|A detail from a work in progress - with a borrowed element from|
Sandro Botticelli's (1489) Cestello Annunciation - © 2016, DS
It's the beginning of a new year... and one that is particularly welcome; especially after 2016, the year when, for many people (including myself), everything went to hell. We lost a lot people last year - the death of David Bowie was the first bad omen - and, all in all, it was a little creepy; you'd think they all were "abandoning ship" or something.
"For the Angels" was to be my last post of that year - as opposed to the first of 2017 - wherein I expressed my gratitude to certain friends of mine - the true angels - who helped me out in the past 6 months, literally saving me from an eviction, and figuratively saving me from the wolves howling at my door.
Actual poverty is almost like a disease; it's debilitating in more ways than a comfortably-placed person can conceive of. Society, for instance, treats poverty as if it were a crime; taking the self-righteous position that the impoverished are at fault for their own failure. Very often, those whom we refer to as friends take the same position; they see you drowning and advise you to swim. Your true friends, however, are those who throw you a line at the crucial moment, and it is to these friends - and they know who they are - this post is dedicated.
Artists, of course, are traditionally poor... "the starving artist" is so cliche that even some artists are under the impression they really can live on air alone. The "mad artist" in the garret is another cliche. And, as it was, I blogged about artists and mental institutions quite a lot in the second half of last year, most likely because the idea of residing in one became more understandable as the days moved on.
But, it is a new year... and, thus far, the worse that can be said about it is the surrealistic coronation of multi-millionaire King Donald in the coming week. As I mentioned in the previous version of this post, a man in Canada has predicted Trump will be behind bars before the end of the year... which would be the best-case scenario, had VP Pence - known in Twitter circles as the "Man from Glad" - not been waiting in the wings. So, for most Americans - and most people in the free world - it looks like a lose/lose situation. Although I have little more to say about the matter, our friend Hawkwood over Shadows in Eden has written rather extensively (and accurately) about Agent Orange, and so I direct you here (and here).*
And, in the end, 2016 wasn't all that bad. Even for me. I finally pulled a small studio (of sorts) together in my present New Mexican abode. Although "little birds" inform me that I'm likely to be on the road again before spring arrives, I'll show you a photo anyway... just for the record.
|What passes for my current studio space in NM.|
And, I also almost started to carve again... my version of the Sign of the Three Hares... something I alluded to over a year ago. (If you look carefully at the photo, you'll detect a plaster roundel sitting on my worktable. It' has a plastic cover to protect it from the red dust that continuously invades the homes of those who live by the dry "meadows" that surround the area). Sadly, although my intentions were good, and I labored for weeks over the drawing (shown below), I was, in the end, unable to manipulate a carving of that size. But, don't fret. I'm going to try carving it in a different medium. So, there's hope. There's always hope.
|A design for a Three-Hares symbol... shown with a cast icosahedron|
(of the second cyclohedric kind). (© 2016, DS)
I also picked up some freelance work in November... digitally imaging antiquarian books for a local online bookseller (and another angel). It's kind of an ideal gig for me and helps to pay the rent, but, as you may have noticed, it does (regretfully) take a great deal of time away from blogging. So much so, that cobbling together this post has been next to impossible.
|Photo Credit: Pascal Vuylsteker|
Yet, again, there are also the entities we generally refer to as angels. Images of them adorn our churches, populate our graveyards, and even emerge (in various guises) throughout pop culture... so much so that we take them for granted. But, what are they... really? Did you ever stop to consider?
Oddly enough, angels have gone viral on the web in recent years... google them - try "angels - cosmic spirits" or "spiritual angels" - and you are presented with a multitude of esoteric links purportedly informing you of the actual "facts" about angels. It's actually a little weird. Apart from the Christian side of the equation, there seems to be a number of underground psuedo-religious movements - mystery schools, if you will - devoted to them; the Ancient Alien/Angel theories being the mere tip of the iceberg. But, who am I to argue? Maybe some of these "philosophers" are onto something... then again, maybe they're just desperate to fill a 21st Century spiritual void.
Maybe we're all just a little desperate to fill a 21st century spiritual void.
Unfortunately, I will not be filling any voids in this post; my time for it has run out. But, I'd like to return to Boticelli's "Annunciation," and attempt to fill in a few of the many blanks which remain concerning angels, both Botticelli's and their symbolic legacy in general. In ways they tie in very closely with my research on the topic of the Third Gender, which in turn might lead us back to the Language of the Birds/Alchemy of Love series initiated (somewhat prematurely) last year. I can't make ay promises but will try... just be prepared for numerous interruptions.
Is it just me, or does 2017 already feel like a strange year? In any case, I wish us all the best with it.
* An interesting and somewhat optimistic development related to DT's inauguration: Women's March on Washington: What You Need to Know. For more information on this event - both locally and internationally - go the https://www.womensmarch.com/.
Regarding the two inset images images above, the first (right) is an amazing memorial statue - I don't think I've ever seen anything like it - apparently found in the "Brontë graveyard" and can be found on this webpage along with a number of amazing cemetery statues.
The second image on your left is a medieval interpretation of the archangel Raphael, and can be found on this webpage.
Incidentally, it seems that Botticelli is currently on more than a just few minds... There's actually a new movie about him - one of those esoteric thrillers - which will be released next month. Below is the trailer.