Monday, April 29, 2019

As Seen on Arteidolia: Swifts & Slows, Lyn Horton & Power Boothe


s w i f t s  &  s l o w s: a quarterly of crisscrossings

Line by Line

Lyn Horton & Power Boothe

None of us can remember seeing our hands and feet for the first time. We began to unfold the layers of knowing, differentiating this from that. Extending our hands and feet had a purpose. The initial steps to communicating. Our interaction with the world became too complicated to let communication remain as single hand outlines painted on pitted dark cave walls. Language needed some kind of organizing principle in order to mean anything. Left to right. Right to left. Up and down. Down and up. Across. How to assemble symbols to declare, to instruct, to explain, to question, to exclaim, to simply say.

Somewhere in that evolution the grid appeared. Some say it is the way our brain is arranged. How to extend order to our internal and external cognitive environments. 

Originally these grids were only dots and called “Ellipsis” as in dot dot dot. Dots then became lines. “Ellipsis” stayed. “Ellipsis” pointed to: More planes to denote. More spatial relationships to create.

On undetectably torn pieces of paper, the ruled drawn lines have some kind of tooth to grip. A wash or carefully brushed line can glide without falling into any textural dimples. The faint, nearly illegible grids are fences along which imagistic decisions depend. Questions arise about when to keep the small one-foot square surfaces cool or when to heat them up. When to scrape off the color or when to add it. Individual lines dominate or recede. They always coincide with the lines of the grid. They span the lengths of grid lines from one intersection to the next. They are whole. They exist on the sharp edge of the inch and a half wide razor blade that makes them with a twirl or a swipe. The lines are nurtured as the babes they are. And somehow disciplined and recalled.

The way the wind blows, the lines go.
Like leaves, like snowflakes carried by air currents, the lines land.
The scatter of the lines is totally methodical. Without method. The lines retreat from sequence. They occur intermittently, persistently and have equal importance. The lines are sought after without a chase.
We can run, skip, walk, ride, float or glide through the linear forest of colors, of blue and black and red and purple and yellow, and play hide and seek or tag, go anywhere we want to go. To pursue our dreams of fulfillment. To delight in the surprises of discovery. To be invited. Not pushed into the space where sheets of golden iridescence or opaque opalescence transcend their obvious limits. We can only know how we feel here. Because there is nothing to know. There is only what we can experience. Unexpectedly. Mysteriously attracted, we might never want to leave.

We are both artist and viewer in the viewing. The artist envelops our wonder and our intuition with his own. We stay alive in the company of his animated imagined community.

The artist uses his brain to extend his visions so that they can be noticed, studied, or rarely ignored.

Power Boothe’s work courtesy of Fred Giampietro Gallery

Dedicated to My Mother

It was Easter Sunday.
No family around to celebrate
The rising of Christ from the dead.

No eggs planted anywhere.
My breakfast French toast was dipped in eggs though,
Drenched in syrup, where berries and cinnamon also floated.

The dishes were washed.
The reading of the news was done.
I was sufficiently terrorized,
Thrust into hopelessness and gloom.

Some say we will survive.
Others say nay.
I have no reason to believe in anything but myself.
So much trauma in my own life caused by those
Who were meant to love me unconditionally.
As parents, as lovers, as friends, as a husband.

I was alone.
And intent on finding another place
To merge with the natural world.

Down the state highway going south
Is the entrance to a road that parallels
The river I visit on Sundays.
I have never been down this road.
It was a good day to give it a try.

Discovering this path by the river
For the first time on foot, I was eager
To see where it took me.
I parked where a closed gate blocked going any further by car.
I parked beside a truck bearing New Hampshire license plates.
A sign on the gate said FLOOD.

I walked past the gate.
The road descended gradually.
The river was on the left of the road.
The river was full and rollicking over rocks.
Eventually, the rushing river disappeared from view
And changed into a stream.

I passed two couples and one dog from New Hampshire,
Going in the other direction.
I wished them Happy Easter.

I passed a crevice on my right side, the side of the main road above,
Carved out by a temporary charge of water in the past rainstorms.
Grasses lay across the road in the direction in which the water had taken them.

The stream flowed into a flood plain.

When I reached the open flood plain,
My body was seized with an anxiety
I have not felt since I was a toddler.

I stopped walking.

I stood looking out
Over acres and acres of  three foot long grasses
Laid flat by water.

In the distance was a short cement bridge.
Do I walk that far? I said to myself.

It was not raining.

My steps carried me several hundred yards
To the bridge.
The bridge passed over the stream that was the river.

I was standing in a flood plain bordered by a dam wall.

I turned around 360 degrees.

No birds were singing.
Nor could I see any flying.
No sound.
Not even from the flow of the water.
I could not detect the breeze.

The water had receded from its flood stages.
Otherwise, I wouldn’t have been standing there.
On the bridge.

This is how the end of the world is going to look,
I thought.

The clouded gray sky foretelling of more rain
Provided a cyclorama against which the silhouettes of the trees
Atop the hills, which cupped the valley, grew.

I took pictures.

I sought out where the road would lead
If I were to continue walking.
The road disappeared around a hill.

Because I had hurt my knee,
And I would have worsened how hurt it was,
I decided against continuing.

Besides, the drops of a drizzle began
To hit my cheeks.

I turned and started to retrace my steps
Back to the entrance
Where my car was parked.

Experiencing this place measured an inkling
Of acceptance of imminent death.

My death.
The death of the earth.
The death of all.
The irrevocable final transformation of all.

In five billion years,
The sun explodes.

I have known that the sun will explode
For my entire adult life.

I saw moments before the end time
In that flood plain. On Easter Sunday.

Scientists say that the sun will explode in five billion years
From the time they declared it.
From now.
Less, of course, the number of years I will have lived.

Copyright 2019 Lyn Horton

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