It’s amazing how quickly a painting can come together with just a few hours of painting. I’ve decided to walk away from After the Descent so that my eye can view it afresh, before I finish it.
I was so relieved to have found some pigs for my Traveling Salesman (Odysseus) painting a couple of weeks ago. Yesterday, I drove the 45 minutes to their location, hoping to take my photographs. The sun was high; the light was good. The pigs weren’t out though. I didn’t know what to do beyond wait a few minutes outside the pen. No one was home up at the house, so I didn’t know what I could do beyond that. Getting pictures of these pigs may be harder than I thought. Now that weather’s grown warm, they may spend all their time sleeping in their barn. It’s a little out of my way to run up there very often, so I may have to start working on something else next.
Here is an extract from a poem, The Heart, by Francis Thompson. I’ve known the last two lines in particular for years and used them as a chapter heading for the novel I’ve been working on.
O nothing, in this corporal earth of man,
That to the imminent heaven of his high soul
Responds with colour and with shadow, can
Lack correlated greatness. If the scroll
Where thoughts lie fast in spell of hieroglyph
Be might through its mighty habitants;
If God be in His Name; grave potence if
The sounds unbind of hieratic chants;
All’s vast that vastness means. Nay, I affirm
Nature is whole in her least things exprest,
Nor know we with what scope God builds the worm.
Our towns are copied fragments from our breast;
And all man’s Babylons strive but to impart
The grandeurs of his Babylonian heart.