In Black and White

LoveMoreStudio11-22-2015

There is no solid ground
beneath my feet;
the plates shift
beneath me
and so I step to the next
nary a moment to rest.

Exhausted I am –or
am I?

Perhaps this feeling
is merely a relic of the old skin,
skin that I must slough off;
old consciousness, ego
pulling at me, weighing on me
like lead.

All of the old ways
of seeing this world
are so dichotymous,
so ‘this’ or ‘that’ so bold in
‘black’ or ‘white’ so that
I cannot help but see
how polarized, how
disparate our thinking
has been, how we’ve
chosen our sides and
made our opinions of
who and what was
wrong or right.

But all of these old ways
of being in this world —
they are no longer
beneficial, no longer
useful, no longer
relevant to us at all, and so
they must be
no longer.

I know nothing;
but the earth, it shifts
beneath my feet
and it is plain to see
that so too must I.

by Jason Weaver, 2015

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O Rio Paquequer

O Rio Paquequer by Jason Weaver

O Rio Paquequer (2014) — original acrylic painting by Jason Weaver

Let us
drink
the clear stream
of wellsprung purity,
and breathe
with lungs of leaves
a conscious continuity;
Let us
lie down
in a rocky seam
an earthen process,
and be
this perpetual
moment of progress.

by Jason Weaver (2014)
Original painting by Jason Weaver, O Rio Paquequer (2014), acrylic on canvas, 70cm x 100cm.

The scene depicted in this painting is of the Paquequer River, the principal river in Teresópolis, Brazil, where it begins high in the forest of the Serra dos Órgãos mountains before flowing north. Working from a photo I had taken, I aimed to capture the timeless continuation of the river just downstream from the Cecy and Pery Waterfall, so named for two main characters in the Brazilian novel, O Guaraní , written in 1857 by José de Alencar.  The title is derived from the name of an indigenous indian tribe whose territorial region once included the surrounding area of Rio de Janeiro, including Teresópolis . The novel is a romantic adventure whose hero, Pery, a Guaraní indian, deserts his tribal family so that he may forever be with his blonde-haired, blue-eyed mistress, Cecília, or Cecy as he calls her. It was the majestic beauty of the river Paquequer that inspired Alencar to write his famous novel, and in turn inspired me as well; here, translated into English by James W. Hawes in 1893, are the opening words of O Guaraní:

FROM one of the summits of the Organ Mountains glides a small stream, which flows northerly, and enlarged by the springs which it receives in its course of ten leagues, becomes a considerable river. It is the Paquequer. Leaping from cascade to cascade, winding like a serpent, it dozes at last in the plain, and empties into the Parahyba, which rolls majestically in its vast bed. Vassal and tributary of that king of waters, the little river, haughty and overbearing to its rocks, bows humbly at the feet of its sovereign. It loses then its wild beauty; its waves are calm and peaceful as those of a lake […] It is not at this point that it should be seen, but three or four leagues above its mouth, where it is still free. There the Paquequer rushes rapidly over its bed, and traverses the forests foaming and filling the solitude with the noise of its career.

 

Luminous Flux

palm Jason Weaver LoveMore Studio

Photo by Jason Weaver, 2014

Somehow,  I’d worked my way
deep into the narrow cleft.
Pondering out into the darkness,
I mistook the empty for the profound,
obscurity for certainty.

But in the silence of this nothing,
I heard the respiring tones beyond.
Wandering out from the shadows,
I stretched open my palms to grasp
at conviction in sunlit spires.

By Jason Weaver, 2014

 

The Light Shines from Within

Although I hesitate to write about the events of the day and evening prior— not wanting to define them, to confine them, to reduce them into linear representation and interpretation, the very process by which might somehow reveal a frailty and break their spell– I cannot NOT. And really, there were no such distinct and nameable events that occurred that mid-day that became late day that became night, merely one grand cohesive experience, with the passing of the sun and the arrival of the chilling damp as much an integral part of the story as the actors are to a play. The impromptu stage at Casa das Letras morphed in synchronicity with these elements as the actors, themselves painters, poets, photographers, writers, and indeed actual actors, came and went, ebbed and flowed as groupings formed and then released of their own accord, creating many scenes within a scene, writing individual stories with their own unique characters and plots, timelines and morals; knotted threads interwoven within the contextual tapestry of the living present moment.

It was in the bright and warm of noontime that the seeds of conversation rooted and grew their many branches. Later, as the sun ceded to cloud, the “chuvisquinho” that had descended upon us added a palpable weight to our words, words that adhered to our skins and like the misted drizzle itself would eventually collect to form droplets of consciousness that wet our souls. Later still to shake the evening damp, a small fire was lit in the stone fireplace casting an amber glow, a fire of initiation and idea, of ambition and creativity, a fire of mental, emotional, physical and spiritual connection bound in tendrils of the smoke and of the fog that had descended from the mountains to ensconce us. Indeed, I cannot say for certain that the fog had NOT swallowed us entirely that night, cocooning us from the other fires, those destructive fires that blazed beyond our walls. We became a womb within the fog, protected by it as the hours slipped past without notice or care. A magic coursed within the paneled walls of this womb, tall and all-knowing, quick yet silent as it skimmed about the room, intangible as the shadows of the wind-blown candles.

Casadasartes

Eventually, the fog let loose its embrace, and one by one the players emptied from the stage and went their ways unable to recall for certain if any of it had actually occurred at all. But certain they were, we were, of one thing. That what we had found that day that turned to night, in those dreamy hours of mist and fog and fire and smoke, was not so much each other but parts of our own selves, pieces that had once been scattered and now had reunited, fragile pieces, lonely pieces drawn together by the forces of good will to become whole again.

Words by Jason Weaver, 2014
Image by Marc Claussen, 2014