Tuesday 22 September 2009

start painting (old style, absolutely!)






start painting your shadow
you said quietly
the same one, all over again
until your fingers bleed
it's the only way you'll learn to give up
this fastidious attachment to being

how - i asked shyly

(i knew you were tired of my questions
why is it i always have to learn painfully
what the others appear to master
with such ease and grace:
how to put one foot before another
how to breathe without unleashing a cloud
how to dwell in the falling of leaves
as peacefully as you in the shaded
house of the vague)
so i didn't want to upset you
even though it seemed impossible to upset
the clear water in a bowl of light.

i am still struggling,
my razor blunt, my charcoal burnt.
i am so tired, if only you knew.
carnations fill my ripe mouth,
a wave of darkness crushing within.
come, stop the bleeding.

only then will i fall away from myself

and become your silence.




  1. Que imagens fantásticas....gosto desta forma de criar.

  2. Dancing brush, diving in
    Water quiet, to be
    The sound of your soul

  3. c'est magnifique,étrange car ce noir et blanc n'est pas triste du tout, il est libre, joyeux, mystérieux, j'adore!!!

  4. 'fastidious attachment to being' - certainly, painful to learn to give it up... thank you for these, the world in a bowl, one before last, i want to live in it.

  5. two legs:good, four legs...
    I think black tights would have gone better.

    carnations...get some proper food down you, girl! :-0

    But no, very dark and sad [even though you're a southern girl! :-) ]

    As always: unique (or,as she says in Ikuru" "Daily Special"!)

    take care,


  6. I read this poem many times. perhaps to understand what it is to be un-selfconscious, what it takes (painting one's shadows?). to lose the electric tingling of the sense of being that accompanies us all times (is that the shadow I must paint). I must admit it is a little alien to contemplate - this japanese austerity; but perhaps our yogis aim for something similar as well.
    But your paintings are so serene - espcially the third one - I kept looking at how the light flows around, and gently drapes the bowl - it really looks like what is inside the bowl is pure light - soft and luminous.

  7. "The imperfect is our paradise."
    so a bowl and a couple of carnations are not impossible after all--mr. stevens would be in awe.

  8. Solid black
    Brighten white linen

  9. La photo de ce pas de danse... jambes qui se balancent, qui changent d'appui... évocation d'un corps dont l'intense émotion... sensuelle, éternelle... fait offrande de sang, de chair...
    Cette "littérature" photographique m'évoque de nombreux sentiments...!
    Les textures que tu emploies semblent traduire comme un dessin réalisé au fusain !
    Je trouve ces photos et ce texte très charnel, sanguin... offrande du corps à la vie !
    Tu "excites" mes sens et en suis tout bouleversé ! ! !...:-)

    La qualité de ton travail est excellente. Sublime !

    Tu offres là, Roxana, une "respiration" dans cet univers exaxerbé de pixels, de kilos octets et giga hertz...


  10. Hello, roxana

    the first image , as one scrolls down, is actually seemingly in motion. i think i like what you have created in this post. the poem is good. when one says a poem is brilliant or good, what do we actually say? i think the control over the tautness of what you express is well maintained. some lines are particularly good. i have only read this poem twice but it seemed familiar to me. thus, it is a great poem.

    well done and take care!

  11. Embracing eachother
    Brush and colour
    Time for the first touch
    (hope you will allow me one more step, imagining the dance of your brush and its water.)

  12. The bridge between the two distant clouds of femininity and infinity stretches above a deep chasm of billowed and protean masses. The in-between, like the rarefied and certain air of a coffin, is a breath of things known in extremis but unknown in the oxymora of the arabesque we oft suffer to call living. The eternal salmagundi of experience illuminates no straight path in the moil of crisis. Benighted, how deep is the red? How overwhelming is the passion? How loud is the silence?

  13. c'est très fort comme symbolique !!!! j'ai le cliché 3 cela me fait pensé un tableau de rubican ou la lumière transperce le sujet qui harmonie cette beauté.

  14. Perhaps a warning should be placed at the top of the page :

    "Caution, magician at work..."

    Had she lived in Salem, Massachusetts in the 1690s she might have been branded a witch, and burned, for no one would have understood such intensity or purpose and clarity of mind, and the smoke from such a conflagration would have risen up into the skies, swirled and blended with clouds, circling the earth for centuries, then one day descending in a particularly heavy rain on Romania, while a woman lay out in a field gazing up at the moon as the last raindrops fell, nine months later she gave birth to a daughter, named her Roxana, now adult, fully woman and master of her powers, enchantress enchants with spells in poems, in black & white images heavy with grain, laden with light, burning with spirit, legs with no body, no matter, we can imagine the dance, bowls with white light, milk for black cats, and time swirls into the late nights of early mornings, if only I could tell you how tired I am, but who writes these poems, who paints these pictures, who is this soul, this soul who painted on walls of caves twenty thousand years ago, whose hand we see in silhouette blown powder pigments, who is she one cannot help but ask, she is the eternal mystery, the goddess of light and dark and night and spark and flame, she has a name...

