the composition of alchemy


The attitude we bring to the state of inquiry is important. We must cultivate the mind that resists quick conclusions and labeling. We show up with the intention of openness, emptiness. This is especially necessary if we have lost or never had a connection to the Creative Source through art. We cultivate a mind of rising and falling. A portrait painter does not exactly sit down to make a picture of his sitter, but rather to render the subtleties of the shade of violet that is next to the shade of pale orange that to the onlooker is named as the shadow under a cheekbone but to a painter is an abstraction of exquisite tone, color, and energy. This journey into Eros, into the pleasure of seeing and naming, works best at first with a time limit so that you can let go of fears of falling into something and not getting out. At this stage, every possibility, and possibility, is great. It is often at the borders of our experience that we encounter fertile opportunity for inquiry through art……Pat B. Allen

we fit ourselves into many molds, and when we come to the page, or to the canvas, or to the performance, or to the garden, or to our soul’s edge, we give up the mold, go deep into the power of no view, of no road, of no value except for color and tone and light…….of hand to eye to heart and back again…..

It was a fine feeling that made the spirit of the Greek language signify chronos, “formal time,” with a different word from kairos, “the right time.” The consciousness of the kairos is dependent on one’s being inwardly grasped by the fate and destiny of the time. Kairos is every turning point in history in which the eternal judges and transforms the temporal….Paul Tillich

a new kind of power

All my life I have refused to be for or against parties, for or against nations, for or against people. I never seek novelty or the eccentric; I do not go from land to land to contrast civilizations. I seek only, wherever I go, for symbols of greatness, and they may be found in the eyes of a child, in the movement of a gladiator, in the heart of a gypsy, in twilight in Ireland or in moonrise over the deserts. To hold the spirit of greatness is in my mind what the world was created for. The human body is beautiful as this spirit shines through, and art is great as it translates and embodies this spirit……Robert Henri

4 thoughts on “the composition of alchemy

  1. I am reading Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen. He was captivated by the Rembrandt painting of the same name, in it he compares the subtleties of the artist, with the meaning he finds in the parable. Surely we are come into the light to know its reflection of the Spirit in time and space, a sacred contract written as art upon our souls …

    • wonderful way to shift our awareness to a more subtle knowing….when I spread out my visual journal at dawn, surely this is a new way each time……light and color and spirit……

  2. Have you read “Gilead”, or “Tinkers”? Both are similar books as they delve into a life already lived to find the subtle workings of joy, sorrow, labor and love. I recall one chapter that spoke to the process of building a bird’s nest. When our life is laid flat, we lose sight of the texture – the remembering back to all we’ve known, to all we’ve loved.

    • tinkers, yes… be untethered may at first seem fearful, but not so……we can become the thread that holds us……art untethers us……allows us to float…….a poems cadence leading us astray…..ahhhh….

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