The Medici sure knew a fine piece of land when they
We had trekked all afternoon with the cypress twisting along the paths. Aged statues had very few pieces left so guessing the character became harder and harder to figure. Most were propped and suspended by awkward metal rebar and metal tubes, leaving empty space equivalent to what was missing. A few of them looked as though a game had not ended, and players took turns, rather slowly, fitting in a stone puzzle piece of the body each had been dealt.
We had visited Neptune in his abbreviated habitat. He stood rock on rock, threatening his trident at a fish, while sea deities hid beneath in the hollows crouched out of the way of him doing his business.
We had chalked the mosaics and taken the obligatory photo ops. Looking around there were literally masses of opportunities begging to be violated.
With all of the other amusements in the Baboli Gardens we were still disappointed that a high sharp wire wall had sealed off the Grotto of Buontalenti. The structure seemed to be in repair, but it didn’t look as though the maintenance man would show anytime soon. Yes, 423 years can be a very long time for fake molten rock to look rather slimy and rotten. I think they may have just got sick and tired of foreigners putting their hands all over it. The day had been planned around visiting Buonarroti’s Prisoners. Actually, the fakes, as the real works were in the Galleria dell'Academia. There, the trumpet in your head goes off for David, not the six prisoners lining the nave. Mickey thought himself a tool of god, and reckoning god created free-hand, did the same. With the frenzied spirit upon him, and chisel in hand he hacked in a cloud of dust to expose the figure locked inside the stone. These restless men are claustrophobic, possessed, struggling to free themselves from the stone. The figures were abandoned just as they surfaced from a pool of water. Perhaps he was satisfied with the bellies emerged shiny and finished like a target. There are no apologies in the grooves from the chisel. Emotionally charged work has always intrigued me far more than the perfection of David, who in his temple is treated to reverent gazes and hushed voices.
Of course, on the flip side, Mickey may have simply been delighting in a practice of 3/D stone sketching by pulling out muscular, tanned, and sweating bodies of the workers from the Carrara marble quarries.
Oh, how we wanted to climb that dangerous looking barbed wire and walk into that chamber. It was the only way in, unless of course you climbed on top and dropped in through the ceiling cupola.
We never took these things personally.
After we had gained entrance, we reckoned we were obliged to stay until dark.
The bathing Venus was no longer alone. The mural to the back ‘looking out’ from the shelter of the grotto was a pastoral setting of wild beasts that simply glanced over the hidden place. The play of faux, relief and dimensional made the grotto look expansive. There was a nice little kitten that had followed us in apparently taking an easier route. She was a bubbly little thing the color of whipped butter making herself at home by loitering with sheep, and curling up in a Shepard’s goblet.
Michelangelo’s men were impressive in this venue. Two of the prisoners were graced there but not imprisoned by the hardened merd that had been slug everywhere around. The well endowed bearded man and the see-no-evil figure were embedded, but stood out in white form from the Mannerist sculpture that also inhabited the cave. The two were slumped over and forward, leaning into from opposite corners.
We camped in the back near Rossi’s Helen and Paris. Talking about the surreality of situations, thinking of past moments, and wondering if we would ever think of this one hence.
On our way out in the wee hours the cypress had grown eerie sparkle lights, glowing from the damp ground to the tiptops high above us. They lit up in time, in turn, in tune with each other. How thoughtful the lightening bugs had been to enchant the garden. I half expected to see Puck fall out from behind a bush, quote a snatch of Shakespeare and disappear again into the briar.
(Kyle'd do just about anything just to hear me laugh.)
Exhausting the possibilities is fun.
Every once in a while I put out a bit of the dictionary from the ongoing work Lonnie and I are building. Here I go again.
• ready-fire-aim; The ability to start before you are altogether ready in order to initiate a beginning.
• perfection; Something that needn’t be determined in a concrete way. Something met with that is distracting.
• orphan / widow;
A word left alone, set at the top of the page on a line by itself. Lonely, confused and about to jump off. A typography term.
• dance; Code word for big argument about to happen over here. -e.g. “I’m cutting in on this one. I will take this dance.”
