Thursday, January 3, 2013

The New Year with a Sunbloom and a Mystic Rose

Camellia blossom, Descanso Gardens, December 2012

The Year 2013 will be very unusual. It is going to be the Year of the Snake, apparently filled with good luck, material blessings, but also with deception and interpersonal problems.  What it willl be depends on us, and we can make it a beautiful, blessed year, if we property focus our attention on things that matter.

Haiga "The Gift" (c) 2012 by Maja Trochimczyk

In response to an invitation by Susan Rogers, I created a little reminder of this focus on what really mattters as a bas-relief collage haiga, that is a paper and fabric image with a haiku-like comment.  The invitation was to create a poem or an art-work on the theme of the Snake or Target on a rectangular board.  The results in the form of calligraphy, artwork, photos will be displayed at the Japanese American Cultural Center in Los Angeles.  

My choice to make a surreal flower with petals from a white poinsetta, daisy, and a photo of matilla poppy, with a double eye in the middle reflected the choice of the theme - the Target. The eye is copied from another collage of mine, created for the Beatrix Project of Kathi Stafford for my poem "Rosa Mystica" and published in her chapbook (and reprinted below). 

Here, the double eye of the rose here becomes the eye of the Mystical Sunbloom. I entitled my little art-piece for the New Year 2013 - "The Gift" - and I think a lot of people, especially Christians and those following mystical traditions know the answer to this riddle. If not, reading the anthology Meditations on Divine Names is highly recommended. The answer to every question about the meaning of life and everything is "42" as we know from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.  The trouble is we do not know what is the question...

Ever calling - Never heard

Ever seeking - Never seen


Detail from "The Gift" (c) 2012 by Maja Trochimczyk

Happy New Year 2013!


The original version of the eye appeared in a digital collage for "Rosa Mystica"  - a poem about Mother Mary and Dante's Paradiso.

Rosa Mystica

The love that calms this heaven always offers welcome
 with such greetings to make the candle ready for its flame 
 ~ Dante, Il Paradiso, Canto XXX: 52-54 

I knew it all along
(at least, suspected)
Beatrice’s swimming cap
betrays Heaven as nothing 
but an oversized pool

where saints swim like fish
in the river of light 
and God-Mother rests 
on white lounge petals 
of a Mystic Rose 

Giovanni di Paolo’s
illumined pages of Il Paradiso  
unveil creature comforts 
beyond the sapphire glow
of Dante’s Empyrean 

Angels curl in their pods
like babies asleep 
on metallic wings 
with round pillow halos 
of shimmering gold 

Multi-hued gowns of cobalt, 
salmon, palm green, and sienna 
reveal the childish joy 
 of heavenly hosts
adoring the Trinity 

Cherubs play hopscotch 
dance the Sarabande
twirl like a swarm of bees 
among light-bursts that do not 
 sear their eyes with pain 

Rushing waterfalls of laughter 
sparkle in diamond waves
of the robes of our Mother 
Daughter of her Son 
figlia del tuo figlio 

She gave Him a kiss 
on the way to Rose Garden 
serene Love’s Greeting
beneath seraphic wings 
rainbows that cut our darkness


The digital art collage includes my photographs and Beatrix from Giovanni di Paolo’s illustrations for Il Paradiso. These images are a part of the British Library's Yates Thompson 36 Codex made in Sienna in the 15th century. Rosetti’s drawing of the Rose Garden is in the collection of the Museum of the Fine Arts in Boston and his painting of Love’s Greeting is in the Isabella Stewart Garner Museum in Boston.

The reference to the Virgin Mother, “figlia der tuo figlio” (daughter of your son), is from Dante, Il Paradiso, Canto XXXIII: 1.

 The ephigraph is cited from the Princeton Dante Project ( “Sempre l'amor che queta questo cielo / accoglie in sé con sì fatta salute / per far disposto a sua fiamma il candela.” Il Paradiso, Canto XXX: 52-54.

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