Sunday, July 26, 2009

A master of visual horror

He was born a mere two years before Leonardo Da Vinci. Like the well-known Rennaissance artist, he painted. His works, however, could not be more unlike the gentle Mona Lisa. I am talking about Hieronymous Bosch, that master of visual horror, who was during his time, as firmly stuck within the realm of medieval superstition.

It is interesting to note how perspectives can change. When seen against the romanticism of the Renaissance, and the latter Pre-Raphaelites, the works of Hieronymous Bosch makes a poor fit. There is little beauty in the lowlands artists highly moralistic caricatures depicting mostly the wages of sin. He is accused by contemporaries of mostly indulging in the creation of grotesque monsters and chimeras.

Fast forward to the darkness that slipped in alongside the dawning of the age of reason. Consider Freud and Jung's charting of the dreams, nightmares and fears that survive deep within the psyche of mankind, no matter how advanced we believe we have gotten. Take a walk through the wild expressions that characterized the life of the Marquis du Sade. And study the high adaptibility of form and function that Salvador Dali called surrealism. All of these contain shades and reflections of the images that flowed freely from Hieronymous Bosch's paintbrush.

So, I ask you, was Hieronymous Bosch a primitive. Or just a little further ahead of his era than most?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

At the dark side of the song...

Who needs perfect rolemodels? Who needs plastic overachievers whose only saving grace is their ability to run like clockwork to the machines of commerce and industry? Who needs people who say the safe things and do the safe things and never let us see but a glimmer of the true and terrible light inside their souls?

Here's to you if you have ever thought you might be defeated by the pain of carrying heavenly fire in the poor and imperfect vessel of a human mind. Here's to you, if the burden of inspiration you carry feels improperly matched to the means at your disposal. Here's to you, if you've ever found yourself at the wrong end of bad decisions. If you have ever loved the wrong person, or loved the right person so wrongly that you ended up shattering yourself, just give yourself a break. Loving badly may be a shame and a sadness, but it's not a crime. Don't crucify yourself, just because you live in the messy debris of creative chaos or be ashamed because, God, you look like a bad dye job from six months ago and although your socks are at least the same color, they didn't really start out as a pair. And anyway, there's magic locked up inside your head that make socks and physical appearance pale by comparison and if you start paying attention to everyone else's opinions, you'll only drop the keys you still need to let it all out.

And listen to the music, it's for real people...

Friday, July 10, 2009

Since Geocities will be closing in the near future ...(freedom)

Since the Geocities service will be closing down soon (26 October 2009, to be exact), allow me to share something. This poem (by me) originally appeared on a friend's site that has since been discontinued. I wrote it one Freedom Day (for us in South Africa, 27 April), but maybe these thoughts are not quite what the politicians had in mind.


Freedom is something that does not
exist for angels

Only joy
only pain,

Yet I remember
when we had wings
there were moments
between heaven and earth
when it felt
as if we were tied to nothing at all.

And freedom
was a point between destinations.

Every one of us
was fearless
unbonded by love
the day we fell.

And long ago
(or yesterday)
our shining siblings
wanted to know:
Is falling freedom?

this is what I learnt:

Travel far enough down the path of joy
and pain will meet you with a lover's kiss.

Choose wisely
when you discover your will.

Falling too
is only
a point between destinations.