I present you: Art

Currently no great spectacular news, though I completely nailed my computer stuff exam!, so I present you art.
Two summers ago I was in Madrid with some friends. We basically went from museum to museum, but that was okay, because it was bloody hot outside. One time we were in a museum where that was an exposition of Hopper running. One of my friends wanted to visit it, and I decided to accompany her. Good thing she wanted to see it, because it was great! Hopper’s art is very clear and calm. It’s simple in a strong way. Almost every painting has this sense of emptiness. Not just because there isn’t much present, but because of the atmosphere. I liked that. Life is already complicated enough, isn’t it?
His most famous painting is Nighthawks. I wouldn’t mind having that hanging on my wall… (Though having a famous painting probably gives a lot of stress and costs millions for just the insurance. I’ll go for the replica.)

Hopper

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Seasons

I didn’t expect things to be so busy I don’t get to post anymore… But this image is my apology.

Via here.

There is always something about Alfons Mucha’s work that attracts me. The women he draws are ever elegance and they always seem to know more than you in some weird way. Plus: the dresses for god’s sake. Totally beautiful.

I suppose this one is on seasons. Which season do you prefer? Whether it’s from this piece or in real life? Up here it’s finally getting cold though I woke up twice this night because of a ***** mosquito. Is it really autumn if there are still mosquitos? I don’t know.

So: how’s the weather with you and do you like it?

Micha

A few years ago I bought a book on Polaroid pictures. It was at the time I was really interested in photography, which I still am, but not as much as I used to be. The problem is that everyone can take a picture and it can look good. Where’s the line between a pro and someone who’s just Instagramming food?
But that’s a discussion for some other time.
There was one picture in this book that really struck me. At first sight it might just be a woman, holding her hands against her face. There was something though, that made me keep on looking. In the beginning she seemed old to me, because she had this attitude I can’t really explain. It’s probably a sort of wisdom she carries out. A closer look made clear that she’s not that old at all, and she might be Indian.
And something in this picture seems to show there’s an entire world behind this, a story, a past. Not many pictures have this effect, but this one does. I immediatly liked this woman; she seems to be wise but worried at the same time. Unfortunately I couldn’t find more information on who she is, but I did find out that William Ropp is a really good photographer.

Micha Ropp

Greek Goddessing, or the Day NBI Bought a Dress…

… And it wasn’t a black one! Can you imagine? I’ve got seven black dresses, two that have a print, but are still somewhat black, and now I’ve got one for the summer that’s entirely colour. Because of a good saleswoman, I also bought a necklace and sandals that go with the dress. And now people are telling me I look like a Greek goddess. Hey, there are worse things to hear, believe me. Apparently, I have a Greek nose as well. I disagree, as I don’t like my nose and it’s definitely not as beautiful as the noses of those ancient statues, but at least I get to wear clothes, and they are being stared at the entire day while they are naked.

I found the term ‘Greek goddess’ a bit too vague though, so after a little brainstorming I decided that there are a few goddesses I would want to be:

Terpsichoring.

* Terpsichore. She’s the Muse of dance, so I guess you can figure out why I choose her. Not that the dress gives enough freedom to really dance, but it makes your walk more… feminine? Dance-like? Either way, this would be my absolute dream job, being the goddess of dance.

*Artemis. She’s got a bow and arrows. Enough said! I don’t really like hunting though. But she’s brave, you know, she can stand up for herself. Which is pretty emancipated. And that’s great. She’s also the goddess of the moon, and let’s face it: the moon is more interesting than the sun. Next to that, she seems to be quite hateful. We’ve all been told we should forgive and forget, but those are the two hardest things to do when someone hurt you. And sometimes, you just want to sent a psychological arrow their way. Peng. Her pet is a doe. Her awesomeness is great.

