Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Actias Luna

Fifth section of "Astoria" sequence
© Aaron Kramer

Come, all you who are not satisfied
as ruler in a lone, wallpapered room
full of mute birds, and flowers that falsely bloom,
and closets choked with dreams that long ago died!

Come, let us sweep the old streets--like a bride;
sweep out dead leaves with a relentless broom;
prepare for Spring, as though he were our groom
for whose light footstep eagerly we bide.

We'll sweep out shadows, where the rats long fed;
sweep out our shame--and in its place we'll make
a bower for love, a splendid marriage-bed
fragrant with flowers aquiver for the Spring.
And when he comes, our murdered dreams shall wake;
and when he comes, all the mute birds shall sing.

This beautiful poem is the preface to one of my favourite books, "Prodigal Summer" by Barbara Kingslover. The Luna Moth is one of the main themes in this book which is about love of nature, love of a partner and love of family and how these love are so strange and complex yet every part of their weirdness weaves itself into a balance that is delicate and strong.

I learnt from this book that a moth's haphazard flight is caused by the fact that moths navigate through their olfactory system. Comparing two points in space by smell and moving towards the one of greater concentration. This creates the typical zig-zag flight path as the moth moves through currents of scent in the air. This is a description of the making process. From the first,faint whiff of inspiration, a dream, something caught out of the corner of my eye, to the clumsy yet compelling first attempts at making a form,lines that don't quite have conviction, drawn again and again on paper, on clay. Firing and firing , until.... you reach the point of greatest concentration, the end of a strange zig-zag path. Olfactory navigation for artists.

(I have learnt nearly everything I know from novels.)

Lovely teapot and tumblers (which somehow in their lightness and earthy nature remind me of butterflies) by American potter Micheal Kline.


Rebecca-the-Wrecker said...

Prodigal Summer is one of my all time favorite books too!

Mel Robson said...

beautiful beakers, beautiful poem

Cheryl said...

Because of the rain recently in North Qld. the butterflies are breeding and coming out everywhere. Huge masses fly across the roads and bump into your car as you drive. Mainly they are a brilliant piercing blue and black - it is so sad to see their bodies on the roads but there still seems to be hundreds, like iridescent dust motes floating in the breeze.

Claire said...

Like Rebecca - Prodigal Summer is one of my Faves too :o) And like you, almost everything I know I learnt from novels... which is a bit of a worry considering all the mills and boons I've read in my life (and yet strangely, I'm not interested in marriage LOL)

michelle said...

So beautiful that tea pot! I can just taste the great tea that would come from there!