It last happened 372 years ago - a rare confluence: a lunar eclipse and winter solstice. In the night (at 3:18am EST), a total lunar eclipse, the full moon passing through the darkest shadow of the earth (and at 6:40am EST), winter solstice, when the northern hemisphere's axial tilt is furthest from the sun, the longest night and darkest day of the year.
The astronomy of the day is worth pondering on.
For the last two years, I have released a poetry album at solstice.
This is so I can offer a little Solstice gift to you (free to download, or listen, as you wish).
To commemorate light in the beautiful loving darkness. Wishing you joy, love, health, success, wealth.
This album began with the first track, 'Disappearing,' which I wrote in a hammock in the hot, sultry summer. I recorded it a few times, just for fun. Then layered the readings, added music and became intrigued.
Thus began an odyssey of readings, recordings. All tracks, except one, are with music of Jamendo musicians, to whom I am so grateful.
If you wish, you can download any tracks or the whole album.
My Body Is A Word: Brenda Clews, poetry, voice, mix; music, Lena Selyanina's piano solo, 'Summer Morning,' from "Snowstorm Romance": http://www.jamendo.com/en/album/73627 (with permission)
Veils To Clothe Venus: Brenda Clews, poetry, reading, mix; music, Buz Hendricks, music: http://www.somewhereoffjazzstreet.com/ (with permission - a section of a track he created for the Venus Suite of Poems - a track at Jamendo).
A selection of my videopoems. As a painter and poet, I, like many, are drawn to the video medium, where I experiment with delighted abandon.
After a fruitless hour of searching for and trying out widgets, and then discovering YouTube itself offers the ability to create a custom video player for your website -though you won't find this handy feature in any of the drop down menus at your YouTube site- I created this one for my website!
3. Create your embeddable player. Note: you can create a 'playlist' selection of your videos for use in this custom player, or use any of your other playlists, or simply include everything you've uploaded.
To create a custom playlist, I backtracked. I clicked on the videos I wished to show in my player one at a time and added them to a new playlist that I called "My Videopoetry." Then I returned to the custom player page and made that playlist my choice for what videos to show in the player.
4. YouTube will create the html you can embed in your blog or at your site. Copy and paste.
After watching many hours of NASA's amazing SOHO (Solar and Heliospheric Observatory) footage of the sun at the Internet Archives, I downloaded some short videos and from them distilled the clips you see in this video. I am delighted to find this footage and to create a solar videopoem.
A vision of such power that what went before falls away in a rapturous death. A rapturous death of the ego. An unerasable enlightenment. That Rubicon. I was inspired to write this piece after seeing the movie, 'Sunshine,' which also uses footage from NASA's SOHO Observatory:
on that day explosion of ravishing light infiltrated all crevices of the abode no shadow only a few seconds but transformed everyone's consciousnesses neuronal synapses exploding in rapturous light retinal cells lighting up firing laser stunning flashing images into the brain marked by the event the way a flood line is gauged by how far inland the water traveled all those who witnessed the event scattering of the light bore the mark like a rare sedimentary flare layer in the archeology of the mind or a moment when everything saturated overflow of light expanded beyond outer limits of comprehension remained engraved luminosity in the cells at any moment to spill forth when memory activated the sequence of that day when the sun cosmic storm blazed without heat only light brilliant
prose poem written in July 2007 (also available at the Internet Archives as a separate recording); videopoem created April 2010.
These are the videos I finally chose and downloaded. I used clips from some of them for my short videopoem:
The Lady and the Chimera, 12" x 9", 30.5x23cm, oil on canvas, 2010.
fish live in a ribbon of river in the sky
nor do I sprinkle specks of strands of saffron stars
bouquets of red poppies bloom in paper ice
the soul, a chimera, who gave moments
never to erase
lived words, acts
seeing flying angels makes me laugh...
or you can delete
what's in your heart
we are gifts waiting
I am really wanting to move onto something else, so am going to consider this little painting done. I have painted it with a very small palette knife, really a dental instrument, and a sable brush with about 5 hairs. The paint is very thick - and I held it over the scanner for this image which I'll replace in 6 months when it's dry with a better one. The painting has taken far longer than I could have imagined.
The chimera is half human and half lion, yes, but originally meant to
be a cuddly stuffed animal chimera. His expression is a little more
lusty though, isn't it. And that hat!
painted the canvas black first as an
underlying nod to the void, emptiness, what all form arises out of.
Rather than painting from a white canvas I thought to begin from
Śūnyatā, from a blackness. To allow imaginal form to manifest from
And I got a lusty little chimera! And a floating figure, a woman in outlines, who you can make of what you will...
Oh, I hope it makes you smile as I do! The painting is whimsical, fairy-tale, yes, a little bit mythic, and my first attempt at Surreal, also from the imagination, no life models.
I think of this as a jazz composition, a riff in paint.