The gloaming comes, the day is spent,
The sun goes out of sight.
And painted is the Occident
With purple sanguine bright.
We’re in the gloaming of this series, ‘tween light and night, when physical prime meets spiritual wisdom, and fire fades into moon. It’s the joy of aliveness and the grief in loss. It’s twilight.
So, let us gather our orchids while we may, paint every chapter as if it’s first stroke in an inspired exploration. ‘Tis another season and all are full of beauty.
Although it took me a lot of livin’ to embrace the concept of beauty at every stage, artists have depicted it since the beginning of time. In this series, Marissa Bridge takes on the subject through the life cycle of petals, stamens, pistils, and we are privy to their rise and fall, sans vanity. The orchid begins to age and loveliness abounds.
With many artists and photographers in my orbit, years ago I fancied myself a model. It was an instant identity and an edifying chapter. I was asked by a painter to sit for him, and my world was shaken the first and only time I was in his studio. He said, “I’d rather paint you in your fifties, with more lines in your face.”
If life is like being swallowed by quicksand, I lived as if youth were the offered rescue twig. But this artist was looking for experience, not even lines: etched emotions that inform bone and muscular structure as the years accumulate. With no real history or choices, I sat there without nobility or tragedy, countenance or shame, nothing of my humanity to reveal.
I came back from Venice yesterday, and while trying to catch up, I am high from a renewed way of looking at what is before me. Since there is little time for writing this post, I’d like to suggest that my dear readers take a moment to compare this painting and the one before, #25: Art and Orchids. Notice they were made in the same period of time from opposite directions and te backsides are as just lovely as the face-on flowers. Talk about clever: without going thousands of miles, both Marissa and the grand designer of the world remind us to open our eyes. The beauty is here, there, and everywhere.
Blossoms are about pollination, and sometimes that’s a tricky business. Through color and design, orchids can imitate insects or bees. Fooled into thinking they’re mating with their own ilk instead of a flower, unsuspecting feet and bodies pick up the dusty pollen. In the process of seeking satiation with other recipients of their attraction, after the death of an individual flower, and without much thought, the critters manage to insure new life.
Because dystopia is part of our present reality, I seek reminders of the miraculous nature of life, and find them in, among other things, art and orchids.