Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Forests of imaginings

Nicole Page-Smith

Your voyage home goes by churches and another day is tomorrow.

Bernini grew like the leaves of the Apollo and Daphne, sculpture, grew out of Daphne's hands only to remain with firm roots in the earth. Popes and churches, architecture and museums are testament to Bernini, maybe, Rome's favoured sculptor, although, Michelangelo is more, well known. We walk along again as though the roots attached to our feet are getting in the way. 

Ancient ruins and the Vatican are like streets well worn by centuries gone by, you can feel the history and Michelangelo is better known for his painting in the Sistine Chapel.

As the foliage grows over my face, I am reminded of Bernini, again.

Foliage, growing on trees and the leaves crumble underfoot as you walk, you feel you are in a forest twirling around and around Bernini's Apollo and Daphne sculpture. Instead, reminded of books on the subject, you turn another page to realise the monstrous influence of the history of Hellenistic philosophy. Bulginging leg muscles are refined in a classical revival and the skill of genius needs another god. You are not reminded of forests old warriors once traipsed through but more the burning battlefields.

Forest of imaginings and idyllic places for gods, only... 

Apollo and Daphne, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, c. 1622-1625, Galleria Borghese, Rome, Italy

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Leaves falling like the memories

Nicole Page-Smith

The leaves fall through our mind and we are rooted to the spot, drifting though in memory as leaves blow through trees and rustle in the wind, storms of lightening and gods of old. Leaves scatter on the ground and it is Autumn.

Leaves are crisp underfoot and you walk through the Autumn leaves, they blow. Blowing leaves swirl all around and are as though extensions of your thinking blowing, blow through you as though through a forest. Forest leaves, blow and Creaking, bows answer. You are wandering through your mind to the other side.

In the forest of imaginings leaves grow and leaves grow out of branches. The branches extend, upwards, outwards and are as ancient as the trees. Species of trees feel they have been there for thousands of years, propagating; there were seven, hills of Rome.

Walking the forest in the history books but not experienced felt only the emotion not the place and then, you go there. Preconceived ideas, ideals and your mind travels elsewhere to far off places, only for the gods, seldom do visitors trespass and are not noticed for the temples worth. Long since gods seldom worshipped for the same purpose, a religion not practiced. Gods live there for trees to grow through ruins, columns litter the earth and once, we were temples for former gods gone by. Wooded knowledge of trees once fallen and leaves blow on by in the wind.

Favoured books and then, you found Bernini as though by accident and there were tours all the while, churchyard and service. We walked as though forests were all around us but were never there in the low, lying place. Oh, the river Tiber.

Walking along where angels were angelic at birth, we cross the river. Saint Cecilia and Bernini are churchyard monuments on one side of the river while Moses and museums take us to the enormous tribute to Bernini, a tribute to Hellenistic sculpture, making you jealous. Lived lives, people have been and not gone, linger. Halls and halls of sculptures, Romans being Roman, the leaves crumble underfoot like leaves of a book, old with yellowing parchment and pages well learned. Manuscript libraries of manuscripts and sculpture in practice, physical, weighty monuments, a tribute to the Roman Empire, walking, we walk with the angels and the history books.

Sitting, quietly, I enter my forest of imaginings and wonder.

Leaves crumple, underfoot.

Autumn is upon us. You wonder where the cats go all winter. You sit in a cafe having coffee and sweet cakes. Modern art and modernism have equal masculine weight with melted plastic, tributes to Vulcan and bronze sculpture, collect your bags and wander home. Oh, the pathways and the Christian missionaries, the martyrs and Popes, gone by. Rome in Autumn. Leaves falling like the memories, befalling.

Friday, February 15, 2019

God bless the Earth

Nicole Page-Smith

God Bless the Earth

Trees grow new branches and when they start spouting from your ears leaves
 start to interfere with your mind. Now, Ears grow in trees, too.
But, trees cannot hear. Trees breathe in and out like oxygen.

To walk amongst trees in forest growth, roots seem to get in the way, especially 
if they are attached to your feet. Growing roots and new feet are a way through 
the forest. The forest floor is littered with leaves. Roots entangle your ankles if
you remain in one place for too long.

Gardens of growth are the way forward. Growth is what we have to look forward,

Now, walking through the wooded park gardens with the cats in Rome is a place to find Bernini. Museums taper our way.

Twirling around Bernini you see the prowess. Leaves start falling on your mind. 
Through museums you enter. Leaves grow out your fingernails while roots grow 
from your toes and rooted to the spot you are taken as if Daphne through
Apollo's pursuit.

Not enough coinage for illumination in churches you pray.

Leaves drop on the ground all around you and you walk forward through 
squares across rivers lined with angels and join great throngs of people in
worship on churchyard days honoring Saints. Closed or open are museums on
no tourist brochures nominated days and you join lines of tourists queuing for the 
Vatican. Cameras flashing tourist groups and tour guides flock past until for a 
few moments long book learned sculptures, paintings and Ancients Greeks or 
Romans appear before your eyes on display.

Oh, Bernini you are my god as gods could be as artists on display. Cats walk by as
old cats tend to wander, wandering in another world soon to join another. Street
cats are like street people and wander. Monument after monument is on display
until you almost feel the street is not your friend and exhausted you wander
yourself, onward and rest in coffee shops or on park benches. Everything is so
ancient you feel the Roman Empire from books long since past may raise again
from the Earth and ancient ruins, still occasionally surround you on display.
Walking, walking the leaves blow along the ground and you continue walking.

In Rome, you are reminded of film directors and film stars, old black and white
movies, the taxi rides in with your suitcase, whirling past monuments, tiny cars
and no speed limits implied, Rome and its memories.