So, without further ado, let’s get to today’s painting and poem, inspired by Christina Rossetti’s poem, De Profundis.
To read this poem, click here (or scroll down near the bottom of the page)
The gibbous moon confers gifts—
firelit gossamer to mark your forest path.
But when she wanes, and you fall from grace,
be vigilant, capricious heart.
It is not a time for mourning,
but for sowing.
She’ll not deny you
your harvest home.
Lift up your sighing eyes, and
again her heart will open.
Her outstretched arms,
pale and devoted in the ardent hours,
patiently wait for your fond embrace.
Between two tempestuous seas—
dark and unmeasured—
seas of birth and death—
is a sinuous strait.
You are a drop of soul water
on the foam of a wayfaring wave.
Rise, you soul!
And rise again!
There is the serpent Scylla—
there is swirling Charybdis.
Rise to the wave’s crest.
Rise to the mirrored moon—
shadow of the Sun. Rise like spray,
away from death,
away from darkness,
into the Eternal One.
THE MOON-SOUL AND THE SEA
from Dīvāni Shamsi Tabrīz
by Rumi (trans. R. A. Nicholson)
At morning-tide a moon appeared in the sky,
And descended from the sky and gazed on me.
Like a falcon which snatches a bird at the time of hunting,
That moon snatched me up and coursed over the sky.
When I looked at myself, I saw myself no more,
Because in that moon my body became by grace even as soul.
When I travelled in soul, I saw naught save the moon,
Till the secret of the Eternal Theophany was revealed.
The nine spheres of heaven were all merged in that moon,
The vessel of my being was completely hidden in the sea.
The sea broke into waves, and again Wisdom rose
And cast abroad a voice; so it happened and thus it befell.
Foamed the sea, and at every foam-fleck
Something took figure and something was bodied forth.
Every foam-fleck of body, which received a sign from that sea,
Melted straightway and turned to spirit in this Ocean.
Rumi, 1207-1273. Born in Balk (present-day Afghanistan) or Wakhsh (present-day Tajikistan)
Link Biography: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rumi
Link to Poem: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/45159/45159-h/45159-h.htm#II_SHAMSI_TABRIZ
ABOUT THE POETRY PAINTING PROJECT
For the past couple of months I have been working on a huge new secret project with my painter, Addie Hirshten, of Studio Alchemy
We selected 30 poems (from the public domain) and each day for the next 30 days I will write a poem inspired by it, and Addie will paint a painting.
Expect an outpouring of creative energy! This is the sort of big project that artists live for … where we can say what we yearn to say. Big picture stuff. Heart wrenching stuff. I feel so inspired by the poetry we are working with AND seeing Addie’s process as well. Expect daily surprises with our posts. Expect passion. Expect love. Expect life.
The soul should always stand ajar. Ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.Emily Dickinson
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