*Persephone. However much she disliked being kidnapped and brought to the Underworld, she does get to see both sides of the world. The best of both worlds, right? As someone with an almost split personality, this would fit me. Plus: think of all the depressing poems and short stories you could write about the underworld… Oh my. Plus: she was worth kidnapping – flattering somehow… If not for her being kidnapped, we wouldn’t have seasons. Okay, everyone is always whining about how cold/hot/rainy it is, but imagine not having seasons: you wouldn’t appreciate what you have until you lose it. But you never lose it because there’s never change… It’s incredibly hot

“Nooooh!” – Persephone being kidnapped.

up here right now, but after such a long winter, I’m glad we now have something different. So thank you Hades for kidnapping the innocent Persephone!

If all this wouldn’t work out, I would be very pleased with being a Siren. Once I wrote a paper on them, and since then I’m hooked. They aren’t supposed to be very pretty, or birds, or fish, but they are haunting and intriguing. Their hobby is singing and by that killing sailors. I have no intention of killing anyone, but I wouldn’t mind being intriguing. It would make up for the chatterbox I mostly am against my will.
One of the best parts of Greek mythology is the great names. They are exotic and musical. Being a Siren does mean not having a name. But you can call me ‘Syrena’ of course *wink*.

Which god or goddess would you want to be and why?

Unknown Pleasures

Too long ago (two, three months?) I was at a party, and it was a good one, though there were barely any people. The people actually being there were fun, so it didn’t matter. One of the guys present wore a T-shirt of Unknown Pleasures, the Joy Division CD. A while later on, on a dull morning, I went to buy that CD. It was my very own unknown pleasure at that moment, and somehow, it still reminds me of that night. (And of the regrets afterwards – always say goodbye to people before leaving.)

I want that T-shirt as well. The cover of this CD is so simple yet slightly mysterious. What does it make you think of?

Joy-Division_Unknown-Pleasures_Shes-Lost-Control-1979

It made me think of mountains in some way. Not really calm and peaceful mountains, but more like Lord of the Rings-mountains, tricky and vile. On the other hand it made me think of this monument:

P1010493

It is a monument for the men of the Reichstag in Berlin (close to which you can find this) who were murdered by Hitler. The sharp edges and the uneven angles looked familiar. As you might see on every side there’s the name a killed man. Berlin is full of this kind of very touching monuments. They leave you all silent.

Truth is though, that this cover was in fact the first pulsar ever observed. Or at least, its signals. I guess no one thought of that, unless you know something about this first observed pulsar… Whatever it really is though, I believe you can see this any way you want. And even now I still think it’s pretty mysterious. I like it a lot, but that’s probably clear from this post…

And then we haven’t even talked on the songs yet… The music on this CD fits the cover (or its it the other way around?) very well. Sounds simple, yet dark and draws you in. Can be interpreted just the way you want. Especially one song drew my attention and never let it go again. The text can be read any way you want, so it always seems to fit somehow. At least for me it seems to be written about things I lived through. (You know I like this kind of drama.) And then the guitar… Played so painfully, achingly, yet great. (You know I like these 80 guitars.)

Of course the entire CD is worth listening too, but I can’t keep on ranting about this. I would seriously recommend you to listen to it though… 😉

The video can’t be posted, hurray hurray, but click on this for the video on YouTube.

New Dawn Fades

A change of speed, a change of style.
A change of scene, with no regrets,
A chance to watch, admire the distance,
Still occupied, though you forget.
Different colours, different shades,
Over each mistakes were made.
I took the blame.
Directionless so plain to see,
A loaded gun won’t set you free.
So you say.

We’ll share a drink and step outside,
An angry voice and one who cried,
‘we’ll give you everything and more,
The strain’s too much, can’t take much more.’
Oh, I’ve walked on water, run through fire,
Can’t seem to feel it anymore.
It was me, waiting for me,
Hoping for something more,
Me, seeing me this time, hoping for something else.

This CD should best be listened while rain is pouring down and you’re drinking coffee/tea and feel like being very nostalgic. Cigarette can be added if wanted.

