Pray to the Moon when She is round,
Luck with you will then abound,
What you seek for shall be found
On the sea or solid ground.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Seven Days of Birthday: Day Seven (A Week Later)

The Changeling won't cut me a break & both children spent the past week diligently working on turning our home into their version of the mythological vomitorium. (I actually did not know that the 'vomitorium,' when defined as a place for purging Roman excess was a myth until I spell-checked it on my Mac. Alas, it is but an historical tall tale, the term simply being an extravagant & unfortunate name for a very practical means of crowd control, i.e., passages in a theatre or stadium. /End tangential trivia.)

Birthday Gift Number Seven embellished with electric candlelight ala Hubby (children make safety a necessary evil).
Several years ago I fell in love with the paintings of an Alaskan artist named Ayse Gilbert. Among her varied artistic endeavours, she creates these paintings of women who resemble an iconic woman/saint/image of Mary/Goddess/insert-your-spin-here. The first painting I coveted-with-agony was titled, "Our Lady of the Pomegranates." It featured a woman, not unlike the woman above (& those in all her other similarly themed paintings) surrounded by pomegranates & magpies. Truly stunning & completely enchanting. Hubby had followed up on it, but by the time there was any vague possibility of actually affording it, some lucky person had already taken her home. Just in case you were uncertain, Hubby threw out the lunch money policy on this one. 

This painting is called "Raising the Lilies of the Nile." Like her other works of this kind, Ms. Gilbert has painted on glass which makes for vivid colour & a very high sheen (& subsequently makes is very difficult to photograph). What bright joy to see in the morning & how strangely she glows in the dark. I cannot get enough.

I did a little poking about regarding the title & found an article entitled, "Sacred Narcotic Lily of the Nile." I have yet to read it all, but I hope to find a spare moment sometime before I turn fifty. Here's just a bit from the introduction:

"Who were the "Lotus Eaters" of early Africa? The fabulous people who occupied the north coast of Africa and lived on the lotus, which brought forgetfulness and happy indolence...  A suggestion that certain water lilies might have narcotic properties is found in their frequent use as a motif in funerary art among the Egyptians as well as Mayans..." 
 and later,

"We are left with the inescapable conclusion that the blue water lily, Nymphaea caerulea, was exploited for its narcotic content in order to provoke the shamanic state of ecstasis among a priestly caste in ancient Egypt... and comparisons with recent investigations into similar New World traditions may lead to a very different way of viewing Egyptian art and artifacts..."

Fascinating. I am curious about this ongoing of chain of references to mind-altering substances that has been frequenting my life (both conscious & subconscious, only some of which have been mentioned here), especially since I am most certainly not in the position to be following up on these 'suggestions' anytime soon. What is going on here? Who is trying to get a message through & what is it? Well, while I wait for the answer, I can rest my gaze on this dreamy image & have my lilies as I please -- while still remaining coherent enough to clean up after the kids.

In case you were wondering, yes I cried... like the happiest forty year old baby there has ever been.

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