Monday, October 31, 2011

Who are a little wise, the best fools be

Jan (Johannes) Vermeer van Delft, a Dutchman, painted this work, "Woman in Blue Reading a Letter," in 1664. (Seems like yesterday.) If he were the Übermensch, he would be observing his 379th birthday today. His favorite colors were blue, followed by yellow, which causes me to like him far beyond his talent with a paint brush. He also created, "Girl With a Pearl Earring," which causes me to like him even still more because of his taste in women. Never mind rolling your eyes; I am only half-serious with my last remark. But, he was a master artist, a title which few painters in this age could claim to be with a straight face. Now, for a moment, look at her; wonder what the words are that she reads; wonder what she thinks .... wonder .... wonder .... wonder ....

October is the cruelest month

In the past, two or three times, I have written a few words here about T.S. Eliot. Once, I specifically concentrated on his poetic masterpiece, "The Waste Land." The first segment of the poem, "The Burial of the Dead," begins with these words: "April is the cruelest month ...."

After those words of his, I have written here that for me the cruelest month is not April. It is October.

October is the cruelest month.

Some would say that this is imagination. Or, that this is coincidence. Or, that this is mere superstition which I have come to delude myself as fact. Call it what you will, but, to me, it is part of my reality. As many bad things happen to me in October as they do during the other eleven months combined. It is a pattern of my life, and has proved to be as real as it is true that the sun rises in the East.

Leaving October behind for the moment, about ten days ago I watched a film on television entitled, "The Exorcism of Emily Rose." It was based on an actual incident. How actual, I have no idea. Emily Rose's initial encounter with "demons" began at precisely 3:00 a.m., when she awoke alone in her room to the scent of something burning. The time, 3:00 a.m., came up a few more times during the movie. As is my habit, I also was on my computer "working" at the same time I was watching the movie. One eye on the film, one on the computer screen, so to speak. Therefore, I did not catch the significance of 3:00 a.m.

That night, I went to sleep on my "love seat" bed. It is not unusual for me to awaken approximately four hours after I go to bed (old, odd habit), so when I woke up in the middle of the night, I thought it probably was about four hours later. I said to myself, literally out loud, "At least it is not three a.m." I rolled over and looked at the clock. It was three a.m. -- exactly, precisely, to the minute. I am not kidding you. A real shudder and a real shiver ran through my body. Then, I laughed, literally out loud, curled up and went back to sleep before I would start thinking about it and scare myself silly.

I later assumed this was my subconscious mind reacting to what I had heard in the film. A bit strange, though, is it not?

In the morning, I did a bit of research to learn what, if any, significance the time 3:00 a.m. had in religious lore. I learned it is called the "devil's hour." There is belief among some that Jesus Christ died at 3:00 p.m., and that the opposite hour on the clock belongs to the devil.

It was a few days after this event that I really began to think about it. This was not a dream. This was not something I had thought about for a single second after the film and before I went to bed that night. Just as a spark might light a literal fire, so, too, might a word light a metaphorical fire.

A few days ago, I wrote these words to a friend: "Mankind wishes to explore the depths of the oceans and outer space, but the greater mysteries, I believe, are inside our minds and probably within fourth, fifth, sixth dimensions that so far are impenetrable."

So, what do a poem by T.S. Eliot, bad experiences during the month of October, a film about an exorcism, the devil's hour and my awakening at 3:00 a.m. have in common? Well, me, of course. I am the common element. At least, the only common element of which I am aware in this set of circumstances.

I guess the bottom line here is while you concentrate on your reality, I concentrate on moving the curtains back from my reality to see what might be behind and beyond them.

I wonder why more people are not trying to do this in their lives.

Forgive my sarcasm, but most of them probably are too busy trying to please someone other than themselves.

On second thought, do not forgive my sarcasm, but, rather, congratulate me for having managed to survive another October. It ends today, but I do not.

"The Triple Fool" by John Donne

I am two fools, I know,
For loving, and for saying so
In whining poetry;
But where's that wise man, that would not be I,
If she would not deny?
Then as th' earth's inward narrow crooked lanes
Do purge sea water's fretful salt away,
I thought, if I could draw my pains
Through rhyme's vexation, I should them allay.
Grief brought to numbers cannot be so fierce,
For he tames it, that fetters it in verse.

But when I have done so,
Some man, his art and voice to show,
Doth set and sing my pain;
And, by delighting many, frees again
Grief, which verse did restrain.
To love and grief tribute of verse belongs,
But not of such as pleases when 'tis read.
Both are increased by such songs,
For both their triumphs so are published,
And I, which was two fools, do so grow three.
Who are a little wise, the best fools be.

27 comments:

Anita said...

hi fram..nice post..uooo love that photo..it feels like myself..reading letters from far away!!i quess thats how others may feel too...reading and smiling with happiness..good news from somebody she likes!!

yes,,it is really good to hear from you..miss those post of yours!!

i have to read it again and may be come back later to comment again if you dont mind..by the way i have made a little blog..just a little..i think to blog is finished for me..it is not my thing any more..but however to have a site were to answer others on the blog is good and honestly..and i will dosomething from time to time..you not what something else??i sold my canon on the black marked !!you hoo crazy ..i got a lot of money..and now i am into old things like panasonic and so on ahahah..not digital..i am going the other way..back in futire..hehhehe..uff ok dear friend..i go and watch the last urban cowboy by john travolta..it is all about love and jealousy and real nice hand fights..ok see you fram....

Fram Actual said...

It is interesting, Anita. Your thoughts about what is in the letter and what is in the mind of the woman, I mean. My interpretation is different, and perhaps that is a reflection of our differing experiences in life and our thoughts/hopes/dreams about our tomorrows. This is the beauty of art, of paintings or of photographs. The message is in the mind of the beholder.

Thank you, for missing my posts and for leaving your thoughts here for me. I appreciate your presence.

I am just now beginning to "recover" from a four-day weekend, and will visit your "little blog" before long.

Bitch said...

Good that the cruel month of October is over and you are responding to whatever comes in this following
time..
The paintings by Vermeer are all very beautiful. He painted so many women reading a letter..
They had no e-mail going through!

Wish you a very nice day, whatever your plans are!!!!!

Greetings....

Anita said...

thanx fram..i liked the smile on that photo or painting thats all..yes..my little blog..ist is really nothing..i havent looked upon it since i made it..it doesn interest me..sorry..but yes..it is good to see you up and bright and smile!!

monica..what the hell is happening in greeece?we are very worried..are they going to go out of Eu???then it most say it is totally broken..woowowowwo what a mess..and is popandreu going off??i watch the news carefully..hope all is good with you monice..big kiss to you girl :)

Anita said...

fram..where did you go you say??on the beach or something??kiss to you too

Fram Actual said...

Yes, Monika, thank you, for wishing me the nice day and for noting my success at negotiating my way through October.

November is a month in which to be cautious, too, but it is not nearly so devious as is October. Around here, at least, November attacks you face-to-face with its gales and storms and blizzards. You know it is coming at you.

November, incidentally, is considered the most dangerous month to be a sailor on Lake Superior. The storms are unbelievable.

There is no doubt Vermeer had an eye for beautiful women. For a painter, a beautiful woman might be as important as talent with a brush.

Fram Actual said...

To begin, Anita, I was unable to locate your "little blog." You must leave directions to find it sometime.

Next, as I said earlier, the message of a painting is in the eye of the beholder. You looked at the woman's face. I looked at her figure, and at the map on the wall. You see? Our perspectives differ. That is all.

Finally, while I spent a considerable amount of time on the highways, in the greater sense of actual travel, I went nowhere over the weekend. I had a houseguest from Saturday through Tuesday. A relative.

Anita said...

think you can go to the blog now..but fram it is really nothing..it is just a place..you see..my profile on blogger..instead of that louzy stop photo i used to have..saying profile is not to be seen..

ok..Donne is great..you should read some elisabethian love poems..too..there are many nice poets there like.. Wyatt, Surrey, Dyer, Sidney, Marlowe, Raleigh, Shakespeare, Campion, Wooton, and Hoskins are presented.
ok..have a nice time fram...we see around dont we??

if you can please post more of those greats painters..i dont know where you fins them.but i love them...you can also take a look at the swedish silver lions..just great!!!ok see you

Fram Actual said...

Yes, Anita. I will write more later about your "little blog." I did visit it.

I have read the works of some of those poets you mention. Remember, literature was my field of study.

Christopher Marlowe, in particular, always fascinated me. He was killed in a barroom/inn fight around the age of thirty. There are scholars who will argue that Marlowe wrote some of the plays attributed to William Shakespeare. That should interest you.

As for painters, those before 1900 are the giants in a general sense in my eyes. We shall see who will appear in months to come.

Time for me to sleep ....

Anita said...

Wasn it joseph conrad that used marlow as a charachter in his writings?
I look forward for your paintings..you have good taste.
I go to sleep now.i mean i hope i will sleep.hate nights.and it is hot 19 degrees..what a winther.fram..bye..see you soon..

Fram Actual said...

You made me work today, Anita. I remembered that "Charles Marlow" was a character in some of Joseph Conrad's books, but I assumed this had nothing to do with the playwright "Christopher Marlowe." But, just to play it safe, I did a bit of research. Lo and behold, I learned that some do believe Conrad chose the name "Marlow" because of "Marlowe."

I will not elaborate. You should check it out yourself. It is interesting.

By the way, I have not read Conrad's, "Heart of Darkness," and, because of your question, my interest in him was renewed. So, I ordered a copy of that tale today. Thank you.

Bitch said...

Hi my dear Anita.
To answer your question about the Greece misery.
You see, even to think about this mess makes me sick in my stomach.
Greece is so full of depth and I cannot see the way out!
They are sucking now from the small pension of old people.
People are loosing their jobs and so on...
The jerk Papandreou is giving the rest with his stupidity.
I am here, keeping my head in sand and PAYING more taxes..

So lets drop this!
I prefer to read about poetry and finally did find an inside pool to be occupy with swimming.

Congratulations for your "little blog"!

Wish you both, Fram and Anita a nice weekend
Monika

Wind said...

Well, even I do not leave a comment
it does not mean I am not here watching your words, listening to that wonderful song, thinking...!
Hello, Anita, Monika and Sir Fram!

About 'Woman in Blue Reading a Letter'...I don't know how you chose this painting...It is the most interesting painting of Vermeer from my point of view! I always thought that his composition
it is a masterpiece. He manage to show (besides the intense emotion of the fact itself) the prison in which the woman is locked. Look thoroughly! All the furniture surround her almost to suffocation!She cannot move, cannot exit the situation! But the letter is important...maybe it is her only way out to freedom, to happiness. She left everything on the table and she read the letter now.
I think that the map on the wall is not random.It shows the path?.. the road? ...the way out?... maybe a labirinth?...Anyway, the freedom!
For now she is stuck there!
Look at her smile of intense surprise and emotion ! There is the key of the painting!My oppinion! Ok.
It is a intriguing post! I have to come back! See you soon!

Anita said...

Ha ha ha little blog!! You make me smile he ge..maybe i shall call it ..the little blog..ok..monilka it is a very bad situation in euorope now..and whos next..italy..spain..france..papandreo..has to go..but what will then happen..well i am very concerned about it..but will nit speak more of it here..it is nice you stay ok thouhg. .fram ...i will google marlow again tomorrow..yes it is interesting to understand what they really was thinking of..i mean the history behind..about your dream fram..very interesting..and do you have a love seat on your bedbed?.wow!!..about the painting..i say you men always look at a womans figure..it is in you blood..your testorone..well for me.it was plain happiness for awoman..pregnent?or so ever..but i have to go now..we have a sahara warm storm in my town tonight so i need to listen to it..and it is also hard to write from this android cellphone..goodnight and be happy..fram

Fram Actual said...