  15. Robert, my brush will never stop, so why would you think of last steps instead of endless flowing? :-)

  16. Your poem, words, thoughts, desires, insight, diction, metaphor, smilie, syntax intoxicates. To become one's silence--this is beyond wonderful, as I imagine it. I want to hold this thought, this idea all day. To walk in the park and imagine what this means. To sit on a bench with a hand in my lap and a head on my shoulder and just a gentle breeze and leaves playing in the wind. Only breathing. Each the other's silence.

    I can smell those carnations. See them blooming. So close upon my ear.

  17. This idea of painting one's shadow as a spiritual/aesthetic discipline touches me. What else do we do (in the arts, for sure, but everywhere...) except search the world to understand our own absence, lovingly construe the outlines of the fascinating space where we are not? And I love the sense in this poem and these photos of coming to understand the shadow as process, as work and attainment. Is it too much of a cliche, if I place lines from an overly well known poem beside your fresh lines? From Mark Strand's "Keeping Things Whole":

    In a field
    I am the absence
    of field.
    This is
    always the case.
    Wherever I am
    I am what is missing.

    And the images, too. I adore the second and third, this wise patience with light (which is also insight). And her legs :-)

  18. hi Roxana . your images are really impressive , a great surprise for me to see your good dense work and all its lights .

  19. His all
    Flows into
    Your writing of nine strocks

  20. such words, it takes my breath. The photos too, sensuality and light and spirituality, bound like we are i suppose, to the bowl of the body, the empty and the hope...

    thank u for your soulful words.

  21. At night, I open the window and ask
    the moon to come and press its

    face against mine. Breathe into
    me. Close the language- door and

    open the love window. The moon
    won't use the door, only the window.

    From Soul of Rumi
    by Coleman Barks


    found on another blogger's page today; it seems infectious...

  22. Stunning images, Roxana. Thank you for sharing them.

  23. I see very much sensual style of zen..
    oh my tip-toed r... :p

  24. here the dark is silver
    here the light is black
    a ghost lifts a cup of ink
    pouring galaxies
    down infinities of hair
    where ghost legs remain
    this stillness absolute
    where i utter
    these words to the ponds

  25. how to dwell in the falling of leaves
    as peacefully as you in the shaded
    house of the vague

    a good question to ponder....while floating amongst these shadows painted with burnt charcoal.

    awesome photography

  26. Ton blog est magnifique Roxana.
    Tout en légèreté, finesse, poésie, féminité surtout.
    Félicitations !

  27. merc, then Black Joy it is - yes.

    Adelino, thank you, i should have entitled it: "almost painting", inspired by your almost-love boat :-)

  28. Robert, my dancing brush, for you who sees and hears:


    Line, tu es si gentille, je te remercie de l'intérêt que tu montres pour mes photos, oui, de tout coeur! bises :-)

    Manuela, i was sure you would understand - you know what it means, the world in a bowl. my dear...

  29. b, yes, she will soon start to levitate, if she continues on clear water and otherworldly carnations (i somehow doubt one can say "continue on water" in your impossible language, frrr) and also another parenthesis (this statement seems however to be contradicted by the quite this-wordly roundness of those legs, i know i know :-)

    and yes, it is clear that some Moulin Rouge decor would have better suited your taste, let me see what i can arrange for a future post :-P

    (unique, you say? :-P)

    Zuma, i see you didn't believe her when she said you could just appear and say only "hi", and she would still be happy, no trust tsktsk :-P
    yes, of course your yogis had something similar in mind, at least some of them - Brahma satyam jagat mithyā - you should know this better than me, no? :-)
    your words touched me a lot, especially when you speak of the serenity of my pictures - and your gazing at the softness of the light (or into?). somebody once said: "your pictures always bring so much joy, yet your writing makes me so sad". i don't know...

    Emese :-) starile noastre intunecate, si totusi cu umbre si promisiuni de lumina... stiu ca-ti place :-)

  30. Michael
    yet we are still very far away from the "world of clear water, brilliant-edged" :-)
    but perhaps this is exactly where we have to be, because "Still one would want more, one would need more,
    More than a world of white and snowy scents". and yet i cannot stop pondering the meaning of this "would".

    ah, Jeff - tu me combles, je ne sais même pas comment je pourrais répondre à cette vague d’émotions– est-ce que ce sont vraiment mes photos qui ont éveillé ces rêves dans ton âme et ton corps (puisque moi je pense que, effectivement, toute émotion esthétique a une dimension corporelle qui ne se doit pas d’être ignorée, on réagit devant une oeuvre d’art avec tout ce que nous sommes, intellect, émotions, chair) – bien que je ne sois pas artiste, la photographie n’est qu’une passion qui m’apporte beaucoup de joie... et si mes photos retentissent ainsi dans d’autres âmes, qu’est-ce que je pourrais désirer et espérer davantage ? mais j’éprouve toujours de l’émerveillement quand un tel dialogue s’établit à travers mes images, pour te dire la vérité, quand j’ai commencé ce blog je n’avais pas eu la moindre idée qu’un jour ce serait possible de vivre ça – je t’en remercie, de tout coeur ! et a bien tôt ! :-)

    kubla! i am relieved that you liked it, i always fear what you have to say :-) i think this is the best thing which could happen, that a poem seems familiar after the second reading - on the contrary, it would be a total failure if it seemed familiar after the first one, that would mean it lacks any novelty or freshness, no? i am glad you think i managed to control the "tautness", this is one of the most difficult things for me, who has a more baroque nature...
    also, i am glad you are here... and i really mean that.