Magic lights

Yesterday, when it was slowly getting darker, I stood in our kitchen, leaned out of the window to enjoy the wind and looked to the right. Then I saw a garden, decorated with these coloured lights. It looked so cosy and nice, really a place you’d like to spend many warm evenings.It reminded me of this picture by Tim Walker. He’s a great photographer, always creating fairytale worlds. And this specific atmosphere is so promising and soothing and I would like to be in such a place right now.  Just at ease, with a glass of wine and friends all around and the feeling that magic is going to happen!

Tim Walker - Dresses

“Dance is the hidden language of the soul” ― Martha Graham

Just one second in no man’s land, on the edge between dull reality and glittering illusion. Ready to run, but for just one more second waiting, waiting, until the music starts to play. Darkness. Silence. A deep breath for courage, a last adjustment of your clothes- and there you go. Off the deep end.

A few weeks ago, my dance school had its dance show. I participated in three choreographies and for one of them, I had to wear a purple tutu. With pink fake diamonds. At first, it felt a bit all too glittery, but as soon as you walk on stage in those, you feel awesome. I enjoyed it, the performing, the clothes, the music, everything. Shows have their very own atmosphere – think hairspray, water, sweat and the mess backstage. There is no feeling like being backstage at a show.  We sat in the wings, watching the people on stage performing. We get to see things no one sees: the spotlights at the sides, the back of the curtain, the stage when it’s empty.

It’s a promising sight, you know, an empty stage, or a stage that’s being prepared. It feels good to be a part of the ‘elite’ that gets to see this. And it feels like magic could happen. Add some lights, add some music and dancers, and there you go: a perfect illusion. A veil of beauty over everything. A stage is a chance to be different, to let go of everything, it’s just a chance.

And you can feel that when you are about to walk/run/jump on stage. That silent second in the wings, right before crossing the border, the moment I described above- it’s the moment you know you’re going to make that magic happen (or at least, you hope so). Though I didn’t really have stage fright anymore, you can still feel the tension. You’re out there, you know, and everyone is watching you.

But sometimes, the audience doesn’t even matter. Two years ago, I participated in the most beautiful choreography I ever danced in. When the music started to play, a spotlight was turned upon us, a sort of soft, eveninglike yellow light. We, as a group, started entering the stage. It felt as entering a movie. The music was so very beautiful and just sort of carried me away. I believe you can dance at your best when the music is the trigger of every movement you make. That’s what it felt like. And at that moment, honestly, the audience didn’t matter at all. What mattered was that the music was playing and I could only show its beauty by dancing this choreography, as if the music notes turned into energy inside me. (I know this sounds sentimental, but there is no other way of really describing it as it felt.)

My god, how I loved it. I was never tired of doing it, not even when repeating it over a thousand times in class. I still get goosebumps when I see the performance on DVD. It wasn’t the only beautiful dance I’ve been in. My dance teacher can make the greatest modern pieces you can imagine. It almost feels like an honor to be in one.

You all know I love dancing, but it’s hard to describe that feeling. It’s hairspray and warming up behind the scenes, it’s the back of the curtain, the music of the first act starting to play, the second before you enter stage and the music lugging you along. Something like that. And once on stage, you become that illusion, a smile, a character, and no one (not even you) cares about anything happening behind the scenes. You are meant to be nothing but beauty, the spotlights on you and the rest darkness – because once on stage, the outter world doesn’t matter anymore.

theater

Dark is the Night – Тёмная ночь

Since I’m learning Russian, I feel like I’ve got a whole new world that’s starting to reveal itself. Suddenly I can read some titles of Russian ballet videos. I even understand a bit Russian when it’s spoken. It’s only a little bit, but it’s something. I also started searching for Russian music and then came across the band Tracktor Bowling. I’d describe it as metal, and they have some really good songs. Then I stumbled upon a song that isn’t theirs but they’ve once performed it.
It was so beautiful it almost hurt me.

