The core of mystery is reality. The core of reality is mystery.

I was struck by Leonora Carrington's paintings... the same time as I was re-reading The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien....

It occurred to me that mystery can be transmitted best when it contains, or is contained by, reality. Pure abstract art (like some music with no lyrics and some abstract paintings) may sometimes trasmit emotions but I reckon that mystery, the unsayable stuff, you know what I mean, is most effective when connected to concrete things we are already familiar with.

The pretty smiling waitress.

Sometimes you are in a restaurant of an evening, with good friends, good food, flowing wine, it's dark outside and warmly  lit inside, and you notice the pretty smiling waitress. And the cook comes out of the kitchen to say hello, joking and happy. And you laugh with the jolly and ironic waiter.

Then, on the way to the bathroom, you catch a glimpse of all three, glum and sad in some side room or in the kìtchen.

I'm not one for monuments but...

I recently made a trip to Sicily. I'm not one for monuments but I love the Pretoria Fountain (Fontana Pretoria) in Palermo.

It is lovely, above all the wonderful animal heads in all four quarters...

The fountain has the added attraction of having annoyed the eccliasiastical authorities.

Sometimes it is called the Fountain of Shame (Fontana della Vergogna) maybe because of the naked ladies and gentlemen. I didn't take photos of those. Google will show you plenty. 

There is a legend that says that the nuns in the convent  next to  the fountain only came out at night so they would not see the naked ladies and gentlemen.

I walked around the fountain twice to get a good look at those animal heads.

And it occurred to me that the sculptors did better work than the nuns who lived next door to the fountain, and who competed to see who could whip themselves with thorn branches the most. As I saw these sculptures with my own eyes, I saw the hard sharp thorn branches with my own eyes too.



Elegiaic Reserved Thoughtful Tripe

There is a film of some fruit in a jar by Tacita Dean... According to the Guardian's art editorial this eleven minute film is:

Elegiaic. Reserved. Thoughtful. Epic. Intimate. In touch with history.  Elemental. About decay. About nostalgia. Treating contested geographical borders. Has a deep back story. About the death immanent of things. It is an editorial and I can't find the by-line. I imagine the author is too embarassed to admit to writing such tripe. It is easier to say "Thoughtful" than to think. It is easier to say "Epic" than to create.

Anyway that was the last straw. I listen to arts podcasts and read reviews of art, books and films in the hope or learning about something brilliant lovely interesting new. But only 10% of what is written or said by the critics makes any sense. The rest is pompous and pointless. So I'm going on a diet from critics, the pain of the 90% cannot be offset the pleasure of the 10%. A year without them, will …

Black and white cat

Black and white cat 
On green grass
Almost a haiku

Green cat on
Black and white grass
Almost an impossibility

Flying Stick People