Sunday, June 17, 2007

I May Be Channeling William Blake

Is it possible that the spirit of William Blake resides within me? He was a certifiable lunatic, so that fits. He could paint like nobody's business, in a slightly bizarre manner... so that fits. And he was a lovely poet--and I am very much a man in touch with my inner poet.

I am, of course, reminded of this:

She walks in Beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which Heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o'er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express,
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!

It would be a better post, I suppose, had Blake written it. T'was Lord Byron instead. Which is sad. I must have been thinking about the previously mentioned Danielle, who either a) never visited my website, despite my urging, or b) visited it but chose not to step up to the plate, portrait-wise.

Alas. A fair lass. A faerie queene, if that's not too much. Alas.

I walk in depression, like the night.
But hey, man, you can't make these people schlep to wherever you are, sit around while you screw around with your lighting, emote in a manner conducive to capturing the so-called moment, all for a lousy 50 bucks, plus an 8x10 glossy. They have to want to. And if they don't, then you move on.

Maybe it was this I was thinking about:
Tiger! Tiger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder, and what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? and what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tiger! Tiger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?
This would, of course, be Blake. Did I tell you I got a call from the first love of my life? Her name was Sara Shelby, and she was the love of my life from perhaps age 12-14. We grew up next to each other on the shores of Bay Head, New Jersey, one summer month a year. When it became age-appropriate, we used to sneak away after dinner and make out under the lifeguard boat.

While this all well and good, and it was certainly good to hear from Sara, there is one catch. That being that she's been dead for a good ten years now.

Anyway, she called me in the middle of the night (I would like to stress that I didn't call her--that would be insane). We didn't speak long, but once I figured out who it was I asked: "Where are you?"

"In the insurance building," she responded, somewhat enigmatically. Then I looked up and saw such an image that only William Blake could have done it credit. The insurance building was a single square column, like a single WTC building, wreathed in clouds, glowing in its own way. Are you familiar with the color heliotrope? Well, I don't usually dream in color (I'm a structuralist, not a colorist), but my mind was full of heliotrope.

Did you know that when his brother died, William Blake, who was sitting at his bedside at the time, believed that he saw his brother's spirit emerge from his body and rise to heaven.
Now this, I want to tell you, is the real Trenchtown Experience!
I wonder if Dad told her to call.

I depart now for Leesburg, Va. with the hope of getting almost everything squared away.


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