Flowers: "We are pleased to welcome Carl Gustav Carus - doctor, natural scientist, philosopher, artist and author - a profoundly influential critic of the contemporary art scene. Dr. Carus would you kindly repeat your reaction upon seeing today's posting called Purple Haze."
Carus: "…climb up, then, to the summit of the mountain, gaze out over the long chain of hills… and with what emotion are you seized? -- you are filled with silent devotion, you lose yourself in boundless space, your whole being undergoes a quiet cleansing and purification, your ego-self vanishes, you are NOTHING."
Flowers: "Our listeners will be interested to know that you first published this observation in 1835 at the peak of German Romaticism. Do you think a deeply personal reaction like this has any relevance to our mass media driven contemporary world?"
How quiet the woods during a heavy snow, all ears tuned to the tinkle of flake against flake swirling to find a resting place. Pressing deeper into the forest, determined to photograph every snow blessed leaf and twig, I'm surprised by an old church relaxing at last under its own weight. How long I lingered I don't know. But I remember hearing a soft refrain from my favorite spiritual…
"How glad I would be Would mean so much to me If I could hear my Mother pray again."
Andrew Wyeth is one helluva Door-Man. Yesterday, I spent quality hours amongst several dozen Wyeth originals on display at the High Museum here in Atlanta in the closing days of his Memory & Magic tour. With mugs, T-shirts, note cards, and the book accompanying the exhibit (by the same name) stacked at every corner like impulse items in the grocery line. His was a quiet world of muted colors, his work steeped in his own personal symbolism. He liked every day objects in gray and brown, in ochres and somber earth tones. Like an empty pair of fisherman boots limp and worn with a life's story to tell. Or, gauze-like curtains wafting thru an open window then disappearing into thin air. There was a cool blue door deeply scratched by the dog asking to be let out. Thresholds everywhere. Being so close on the heels of my recent dose of family and life and childhood memories, this exhibit and especially his tempera piece called "Cooling Shed, 1953" helped me to wake up again at the Old Home Place in my little bedroom at the top of the stairs. Project room would be more like it. There I assembled model cars, read books like Darwin's Voyage of the Beagle, played classical records on my windup, typed out unsolicited reports like "Napoleon Bonaparte", and peed out the window occasionally to avoid a dark trek across the house to the appropriate plumbing.
Can you imagine how a southern good-old-boy redneck backroads photographer, who has never been in much of a snow with his camera, might react to find hisself in the Blue Ridge Mountains in the winter woods in a fifteen inch fresh blowing snow storm. Then to have his batteries begin to fail in the wet and penetrating cold.