this ain't Tolstoy

I loved the way that the sun felt on my face in southern Spain; much like my surroundings, it felt foreign. The sun there even seemed to seep into my skin and brain and be speaking in a foreign tongue. It browned my skin as it whispered to me, wandering alongside me--a companion--as we explored Moor-inspired old towns; over bridges, old and new: "hola amiga, te extrano mucho." I wish I could be in Spain right now, instead of glued to this desk chair in the library. *Sigh.* I am feeling wanderlust again...hmm...

I am thinking of Spain because I was reading about/ooking at paintings by Picasso because I was reading e.e. cummings',  "Picasso." (My mind sometimes reminds me of the Laura Numeroff series, If you give a moose a muffin, et alia. Picasso is someone I have always admired--we met when I was a Spanish student in high school--because he always told the truth of what he was seeing. Picasso painted beautiful, breathtaking things: dancing, love, music, food, but also, and maybe more importantly, translated his concerns and frustrations with the world: war and destruction. It is easy to paint lovely things like dancing and love, which we can all enjoy; a real challenge can lie in painting what disgusts people, showing the ugly, naked horrors of life.

In my wanderings I learned of some paintings Picasso did in the early 1950s. According to this site,  “He was painting a deconsecrated 14th-century chapel at Vallauris. Outraged by the Korean War, he had decided to make the chapel a temple of peace. From April to September 1952, in over 250 sketches, he designed two huge murals for the chapel, on the subject of war and peace. The murals (WAR and PEACE) were completed that December, though they were not installed till 1954..."

Below: WAR (top)
PEACE (bottom)



"Picasso"
Picasso
you give us Things
which
bulge:grunting lungs pumped full of sharp thick mind

you make us shrill
presents always
shut in the sumptuous screech of
simplicity

(out of the
black unbunged
Something gushes vaguely a squeak of planes
or

between squeals of
Nothing grabbed with circular shrieking tightness
solid screams whisper.)
Lumberman of The Distinct

your brain's
axe only chops hugest inherent
Trees of Ego,from
whose living and biggest

bodies lopped
of every
prettiness

you hew form truly
~ e.e. cummings 

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