A Year With Rilke: February

The Words: You who let yourselves feel: enter the breathing that is more than your own. Let it brush your cheeks as it divides and rejoins behind you...fear not the pain. Let its weight fall back into the earth; for heavy are the mountains, heavy the seas. The trees you planted in childhood have grown too heavy. You cannot bring them along. Give yourselves to the air, to what you cannot hold...Louder than all the storms, louder than all the oceans, people have been crying out: What abundance of quietude the Universe must yield if we humans can hear the crickets... (A Year With Rilke, translated by Joanna Macy and Anita Barrows, February selections) The Color: Rose Madder. Pink, as a concept, arrived in Europe in the late fourteenth century. As the color began to appear more often in clothing and paintings, early European languages began to seek words to describe this watered-down red. In French and Spanish, the flower chosen for the honor wasn’t a rose, but the carnation (otherwise known as “clove pink”), picked for its supposed resemblance to the pasty European complexion. Even if you’ve never heard of Rose madder or madder-based dyes and paints, you’ve seen the brilliant red and warm pinks that result from soaking and pounding the yellow-flowered perennial. Raphael, Rubens, and Vermeer and all used Rose madder in their works as famously did Hieronymus Bosch in The Garden of Earthly Delights. (Cultural histories of unusual hues, The Awl, Katy Kelleher) A Year With Rilke: February give yourselves to the air, to what you cannot hold 60”x72” oil on canvas, sold



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    SHARON KINGSTON