Morning Glory

Original Acrylic Painting by Jason Weaver 2015

Original Acrylic Painting by Jason Weaver 2015

Spring has arrived in the southern hemisphere in a symphonic flourish of birdsong. Our days warm quite nicely pushing up against the edges of summer, but the nights are yet cool, wearing winter’s chill like damp boots. “Good sleeping weather,” we would say back in Pennsylvania, with bedroom sashes lifted, tucked under a blanket.

Quite often, I awaken to the call of the earliest bird of morn’, a soloist cantering before the first flicks of dawn’s light. As I lie in my room in the dark comfort of my still sleep-dreamy head, I begin to imagine this troubadour perched in a tree beyond my bed to be a sort of avian alarm clock, pulpiteering to the others that the new day approaches, “We must ready ourselves!” Or maybe he is just a friend of the nightowl, awake and alive way into the wee hours like artists and writers and nightclub singers, who will sleep until noon while the others build nests and gather food. Or perhaps this prepunctual riser is merely telling the stories that need to be told, singing the long songs of origin and myth, reminding us all again the way of the world.

For me, this time in-between the days is weightless, no longer saddled with the bags of yesterday’s worries and not yet responsible for the hopeful prospects of tomorrow. I slip easily back into my pillow for a second, deeper sleep, knowing that in due time the sun will peek over the distant horizon line and filter through my bedroom curtain in a hazy veil of slate-blue, fine and eternal. And as it does, beyond my open window in the dewy forest garden, an entire orchestra of birds will begin tweetering in full-throated chorus, as though to will the gray mist of night cede to deep rich greens and violaceous blues, and the sky to lighten — ever so slowly it goes, beyond the perception of human eyes, so that the formless shadows of night become the flowering vines and leafy bushes of dawn.

Sometimes I slide from undercover out into this magical space to witness the fullness of its glory, catching myself in extended moments of grace that defy conventional time and that adhere to my soul like wetness on my bare skin. The chill of night is pushed against by the golden winds of dawn, where the lines between subtlety and boldness converge and coalesce. In this Morning Glory, light and dark, day and night, beast and plant and man are one in the same; the impermeable borders of distinction dissolve to porous membrane, as concepts of self transform into a streaming universal experience.

Yes, spring has finally arrived.

by Jason Weaver
Original Painting, A Glória da Manhã (2015), acrylic on canvas, 70x100cm, by Jason Weaver.

For more information on this painting and others in my studio, please check out my artist blog, JasonWeaverArtist

Origin

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Proveniencia FINAL smaller

+++‘bem-te-vi–bem-te-vi
the shrill decree
of resident kiskadee
resonates in still
morning mist
+++ ‘I saw you well’
but whom did he see?
This, he would not tell.

by Jason Weaver, 2013

Author’s Note:
“Proveniência,”–2013 (which translates to ‘provenance’ or ‘origin’) is an original acrylic on canvas, 24″x36″, painted by me and commissioned by my Aunt Mary Shirk, who lives in Pennsylvania, US. It depicts my take on the original Pardise, where birds reenact the eating of the apple, in this case, a guava. The Kiskadee, pictured middle-right,  is called ‘Bem-te-vi’ in Brazil (promounce BAYM-che-vee), which is not only his name, but also what he says, which translates to “I saw you well.” In fable, it was the Bem-te-vi who alerted the Jews to Jesus with his cry “I saw you well” (whether purposefully or accidentally was not explained to me in the tale). The other two birds depicted in this Garden of Eden are ‘japu’ (Crested Oropendola), top left, and Sabiá Laranjeira, or the Rufous-bellied Thrush, which is the National Bird of Brazil. All three birds have very distinct and beautiful calls. The plants in this scene are all drawn from actual plants in my forest garden– bananas, guava tree, taioba (the green/purple leaves on the bottom right) and Costela de Adão (Adam’s Ribs) on the bottom left.  The red flower in the front center is called a Anthurium Andreanum or Painter’s Tongue (among other names) which is said to represent hospitality.  This particular bunch of bananas I had personally cut down, drew, and then (when ripened) ATE (of course, I shared with the Marmosets and birds as well).  It is up to the viewer to decide who ate of the fruit, as in this interpretaion, the Kiskadee  will not tell. Besides, in this version of Proveniéncia, innocence is kept.

Note of change: I updated this poem from the orignial posting by adding the word “This” to the final line for better rhyme and rhythm. I had initially omitted it, and then, upon umteenth reading, decided to add it in again 🙂