I’ve been very inspired by certain calendars I’ve seen at the end of last year. I did wonder whether my artwork – eg Spirits of Nature – was good enough for a calendar, so I’ve approached one or two publishers. I noticed calendars featuring the words and poems of Rumi during my browsing and I began to take note. Rumi was a 13th century Persian poet whose work has become very popular in recent years, especially in the US (probably mainly in new age circles). I’ve been searching and reading his poems and find them very appealing, very beautiful, profound.
Daylight, full of dancing particles
And the one great turning, our souls
Are dancing with you, without feet, they dance.
Can you see them when I whisper in your ear?
That’s a meer snippet, I’m a sucker for anything about dancing. Currently, I’m enjoying “Selected Poems” translated by Coleman Banks.
It seems as though I’m now noticing Rumi everywhere. Whilst googling ‘visionary art’ I discovered the Iranian artist, Rassouli, whose work I love (see www.rassouli.com). He publishes a Rumi calendar and I’m hoping to get one for next year. He’s been inspired by Rumi and another Persian poet, Hafez, who I’ve yet to read. I’ve found myself painting in a similar way recently, I don’t want to copy, but it’s good to be inspired.
I woke up this morning thinking about Morphos, those big iridescent butterflies I’ve seen in Costa Rica and Ecuador. Knowing little about them, I did a search and learnt a few facts eg the males patrol stream and forest edges for females and they eat rotting fruit and animal remains, sucking up the juices with their coiled mouthparts. I found the facts quite refreshing and got stuck into reading about British butterflies as well – such as Purple Emperors that drink aphid honeydew up in the tree tops laying their eggs on Goat willow.
As far as nature is concerned, I’ve been out trying to enjoy it and take photographs for a dance project rather than study it. I’ve been inspired by several books that I’ve stumbled on, one of which is David Abram’s ‘The Spell of the Sensuous’.
I discovered what I think is a beautiful excerpt from David’s book while doing a web search. It’s a description of a vision he had while in Bali and it made me want to read the whole book.
David Abram is a notable writer on ecophilosophy and basically the book is about how phonetic language and the written word in the West have helped to sever our relationship with the natural world. He writes beautifully and magically delving into subjects such as ‘Phenomenology’ which I hadn’t come across before. He draws on early Greek script and his and others’ experiences with indigenous, animistic cultures using their stories and language to illustrate how they are still interconnected with the natural world and how severed we in the west are. He suggests that we can rediscover a connection with nature by changing the way we write and use language. Abrams writes in such a way as to reach us on a level below our conscious, rational intellect where we can begin to perceive the natural, non-human world more directly. This is a book well worth reading and rereading.
Here is a photo taken inside a butterfly farm: