Friday, January 13, 2012

Just words

The paintings of Viktor Vasnetsov continue to captivate me. Here is another of his works, this one, completed in 1880, is entitled, "Riding a Flying Carpet." There is a Russian story in which Baba Yaga can supply Ivan Tsarevich, also known as Ivan the Fool, with a flying carpet and other magical gifts like a ball that rolls in front of the hero showing him the way or a towel that can turn into bridge. These gifts help Ivan to find his way "beyond thrice-nine lands, in the thrice-ten kingdom." This particular painting is designed to illustrate Ivan returning home after capturing the Firebird, which he keeps in a cage. Ivan is riding the flying carpet in the early morning mist. I would be happy just to have the magical ball which would "show me the way."

Someday, the last laugh will be on me

When is too late too late?

When does Neverland become Nevermore?

I ordered a print of Viktor Vasnetsov's, "A Knight at the Crossroads," which appeared in my December 31 post. When it arrives, it will be on the wall nearby so I can look up at it and drift off into it.

I suppose it is true of many skilled painters, but Viktor (there is a pun there) captures perfectly the exhaustion in both the man and his mount -- the slumped shoulders and the bowed heads, the weapon barely grasped and pointed downward from the slight weight of the iron point. My affection for this painting grows whenever I look at it. It is an expression which every man, who is honest with himself, realizes and accepts. Life continues, but he does not -- at least not too much further. What direction is most likely the last he will take in his life? Which road?

Without even seeing this man's face, I know which way he will travel. He will take the fork to the right. Better to lose his head, his life, than to lose what is his and what is close to him. He and his horse will pass on to another land, another place, or they will become bones along the side of the roadway like those lying immediately before him. They will live together or die together.

Life and death have been a theme in my life lately, although not my own. January is another of my months of many memories. So many; so close. It competes with October in that regard. So, a few: Happy birthday, mother; happy birthday, Little Light's mother; happy Marine Corps anniversary, Fram; RIP, Rory; RIP R. Henry.

My own life remains what it seems always to have been: A cry for freedom. Probably, it is more accurate to say freedom and searching. Where is the blue lagoon? Where is the endless forest of Mythago Wood? Where is the place across the river and into the trees? Where is the path up and out of Dante Alighieri's descent into hell? Where is Tralfamadore? Where is the lake in which dwells Viviane? Where is the thrice-ten kingdom of Ivan the Fool? Where is where?

Life is nothing if not fascinating. (It has been a while since I used that word.) So, ask me where this post is going. I will answer: Nowhere. Or, should I respond with a name? Noman, as Odysseus answered the Cyclops who asked his name, or should I say Aethon, as he lied to Penelope when he appeared before her as a beggar after twenty years' absence. Odysseus reached continuous and seemingly endless forks on his road, but, at the end, he took the correct turn and returned to where he began. (As long as one does not read Nikos Kazantzakis, who sends him wandering again.) Whatever .... this, I do not wish for me. Returning to my origins, I mean. I wish to go to places where I have never been and never will be again.

To live is to close one's eyes and to jump.

Life is only a road. How wide or how narrow it is depends upon each of us individually. At times, it is bordered by fields or cities; at other times, by vast seas or bottomless chasms. It leads to everywhere and to nowhere, but, sooner or later, it will become a road with no more forks upon which to make a decision about which is best to follow. It will lead only to an inevitable, hollow end.

Or, to borrow the words of Ernest Hemingway that I occasionally like to use: "Life is a cheat, and don't forget it."

It really is fun, though, is it not?

To tease life and to taunt death?

Because even to win is no more than a temporary victory.

So, in a sentence, laugh at life and curse at death, because no matter how lucky you are, sooner or later the road will disappear from beneath you.

And, I will continue to write stuff like this -- mere words, simple words, only words, just words -- until the last laugh is on me.

16 comments:

Anita said...

Thats very nice..fram..you do alot of thinikg yes..if u leave the door open i will have s comment on this post later..right now..i am zzzxxx..prepering to go to work:-)

Anita said...

i always smile reading your things..just words!!!!.i wonder what you mean..and that ..the ones which laughs last..laughs the best!!Even i was thinking of that sentence here one day!!

but the painting of Victor on his magic carpet is very good..i have used it myself in a setting!!But ot was more in the terma of Vincelot somehow i cant tremember it now..i am too tired has worked much and think not clear..what are you doing Fram?Bored of everything??well it is just like everything else..it passes away!!

where are all your friends??are they angry at you??or you at them??lol..sorry!!teasing!!

Tell me what are you up to??Lemme me ques..

1.a new sweetheart.
2.boreness
3.work.
4needs time to be alone.

5.comeback will be great..yes !!

ok dear fram..hasta la vista!!i wisjh i was in mexico or something just for a week to have some sun.

now i have to make my pizza pie!!!

Anita said...

exuse me for retarded coment,,but i am just a dumb brunette looking at the skies and dreaming

Fram Actual said...

Actually, I meant the last laugh will be on me, not by me.

Your persistence merits a reply, Anita. A partial one, anyway. I think I only have two friends left on the sea of blogs, and you are one of them.

There are a half-dozen elements which might apply in your multiple choice exercise, but, essentially, I am trying to decide on a new direction to take in life, and the blogs are a distraction from doing that.

As for a comeback, there are many fascinating things to do in life, and I have spent three years with this blog. It probably is time to move onto one of the crossroads. I have never been much for any manner of permanence.

Anita said...

Ok fram..but you can e mail me if you want somtime in life..danitag@live.no
well i dont know what to say..i only wish u r happy..so many nights and so much time i have spent with you..it does not disappear with a click
i have deleted my blog..i find no happiness doing it..and it shows..so.i move on in life and que sera que sera..wish all good to you..and may u be very happy fram..you have given me alot of happy times.

Kaya said...

Finally, Anita made you to come out of your cave. She is great.

I was afraid that you will stay in your cave forever. And I was thinking how you could do it? To create such a wonderful blog, to make some friends and suddenly become silent.

Fram, I don't know you will answer this comment but I wish you would continue with your blog even you will write mere words and only words.

And I don't think that the last laugh would be on you.... And late is never too late....

When I was a young girl Victor Vasnetsov was my world. He made me dream and I lived for a while in this world. Everything was possible with this painter. I am glad that you are fascinating by him.

Greetings from Kaya.

Kaya said...

And I would like to say one more thing.

To destroy things it takes only a moment but to bring them back it will take a very long time, Fram.

Wind said...

No, you will not fade away, Fram!
You will stay. We are here, stuck in our virtual space...you cannot take your magical carpet and run away...
Anyway, our life is strange sometimes, I know that.
Here in Romania it will be a revolution or something like that...
We will see!
How are you?

Anita said...

I agree with you kaya.we are like tender little champange cups..very easy to brake..and the disaster we can not do anything with..soo r we humans..we hate liers..but we also hate it when people tells us the truth..about ourselves.i got a message today.my blog was deppresive..and yes it is true..iam deprressed..but i immedietly deleted it..in anger and i will never do that blog again..well well what a life..hope all is good with you kaya.u r very wise woman.ok.se u around
fram..i hope you will stick your nose out.it is soon spring..i watch this beautiful movie today of white wolves in antartica in spring :-)

Fram Actual said...

Since I have two comments to answer from you, Anita, you shall be the first to have a response.

I do not think I would delete my blog, more likely just gradually drift farther and farther away from it. I began doing that months ago, actually, and the distance between my "real" posts simply grows greater as time goes on.

Thank you, for your kind words. I enjoy your company, too, when you come here to visit. I do not think either of us will vanish from the sea of blogs entirely, but, perhaps, come and go as our moods dictate. It is pleasant to visit here, but I do not enjoy living here.

Fram Actual said...

Hmmmm. Two comments from Kaya, too. Well, what can I say?

I am not really out of my cave, Kaya. Think of it more like I am standing up, stretching, looking out the window, then at the clock, then lying back down and rolling over onto my other side and going back into a sleep-like trance.

It is very possible I have walked in and out of Viktor Vasnetsov's world more than once in the past, but never really paused long enough to be absorbed into it. I never really had an education in art, and most of what I know has been brought about from being in the right place at the right time with my eyes actually wide open.

Thank you, too, for your kind words. As I said to Anita, the sun in this world is growing dimmer to me, and I must find a place where it is brighter.

Fram Actual said...

You may be right, you may be wrong. We shall see, Daliana. But, as I said to Anita and to Kaya, I think there is change coming for me. Even the continents drift, the rivers flow down to the sea and the seas have their currents. And, tell me, does the wind ever cease to exist even on the calmest days?

No, to be on the move and to seek change is to live. To borrow the words of historian/philosopher/teacher Will Durant: "Old regions grow arid, or suffer other change. Resilient man picks up his tools and his arts, and moves on, taking his memories with him." Think of the sea of blogs as the "old region" from my point of view.

As for revolutions, they are like the seasons -- they come and they go, but they always return because humankind is never happy or satisfied or content. Justice is a concept, not a reality. Survival of the fittest is reality. Sad, but true.

P.S. I revised this from yesterday a bit ....

Anita said...

U r soo right fram.to live is to be countiously on the move..to explore new things..to think differently..and also meet new people.

Sometimes i wonder if life is just a illusion.
Bu what is sure..we become..what we think..

So to think right is extremly important..agree?

Piper .. said...

Oh Fram! It is immensely comforting to find those magical things from the past exactly as as I had left them :)

I know I've been gone for quite a while. But if I didn't leave, how would I ever come back?

Good to see you're still around..

More comments on your post at a later time. For now, I just wanted to say hello; that I'm still around

Fram Actual said...

Yes, Anita. I agree.

It goes beyond simply thinking positively vs. thinking negatively. I have said more than once that everything and anything I have truly wanted in my life, I have gotten. It depends upon belief and faith. Sometimes, I say it also depends upon what price a person is willing to pay.

In terms of faith, I have none in religious doctrine or in human nature, but I have faith that accomplishment is a matter of will power, and that I have never failed at anything important to me.

As for life being an illusion, I am not an Eastern mystic who might say, "life is but a dream," although the concept is attractive. Nor can I understand people who spend a lifetime doing the same thing in the same place. Life is a journey, an experience, an education. To live it or to waste it is the only real choice each of us has.

Fram Actual said...

Well, Piper -- Ms. Soldier, Ms. Student, Ms. Doctor, Ms. Traveler, Ms. .... well, we will stop here -- have you reconciled the elements of your life, or do you still wander in the world of emotions? My question is not idle curiosity, but one carrying a hope that you have reconciled your wins and your losses with your life.

I am glad you are back; that you still are around. The question is, where are you around? In Minnesota or in India? I have missed your presence.

As you might have gathered from what I have written here, I am slowly withdrawing from the sea of blogs myself while trying to collect my own thoughts and reconcile my own dreams with my own (often exaggerated) demons. So, we shall see where the future leads.

Seriously, it is very nice to hear from you again.

Something special ....