I understood some words, not many, but I searched for the text and found it both in Russian and English. It felt like finding a treasure. Then I read that it’s a song of the movie ‘Two Soldiers’ (1943). This movie is about a war, made during World War 2. The Russians call this war the Great Patriotic War, and they keep the memory alive. Anyway, I found the video with the song as it appeared in the movie. I could as well have won a lot of money – it was so wonderful. The fact that it’s in Russian makes it so powerful. Translations never cover the entire meaning of a text, and I can’t wait to be able to read and understand in fully in Russian. I’m already trying to sing along…

The song’s title is often translated as ‘Dark is the Night’, though it literally means ‘dark night’ (Тёмная ночь). For the original, beautiful Russian text, look here. The translation in English can be found below the two videos. I couldn’t choose. The first one is the song as it was performed in the movie, the second one is done by Tracktor Bowling.

 

 

The night is dark, only bullets are whizzing over the steppe
Only wind rumbles in the wires, and faded stars twinkle.
I know that you don’t sleep in this dark night, my lovely,
And you secretly wipe your tears by the cradle.

I love so much the depth of your gentle eyes,
I want to touch them now with my lips!
The dark night divides us, my lovely,
And severe, black steppe was pushed between me and you.

I do believe in you, my dear friend,
This faith prevented me from the bullets in the dark night…
I am glad and calm in this deadly fight,
Because I know that you will show me love, no matter what wrong happens to me.

The death is not scary, we have faced it many times on the steppe.
And even now it circles around me.
You are waiting for me and you cannot sleep by the cradle.
That’s why I know: nothing wrong will happen to me!

Lyrics by lyricstranslation.

And like this, I’ve added one more post to the series about darkness. Without even meaning to.

A cigarette, a sunset and a piano

Mostly, I’m quite conservative. Then I go on YouTube and only listen to songs I already know. But every now and then I’ll pick another one, suggested by YouTube, and sometimes this just blows me away. I found the song in this post thanks to that. A few days ago I had the courage again to click on a video I did not know, but I saw it was a Russian guy, so I sort of felt obliged to listen to it.

And o man.

I fell for the music, so fluent and beautiful, and a bit sad perhaps. Or wondering. Something like that. Then I watched the video. The sunset, the cigarette permanently balancing between his lips, the old piano and the birds flying away. His head moving along. An accordeon.

For me this creates the perfect atmosphere to study Russian. This wondering, almost existentialist mood, beauty but sad enough to not cheer you up, it’s just perfect.

Enjoy.

And all the flowers were mine

Sometimes… Sometimes it’s okay to look back with nostalgic eyes. Sometimes it might be good to remember. Melancholy. Every now and then. Just to remind yourself of the fact that there are moments you want to relive…

What is better than a touch of Poe then? I mean, add one letter and you’ve got poem. Says enough I believe. I like his poetry a lot, because it makes you feel the melancholy really well. The sentence ‘and all the flowers were mine’ has been eddying in my head for a few weeks and then I decided to search for the poem. It struck me again with its flow and sadness. To you in blogosphere…

To One In Paradise
– Edgar Allan Poe
Thou wast all that to me, love,
For which my soul did pine-
A green isle in the sea, love,
A fountain and a shrine,
All wreathed with fairy fruits and flowers,
And all the flowers were mine.
Ah, dream too bright to last!
Ah, starry Hope! that didst arise
But to be overcast!
A voice from out the Future cries,
“On! on!”- but o’er the Past
(Dim gulf!) my spirit hovering lies
Mute, motionless, aghast!For, alas! alas! me
The light of Life is o’er!
“No more- no more- no more-”
(Such language holds the solemn sea
To the sands upon the shore)
Shall bloom the thunder-blasted tree
Or the stricken eagle soar!

And all my days are trances,
And all my nightly dreams
Are where thy grey eye glances,
And where thy footstep gleams-
In what ethereal dances,
By what eternal streams.