(The Mirror of Venus by Sir Edmund Burne Jones)
Tonight’s blog is about food for the eyes and heart. The Mirror of Venus, shown above, graces one of our many studio books. This book on the Pre-Raphaelite painters is special to me. It was a gift from the man I love. My eyes trace the outline of the group of girls, their wistful and hopeful search for their own beauty within the rocky pool. But I always come back to the girl standing tall in light blue – the one who disappears and is replaced in the water by round black rocks over white forming a rudimentary skull. A Momento Mori in the heartspace of all the beauty. A reminder that we, our bodies, our vanities are temporal – the bare bone gleam of mortality begs us to remember that each moment alive and in love is a gift.
In gratitude, for being both alive and in love in this extended moment of beauty, I offer up this poem:
In all the richness of color captured by my eye
In all the spectrum of love, hues burning vision down to the scorched cone
Of nerve and illusion, I stop here
I stop here and rest my fingers on the white carbon star at the base of your throat
Where the valley of your breath and flame of your heart trade secrets.
I stop here and wonder at the machines we are, the spirits that drive them
Where ghost and grim are one and the hum of my brain finds its rhythm
In the insistent, deep pounding of your heart.
In all the dreaming and wrestling with lucid night
In this shadowed hour full of knowing, embers glowing dark in your iris
Of myth and story, I stop here.
I stop here and catch my breath, tracing chalked magic circles around your shoulder
Where you carry the day and the dream and desires pure and secret
I stop here and call upon every god I ever knew, the love that drives them
To be awake, present in every single moment, to love the fine dust of you,
And its resident soul without fear, without hesitation
In all the universe, I stop here and for the sweet breadth of a second
Time stops with me.