It is the most wonderful feeling one can ever have, I think.

Don’t be discouraged & wanting to fly off – stick to what you want to do, even if it doesn’t turn out as you want it to.  Enclosed (newspaper cutting) may inspire you to think of the U.S. wh.. seems to have something of everything in every way.  Tom is well;  John is starting to be a photographer, tho’ until we have sold the house or something else, he cannot buy the materials he needs.  He is much better, tho’ not well yet.  Maryse as usual the beautiful mainstay of the family – she even feeds me what little gets left twice a day in the kitchen!  …  pupils.   Let me know what you do!  Tom and I may be going to the Bavarian mountains in July & August.  V. much love, ever – V.

..

Jouy en Josas, 22 Aout 1968

Dearest Jane,

Where are you?  Not in Geneva it seems, from where you sent me that exciting p.c. all bright lights before, & somber mountains behind! 

Jim & Helen came for 3 – 4 magic hours to sit in our garden which was looking most lovely. –  Yesterday tho’, in a sort of spite – the poor old but for once heavily laden & most beautifully leaning-low apple tree dropped an enormous branch – at least half of itself – over the well – crash!   A moment before I was underneath it watering the rose by the well & picking up fallen fruit.  This spring the old walnut did the same thing, crash went the enormous branch, which half covered the end of Maryse’s part of the garden.  Perhaps they are protesting at our idea of selling the house!  John who is better but can never apparently be ‘well’ is helping & overseeing the painting & doing up of the house.  Then when I have a little place in Paris, you must come over & have that fun we have always promised ourselves.  My wrist has mended well, but it is not quite so adaptable as before.  However I gave with Mme Paul my first little concert at Montcel on the 15 Aug. to a summer school of Americans staying there – two lovely Mozart Sonatas (Nos 12 and 13 in my Augeners Ed) with the … Bach in E maj in between.

Thomas is growing up & may be going to school at the “Rentree”.   He never ceases talking now, but will not try to speak in English – his great joy at the moment is blackberrying.

I went for 10 days to the Bavarian Alps where Nicole spends her holidays.  She had arrived a week before me & had immediately fallen ill with an attack of bronchitis & couldn’t walk.  So I sat in the sun & yearningly looked at the mountains without once going up.  From her letters she seems better, but can perhaps never come back to live in Paris again. 

Francisco has been moved to Frankfurt-on-Main for 2 yrs.  He came back on business last week, & came to see me in a magnificent Alfa-Romeo car, dark blue with red linings, & says he has found a flat with 3 rooms & has bought a new Steinway grand just exactly like mine!  He seems well & happy.

I had a p.c. this week from Anne Marie and Joel Cadiou from Brighton!!  Did you happen to see them?  I hardly ever see them now.  The whole family is always working, & at night I cannot go out.  I hope yr. mother & father & all the family are well.   Love to you & all, V.                        (I still have intact that … of chip potatoes!)

**

I learned among other things from Vera Moore, how to cook French food.  Back home, I educated my rustic family with dressed salads and veal escaloppes in mushrooms, cream and sherry. She showed me the the “billets-doux” she received from Francisco and her other admirers.   She adored young men.   My family sent me to Vera for piano study, and to improve my French, and to give her some much needed cash.  Each day she sent me down the long steps to Chaville with the shopping list (“ .. look, here’s fifty thousand francs …” –  the old currency was being devalued.).

I loved this chore.  Each day I learned thrilling new words in the epicerie and the boulangerie; and soaked up the Gallic courtesies like a sponge.  By the end of a fortnight, my school French was almost native.   Vera chattered very bad French en grande dame, with her seamless English accent.

**

Neville Marriner & Alfred Brendel JA 1986

**

Vera Moore to Dale Roberts –  quoting Brancusi:

“The arts have never existed by themselves (outside of folklore); they have always been a prerogative of the religious, and every time religion has been in decline, art has fallen into virtuousity.  To make art which is truly independent, one must be God to create it, a king to order it, and a slave to realize it.”

**

**

And through a further Door, Brancusi … An impression from the 1930s

“When I first went to see Brancusi, I felt that all the elements were there collected in his studio, almost as though it were nature’s workshop.  There I found air and light, and the poise and rhythm of his carvings.  It was really a collection of studios in a little courtyard;  I pulled a string outside the door, and a hammer hit upon a disc of brass within, making a lovely echoing sound.  When Brancusi opened the door, it was still vibrating.  ‘People bring me music while they wait,’  he said.  The only dark thing in all that world was Brancusi’s eyes, they were like wet pebbles in the sand, everything else was finely powdered over, his grey hair and beard, his face, his clothes, the tall columns of eternal movement, the ‘light’.

“It was one of many visits, and I never lost the sense of living energy it was to be there.   Brancusi seemed to talk more with his eyes than with his mouth, and he kept watching my enjoyment.  He would lift the covers from those shining brasses, the ‘light’ would start revolving on its plate of clear reflection ; … and all the time some new object would come upon my wonder;  forms of carved wood lying at hazard , or seemingly so;  for nothing was at hazard in that studio, since all was part of one vision …  the carvings all about became one, and I was in that unity.”

Jim Ede, A Way of Life, 1984

 

**

“Thank you for the most beautiful flower, and I also owe you a word in reply to your charming letter after your last visit.  I explained to Vera that I wanted to make a poem in reply – et voila!  The mountain has given birth to a mouse.”

Brancusi to Jim Ede, 22 December 1933

**

**

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 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) – along with many other creations in house.  

I write, illustrate, design and print my books.   Watch this space.