  31. Prospero, i am still trying to find my breath again in this storm of celestial language pouring over me like Ariel's endless rain - and yes, i inhabit your questions, silently (yet loud enough for you to hear).
    ps. i am still waiting for you to make me hear that music - again, "hear", how odd, we come back to this again and again, even if i only have dark paintings. (and Prospero's mystery to solve, you don't think i forgot, do you? :-) i will, one day)

    Allan, merci, de tout coeur, je suis heureuse que ca t’ait plu – et encore plus heureuse que tu sois de retour, permets-moi de te dire encore une fois à quel point j’ai aimé ta dernière photo, celle qui marque la nouvelle ouverture du monde fabuleux du Siam!!!

    Owen: "magician at work", you make me laugh! :-)
    but Owen, what fascinating dark tales you are able to invent just like this, i could almost swear this must be some old Transylvanian legend - and it wouldn't surprise me if one day i discovered that somewhere :-) (well except for the American references, i think most probably one would have found Greek ones instead, the Greek women were very famous here for their demonic beauty and powers). but then you should really saddle that mule and come over here to see that with your own eyes. this is a small excerpt from a novel portraying the adventurous Balkan life (written by Panait Istrati):
    "I must have been eight or nine at the time I am thinking of, and my sister twelve or thirteen. She was so lovely that I spent my days looking at her. She spent hers in adorning herself, and so did my mother, for she was as beautiful as her daughter. The two of them would stand for hours before a mirror with a make-up outfit contained in an ebony casket, doing their eyelashes with kinorosse dipped in oil, their eyebrows with charred sticks of sweet-basil wood, and their lips, cheeks and nails with kirmiz red. When this lengthy operation was over, they kissed each other, murmuring affectionate phrases, and turned their attention to dressing me. When they had done this, we would all join hands and dance a Turkish or a Greek dance intermingled with much kissing. "

    perhaps you should write a novel as well, trying to answer all these questions - i wouldn't mind lending you the name for the heroine :-P

  32. thank you, Inga!

    oh, Tree, yes, you understood perfectly: "Only breathing. Each the other's silence." - yet when there is no "each other" any longer - then perhaps only inventing the other's breath, shaping it from his or her silence.
    i am grateful for your emotion.
    (and for enlarging the synaesthesia of my post, imagining the fragrance of carnations :-)

    James :-) you know, when i read your comments, no, i should say analyses, because this is what you always do, it's just your way of being :-) - i start to understand what i had wanted to say or do myself, what took shape, almost unconsciously, from dim waters i don't even dare to touch becomes suddenly something similar to a conscious artistic project, and i gasp and say "wow, could this really be like this"? :-)
    no, it is not too much of a cliche, the poem is wonderful, and perfectly fitted.
    thank you for liking the "poem" as well - oh, and all the rest, of course :-)

    thank you Caio, it is a great honour for me, as i am very much drawn to your paintings...

    mansuetude, you always offer me poems, i don't know how you can immediately seize the essence and put it down like this:
    "bound like we are i suppose, to the bowl of the body, the empty and the hope..."
    and thank you so much for the Coleman Barks poem, i will keep it with me until one day i find the proper image to go with it - i just must, it speaks directly to my soul.

    Marius, sarumana! thank you, Sir! :-)

    Dirty Hope, it is a pleasure to know you are here and respond so intensively to what i do. for that i am so grateful.

  33. Peter, sensual style of Zen, hahaha - i love this :-)

    here the dark is longing
    here the light is pain -
    you understand, don't you?

    ffflaneur, you chose exactly the bit that i like in this shadowy attempt at "saying" what cannot be said - and now i have to exclame "hurrah" for this "awsome", which isn't exactly a subdued and vague gesture, i have to admit that - indeed, some people never learn :-)

    K'line Bloom, merci beaucoup pour ta visite et tes gentils mots d’appréciation, je vais venir te rendre visite moi-aussi, bientôt!

  34. I am reminded of water memory and singing bowls...

    Stunning. Stunning the things I see here, because of you...

  35. A very intriguing response, but then there is no lack of intrigue in the waters flowing under the floating bridge of dreams, deep and dark waters ... one cannot help but wonder over the complexity and profundity of your multi-lingual responses, in French, in German, in English so polished that one thinks you must have studied at an Oxbridge college, or perhaps the Ivy League, or for years in Paris, England, Germany, Japan, the finest schools of Bucharest, where else, I cannot say...

    The quote from Istrati is gorgeous, sumptious, luscious... I'm dreaming again, floating, in the mists of a distant morning in Greece... yes indeed, magician at work...