• mock-up; A quickly built idea in 3D to see if it is a feasible design.
• mustard & shrimp; A color story.
• working designer, a working artist – and in order to keep the “working” part of the title in the equation an artist must work. A lot. That means there is little time for the stars to align and the majestic creative muse to descend with gifts of glorious expressions of great art. No, it is more like hurling yourself in to the creative flux at a moment’s notice. It is necessary to turn on creativity at almost anytime and produce work.
• sticks; A gimmick learned for the Hong Kong episode. This skit had been organized and rehearsed numerous times, but whenever we were called upon to perform the ditty it seemed always to be changed into something none of us had ever heard of. -e.g. An inner circle joke became to compose a bewildering look in a confusing situation and ask, “Sticks?”
• scope creep; What happens when a project grows in scope silently and uncontrollably.
• left field; A proverbial place that you end up preceded by either putting your foot in your mouth, failing to impress a peer, or not paying attention to what is going on at the board meeting. -e.g. “It’s a hit! The idea ball is floating over into left field and everyone at the table is scrambling after, trying to figure it out.
Lonnie falling during the 1535 days.
Who then is the father of time? The detritus mess from which we came from. He is the one who keeps everything from happening at once, twice. The problem of which there’s too little. He is past the age that he feels he is obliged to like something and for this reason carries a scythe.
Gone, gone beyond, gone beyond
The sister of mercy is obligation. When she kicks in she will forever after have worry as a distraction. However, distraction is sometimes an inoculation against depression.
Gone, gone beyond, gone beyond
The brother of love’s favorite tools are mental telepathy and leverage. A verbal taser gun is often useful, but not mandatory. He is the cartoon character looking both ways before crossing the street, seeing it safe, puts a foot out and immediately gets flattened by oncoming traffic.
Gone, gone, gone beyond, gone altogether beyond
The second cousin of scatology is creative disruptiveness. Involuntary, consistent, and memorable. Faithfully and continuously changing the scrip to a new genre between dark & iffy. Branded a Grapheme because as a child he complained of fuchsia headaches and mentioned the letter A wanted to be red. He had been unaware his experiences were unusual until another pointed out others did not have them.
Gone, gone, gone beyond, gone altogether beyond
The mother of reinvention states that what mother said at one time is destined to be said again. The biological function she offers speaks and has listeners, but not of the understanding sort. Like being served before you order; being forced to eat before you are hungry.
The voices spoke inside her head more clearly than she had heard when they were alive. The now disembodied words circle inside the mental haunted house. They wager and scold with a verbal finger-wag.
Light up the smudge stick and hand it over.
The human condition is such this.
Saying what we are trying to mean and answering what we don't want anyone to hear.
All the while hoping we won’t carry any regrets and others will read between the lines.
She has lived long enough to be moved into top place.
Now misunderstood gets its first-hand chance.
Food for thought only.
Walking in an art gallery today I crossed a mandala of sorts, a loosely painted target on a perforated board. There were holes left where arrows had flown in and shot through.
I froze for a moment too long, petrified, and was tossed back into the inexpressible. Akin to the overwhelming grief of not seeing someone ever again. The tug of dread unexplainable. The idea of always and consistently missing the mark. However, so perfectly deliberate in missing, that it seems by mere calculation one should recognize the pattern and surely catch on and achieve the point.
A ring tone blares behind me, from inside my pack, jolting me to reality. That’s what damn cell phones are good for. After the brief call, I look again at the artwork. The painting was simply a piece of cheap pegboard the painter had cleaned brushes off onto.
Let smirking scholars writhe in their favorite bondage
And hold you plaintiff to the charge of art…
…your ghost pervades
staged-up like falstaff or the wild welsh rimbaud
You'd laugh to see the monograms they make of you
Oh, Mr. Thomas, Mr. Thomas,
Why don't we feel whatever we're supposed to feel
Oh, Mr. Thomas let us ramble through the midnight
Let us throw bottles at the ferris wheel
Let us paint library on the library let us raid the moonlight
Let us steal whatever we're supposed to steal
For Mr. Thomas — Robin Williamson original / Van Morrison