Poetry is more appealing than economics to me, too, Monika, but I think only the tip of worldwide economic calamity is on the surface at the moment. My thought is buy gold and guns, because the currency of most governments (including the U.S.) is essentially not worth the paper it is printed on in today's world.

However, that does not stop any of us from having an enjoyable weekend. More power to you, Monika.

Fram Actual said...

The primary reason I chose this painting by our friend, Jan Vermeer, is because it was of a woman reading a letter, Wind. The next reason is because there seemed to be a significant amount of symbolism in the work. There were more reasons, such as the map on the wall, the apparent condition of the woman, the amount of blue present and on and on. (Hmmmm. I guess I am describing some of the symbolism now.)

I did not think of the room as a prison, but I see your point and understand it. My thought was that the man -- her man -- was away, somewhere on the map, possibly on a business venture, possibly searching for a place which would offer them a future, possibly (given the era of the piece) on a mission of exploration. In any case, the letter was the news she has been waiting for, and her world is about to change for the better.

My thought is that while our interpretations vary a bit, they largely are in agreement and it is only in the detail we noticed different things: The eye of the beholder.

Another element, to me, was the presence of two chairs, one for her and one with no one there to occupy.

Yes, in any case, I think the letter represents knowledge that she is not alone and hope that her tomorrow will be better than her today.

Very nice work, Milady.

Fram Actual said...

Where do I begin?

Well, Anita, in America a "love seat" is a short couch. I have not slept in a bed for more than a year now; often on the floor, but here I choose to sleep on a love seat. I am not certain why, except that sometimes I think of myself as a monk and try to do without luxuries other than guns, vehicles and liquor.

That was sort of a joke, but I actually do sleep on a love seat with my feet over its end. I often say, if you knew some of the places where I have slept, you would think this is luxury. (Come to think of it, I have written about that in a post.)

Yes, I think the woman is pregnant. If the painting were "real life," this might be true, or, it might be symbolic of greater responsibilities and burdens which she must carry alone -- at least, alone for the present. The future is yet to be molded, and anything is possible in that realm.

Thank you, for your wish, Anita, but happiness is momentary and my moment is not now. Perhaps, tomorrow.

Anita said...

hahhaha..happiness momentary!!yes...i do agree..sometimes i feel happy sometimes i feel sad..thats the way t goes around and around..but mostly it is the man i like that makes me mad :)

ok..about the photo..shes is not a poor woman..look at the paintimg on the wall behind her..you see..a very famous painting and very expensive.she is rather surprised i think today..ok...well i be off the internet for a while..it is toooo boring..and makes my ass fat..sitting on these chair all day..besides there is too much pretty photoes everywhere..it is overwhelming..too much i think..but howevere if the people are happy so thats nice.i like the ugly dirty things..things people do not speak of..as one said to me..living with you anita is like living in hell..wow..that is true hahahha..!!ok we see around at christmas time if we still are alive and all is very good!!take care Fram !!

Fram Actual said...

Christmas is far away, Anita, and it would be lonely with you absent for such a great span of time. But, basically, I agree with you: The sea of blogs is not a place for most of us to drift upon for long periods of time.

When I post a painting, I look to learn when it was painted, but I do no research about it per se. I like to know what we, as individuals, think of it and how we interpret it, but I could care less how the "professionals" in the world of art see it. So, I was surprised when you said the "painting on the wall behind her," and I had to do a bit of research. I had seen it as a map.

And, it is a map, of the Netherlands, it turns out, and not a painting. I was surprised to learn that some people do not see the woman as being pregnant, but, rather, simply dressed in the style of the day. As I said, the eye of the beholder.

Apparently, there is a box of pearls on the table, too. I had not noticed that.

Anyway, my interpretation of the painting is unchanged, even after having read the opinions of the "professional" world.

Thank you, for stopping by, Anita. Do not stay away too long.

Wind said...

