The artist’s journey may be solitary on one hand but it thrives on camaraderie and inspired company. Cecilia Ramon is an artist and dear friend and we are continuing our collaborative exploration together. Every week that we can, one of us will send the other some inspiration in the form of an excerpt from a poem, a prose selection, or a quote. Then we will each make art in response to the piece and finally we will post it here on my blog and on hers, which is in development. We will see what emerges and then chart out our course together. The goal is an artistic exploration of life and art in an organic way.
Life has its own rhythm and we saw that making our project happen each week did not align with our schedules and travels out of the country. Excited nevertheless by what we began, in November 2018 we chose a poem by Galway Kinnell ‘St. Francis and the Sow’ that Cecilia had proposed. Below are our responses in art. What do you think?
Week 3: November 20
Saint Francis and the Sow
By Galway Kinnell
stands for all things,
even for those things that don’t flower,
for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;
though sometimes it is necessary
to reteach a thing its loveliness,
to put a hand on its brow
of the flower
and retell it in words and in touch
it is lovely
until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing;
as Saint Francis
put his hand on the creased forehead
of the sow, and told her in words and in touch
blessings of earth on the sow, and the sow
began remembering all down her thick length,
from the earthen snout all the way
through the fodder and slops to the spiritual curl of the tail,
from the hard spininess spiked out from the spine
down through the great broken heart
to the sheer blue milken dreaminess spurting and shuddering
from the fourteen teats into the fourteen mouths sucking and blowing beneath them:
the long, perfect loveliness of sow.
Galway Kinnell, “Saint Francis and the Sow” from Three Books. Copyright © 2002 by Galway Kinnell.
‘crossing’ by Cecilia Ramon (ink drawing on printing paper and color pencils)
As I was working on this piece, I was holding in my heart these lines: “for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing; / though sometimes it is necessary / to reteach a thing its loveliness”. I had the image of a still point in a vortex. I saw this “reteaching” as a patient pause in the eye of the storm to regain trust and confidence.
‘The Sow’ by Virajita Singh (Grey Marker on Bristol paper)
I was struck by the visual image created by the lines “…from the fourteen teats into the / fourteen mouths sucking and blowing beneath them: / the long, perfect loveliness of sow.” and the sow and her little ones emerged as the central figured to draw.