Saturday, May 23, 2020

"... How many deaths will it take 'til he knows that too many people have died? ..." / Summer Solstice 2020 / The Parable of the Sower

Although the early morning sun is still visible from my porch, it won't be long before it will be hidden behind the dense grove of cottonwood trees to the northeast.  Summer solstice is not that far away.  On that day, the official sunrise will be at 5:07 a.m. and sunset at 9:19 p.m., but the first light and the last light are much earlier and much later than that.  When I get up at 4 a.m. on the morning of the Summer Solstice there will be light in the sky.  The birds will be awake.  Summer Solstice in the time of COVID-19.

My 18th birthday happened during the first few days of my freshman year, 1967, at University of California, Irvine, but I didn't tell anyone.  Someone found out, and an informal un-birthday party was arranged for me a week or so later.  All anyone knew about me was that I was an art major.  Someone went to the University Bookstore and bought a print of Vincent van Gogh's "The Sower" and wrapped it up as a birthday gift.  For the past 53 years, it's been on one wall or another wherever I have lived.  Recently I moved it to a place where it can be seen when I walk through my front doorway.  This morning when I looked at the print, the idea suddenly came to me to put one of my older mandalas where the sun is, in the spirit of collage.

Sometime in the 1980s, I made a collage along the same lines, combining another painting from Van Gogh's Sower series with a self-portrait by Rembrandt and "The Luncheon of the Boating Party," by Renoir.

When I Googled "the sower," I discovered this:

"... But the road to freedom is long, arduous and dangerous. "They run into this fire that they know they can't control and then an earthquake happens. Lauren makes a choice. She cannot control the earthquake or the fire. But she can control the path she and her people take."

Many thanks to 37paddington for introducing me to the writing of Octavia E. Butler.

For some time now, I've been saving a quote which just happens to affirm everything I hoped to say in this post.

"May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears."
(Nelson Mandela)


beth coyote said...

I needed Toshi Reagon's song today.

Stephen Levine's book Unattended Sorrows is so good. I have two copies.

ellen abbott said...

unfortunately there is no number high enough for Trump.

Tara said...

...the answer my friend, his blowin' out his arse...

I don't believe I've read Ms. Butler, so I will add her to my reading list.

I love that you've had that poster for 53 years, and that you added your own artwork to it. Well done!

37paddington said...

So much in this post to sink into. But perhaps what unraveled me most was listening, really listening to the words of Blowing in the Wind, and the way it took me all the way back, and then I realized the words still apply, so little has changed and yet we had so much hope. I love all sowing metaphors here. Thank you for all of it.