Hello, Anita and Fram...
Yes, 'the sea of blogs' it is sometimes terrible because you cannot stop someone to leave, to go away!
Just one click, and everything turned black!
So, Anita....do whatever you think you have to do, but I will miss you for sure!
Anyway, it is autumn, november...anything can happen!
The world is turned upside down, the birds cannot find their way
to the warm countries we cannot find our way to our soul...and so on...
"Woman in Blue Reading a Letter"...
I think she is in the same situation! Lost.

Fram Actual said...

Our woman in blue and her letter have created a bit of interesting conversation, I think, Wind .... and, I still believe that the arrival of the letter ended her feeling of being alone and lost.

No matter what some people say, I believe she is pregnant. As I noted earlier, I think the map is symbolic of the man in her life being away. Since I write rather than paint, and since my stories always have a happy ending, it is my conclusion that the letter brings her good news and that she sees his return to her is imminent.

Leaving her and returning to the rest of the world, yes, Wind, I agree, it is turned upside down. That happens from time to time, and even the magnetic poles have been known to leap about and change places. This is part of life.

Then, too, souls are like Manitous: They tend to wander, but, remember, they are never far away and never abandon you.

Maddalena said...

Hi Frammy,

Yes, Vermeer is quite a painter. Once of the best in world, as a matter of fact. I am glad to see his painting on your blog.

Saying hello from all Komorów's crew to you :-)

Fram Actual said...

Well, Mag, I am pleased you and the Komorow crew decided to stop by for a visit. Thank you, for your presence and your comment.

Yes, our friend Jan Vermeer was a master. He was a Dutchman, and that nation produced more than one master with brush and paints. At the risk of blasphemy, I think he might have been a Dutchman with a bit of German blood. I think there is too much music in his work not to have a German ancestor lurking in his background.

Take care, Mag.

Anita said...

Well much ado about that painting..and it is a good painting..i dont think she is lost..just changed her interest a bit..and the same to me..you know..now i have got lost in that facebook thing again..i dont know why i am gone so addicted there cause it is a fake dream place..like if you have troubles an wanne escape from reality..go there!!..well i try not to go there but it seems unpossible to not stay away..you know that raven..i told you about..that was sitting peacefully on my head..well the ancient meaning of that scared the hell of me..until i found out that it was odins helpers..well i am not beliving so much in that now..maybe i had a bug or a twig in my hear..nearly..four weeks to christmas..how are you gonna celebrate it fram?iam wishing for a paintingset for christmas..what about you?

Anita said...

Oh boy i have to check out that blog of mine..i see it has been living alone for a long time..have to do something about that..yesterday i was thinking of you fram..how you doing and so on..your life..ok i hope you will publish more paintingss and poems soon.sorry bad spellings..i am writing this from my bed and using the cellphone.hope to see you soon..your dearest..with love..anita xoxoxo

Anita said...

Can you tell in a poem..how are you?i would be very happy!have you found peace in searching for love?..yes i know i question alot..i do miss the things before..when you published things from your homes..your bed.guns.your shadow..your teddy bears.cars..soo many things! And when we all wanted to see you in a bathing suit..ahh that was a very good time..well now .. have to sleep beauty princess sleep..goodnight my friend!

Fram Actual said...

It appears you have been busy writing to me today, Anita. Well and fine.

Yes, Huginn (Thought) and Muninn (Memory) were Odin's ravens. He sent them out each day to search the world for knowledge, and then to return and share what they had learned with him. If one of them landed in my hair, I would immediately be asking him questions and inviting him to spend a day or two exchanging information with me. No need to be afraid of those two birds, but if one or both of Odin's wolves turned up next you, it might be best to quickly run away.

Thanksgiving comes next week in America, and I have no idea what I will do about it, much less about Christmas which, from my point of view, is still in the distant future. Really, I have not thought at all about Christmas.

I tried to leave a comment at your blog last week, but I was unsuccessful. I am not certain what the problem might have been.

I will have another post published later this evening, Anita, although there will be no paintings or poems. As for me, I drift along by myself, pretty much aimlessly, with no destination in mind. In a sentence, my life is unchanged.

Something special ....